Top 3 Tips to Sell Yourself and a Self Published Author
In this article we are going to look at how Rob Dircks discovered the secret to become a successful self published author.
Rob Dircks is a best selling author of a number of books including Where the hell is Tesla?You are going to Mars, The Wrong Unit and more. In an interview to the Entrepreneur, he describes how he managed to find success as a self published author.
Rob Dircks explains that his success was not due to luck or influence. It may have been these two factors but the main factor that led to his success was sheer hard work. Becoming a self published author is like any other profession. There is no shortcut to it. The only way is through hard work, determination and dedication.
Here are three things that Rob Dircks learned about how to be a self published author.
Nothing beats the importance of having strong content. We all understand that marketing is a very important part of becoming successful as a self published author. But you cannot promote something if it is not good enough.
You cannot have a sub standard book and expect to sell thousands of copies solely on the basis of strong marketing. That is never going to happen. The feedback mechanism of Amazon in the form of reviews, ensures that high quality books trend higher and low quality books rank low.
This is why it is absolutely important to focus on the quality of your content. Remember that you are an author first and foremost. Your content needs to be flawless. Not only in terms of the plot or structure but also in terms of editing.
Yes, editing is a very crucial part of succeeding as an author. Self published authors get labelled as DIY authors because they tend to do everything on their own. This means that they also edit their own content, which is not a very good idea. If you edit your work yourself, there is always the risk of familiarity bias stopping you from making your draft better.
This is why even if you are a self published author, it is better to get someone else to edit your books. A friend or family member or maybe you can outsource the task. Yes, it will result in outflow of money but you will have a professionally edited book, without mistakes.
Similarly formatting the book properly is also important. If the book is not formatted properly, it will not look good to the eyes and you will end up losing readers. We understand that the cheapest way to publish a book is to use a simple Word program or Google docs. If you are professionally skilled, you can format your book properly even on Word.
But if you are not that skilled in Word, then you should consider investing into a book formatting program or app. Nowadays you can get AI based formatting apps that can format your books in a matter of a few minutes.
These little steps may not seem much but they matter a lot in how your book looks and feels to the reader. A lot of self published authors overlook this area and then have to work their way back to figure out what went wrong.
So remember, content is always the king! Your first priority as an author should be getting your content right.
Once you have written your book, now you can worry about platforming. What is platforming? It is simply the process of creating online platforms to showcase and sell your work.
Traditional authors also need to platform but for them it is not that important because their publishing house takes care of it. Self published authors need to do it themselves. The basics in both cases are the same.
You need to create platforms for your work. These platforms include
- Setting up your Amazon KDP account
- Setting up the Amazon Author Profile
- Creating your own website
- Populate your website with blog posts and other relevant content
- Create email lists
- Create feeds
- Set up your social media presence
- Be active on at least two social media platforms
- Develop your following over time
Platforming takes time. It can be done while you are working on your books. A few posts daily from your social media accounts, should keep the buck rolling. The point of platforming is to create a virtual shop that can be used to sell your books.
If you look at it like this, then Amazon is like a mall and your author page is like a shop in that mall. Countless people visit that mall daily and when they pass by your shop, they may decide to check out what you have to offer. If they like what you are selling, they may decide to buy it.
Similarly your website is like a street corner shop. Those who know about you, will visit your shop to see what you have got to sell. If you want more people to know about your shop, you can use your social media accounts to advertise about it.
This is just how it works. You need to put time into platforming. Once you have got a considerable following, you will easily be able to funnel that following into sales and revenue.
3- Ask For Reviews
Rob Dircks explains that one thing that many self published authors feel shy in doing is asking for reviews. You need to ask people for reviews because in the beginning, when your book is new your reviews are more important than revenue.
Good reviews will attract more readers. So you should not feel any shame or embarrassment in asking for reviews from your readers. This is where you can utilize your email list to ask the readers to leave feedback on Amazon and your site after reading the book.
Rob says that before he launched his first book, he asked 75 people to leave their reviews. When the book was launched, 25 people ended up leaving their reviews. Amazon takes account of positive feedback when it decides which books to trend and recommend to others.
There are different ways of asking for reviews. You can use your email list as mentioned above. You can also include a call to action at the end of your books. You can also offer free giveaways or snippets of information in return for positive feedback but be a bit careful with this. You do not want to violate the terms of Amazon.
So if you want to sell yourself successfully, you need to
- Focus on content
- Create platforms
- Ask for reviews
These are three key areas that self published authors need to keep in mind according to Rob Dircks. Following these steps will help you create a solid foundation for your self publishing career.
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