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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 September 16, 2020

      12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

      12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

      Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

      Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

      Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

      Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

      Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

      Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

      1. Organization

      When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

      When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

      Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

      To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

      To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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      2. Flexibility

      You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

      Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

      For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

      To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

      To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

      3. Collaboration

      As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

      Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

      To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

      To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

      4. Poise

      Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

      When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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      What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

      To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

      To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

      5. Communication

      Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

      When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

      To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

      To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

      6. Good Computer Hygiene

      Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

      Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

      To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

      To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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      7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

      Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

      Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

      To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

      To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

      8. Respecting Feedback

      In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

      Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

      To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

      To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

      9. Project Management

      Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

      To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

      To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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      10. Staying up to Speed

      Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

      To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

      To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

      11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

      “Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

      To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

      To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

      12. Teamwork

      Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

      Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

      To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

      To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

      Final Thoughts

      Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

      More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

      Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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