How to make money from self-publishing (warning: this title is just clickbait)

Better than nothing?

All authors, but especially self-published ones, lament the time and expense required to market books. Your book could be a fabulous read, well-reviewed, and enjoyed by most people who read it… but unless you have a means of making it visible to potential readers, then you won’t sell any.

This is an enormous problem.

For the first year after publishing my two books I spent a lot of time (and money) advertising and promoting them, and there are loads of blogs out there with marketing suggestions. Few are without cost and all are time-consuming.

It’s perhaps not so bad if you are a full-time writer and have the time to spare to both write new books and also publicise the ones you’ve already written. I’ve noticed that many of the advice blogs about book promotion presume this to be the case. They say things like, when you are arranging your book launches remember to… and each time you publish a new title you should… Blimey – publishing a new title is a monumental and rare activity for me. It takes me years to write a novel. One article I read recently (from a reputable self-publishing advice company) suggested aiming to publish half a dozen new titles a year to maximise sales. I had a pure What the Fuck moment at that. And it confirmed what I had started to think – reading such articles leaves me feeling that this shit ain’t for me. Book marketing advice started to remind me of good parenting blogs – the more you read, the more inadequate you feel. I cannot write a book in six months in addition to a daily blog post, just as I can’t always feed my children home-cooked food, and do glitter-and-glue type activities instead of letting them play Fortnite. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, on top of doing a full-time job that actually earns money.

Anyhow. I wasn’t selling more than the odd  kindle book every few days, so I decided to run a promotion. I went onto my KDP dashboard*, set up a half price deal for both my ebooks for a week, and I ran a simultaneous advert on Facebook. The advertising worked, my daily sales went from about 0.25 per day to around 5 per day. In 6 days I earned £34 roughly, and I spent £30 on the Facebook advert.

So I made a profit!

Shall I save it or spend it? Maybe I’ll splash out on a coffee and cake.

{contemplates the profit}

Okay, well maybe just a fancy coffee on its own. Who needs cake anyway?

[Endnote: After this foray back into marketing, I have returned to the decision I made about 6 months ago to give up sales activity in favour of writing the third novel. And after two abandoned attempts, I’m now 30k words into ‘Blackrock’ and am very excited about the story and enjoying writing again. See y’all next year!]

*KDP is Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon’s ebook and print on demand publishing service.

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