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How To Make Money Self-Publishing Your Book

How To Make Money Self-Publishing Your Book

    One of the biggest undertakings for any writer, author, communicator, journalist, artist, or professional is publishing a book. Specifically, self-publishing is one interesting venture, but may not be a huge return on investment (ROI) for your efforts right away.

    Wikipedia defines “indie” literature as publishing a book “outside mainstream publishing.” Falling under this category of “indie” literature, self-publishing a book can be a great way to build your brand as a writer and can be an avenue with which to experiment. It will provide a self-starter with hands-on experience and an inside look into what the process is all about.

    Basic Facts About Self-Publishing

    The following are key facts about self-publishing for readers and authors:

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    • 30 percent of the top 100 books on Amazon are self-published and the number continues to grow.
    • Classics from Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, and others were self-published works.
    • 21st century technology has made financially-viable digital printing, eBooks and online book retailing to its current form.
    • Self-publishing can give authors much greater earning potential than the traditional route on day one.
    • Self-published books never go out of print.
    • Self-publishing frees an author from writing what the publishing company tells them to write, and allows them to write about what they like and what makes them tick.

    Tips for Self-Publishing Success

    This infographic paints a picture on what should be considered the top keys with having self-publishing success:

      To recap here are some important takeaways from the visual graphic above:

      • Put your heart into it
      • Provide quality of content
      • Invest time, money and effort

      No matter the scale of success you are aiming for put all of you heart in the project. If you don’t feel passionate about your subject matter or at least put all of your heart and effort into your writing, your book will fall short.

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      If you dedicate the necessary amount of hours of writing, carefully investing your money and maximizing effort you will come away with a successful piece of literature.

      Effectively Promoting Your Book

      So, once you have found what to write about what do you think happens next? How do you promote it? Do you contact a publishing company? These are just one of the many question that have no specific or magical answer.

      If you opt to go with a self-publishing services you better have money saved up and invested. You will have to pay fees, and fork over a percentage towards printing your book. Services will typically provide editorial assessment, copy editing, proofreading or a combination all three. The price is ultimately calculated from the total number of words in your book.

      While it may seem like a done-for-you solution to hire a “self-publishing” company, the fees associated with it will eat into your profits on a continuous basis. You see, if you self-publish on your own, you don´t pay a cut to anybody and keep the earnings for yourself. However, you may not have the connections and resources that a self-publishing company will have. You will need to weigh the costs and benefits of either publishing on your own or working with a company in order to have the greatest chance of success. There are many places to look online to learn more, for example, Steuben Press is an online book printer and a valuable resource for self-publishers.

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      Once your book is written Steuben Press suggests these proven steps to promote your self-publishing work:

      1. Sell to those you know
      2. Encourage sharing
      3. Recruit influencers
      4. Create a buzz online
      5. Organize a launch party

      Word-of Mouth Promotion

      When you pitch your own work to people you know it will build word-of-mouth marketing and it is cheaper than paying for advertising (online, social, mobile, etc.). Furthermore, someone in your immediate circles might connect you to that person who has access to an audience via a podcast, YouTube channel or just any other medium out there among the masses.

      Social Media Promotion

      You can also provide the first digital copies in advance in exchange to have readers submit reviews on Amazon. Additionally, you can use social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn to promote your book. Utilize the Facebook Live feature to talk about your work, host a Twitter chat to answer questions, post beautifully crafted images of the cover and memorable quotes or excerpts from the book on Pinterest, and publish multiple posts that provide insight about the process of writing this book.

      All of these efforts will help connect you with potential influencers, and at the same time create some buzz online. The more times you share content related to your work on the web while others simultaneously talk about on their existing networks, it will become increasingly visible to others. The process does not happen overnight.

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      Launch Party Promotion

      Finally, host a launch party. Do this within the confines of your budget and resources. Once you have compiled all the data, the number of people actively involved in the process and demand for copies will allow you to foresee just how large the gathering should be.

      The goal of a launch party is not only to be a catalyst for spreading your book via word of mouth and social shares, it also serves to facilitate another vital component of a book launch – book reviews. Each member of the launch team should be incentivized to write a review on Amazon. You see, Amazon’s algorithm that determines product listing rank, and relies heavily on the number of reviews and the velocity of reviews. The term ‘velocity’ means the algorithm picks up on if many reviews all come in at once and interprets these signals as popularity. In turn, more visibility results in the book listings.

      Takeaways and conclusions

      Now that you understand the nuts and bolts of what it means to self-publish, the sky is the limit. You do however have to understand that there is a fierce competition from a pool of talented writers out there, but it is possible to successfully self-publish and self-promote your book.

      Featured photo credit: StockSnap/Pixabay via pixabay.com

      More by this author

      Anthony Carranza

      Multilingual writer and journalist covering all things technology and productivity.

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      Published on November 12, 2020

      5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

      5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

      What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

      Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

      Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

      While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

      Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

      1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

      When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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      Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

      In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

      • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
      • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
      • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

      While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

      2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

      Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

      Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

      Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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      However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

      3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

      Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

      But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

      It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

      4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

      Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

      Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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      5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

      Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

      For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

      How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

      The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

      If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

      Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

      It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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      Final Thoughts

      If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

      If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

      It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

      More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

      Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

      Reference

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