In order to make use of this Worldwide online marketplace that's opened up to us and to reach the point of selling lots of books as an established self publisher, you need to get your mindset right from the off.
We've touched on this already in earlier posts, but here are some more of my thoughts on the subject.
You must have realistic expectations. I cannot emphasize this enough. When you start out in self publishing, you're starting at the bottom of a very long ladder. People around you may know your book exists, but then you have to get them interested in it so that they eventually care enough to buy it.
Treat your self publishing endeavours as a business with your book being the product. Invest in your product as much as finances allow (at least a copy edit and proof read) to bring it up to minimum standard because what it boils down to is this: if you're not prepared to invest, why should someone buy? Think like a buyer. Would you buy your book?
Social media is about connecting with people, entertaining ourselves and others and sharing valuable information. What are your percentages for each of these three? I hold my hands up - I don't hard sell but I don't stick to the 80/20 etiquette either (80% promoting fellow writers to 20% self promotion). I've got a great test I stumbled across at the weekend to show you in my next post. It will help you assess the value of your content online.
There is a very interesting argument that says if your book is only for sale online, you should only be marketing it online. This is particularly relevant to me at the moment as I'm reading a book about how to market and sell my book and it's a 70/30 split in favour of traditional methods - press releases, radio shows, book speaking engagements at local libraries, festivals and fayres etc etc. Granted this book is a couple of years old and technology keeps pushing forward into new and exciting avenues, but paying for a Goodreads ad which will sit in a place where you know for sure readers gather could be a much more cost effective and rewarding marketing investment. I was reading about John Locke who apparently spent a fortune on traditional advertising and got no where. When he started to focus his advertising and marketing purely online, he became the first self-published author to sell a million eBooks on the Kindle.
Another good piece of advice - it's fine to aspire to the dizzying heights of success, see how they did it and try to emulate it, but keeping that level head, wouldn't it be far better to focus on the average, steady going authors? These are the authors who consistently sell books and make a living doing what they love. And guess what? They love to share their knowledge too!
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.