7 Steps to Successful Self-Publishing in 2016 with Joanna Penn



okay so welcome everyone this is seven steps to successful self-publishing in 2016 Joanna maybe you would like to share your screen and get your opening slide up there yeah I think you have to change presenter again okay I can do that I know how to do that okay you know figure all this software at eventually looks No that's what what about live events most people here already know Joanna pen but Joanna is a New York Times in USA Today best-selling author she's also a podcaster with several hundred episodes of her fantastic podcast I highly recommend it it's not only educational but it's fun every time you listen and of course joini is also known by most people through our blog at the creative pen com Joanna writes and publishes both fiction and nonfiction successfully and that's one of the reasons why I think this webinar is going to be especially interesting to authors so without wasting any more of your time I'm going to turn it over to Joanna Joanna take it away thanks so much for having me Joe and you can see my screen right now perfect all good okay well welcome again everybody and I just wanted to sort of emphasize again that this evening I'll be talking about fiction and nonfiction because I write both and I'll also be talking a bit about branding because it's something I've tackled myself between nonfiction and fiction as I write under two different names although you can pretty much tell who I am I left my day job as an IT consultant in September 2011 and I am a full-time I make a full time living with my writing and as you can see you've sold quite a few books now in quite a few countries and lots of different all that and all without a publisher so that's the most important thing for our session today I make my living with self-publishing but in case that is worrying you and you're like oh that's a bit much for me this is me back in 2008 and I like this picture the kids look at the look at my eyes there I do not have a clue what I'm doing that is basically the look of hope this is a this is my first book and it's just going to change everybody's life and that's pretty much what I thought back in 2008 I thought that oh you just wrote a book and then you printed a ton of them as you can see there I printed quite a lot of books and most of those went in the landfill so we will be talking about print-on-demand as we go through but essentially I need very little back in 2008 and made a lot of mistakes so what I'm talking about today is a lot of what I've learned along the journey from that first book to where I am today so I hope that encourages you in terms of what you can achieve if you want to to go far with your book but it's all about you today so how can you successfully self publish in 2016 and of course I had to boil it down to seven steps it all get straight into it so the first one is decide on your definition of success and this is so important because how can you be successful in self-publishing unless you know what success means so here are some examples of what success could mean to you so first of all that's me with my dad on his 65th birthday I helped him self publish his first and only book nada and that's us there with the champagne and his book so for some people successful self-publishing is holding a book you know your own book in your hand as we did there with my dad's book the second one might be to you know be on a front table at Barnes & Noble or be in every Barnes & Noble in the country it might be number one on the entire Amazon store or it might be EA L James 95 million I'm pretty sure that most people turn that down even given the notoriety of those books or the Man Booker Prize or a literary prize or the New York Times list for example and I you know I've been on the New York Times in the USA Today list and is one of those things that a lot of authors want I personally would rather have the 95 million the military prize but you will have to decide that for yourself so the first thing this is so so important because you can't use somebody else's definition of success and also it will be different for this book so I know we have on the line people who are writing their first book this year so your your success will be different to the lady who's already on her fifth self-published book and your goal posts will change I guarantee it to mine do all the time and your decisions around definition of success will shape how you write how you publish and how you mark it so it's really important to understand that straight up so write it down and then of course it will be really easy very quickly if your definition of success is to hold your book in your hand then just go to create space calm and print one coffee and using print-on-demand you don't it won't be very expensive don't make the mistake I did and print thousands and thousands of books if you want to win a literary prize I would suggest that you look at getting an agent and a publishing deal because although you can do it as a self-published author is very very hard so I'm going to assume for the rest of this presentation that your definition of success involves selling books reaching readers helping people changing lives which many nonfiction authors particularly want and also making a good income or in brackets a very good income so I hope that you feel you're in the right place and that is part of your definition of success so that's what you need to do straight out the gate the second thing is to sort out your writing process now I know this is about successful self-publishing but one of the most important things about publishing is of course having the book done and I wanted to tackle this because you there have been all sorts of sort of New Year's resolution posts from big name bloggers recently and they all focus on the fundamentals of this life which is the righty and especially if you're doing your first book and you're wanting to put them out finishing the book is the most important thing and if you want to be successful self publisher and make more money then your writing is actually super important so these are some of the tips that I have for getting your writing schedule sorted and again I always I think it's schedule the Americans say or something but the first thing is to actually write down your writing times as you would any other business meeting so for example you know I know a lot of parents will put their children's you know play dates and clubs and things in the diary but they won't shed all their own writing time so that would be my number one saying is actually schedule that time as you would any other business or personal meeting the second one is to use timed writing now using timed writing changed my life it really did so saying okay I'm going to sit down I'm going to do 15 minutes no Facebook no nothing I'm just going to write and get it done and this is how I'm writing book number 18 at the moment and this seriously is the number one tip and the second one is setting word count so you can either set those word counts around your timed writing or around daily word count now when I was doing my first book I think it probably was only about 250 words a day that I managed most days before work when I used to get up at 4 or 5 a.m. but getting any kind of word count done is super important and then also setting deadlines and this is important for self-publishing as well because when you're in charge of all your deadlines yourself you actually have to book things in advance so for example you will have to book your editor so you need to know when you're going to finish that first draft you might if you're more established set a pre-order date so Indies can now do pre-orders on most of the big platforms so I've my next book destroyer of worlds in out on the 31st of March which considering I'm only fifteen thousand words into the book means I need to get a move on you know to get it to my editor so that type of thing so sorting out your writing process is the way that you're going to be more successful at the self-publishing journey altogether the other thing is being accountable pardon me if you are on your first book then it's super important to finish that book it's a sort of guiding principle of writing is to finish that book don't give up on it even if you don't end up publishing that first book by finishing it you will prove to yourself that you can write a book then the process of publishing actually is not that big a deal once you get used to it the most time that you will spend will be in writing and in marketing the publishing bit doesn't take very long I also wanted to mention this brilliant book the pursuit of perfection and how it harms writers by christian catherine rush because i meet a lot of authors and i talk to a lot of authors and this this pursuit of perfection this editing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting the same book for years and years is what stopped people moving on and getting out there and being successful at self-publishing because as we go through you'll see some of the mistakes I've made and Joel's not known me for years now so he'll remember some of this but you basically have to get going so be accountable to yourself be accountable to your future readers or the readers you already have and get on with it and sort out your writing process that is super important okay so getting more in TV sort of publishing nitty gritty it's you have to understand your target market to be successful now this is where you have to switch your head so imagine you're kind of rotating your body 180 degrees and now you're looking at yourself you are you know you are often your target market so for example I have on my desk here a big the doorstop edition of the stand by Stephen King because you know I love reading Stephen King and many of my books are suitable for his readers so I study him and I learn about him and people who like his books so it's very important to that not not the whole world wants your book and in fact the more the smaller market you aim for the more likely you will hit it but that can be very difficult to I realize that especially if it's your first book it's really super hard so here's some help first of all forget demographics I really think you know women aged 45 to 70 who live in Atlanta is kind of a useless saying it's more about you know as I just said about Stephen King some of you will in your mind will be going oh I like Stephen King as well or as I've got on the screen here george RR martin you know if you like the game of thrones books and the TV show and everything then you'll recognize this type of book cover swords and dragons and things like that so don't think about demographic demographics think more about readers who like this also like that so I often say my arcane series is Dan Brown meets Lara Croft and that will bring up images in your head you know if you liked the Angelina Jolie Laura Croft sort of thing you know this is going to be archaeology this is going to be conspiracy that type of thing and that in you again in your mind you will either go yes that sounds great or no that sounds terrible so it's really important to consider this more psychographic approach to who will like your book and this will really really help you down the line it will help you with book covers it will help you with book bloggers it will help you with the marketing or help you with so much and I find that keeping a list and this is especially hard for fiction authors keep a running list of the books that you love to read especially if you're cross-genre because over time it will help you narrow people down by these psychographic thanks and again do that separately for fiction and nonfiction you might even be doing this already on a site like Goodreads or maybe you review books on your blog things like that so that's that's a first start think about more of these psychographic areas and to find out sort of more similar books in that genre then what I do is I actually Google book bloggers and the name of the book or the you know the the other things that they review to try and find books that are in the similar vein because let's face it it's very difficult to compare your book to Stephen King when he writes across multiple genres or you know george RR martin you immediately sound like an idiot when you compare yourself to these big names so having a look if you google but let's just keep using Stephen King if you google Stephen King the shining review I mean that's an old book now or dr. sleep for example which is more recent and have a look at what else that book blogger has reviewed chances are they're the type of person that you can look at later in terms of marketing and submit your book to them but it will also help you think about book covers which we're going to come unto you because book covers are so important for Indies so here's a few examples on the screen it's very important to make it obvious what genre you're buckets of course the attractive torso with the tattoo is it a nice romance trope scattered sons you know very sci-fi and they're fully raw diet I mean just make it obvious if you're doing nonfiction we'll come back to nonfiction in a minute actually a bit more detail on that but what are the expectations of the readers of that genre what do their book covers look like what do they expect from a book so a romance book for example you know the two people have to end up together if it's an erotic occur that obviously has to be sex in it so you know we're a sweet romance might not have any in my type of thrillers action-adventure there's pretty much never any sex it just goes on behind the screens but there's a lot of fight themes for example so think about the genre expectations if it's a nonfiction book you know they're the fully raw diet it's quite obvious what should be in that book and what will satisfy the reader so this I I thought like feta and again I hope this will help you as new authors if you're just starting out or even more established authors so the first three books they're Pentecost prophecy Exodus of the my first three novels and basically 2011 2012 2013 because at the beginning it took me about a year to write and publish a book but I with those books and I have a master's degree in theology but I'm not a Christian so what happened is I love these titles I still love the titles but they were attracting the or they gave the impression of the wrong type of book was to give a more Dan Brown kind of action-adventure book I rebranded earlier last year as stone of fire crypt of bone and arc of blood and you can see the new covers there for the new look and so I the reason I share this is because it's okay if you don't understand your own brand at the beginning if you don't understand where you fit in the world in the publishing ecosystem you can change it later you can change book titles you can change colors or you like that's not a big deal so I hope that encourages you around understanding your market it you can change over time I also wanted to point out these books by H n Ward who is one of the best-selling indie authors it sold over 10 million copies she's just she's just incredible but what is interesting is originally her books weren't going anywhere and you can see they're the original books secrets and scandalous a kind of artistic II look commercial woman's but if you look at the new covers the romance covers and if you look at HM Ward covers now they are very clearly you know romance erotica books and you can see there this is screen prints from a blog post she did on Goodreads that essentially by changing those things she hit the New York Times list and basically hasn't stopped the the content of the book hasn't changed but the understanding of hosana and the understanding of her audience has changed so she's learned about her target market and learned shorthand for how to show that target market you know what the hell is in the book and this is why having books that people recognize by their cover is so important it's one of the number one marketing things that we have and it's basically part of the self-publishing process you need a book cover to publish your book and I think this is something I learn more and more all the time and the importance of the book cover is just incredible it's a fantastic demonstration by the way Joanna oh I mean you're the book cover man these covers are I mean the to romance covers the new ones you know just they tell you instantly from across the room what kind of book it is you know no matter how beautiful the paintings are the illustrations were for the old books they really weren't doing the job for the book or the author that you know although they're pretty they weren't really telling you much about what kind of book it was so I think that's brilliant and I really want to thank you for bringing this to people's attention well thanks Joe and of course on the book design calm every month you can browse the it is one of my kind of not very guilty pleasures is browsing the e-book cover Awards and looking at Joel's comments some of which are um you know quite harsh that's facing it how can I keep the snark to a minimum but I mean you know if you look at thousands of these covers all the time you know I love people to get better that's what uh that's what's driving me anyway Beck sorry yes no exactly but I think I think that this importance of understanding your target market is ultimately reflected in the cover and I guess the main thing again is to remember that you can change things later and it's just shorthand okay so the next thing and remember I am absolutely focusing on you should write the book that you love and if your definition of success is just finishing the book and getting out there have been brilliant but if we take it further and say that you actually want to sell books and you actually want to make money then the next one on our list is write books that people actually want and this this young some people take I guess the wrong way but I'm really saying right at the intersection of what you love and what might sell now I don't write very much I you know sometimes I wish I could because it's it you know it's a lot of romance writers see very well but I don't read romance I actually read you know thrillers I read horror I read paranormal that type of thing and so I am always going to write based on what's I love however I also read travel memoir and you know I would like to write a travel memoir I'd like to write some kind of spiritual book but those books are on the back burner because at the moment I'm focusing on making a living with my writing and with my self-publishing so I'm sticking in the genre fiction from my thrillers and for my nonfiction I write books that fit with my market and I will absolutely branch out into other things but it's really important to have a look at the author earnings reports and have a look at the genre reports and also have a look at the top you know the top 100 drill down into the categories on Amazon look at the top books there spend some time on the USA Today list the Sunday Times list in the UK or whichever country you're in and have a look at the top sellers and you know start looking at things with a different eye looking at it from a okay if I want to be successful in science fiction or I want to be successful in entrepreneurship or in you know in this part of cookery what you know what do I need to do and in fact even if I am successful in this genre what is the what can what can I actually sell you know is is this like kit you can see here that graphic novels are still a very small part of the e-book market and of course they're very expensive to print so at the moment and the graphic novels I think are just beginning to take off in in the digital space on Amazon because they now have a specific comic publishing platform which is brilliant the same with children's books but right now the biggest sellers are nomads I think very months is something like 40 cent of e-books sold so it's important to look at what you read what are your favorite books and as I mentioned and the standards on my desk because it is my favorite book and I'm trying to understand why you know break down the best-selling books in your genre and see how that helps you with your books so then the next thing that's you know that is more for fiction for nonfiction this is the important thing and again these are the ultimate the change I made to how to enjoy your job if you think back to the original slide I put up on the screen where there was little me and my pinstripe suit when I used to wear such things holding a book which was called how to enjoy your job or find a new one now you can see there the middle cover was when I got the cover redesigned but it didn't change the title and then the third change was to actually change the title based on keywords because if and in fact my book should be number one or two on Amazon if you go to Amazon and search career change my book should be number one or two and every January I get a nice a spike of sales because people are actually searching now this is a top tip for nonfiction authors write a book with a title that people are actually searching for so you can see here exactly how to do this essentially you go on to Amazon now go on to the store that you're aiming for so if you're writing a German you know we want to sell in Germany good Amazon de or you know Amazon combo a you and I was always aiming to sell in America and probably 80% of my income comes from the US even though I'm in the UK so given that the US is the biggest market in the world right now for e-commerce and certainly ebooks in English it's a very good idea to do your research on amazon.com even if you're not in America so go into the Amazon search bar go to the Kindle Store and start typing in things of whatever you whatever relates to your topic area and then what I tend to do is just go through the alphabet so how to be an a how to be a B how to be a see how to be a D and see what comes up and it will just give me some ideas or paranormal a paranormal B etc and you will find a whole load of things that are really really interesting or gluten-free a you know that type of thing and that is a really good way to brainstorm book titles but also key words which go into your self-publishing screen now of course I don't have time to show you all the screen prints of publishing on Amazon but you will need these types of keywords and for publishing on the different stores and the main thing is really to consider Amazon and the other stores as a search engine Amazon primarily as the others have a lot of merchandising and the categories as we said like the genre genres basically a category now or a subcategory on Amazon and the keywords like these so how to be a celebrity is one keyword phrase basically it's not five keywords and that's a really important point because you get seven keywords or keyword phrases when you self publish so you can actually use these keywords to get into more categories which is super exciting so you only get two categories when you self-publish but if you use different keywords you can get in a whole lot more so I've used my free books tonify my perma free the first in my series and you can see at the bottom the list of keywords that I've used and there are seven even though one of them is supernatural mystery action thriller series that is one keyword and you can see there that I've used conspiracy thriller men's adventure and women's adventure and also supernatural stuff so that has got me into men's adventure category women's adventure conspiracy this is the way of getting discovered and getting discovered is one of the most important things in self-publishing success so making metadata your friend might sound quite scary in a way because the word method a tourism might be difficult but it's essentially the categories the keywords the things that describe your book that are not the text of your book and I'm a bit of a futurist so I'm hoping that within a couple of years we'll have really good AI which will just mean you can load your book up and they will automatically index it for all the right things but for now we have to choose things ourselves and categorize things ourself so hopefully that will help you with yours and you can use keywords to get into more categories than you could have done otherwise okay so another part of metadata is also the back blurb or the sales page on Amazon and this again is super important for successful self-publishing and it's very hard I mean you think writing your 80,000 word novel is hard or you're you know sixty thousand words self-help book now you have to write a couple of hundred words describing your book so that people want to buy it this back flow or sales description can be super super hard and we all struggle with it but again one of the great benefits of self-publishing is being able to update things over time so many of us change our description quite a lot over time you know go in update it if you're doing a sale you can update it that type of thing but in terms of helping you with actually writing yours there's a couple of tips so first of all model successful books and this is probably one tip in general for life which is model successful books model successful people so just just to digress if if you want to because there's a lot of people with a lot of advice out there you guys know that about writing about self-publishing about marketing it's very important to listen to people who are doing it in a way that fits with you so listen to people who are having success in an area you want to have success if you want to sell 10 million romance books go and read hm Ward's blog that is super important yes in model successful books and as we said you can model successful covers as well and you can also model back blurbs or sales descriptions and this is how I started writing mine was I went to you know the category I wanted to rank in so let's say conspiracy thriller I went to the top sort of 20 books and and opened up a word document and I just typed out the I think I did about 15 in the end I literally just copied them onto the document now this is not this is also a writing technique and people like Dean Wesley Smith who's an amazing blog recommend typing out passages of other authors books in order to kind of understand let the understanding flow through your fingers type of thing and this is what I would say to do with the back blurb and the sales page as well so there's an example on the screen there and and if you if you've got you know a girl most close to death I've got a thing that's over the screen that when you read it and yeah a driver drags her body to the side of the road that type of thing it's a very punchy style of writing it's hyperbole it's over-the-top there's always a mention of the character this is for fiction obviously for non fiction nonfiction you can include the table of contents you can emphasize the problem of the customer but if you write out fifteen book blurb descriptions you will learn how the publishers do it and do it very well or how other indie Stewart's and you will actually be able to then model that yourself now this is not plagiarism at all this is modeling okay so then you can also use review quotes you can use keywords within your text you can see there the back road is an electrifying thriller you know if you start to actually look at other peoples pages you'll be able to model those and that will help you with yours okay so I hope so far that you're getting the feeling that there's a lot more involved than just uploading your book to multiple stores and that that's why I wanted to tackle some slightly different angles I guess on the self-publishing success because obviously the writing is important but things like metadata getting the book right you know I haven't mentioned tweeting or blogging or you know any of those types of things because if you don't get the fundamentals right then none of that's going to make much difference anyway and this is definitely something I've learned from the beginning which you know since I started I guess when I first still published my first book I really just didn't have a clue and these are the things that I've learned over time are the most important things so in terms of 2016 of this number six is what probably one of the top things and which is if you're going to write writing a series if you want to be successful in terms of sales and reaching readers and that doesn't necessarily mean a fiction series I've got there s Jay Scott who is one of the best-selling non-fiction indie authors who writes habits habit books in a series so if you buy one book on habits you'll probably buy another book on habits and the main reason for this is to think about the binge consumption culture now you know I'm into house of cards and once the whole season drops on I think it's on Netflix isn't it whatever it's on in I think it's March or when Game of Thrones starts you know people want to binge the whole thing and this is what happens when you have a series so think about how long it takes you to read a book it's it's just not long at all you know maybe it takes a couple of hours maybe it takes a couple of days but that author might have taken a year to write a book and you've just finished it super fast but if there's a series then they have something to go to next and I should have put it up here but there was a survey done by the international thriller writers which said it takes three point four books so between three and four books for a casual reader to become a fan so if you're just a one-hit wonder and so I'm picking one the girl on the train which you know everybody's probably heard of now massive book most people will not be a fan of that author in fact most people will have heard that title of the book will not remember the name of the author and may not buy her next book so it's kind of a one-hit wonder it's this between three and four books then people are likely to then become a fan and carry on reading so having a series that either has a series character or relates to each other in some way is a very good way to be successful in self-publishing so that binge consumption culture as I said people who find you at any point so I'm just writing book eight in my arcane series which is at the bottom there destroyer of worlds and people who discover me at book eight may well go back and buy all of the books you also don't have to reinvent your characters in the world so you can write faster and if you're writing nonfiction you can chunk your books down into kind of multiple different topics that will hit the same type of reader and also in terms of success many authors note an income jump at book 3 and also book 5 and if part of your definition of success is money as mine is definitely happy readers mean you know happy income then that's super important as well you can also put books into box sets and once you have more than three books single author box sets are very profitable on a lot of stores and I'll come back to that in a minute so that that's one thing is to consider a series and over time the other thing is free now many people think that free is over or free is just for people in KDP select and which I'll mention again in a minute but and Smashwords end-of-year survey found that series with free starters earn more money than books without free starters so this is really important and people you know I read all the time that people think friends over but it's definitely not and book Bob and if you can't get on book bob then free berkeley and other free promotional services or books that promote free books say that more than 60% of sir various respondents said they've gone on to buy other books written by the same author after downloading a free title and I've had stain of fire on perma free for years now and it still brings in you know a number of people every single day some of those of course a lot of those people will never read that free book some of them do and some of them go on to buy the other six books or some of my other books so that is super important to consider as well and it is also kind of free promotion now I know that if you're writing your first book you will not put that first book for free because you will be feeling very attached to that book and which is why writing three books and then using free is a better idea but you can also vary length and price so consider writing a novella so again some of HM Ward's books there or I've got several novellas my day of the Vikings for example is a novella novellas are short so between twenty and forty thousand words whereas a full novel might be between sixty and a hundred K you can also do box sets so once you have more books you have much more ability to change your length and your price okay so finally number seven and one of my favorites and because this to me is the one thing the number one thing if you want if you if your definition of success is to do this either full time or to have some kind of writing career you know and you must be just as crazy as me right because you love writing and this is a very exciting for you is to consider multiple streams of income on multiple platforms so in my definition of success over time has kind of morphed into this you know CEO of a global publishing company but of course when you are writing your first book you might not see it this way but I wanted to kind of expand your horizons so that you will be excited about what is possible once you have finished that first book so when you do have a manuscript it's not just one thing and this is like when the penny drops on this it's like a magic moment because it's not just one thing if you think how many ebook editions there are now you know Amazon Kobo iBooks nook all the different platforms print edition audio editions so that's at least you know what let's just say three for the sage bit but of course it's more than that then you multiply that by country so I've now actually sold books in 71 countries all of those in English I do have some books in other languages but 71 countries with books in English this is possible now as a self publisher and then multiply that by language and you can already see the potential for multiple streams of income with the more books you have so self publishing success as defined by reaching readers can now be done incredibly effectively in all of these different ways and audiobooks for example have really only opened up in the last couple of years very very exciting and we're seeing new markets opening every day to the growth of e-book sales oh and this is my little map from Kobo which I love it maps all the countries that where people have bought your books and so I thought I put that there and show you in terms of you know the cell phone people reading on their cell phones I read on my iPhone I books is in 51 countries it's the I think it's the number one phone in China you know people all over the world are now reading on their phones and also in their cars so 2016 Google auto and apple carplay have now got streaming audio in cars so whisper sync with Kindle where people can start reading and then carry on listening or stream audio directly from audible all these mean that the market for your book are just getting wider and wider and wider every day so I kind of want you to think beyond the book store you know beyond the book store at the end of your road or in your town to look where you could be with successful self-publishing which is super exciting however I did want to put a caveat on this because if you do only have one book or you have less than three books then starting out with KDP select is possibly a good idea and I'm just going to link to that there you know about exclusivity there's lots of pros and cons of KDP select if you don't know what that is you can google that later but essentially it's you you have to be exclusive to amazon so I think sometimes it's good to start out small when you're self-publishing but over time remember that your global sales map can look something like this so it's some it's a pretty exciting world out there and as I said your definition of success will change over time so that was a sort of Whistlestop tour through seven different tips I guess and ways to help you successfully self publish but really it's down to you and you choosing what you want to achieve and then like going for it in 2016 and of course when this webinar is over write down what you will do in next 90 days towards your goal and I hope there's been some interesting things for you here this evening are you still there Joel man you really packed a ton of stuff in 45 minutes Joanna that was amazing yes I'm here my fingers are a little tired because I've been answering questions like crazy because up this presentation I mean I was learning stuff too I mean all the stuff about how to deal with categories and keywords is so important on Amazon and really in any other kind of search engine oriented retail site so that is fantastic we're going to get back to more of those questions but once you flip over to the next slide there Joanna you know you can see that Joanna has extracted this information from her own incredible experience over the last years I don't know how many years it's been when did you actually start your new publishing after you set up the creative pen 2008 okay so it's we just broke into 2016 so this is about seven years worth of on-the-ground you know we shoulder to the grindstone kind of experience and you know joining gets asked these questions all the time because she's been very successful at building her platform and selling books and as you can tell she's going to be selling a lot of books in the future too and I'm personally going to throw a party for her when she hits that 1 million book mark anyway to help other authors trying to navigate this journey Joanne has put together a really terrific course on how to do self-publishing now you can see there is a huge amount you need to know behind even this 45 minute presentation like all of that stuff about where to put the books I've got questions stacked up here about good sites to promote on how many words you should write and and this is exactly what Joanna put into this self-publishing success course now I have the course I was lucky I got in early in advance of this webinar and in the course Joanna goes over all of this content and shows you exactly how she got all the results that she's been talking about today why don't we flip over again there Juna I know you got another one there okay yeah there it is so what is it that's in the course and this is a video course and I'm going to show you that in just a minute what it looks like but it covers all of these topics like every author I think should really be considering seriously publishing ebooks as well as print books now you may want to hold off on the print book if you're publishing a you know you're a new fiction writer you might not know what your readers want yet and I have some questions about that in the question box do they want ebooks didn't want print books do they want audiobooks well just like Joanna was talking about when she started her first series at that point she didn't know it was the information gained from actual experience that taught her what her readers wanted and she covers all of this process of publishing ebooks print audiobooks and then we get into some really important stuff because it's great and it's a lot of fun publishing books look I've been doing it most of my life I love it but you know selling them that's a little harder that's when the real work starts and anybody who's getting ready to publish or not getting the kind of results you think you should be getting from the work you put in you really owe it to yourself to check this stuff out because you know joanna is somebody I go to as my you know my authoritative source about what's going on right now or the latest programs what's the best strategy for fiction authors and nonfiction authors and how can we actually help you get something back you know getting praise from readers is great getting paid is also pretty great let me tell you it gives you a lot of positive reinforcement to keep going because you know you might be sitting in a dark room for months writing your book but you want to get some positive response from the market that's super important so what you n is done is she's created these lessons there you can see that she has a very personable style of teaching here's what it looks like when you get into the course you'll see down the left there are all the lessons in the course you know all the how-to and the marketing segments and you can see that I'm right in the middle of watching one of the let's get publishing videos and one of the reasons I asked you Anna to put this slide in is because you can see her right in the video and I think this is a great idea I actually loved that when I'm going through these lessons that Joanna is sitting there talking to me just like we were sitting having a cup of coffee and I asked her a question and she's now going to answer that question in detail the other and I just love that you know too often we get these slides like on this webinar I like to make contact with that person so the other thing about the courses that Joanne has provided all of the information both as videos audios and transcripts so you can watch slides actually so you can actually consume the content any way you like and I really appreciate that I know many courses I take and I am a a glutton for these courses you know sometimes people ask me well how'd you get your blog so big and how'd you get always people on these calls and hey I study this stuff I study with people I respect and the way I love to take in this content the best is by audio I can listen when I'm on what I'm exercising I can listen to my car it's really ideal for content consumption that's another reason why I'm a big fan of Joanna's podcast so Joanna has taken all the results at the experience she gained publishing both fiction nonfiction Series freebies Amazon B and selling all over the world getting our books translated and put it into this course to cut down on your frustration and research time and wondering whether you're going to get the right results so the the course is really great if you're new to self-publishing it really will give you a really comprehensive overview of what the process is about and how authors go about actualizing this may be like I said before you've tried it you put a book or two out there and it's just not happening for you I hate when that happens I want to see people get a really positive response now in my world I'm not really very concerned about whether you know about how many copies people sell I talked to the authors and I said well what would make you feel like this was a successful journey for you and sometimes people want to sell you know a bazillion copies sometimes people are just looking to sell to a particular segment of the market sometimes people aren't that interested in the money at all they're like have a message they want to send the world they have an innovation they have a new idea they have a process that's better than anything else that's out there so it doesn't matter what your motivation is I want to see you get some success we also have a lot of traditionally published authors now who have gotten the rights to their older books back or they maintain their digital rights so the book maybe came out 10 years ago as a print book but they never negotiated for the e-book rights so they have the e-book rights so all these traditional authors I hear from these people almost every day and they're kind of mystified by the self-publishing process but they know that that represents a huge potential for them and so this course will also help them out as well now obviously Joanna and I both have pretty much the same ethic on things we want you to be happy and get real value from the things that we do if you don't if you're not happy or you think you didn't get the value you know we're going to stand behind our products and Joanna has put a complete satisfaction guarantee on this course if you get in there you don't like it you know you can get your money back it's as simple as that I think we got another slide Joanna and I'm really impressed that we're doing this on time you know it's not one of my strengths I frequently run over but I'm really glad that we're doing that so there we go now this course costs two hundred ninety seven dollars and it's worth every single penny but you know because of this promotion we put together we decided to make this an even better offer for you I think it was pretty pretty dynamite at 297 to be honest I would buy it in a minute because I don't really have the time to spend researching all the stuff that's in this course and you know due to the value of my time it would save me $300 you know probably within the first week but Joanna has really generously taken a hundred bucks off the price that's a 34 percent discount and if you're interested in this and you think it would help you while this special promotion is going on you can get it for one 197 dollars which if you asked me I would tell you it was freakin awesome but you know I thought there is more I can do Joanne has put all her experience into her course and I'm helping her promote it here but you know I love talking to authors and helping them solve problems get on the right path also so here I've never made this offer before and who knows what happens I mean make it again but I am offering anybody who buys Joanna's course during this promotion and this will run until Sunday at midnight I will offer you a 30-minute one-on-one coaching session on any topic you choose I have two rules for that one is I would like you to go through the course first and the reason for that is I don't want you asking me questions that UN is already answered and if you buy the course you could just get them by going through the course and you really want to go through this course trust me I don't care how many books you've published you're going to learn a ton the other requirement is that you would need to schedule your talk within one year from the date you purchase the course I don't think that's too onerous onerous was my word the day today that means painful or unpleasant so that's the offer in other words you can get Joanna's complete course on self-publishing success showing you exactly how she's achieved bestseller status sold over 400,000 books all over the world and she's going to give it to you for $197 so if you've been an e-book and you're making a $2.00 profit on your ebook your royalty is 2 bucks which was about what you get for a $2.99 retail Kindle eBook you would have to sell less than a hundred books to pay for this course now I am just going to tell you that I don't think there's any chance that somebody with a decent book out in the market going through this course isn't going to sell 100 extra copies from the information in the course it's just impossible so this is the deal you can get the course you can get my 30-minute one-on-one consultation you pick the topic you want me to look at your blog you want me to look at your cover you want me to look at your book design you want me to suggest some fonts I don't care you can ask me any publishing question you want and it's $197 uh there's the URL you can see it right there it's the book designer dot-com / Joanna pretty creative huh and I will put that into the question box so you can just click the link but come on it's not that hard to type that and what we want to do now is I think we got one more slide that we do in we want to switch over to the questions okay great so can you hear me okay Joanna yeah oh good and yeah I can see the gazillion questions so well let you pick them we're gonna try look I'm from New York and Joanna's from London we're gonna we both talk kind of fast so we're going to try and get through as many of these as possible in the next 15 minutes so you want me to give you these questions um you ready yeah all right well it's got a question from Christy she wants to know if you format your own books hmm I do my own formatting for my ebooks using Scrivener software which is the best $45 you'll ever spend writing software and formatting software however I do I recommend Joel's book design templates for print or I do also from my more complicated print I hire somebody to format for print so you can do that yourself as well but certainly ebook formatting I always do myself here's a really interesting question from Bradley Charbonneau hi Bradley he says he loves your series page on Amazon and wants to know how you built up series page how do you do that so there's a field when you publish and it's on all the platforms now it's a series title field and you have to populate it with exactly the same content and this is dosa don't call your series something complicated with like dashes and you know it's other things make it as easy as possible and then Amazon actually automatically linked series together as through iBooks now so just you know with Kobo you can click on a series so this the series linking is something that's becoming more and more important and as you can see on Amazon now they what they have this thing on your Kindle that says oh here's some more in the series and you own two out of the five or whatever so it is incredibly powerful and you know that is another reason that you want to do series because Amazon essentially market the series for you so that should just happen once you use the series linking field yeah and there was also a question about a series for nonfiction whether that was also effective and and I just want to mention that yes if you're off all the books are intended for the same market a series a nonfiction series can be great also because just like with a fiction series people read one they're going to go looking for the other ones yeah exactly so you could say you know for Steve Scott habits the habit series for example and that will link books they don't have to be you know sequential like fiction but as long as they're related you can still use exactly the same field to link books together now here's an interesting one we've talked about series a lot on this call and this is from DF if you're testing the waters and self-publishing for the first time how do you know it's cost effective to start a series shouldn't you wait until after you've published the first book well it's just very very very hard to sell one book and if you have three books as I mentioned and they could be three novellas for example but if you put the first one on perma free and promote that first one that will get you traffic in the door and it will be much much much easier to get people you know interested than just one book I mean again think about your reading habits when you find someone who has a series do you not just jump on them like a crazy person and go through their entire back list and this is that tends to be what happens and so if you have one book of course you do and I remember feeling this it's like oh you know it takes so long when you're first starting out but it's also incredibly hard to sell one book and it gets easier to sell books the more books you have and certainly in the series now I've tried multiple I have two series I have one standalone book risen gods and that was always written as a standalone so as a co-written book so that that does fit into your model there of just one book but I know that that book will never sell as many as it would have done if I had had more than one book in that series just because of this culture we're in now with this kind of binge binge content the devouring okay there's a bunch of questions here join about international sales like for instance one person wrote and said you know she published in the u.s. how do you actually get started publishing in other countries how do you have what are the steps that you do to do that I bet that's covered in your course isn't it yeah absolutely but the main thing is that when you actually self publish you can select the countries that you want the book to be available in so Amazon of course is available in lots of countries Cobra is available in like 150 countries you know people can buy people have these various sites in the countries where they are now the books that appear on those sites will be different because traditional publishers sell books by territory now this gives in these a real advantage in territories outside the norm for example I know of people in New Zealand who sell their rights in New Zealand but haven't sold the rights in the US so you should definitely if you're in a country that is not America and you haven't sold your American rights you should definitely get your books up there and all you have to do when you go into the self-publishing platform is if you own all your rights so if your self-publishing for the first time you just click all worldwide and you're book will be automatically available in all these countries and if you have sold some rights then you just make sure those countries are not checked and only publish in the countries you do own right for now then the other question becomes well how do readers even find you in these other countries and I would say just think about everything you do online now like my podcast people listen to you from all over the world every tweaked everything on Facebook every you know Pinterest board every Instagram photo can be found by anyone online and it's super surprising how people do find stuff so I have never really changed my marketing strategy to sell to people in 71 countries it just happened and also I know it's happened because you know whether with Kobo with iBooks for example there are fewer books in Malaysia or you know the Czech Republic and so you end up making sales in cont in unexpected places because they have less choice so it's a very bright time for international sales and we are barely getting started oh absolutely absolutely that's for sure now here's an update from Suzy and Leikin hi Suzanne and she says that Amazon is now taken away the series link and they told her they may bring it back so you know that's the problem with self-publishing like mine you know all of these platforms if you focus on you know um you know one particular thing on Amazon or in or Apple or anywhere else you know this stuff changes constantly so all those articles people wrote like a year ago or two years ago about how to use Kindle select big they could all be obsolete now this step just came from aging all the time so that thank Suzanne for putting that in I I appreciate that yeah and that thing about things changing and it's definitely true and what's great again an advantage of being an indie is you can be flexible and agile and respond to the market so the minute something changes the word goes around on the indie grapevine and we adapt so yeah and also remember the Amazon beta test all the time they changed things all the time so the last time I looked at that series for my series was still there but again it changes but you know from time to time so but you know if you keep up with following people through Twitter and on the blogs and things you'll find out what changes and of course in terms of the course I will update significant stuff over time yeah and that's one of the great things about the online training I mean I love books I love reading them I love owning them I love publishing them and when I'm finished with them I love recycling but you know the fact is it's really hard to update books as things change very fast and an online course can be much more easily updated and kept up-to-date than like a huge book on self-publishing and here's a question from Grand Gale wondering what you kind of budget for editing and proofreading yeah so I would say again your first book is going to be the most expensive in terms of editing in my opinion because you're actually learning how to write a book so I would absolutely recommend at the beginning you might look at a structural edit which is you get a kind of report and then you might want a line edit which is actually the red you know the classic word pen and then I always hire a proofreader as well before I publish so I have I have two editors for fiction and one for nonfiction entirely separate and at this point my budget between five hundred and two thousand US dollars for mine for a full-length book for a full content edit line at it and you know a couple of hundred dollars for a proofread now you I have I think editing is a bit like getting editor a little bit like dating you don't find the best editor in your first the first time around so I've tried a number of different editors too but having a good editor makes a huge difference you just have to look for them and I have a ton of editing articles and links to editors at the creative 10.com forward slash editors so that might help because it's a question I get all the time but certainly if you don't have a bigger budget as that you can do bartering with other authors in the genre make sure anybody who reads it is a fan of the genre or the type of book you're writing because you do not want to give a romance to a horror fan for example that just will not work so you can say there's definitely pros and cons but and I think getting a professional edit along with a professional book cover a kind of way to really really try and budget for these things because they make such a difference and if you want to do this long-term every single edit you will learn more about how to be a better writer and that is an important part of the journey so the editor isn't just editing your manuscript they're kind of teaching you about writing at the same time that's pretty cool yeah and I actually it's the best way to learn like it's better to have someone critique your words than it is to read a book on writing a novel and let's face it everyone on the line has hundreds of books on writing books but actually having somebody critique it and you know a paid professional not your mom you know is a good idea excellent no one person I wanted to know whether when people who take the course Joanna is there an opportunity for them to ask questions because this I mean I we have a support email so support that the creative pen people can ask questions but because it's like a quite a full course I guess it should answer all your questions but you can certainly always email me and I answer the the support email along with several other people so definitely you can ask questions that way that's great and here's another one that reminds us how things keep changing Joanna this is some rose she says I've heard of a new self publishing platform called pronoun is this something you'd recommend and try yourself or would you stick to the smash words Amazon combination I believe pronoun is what used to be called book which you might remember Joel from years ago they have a few incarnations that and I believe they are free to self-publish same as everything else so what you have to do when you use a distributor ID I haven't used them myself so we can't really question but when you use a distributor you have to look at where how do they make their money that's super important so for example Smashwords draft2digital take 10 to 15% maybe 20% for some things off your off your prophet if you go direct so if you go to Amazon Kobo writing life iTunes etc and iBooks you you just get the 70 percent royalty for example so when you use any kind of distributor a pronoun would be one and there's a new one called publish direct that there's more and more of these every single day is look at how they make their money and also their long-term projection in terms of once you start publishing through these platforms it becomes very difficult to unpublish on those platforms without losing your reviews and you can be trapped into something that might cost you money so I really really like and sites that will just take a cut of your sales so Amazon Kobo iBooks drafter digital s'matter with it they only get paid when you get paid anyone you have to pay to make a change to your manuscript or it's unclear about how they how they make their money that it you know makes me go what is going on here because we're all businesses we have to make money somehow so that would be my blanket recommendation also check out choosing a self-publishing service by the Alliance of independent authors which is on the ebook stores and that will help you and it has a whole list of questions in to look at how to use different self publishing platforms and or print companies for example around rights and you know lots of different things to consider if you're using a third-party company essentially so that's choosing a self-publishing service available on all the bookstores excellent you know there seem to be a lot of people who've taken your advice and are deep into series writing Joanna and there's a bunch of questions here's one for instance this is from Lorna the second book in my series will be too big to make a profit a createspace I'll owe them money with every copy I sell yeah that's not a good result one will the market bear a price of $9.99 or higher or should I go back to the bad old days of a print run an office full of boxes no do not go back you'll a don't know Bob looks no please no all else I said I lost so what that was that was my massive mistake and where I lost loads and money and no seriously my print books are $12.99 $15.99 you mustn't equate your print on demand price with the price in a physical bookstore especially if you're in the UK where it's three books for a fibre you know in most bookstores that's not the way it works and the one reason to do a print book is for hardcore fans obviously but most indie authors make 90 percent of their income from eBook sales I think mine's about eighty four percent now with print being seven and audio being seven so something like that my maths is falling apart but essentially I would say that you I don't think you actually can and pay CreateSpace I say I think you have to price over the print cost and so that's definitely a way to go if you use England spot you can definitely be out of pocket but with CreateSpace I always just take the cost and then add on two dollars the other thing I might suggest is splitting your book into two if it's a long print book then it's also a long a book so you could potentially split that but also Joel would know about this there are ways you can change the font and change the layout which will impact the size of the book or if you change from a five by eight to a six by nine and you know change the font you can actually quite dramatically impact the size the print size but that would be their big things about that on Joel's website for sure yeah and that is where you know if if you're really doing this and you're planning on trying to make a business out of it this is where you really should start thinking about maybe hiring somebody I've had these books in my practice often I've had a two hundred and seventy seven thousand word memoir I mean that's that's pretty tough to fit that into one book and actually be able to sell at a reasonable price but you know book designers have lots of tricks and they have more funds than you've ever seen so I was able to actually get that book into about five hundred and forty eight pages and it was very very readable it looked beautiful so you know I think that really paid for itself in terms of cutting the production cost of the book because in print on demand we get charged by the page and so something to think about you know you might you might want to do that or also I actually designed a template for people with very long books because this comes up over and over again so we designed one it's called pulp and it's specifically a high density template if you're working in Microsoft Word that will allow you to get a lot more words per page and still have a beautiful looking book so you might want to check that out okay this was an interesting question also kind of on the series theme and this is from Bowie Bowie says if you're writing nonfiction series and you think you've written a really great book should you start with nonessential books to gain market advantage I think what's behind this question is that Bowie doesn't want to put his great book out free so he's going to create some books that aren't quite as great I think no I would suggest that you plication there but what do you think yeah I think they should always be great but and you can do different versions I guess so I have my kind of magnum opus is business for authors how to be an author entrepreneur now that is a seriously chunky book which I also recorded an audio book for people who are very serious about making you know actually running a business and then what I discovered was the number of people who want that magnum opus are quite small so what I did was I took the kind of more commercial aspects of it and I made a much smaller book which is how to make a living with your writing better title but similar information but also a lot cheaper and that made ink coms you know one of the top 100 non-fiction books last year which I was like well that's interesting so that's a good example of where you put your mega mega best information in your magnum opus and and I'm a speaker as well and I also believe that you have different target audiences for different versions of your books so if you've got business for authors you don't need how to make a living with your writing but it was just kind of that I wanted to offer a smaller version a more commercial version a sort of light version so I hope that helps I mean but I actually wrote the big one first and for example how to market a book is another one of mine again very chunky yeah so I would say that don't never never never save your creativity I fully believe that creativity is like a pipe and it just keeps going so if you empty yourself and all of us do this you empty yourself onto the page with your book you will find you then have a bit of a rest you will find that you get inspiration for the next book so never be afraid to give everything you've got to the book that you're writing I love that you said that thank you here's a couple of questions from Barry one is about have you looked at grammerly which is becoming more popular every day I think which is a grammar site that helps you correct your grammar and also Barry wants to know how you can tell how many books are being sold on Amazon yeah sure so grammarly and my husband has the plug-in on his on his browser so all his emails go through family and all that I don't use it myself I think it's great as a tool for yourself but an editor does more than correct your grammar so if it's a case of can you replace an editor with grammarly I don't believe you can because an editor is not about grammar I mean part of their job is but but there is a much bigger job around content structure issues with if it's fiction the plot and the characters and you know it's a much bigger story architect I job than a just a grammar line-by-line thing like when I get an edit now my grammar and my spelling is is barely touched I write a very clean draft because I've learned that over time but what I need is help with story arcs and with nonfiction it's kind of a sense check and all of that type of thing so yes I think it's a good tool for your tool box but it doesn't replace an editor and then in terms of knowing how many sales you make what this is another advantage to being self-published all of the platforms have daily reports and they're updated you know hourly although overtime you know so for example if you run a book promotion on Amazon at 12:00 noon u.s. Eastern by about five o'clock you're going to get sales reports that show how many books you sold you know around the time of your promotion so this is something that traditionally published authors do not get ever pretty much even when they get royalty reports month later they can't tie them to a specific day some publishers are changing to try and add these type of portals but it is something that you just get from logging on to the various self-publishing platforms and it will be if not real-time it will be you know at least daily beautiful now Joanna we're also getting a couple of questions about children's books I know you as far as I know you don't actually write children's books but for instance we have a question about do children's books sell in Kindle or do you have to stick to for a paperback that's for like 8 to 12 year olds and someone else wanted to know if you deal with publishing children's books in your course and how to find illustrators so maybe you could talk about that a little bit yeah sure so actually I've got quite a few children's authors you have done the course and a lot a lot of this information is valid regardless of what you write how to self publish the process of self-publishing is pretty much the same however for children's books specifically I do mention some resources that I'll mention now one is kindle ebook creator for kids l sorry Kindle kids ebook creator I think that's where it's called now which is specifically for books on the Kindle Fire if you saw over Christmas Amazon did a promotion around the kid proof Kindle Fire which they would replace however it got broken did the matter if it went in the paddling pool or whatever they replace it so they are actively trying to get more people and putting kids books on Kindle and also the kids authors and so I guess parents you buy this type of thing actually often buy a print book and the digital version because you know kids like reading the same thing over and over again and maybe they're in the car and you know they grab the iPhone and they can carry on with the book that they were reading at home and so certainly Kindle kids ebook creator and iBooks Author if the other ones so some people are publishing directly on iBooks Author which you can do much more Rick rich and text you can do audio video that type of thing and there are some publishers now in the u.s. that publish specifically for iBooks and schools that have iPads specifically the other I would also directing at my friend Karen Inglis ingl is Karen has a great site for children's authors and Luke and she has written books for lots of different age groups so she includes a whole load of information there about self-publishing children's books specifically and where you can find help on everything from picture books to that mid mid range age that type of thing and the other thing I would say about kids books on marketing because I get this question all the time is remember that you are marketing to parents teachers grandparents and aunties and uncles people who buy books for kids and so a lot of kids authors get worried about you know should they design a website directly for the children and very often you be more targeting mummy blogs you know the gray blogs grandparent blogs that type of thing with your marketing very interesting thank you for that and really children's books have exploded I mean since the self-publishing revolution and as as the color capabilities of the print on demand vendors have gotten better it's really a huge and growing market so that that's very cool here's an interesting one from Tracy Joanna Tracy wants to know can you do a novella series and sell as well as a series of novels yeah definitely hm water I put up there earlier she has a novella series and I think there's about 25 of them so far selling at $2 99 so that is the thing to remember is that if you're doing in a Vella series it's not and the Venice series is not a serialize novel so these are two different things each novella has to be a story in itself a complete story in itself it can just be shorter so my novella one day in Budapest is an entirely you know on its own book but it's also number four in a series a serialized book is you have each one contains a cliffhanger for the next one so that you have to buy them all and they seem to be less popular but certainly in novella series you can do with fiction or nonfiction and where they just you just have shorter books the main thing is to consider what is the value to the reader and price accordingly so I priced my novellas at 2 dollars 99 us and because that's the lowest that I can go on Amazon with the 70 percent royalty and where's my full-length books I priced at four dollars 99 because they're full-length and I would say that people when I with my novellas if you just write novellas it's probably fine but because I write full length as well as novellas I sometimes get comments like this book isn't long enough on a novella because people want more like a lot all the times people want more so if you're going to do that just make it very clear that this is a novella or this is a short book and I put that I've got um you know I have a book which is called success for self-publishing that's free on all the e-book stores and it says this short book very clearly say that even though it's way people don't feel like you know it's them it's meant to be longer so just make sure the reader knows what they're getting yeah I think that's also a really good point doing about free ebooks I mean I have a short ebook I give away for free on my website in exchange for people's email address if they're interested in learning more about the kind of stuff I do but the fact of the matter is I don't just say well here's an e-book sign up if you want it no I actually send people to a whole page where I'm selling the free ebook I'm telling people all the reasons why they might get something out of it different things that are covering the book typical sales copy even though there's no price it's free but you know oh our people are moving fast they have a lot of stuff coming at them they don't instantly understand everything behind your offer it's far better to explain it to people to be transparent like Joanna saying to tell them exactly what they're going to get and you will have a better response here's a question on a topic that you've thought about a lot Joanna and I know that for a fact and this is from Alex and she says I know Joanna uses a different name for her nonfiction in her fiction books but I also know it's good to have as many books as possible out I'd love to hear her opinion about using the same name for all books even if the books themselves are very different so Jones laughing because he remembers when I put out my first two books under Joanna pence so I actually started with the same name and then what happened really was I realized that the target audience for my fiction say readers of Dan Brown or Stephen King or you know that type of book john connally they are very different to people who listen to my podcast to the people on this call to the people who want how to market a book and I think that is the key so how different are your audiences so obviously if you write the rhotic ur books and books for children you have to have two different names you cannot use the same name for those two different types everything else becomes a bit of a gray area but I know that my readers do not care how to market a book and I don't want to muddled the waters of jfn with books on marketing or entrepreneurship they're also quite different look and feel so my websites are quite different so you've got your Anna pen here this evening you know happy and bubbly and helpful jfn is quite dark and you know tends to sort of go in her writing hole and likes to travel and you know it's quite different and so I think you can look at who are the target markets and do you want more than one name it is a lot more hard work so yes I have two websites I have to have two Facebook pages two email lists it you know there's no cross fertilization across the books or you know there's probably about 10% five to 10% for me because you know some of you might go on and check out stone afire for example but it's it's a very small crossover percentage whereas if you might say crime and thrillers and horror and paranormal even you know romantic suspense you could and put that all under one name I interviewed LKC who will be on my podcast and she's amazing prolific author who writes across multiple genres she uses the one name LKC she writes romance science fiction action adventure you know lots of different things but they all share her voice as an author like a you know a certain voice that her readers like even though they might not follow her to a hardcore sci-fi book after a romance so I think branding your series so if you're writing the same name different genres then make sure your series look different and in a very clear but as we discussed earlier make it clear what the reader will be getting by the cover and then hopefully you won't put people off too much hopefully that helped beautiful now before we get to the last question because we're just about out of time there were a lot of questions about things that were in the course what's not in the course I would highly recommend anybody who's interested it or wants to learn more about how Johanna has achieved the kind of success she has and how you can do that to hit that link the book designer dot-com / Johanna and go over there on the sales page she explains everything that's in the course how it works there's a huge amount of detail there it'll tell you everything you want to know and look this is not a risky thing I mean Joanna's cut the price substantially she's guaranteed it it's a you know a full guarantee a hundred-percent money-back guarantee if you're not happy and look you know I charge a lot of money from my consulting time because I'm been doing this a long time longer than seven years I'm not going to tell you how long but a multiple anyway a half-hour consult with me costs one hundred and seventy-five dollars so what I'm offering you today is Joanna's $300 course plus a half hour consultation with me all from 197 I think that's a pretty great deal if you're interested in really being successful it's self-publishing so go over there check out the course but you know don't wait too long this offer will disappear it'll evaporate on Sunday night and then it won't be available anymore so if you're short on funds look I I think it's worth the the chance get the course look through it I'm going to bet that you're going to be able to sell enough books to pay for the course and a whole lot more and the last question Cindy wanted to know if you're ever going to do a self-publishing course for advanced students what do you think Joanna I actually I have an advanced course it's called creative freedom and that has a Facebook community and is much more extensive and it the people who by who are inside the self-publishing success actually get a promo code that will take the price off creative freedom so basically this is step one and then creative freedom – freedom course calm has the information on creative freedom but with this deal you can essentially kind of get both if you know what I mean because if you're interested in that advance then this is like the step one and then creatively in step two see yes that is available absolutely and I should say that you can email support at the creative pen comm with any other questions you have and of course it's quite late here in the UK so if I don't get back to you today if you're somewhere else in the world then we'll get back to you tomorrow so certainly and will you be sending me any other other people's questions Joel because I'm happy to answer anything by email I'm going to send you the questions from GoToWebinar and you'll see that many of them have been answered during the course of the either by you or by me during the course of the webinar on they're likely going to be a few that haven't been answered so I will send you all of those what time is it in London right now it is helpeth 10:00 well we better let you go I think it's interesting that you do have the the Advanced Course you see people Johanna has thought of everything she's taking care of you and both Johanna and I would love to see you have a big success with your books I mean that's why we do this stuff basically so I want to thank everyone from taking time out of your day to come to this presentation today I really enjoyed it I learned a lot myself and go over and check out the the self-publishing success course at the book designer dot-com / Joanna while the promotions going on and go out there and publish some great books and thanks to everyone for coming well thanks everyone thanks Joe bye you

21 thoughts on “7 Steps to Successful Self-Publishing in 2016 with Joanna Penn

  1. congratulations Joanna Penn for these success. I would like to follow your steps to become self publisher.

  2. I already have three self-published books. I use social media, I use cons, I use word of mouth (though I have a stalker obsessed with destroying me) and yet I still don't sell books. What to you recommend for me? I write well and my trilogy will be loved by many but it seems everything I do just fails.

  3. Sound is muffled. Joanna needs to invest in a better quality microphone. If its worth saying, its worth hearing.

  4. i love the part about demographics ESPECIALLY since i ALWAYS struggled with that part. thank you very much for this…

  5. Writing a 'series' of books may go over some heads here… but that's the golden nugget that I heard here. My 6th and 7th books are 'Girl Crush: Vacation in Paris' and 'Girl Crush 2: Paper Dolls'.

  6. Hi, You are so brilliant Joanna, Thank you for this. Unfortunately I've only just come across it!
    I would love to have take-up the offer. Is there any way it might come back?
    Kind Regards
    Victoria

  7. As an author who recently decided to try his hand in fiction, Joanna Penn is so helpful. She's so talented and brilliant. And her accent is just awesome. 🙂

  8. Hey I have been using this seller on fiver to promote my kindle books
    for the past year and she is really good not to mention cheap lol you
    can check her out on fiver https://www.fiverr.com/s2/7075b9d796

  9. Setting deadlines is sometimes hard to stick to when they keep getting bumped back for all sorts of reasons. I finally had to not even go online to get it done.  So many good suggestions for making that goal.  Didn't know keyword phrases counted as one keyword. Appreciate it.

  10. Thanks a lot for the great tips and lessons learned. I do have a question related to using different Pen names. How should you set up for payments from Amazon or any other source? Do you need a special document to proof you own a certain pen name and therefore have a legit link to your finances? Because for instance, a check to the order of John D. may have conflicts when going to an account linked to Anthony B. … Thanks.

  11. What an amazing webinar, so what platform is the best for self-publishing? CreateSpace or IngramSpark

  12. Great! We all need to get together and support all that is Indie…including taking the courses available by credible people like Joanna and Joel. Though do not forget it is all about product…and outstanding product. Joanna and Joel spoke of the use of editors etc. This is vital in the production of outstanding Indie material. I am knuckling down to working hard on my product…outstanding product…so should you! Thank you for the gift of your time and expertise Joanna and Joel. Regards and Blessings to all Vicky

  13. Thank you for sharing this, Joel. Joanna has confirmed many things I already knew or guessed, but it was great to have it explained so clearly and with examples, especially the adaptation of book covers and how our author brands tend to evolve over time. I'm still trying to find mine! I've also finally accepted that my book cover does not convey the genre I'm writing in – I've had a hunch about this for a while but now the penny has dropped. Back to the drawing board! Keep up the great work.

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