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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

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      Anthony Carranza

      Multilingual writer and journalist covering all things technology and productivity.

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      Published on December 17, 2018

      15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

      15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

      The importance of asking great questions cannot be overstated. Great questions help you discover new things, diagnose existing problems, and explore how well solutions are working in your life or business. Whether you work with consultants, executives, or entry-level employees, you cannot skip questions.

      Now imagine running a company where sustainability and profitability depends on your ability to determine the brightest minds and skills in the industry in a single conversation:

      How do you know they’re the perfect fit for you? How do you assess their communication skills? How do you know they won’t cost your team in the long run?

      You know it already; ask great questions!

      The concept of asking questions isn’t new but there is a great chance that you’re not taking full advantage of it. A Harvard Business Review article refers to questioning as a powerful tool that unlocks value, fuels innovation and performance improvement.[1] As a hiring manager or recruiter, how to you get this information when you’re meeting a candidate for the first time?

      Ask great questions, of course.

      Without further ado, here are 15 interview questions to ask employees during an interview:

      1. “What are your career goals?”

      Another version of this question is “What types of problems do you see yourself solving in the future?”

      This question is almost never asked and when it is asked, most questions are geared towards knowing how long the employees intends to stay in the company.

      Instead of asking leading questions that would steer employees into declaring undying loyalty for the organization, ask what types of problems they hope to solve in the future.

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      This does two things:

      1. It reveals the skills and interest in your employees.
      2. It lets you know what types of candidates you are attracting in the first place.

      With this, you’re able to trend this data to improve how you market your job opening. And if employee retention is pertinent to you, you can use this information to improve the job function so that future employees can see their future selves in this role.

      2. “Why do you think you’re a great fit?”

      It is important to go beneath the surface to ask questions that make the candidates speak about themselves in their own words. However, a surprising benefit of asking this question is that you’re able to determine how well-versed a candidate really is with the company’s challenges and goals, in addition to their personal attributes.

      Instead of listing off accomplishments, an exceptional employee is able to help you see how these previous accomplishment can translate into helping your organization solve its current business problems.

      3. “What do you hope to learn from this role?”

      The answers to this question can reveal if there is a job-skill match and if a linear career progression is expected.

      As you listen carefully and mind these answers from candidates, you begin to see trends in responses that help you refine how you develop roles, responsibilities, how employees see themselves, and what they want their career to look like.

      4. “How do you deal with conflict between colleagues?”

      Almost every breakdown in relationship is caused by miscommunication or lack of effective interpersonal skills. But a solid indicator of how well a person communicates is how they manage interpersonal conflict.

      Conflict management skills is no longer something required only for corporations who wish to settle million-dollar lawsuits. It’s an essential skill that every worker ought to possess and can make or break an organization.

      Tip: Ask for a time when they didn’t get along with a co-worker and how they resolved the conflict.

      5. “How did you learn about this position?”

      Asking how they learned about the position reveals how the brand is perceived by the outside world. This way, you know if your current employees is your biggest source of referrals for qualified applicants.

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      This also lets you know how effective your current staffing processes are and which channels are worth the effort.

      6. “Why are you interested in this position?”

      Again, another seemingly basic question. But when you field applications from candidates who are transferring their skills from a different department or industry, you want to know why the change was made.

      What led to the aha moment? What was the internal struggle like for them? What stands out to them about this particular position? Very important.

      7. “What excites you the MOST about this position?”

      After establishing how passionate they are about this position, it’s not unusual that you would want to know what tasks and responsibilities excite them most. With this knowledge, not only are you aware of their sense of ownership, you help nurture these skills by encouraging and facilitating the discovery of hidden potential in your employees.

      For example, a hospital nurse might detest inserting intravenous catheters in patients but jump at the task of motivating colleagues and initiating stress-reduction activities on hospital units. An office employee might cringe at the thought of public speaking but excel at creating world-class presentations.

      While you can’t exempt your employee from every task in the role because they favor one thing over another, you are more aware of how rich your existing talent pool is in your organization and can utilize your talents effectively.

      8. “What do you consider your weakness?”

      Why should you ask a candidate what his or her weakness is when all you want is someone perfect?

      Admitting a weakness shouldn’t automatically disqualify a candidate. Rather, it reveals to you how self-aware the candidate is.

      Self-awareness is essential to personal and professional development, and this is sometimes a precursor to how self-directed a person is regarding their career goals.

      There are arguments about the need to abolish the weakness question from interviews because it reduces candidates’ accomplishments. I disagree.

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      Asking employees about weaknesses lets you understand your employees better so you can not only create a work environment that is smart, you’re able to design professional development programs that can strengthen these weaknesses.

      9. “What will you find challenging about this position?”

      Maybe you don’t want to ask the ”weakness question.” Maybe you’re more concerned about the capacity to perform in the current job rather than their job history.

      Still, you want to know if you have a creative problem solver and how they feel about potential problems when they arise. You also want to anticipate how your employees will adjust to their roles once they are successfully hired. Self-awareness about one’s ability and limits can be observed by asking this question during an interview.

      Note: This question should never be asked with a malicious intent. Exceptional employees come with flaws and this should be expected. They key is knowing whether the successful candidate is willing to be a problem solver.

      10. “What additional support will you need during your transition?”

      This is a very important question during the interview question because not only is the labor market diverse, the response to this question can be used to develop the orientation process and additional training materials.

      As a mentor to newer nurses, this is a question I repeat more than 50 percent of the time during the orientation period. The responses I get provide me with insights into what employees really consider as constraints so that I can make their transition as smooth as possible.

      11. “What qualities do you desire in a leader or manager?”

      Not everyone desires a manager who provides direction while giving you free rein to make your job your own. At the same time, some employees might prefer a manager who is detail-oriented and provides all the answers.

      Knowing this before a candidate is hired can prevent conflict arising from differences in communication or management styles.

      12. “What do you do if you don’t agree with your manager’s decisions?”

      Conflict not only happens between employees. According to a study of conflict in the Canadian workforce,[2] about 81 percent of people leave the organization as a result of conflict.

      The purpose of this question is to determine how adaptable an employee is to different communication styles, what they consider deal breakers, and how they model desired behavior when conflict arises.

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      The responses to this question allows you to manage expectations and an indication for leaders to continuously work on their communication and conflict management skills.

      13. “What would make this company an amazing place to work?”

      Maybe you can’t provide free lunches or paid hours of free time at work like bigger companies. But answers to this question can reveal a lot about what employees think is crucial to well-being.

      In a study of nearly 17,000 employees,[3] it was noted that an increase in stress level is directly correlated to workplace injury. While this interview won’t eradicate organizational constraints or stressors, feedback from candidates and employees on what makes a company a great place to work is the perfect place to start.

      14. “What other questions do you have for me?”

      Although this is a conversation to determine the best fit for your team, company, or organization, the interview goes both ways. Yes, you are also being scrutinized by your interviewee.

      The purpose of this question is to create space to answer the candidate’s questions about your organization. You also get to provide insight on processes, expectations, team culture, and information that isn’t readily available on the company website.

      15. “Tell me about yourself”

      If everything else seems too much, lead with this timeless question. You simply cannot go wrong here.

      Sometimes, the best answers come from open-ended queries. This is your best chance to know the candidate’s history, career accomplishments, and get a feel for their career goals all at the same time.

      It is less intrusive and leading with this question makes it easier to approach other questions––depending on how sensitive the position is.

      The Bottom Line

      Conversation is a two-way street. Good questions can give you great insights into the value an employee can bring to your company. But there is an art and science to asking questions.

      While you won’t become an expert right off the bat, these questions provide a good foundation to start from if you want to attract and retain top talent in your organization.

      More Resources About Job Interview

      Featured photo credit: Drew Beamer via unsplash.com

      Reference

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