2 Years it took me to publish Ocean Nomad, from idea to reality. I figured out some things along the way…
Here’s my tips and resources for writing and publishing a book. LOTS more coming up! I can write a book about this 🙂
The best part about crowdfunding was the buzz it gave. It gave me some nice press coverage which helped growing an audience before the book was out.
Crowdfunding cost a lot of time and effort which you then can’t dedicate to actually producing a book.
Find a Publisher
They will take away a lot of headache but also freedom. The process will take more time.
I used Scrivener as a writing tool. It’s a helpful author tool to organize thoughts, notes, chapters and subchapters.
Word Office also works just fine
Do voice writing! Go for a walk, talk, and write your book like this:) Google docs has a function for this.
Become a better writer. From the Udemy course ‘Writing With Impact: Writing That Persuades’ I learned A LOT about correct writing styles. (Udemy has a massive sale going on during Cyber weekend and first week of January. All courses 10$ instead of 200$)
Get a coach, mentor, or buddy. No one can do this alone. Finding out about SelfPublishingSchool has been a lifesaver. It’s an encouraging facebook group of self-publishing authors helping each other to make it happen. Worth every $. I’m still a member now I’ve launched my book. Their concept is 100% Amazon focused but the value of the community is relevant for publishing globally and other platforms too. You can try them out for 1 month for free.
The tool I wish I discovered wayyyyy earlier: GrammarlyA very advanced automatic editing tool. It corrects almost all your mistakes. Not only in your writing program but all across the web. Prowritingtool is another self-editing tool worth checking out.
Ask the SelfPublishingSchool community. They have loads of recommendations. Also on how to approach an editor, test them, and work with them.
Don’t go with an editor too soon! I made this mistake and used up all my funds before the book was finished. The self-editing tools will go a long way.
Book Cover Design
I had no idea what I would like on the cover so I asked the creative crowd on 99Designs. 99 Designs is a place where you can crowdsource design for you cover, interior, website logo, name it. I had more than a 100 designs to choose from. Then you pick 6 designers for the finals and you pick a winner. My cover has been designed by Meella. Highly recommend her! She has such a creative eye and has not made any fuzz about revisions. Give her my regards.
On Fiverr, there’s also lots of bookcover designers to work with.
Paul Uhl has done my interior design in Indesign. Awesome job.
Selfhosting Sales Platforms
I selfhost some of the distribution. This gives me about 98% of the sales fees, as opposed to 30% to sales coming via Amazon.
I choose Selz for E-book and physical orders. I did tons of research on the options. I compared all of them and this one stands out because of customer service and integration options with your own website. I also use Selz now for consulting requests (you can see this at the bottom of the page). You only pay a percentage when you make a sale. No fixed costs.
I’m now also looking into Paperform which even has more customization option. There’s a 2 week trial. The budget plan costs 15$/month. Get 10% off if you go via this invite link.
I do NOT recommend Gumroad. The refunded ALL my customers during my booklaunch without consent, blocked the option to order my book and did not reply to my email for 5 days. Once they replied, not a single explanation of apology. This costed me greatly. Stay away from this platform.
Find help with someone who can help to distribute. Unless you want to be a post office. I work with BBpublishers that helps me with the Dutch & Belgium Print on Demand market. They helped me to get my book on Bol.com, Hollands largest sales platform. I found them in a facebook group.
Amazon owns 60% of the E-Book market so I’ve also put Ocean Nomad on Amazon, for the main reason to get noticed. It’s where many go to buy a book. They also take +60% share of every sale if you’re book is a certain size and you don’t go exclusive with them (which I don’t want). That’s why I published 1 section of my book (Ocean love &Conservation) on Amazon exclusively in the Kindle Select program which gives me access to promo goodies and helps with getting know in the world. Kindle Select requires to be 3 months exclusive with Amazon.
I’ve included my book in the global database of Lightningsource. This is a print on demand solution where bookshops can also order your book for their shop. I’ve received numerous orders without individually approaching the book shops.
Also, Include your book in the Book Depository.
I’m still sorting out the other distribution options.
You think you’re finished when writing a book? Ha. It’s starting now!
Email addresses are valuable! Start collecting them as soon as you can. You can use Mailchimp (which is free up to 2000 emails). I now use ActiveCampaign. I like how you can visually set up email sequences.