Sorry for the delay in the blog...50 inches of snow can do that. Onward. For most indie authors, the goal is to not only deliver a quality book but to also make money. While it's certainly possible for successful indie authors to make a lot of money on a print book, ebook, or even an audio book, there are many who try and fail. Often, the reasons for that failure fall into on or more of these categories:
1. Not Understanding Who Your Audience Really Is
Whether your fishing or trying to find readers to sell your book to, its all about the "Bait", where do they like to hang-out, at what time of day and any other attribute you can attach to your reader profile! You may have written a book that you yourself would like...thats fine, but you still need to have a profile(s) of your target reader so you can provide them what they like to eat adn where they like to eat it!
2. Lack of Editing, Proofreading and a Custom Cover Design
Self publishing has beome easier. It's also hard, in that an author won't have others to help him or her determine what should be changed before a book goes out to the audience. Book promotion is important, but if the product is bad you can see your indie author goals go down the drain. Bad products lead to bad reviews, which can kill your career before you even get it off the ground. While a great cover is far less important for an ebook than it is for a print book, it does matter to people when they're shopping for something to read. If you're not good with cover design, it's important to hire someone who can help you make a great cover that will stand out from the crowd and get your book noticed.
3. Focusing on In-Exchange Reviews
Self publishing often means being part of a community where there's a lot of author marketing going on. A lot of those authors want to work with one another, and with bloggers who review books, in an effort to get reviews. The thinking is that those reviews will boost sales numbers, but unbiased, unsolicited reviews are still the best for author marketing and book promotion. In the end you will receive the most power/exposure from those that are most visible or credible in your genre or subject area or are simply avid readers that truly love your work and are willing to let the world know it - a real fan!
4. Too Much Reliance on Family and Friends
You don't know enough people for this. Author marketing should go well beyond asking people you already know to buy what you've written. You might get a few sales this way, but you're not going to become a bestselling author by asking Aunt Betty to buy a copy of your book. Alll that said, family and friends may be the absolute best place to start your effort.
5. Investing Too Much in Up-front Printing or Marketing Services
Unless you have a good reason to think you are going to need thusands of books, it's best to avoid a big print run. You have to pay for, store, and sell all those books. It can be overwhelming, and you might lose money. Instead, start with print on demand, which won't cost you anything up front. Same with Marketing, start slow and make an effort to really understand how book marketing works before you start spending your hard earned money.
6. Not Allowing Equal and Focused Time on Marketing
There's no reason to pay thousands of dollars to let a company do the work you can do yourself. With all of the tools available to you, more specifically your ability to write compelling content, there is absolutely no reason for you, as an up and coming writer not to take advantage of your skill or passion. You have to invest at least equal time in marketing your book.
7. Lacking the Discipline and Attitude To Fuel Your Success
This is probably one of the least discussed challenges we all have in becoming really successful, no matter what the cause...knowing what to do and doing it on a consistent basis with passion. It sounds easy but it is probably the main reason authors do not succeed. Its a simple decsion to do what you must to succeed, but its really hard to it, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year!
Keep the Faith and May the Force be With You!