[Thanks to author and Self-Publishing School (and PA!) student Ashley Emma for the help in creating this article!]
Are you a stellar proofreader or on your way to becoming one?
Since I published my three books this year, I can’t even tell you how many people have asked me how to write a book!
Writing an eBook is an impressive way to make an extra income — a lot or a little — plus you can use your book to communicate your expertise to an audience and use your word-nerd skills! When it comes down to it, writing and proofreading are a perfect match.
If you’ve never considered publishing a book, here are a few reasons you should consider self-publishing it.
(I’ve got some cool ideas for getting started, too, so hang with me!)
3 Reasons You Should Consider Self-Publishing a Book:
Reason #1: Self publishing can help build your brand.
If you’re a blogger — or considering becoming one — offering an eBook exclusively to your subscribers, as an added incentive is a great way to entice people to subscribe to your blog or newsletter.
You can also publish the book on Amazon to earn more money. More on that later!
What’s an email list? Email lists are invaluable tools for discovering what people really like about your product or service. Your subscribers are eager to tell you what they care — or don’t care! — about. With email lists, you zero in on your audience by landing directly in their inbox.
Maybe you even got an email about this post because you subscribed to PA! That’s email marketing in action. I wanted you to read this post, so I emailed you about it — now here you are.
Reason #2: Showcase your expertise as a writer and proofreader.
No matter what field you’re an expert in, a self-published book can help you showcase your expertise. Over the years, you’ve probably gained valuable insight into your niche — and people want to know what you know. In fact, they will seek out advice from someone in their field, which could be you.
I started Proofread Anywhere with an eBook! People wanted to know what I knew, and at the time, an eBook was a simple way to get it to them. It’s since evolved into something much bigger than an eBook — PA has grown to be more than I ever imagined it could become! And writing an eBook was the first step. Imagine what writing an eBook could do for you!
Reason #3: Share your life experiences.
Have you traveled a lot or had other life experiences that other people might want to learn more about? PA student Ashley Emma has sold more copies of her book Ashley’s Amish Adventure than any of her other books because people are dying to know what it was like for her to live with the Amish. People want to read about unique experiences and insights.
Don’t be fooled into thinking no one wants to hear what you know. They do!
Writing, at least for word nerds like us, is the EASY part… but what about marketing your book?
Many people think if they write a book and self-publish it on Amazon, readers will automatically find it.
Marketing is such a HUGE part of self-publishing.
Let’s go back to PA student Ashley Emma, who published the book about living with the Amish. “For years I wrote several books and self-published them on Amazon,” she says. “I was always wondering why I was only making a hundred or so dollars a year.“
There are many courses and avenues out there that promise to teach you how to sell more copies of your books so you can make more money. Some of them are good, but many focus exclusively on the writing aspects.
If you want to know how to actually sell a book — and make money on it — stay tuned!
Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing
[I asked Ashley Emma to give us some insight on self-publishing (the route I went for my books) and traditional publishing.]
First, you have to decide if you want to take the traditional route through a publisher or embrace the new trend of self-publishing.
Traditional publishing is the route I’m now pursuing after self-publishing a few books. But… it is an extremely lengthy process, and most people want their book out there and quickly!
For newbies, I wholeheartedly recommend self-publishing — and I’ll tell you why.
It took me a year to secure an agent. This is because they are extremely busy people, and it may take several months to look at your submission. Once you do find an agent, it can take several more months to submit to publishers. Once you’re published, you must pay your agent a percentage — usually around 15% of your royalties. Compare that to the 70% of book sales you get from self publishing on Amazon.
You can also submit to publishers who do not require agents. However, these are generally smaller publishing houses, and they don’t have the funds to promote your book enough. I received a publishing contract from a smaller publisher, and my agent advised me to turn it down. He advised me that I’d spend more money on promoting my book than I would earn.
Make sure you find out how much legwork a small publisher is willing to do in the marketing department in your honor. With a little patience, you’ll be better off waiting for a bigger publisher — rather than settling for a small one.
Would you rather make money more quickly and be in complete control of your book? Self publishing may be the right path for you!
This is a fantastic resource for authors to post their work and gain feedback. Unpublished authors post their work for other people to read for free. People can comment and vote on your book, which in return gives you invaluable feedback. This site is geared more towards fiction novels, especially romance, sci-fi, and fantasy books. There’s also an app version.
One of my Amish books was a semi-finalist in a worldwide competition hosted by Harlequin. Only a few months later, it now has over 14,000 readers who have been reading and commenting on the storyline. Many books that have been on this platform longer have over a million readers! Wattpad hosts several competitions a year and even if you don’t win, contests are an excellent way to practice writing.
Vanity publishers require you to pay them to publish your book for you. I know people who have had amazing experiences with their vanity publishers — and people who have lost a lot of money.
You have to be super careful when selecting a vanity publisher. Some of them don’t care about your book and are just looking for your money, making no effort to market it. Sometimes you don’t sell any copies and you lose a few thousand dollars. However, some vanity publishers really do care whether or not your book does well.
Just a word of caution: do your research before paying a dime! Another reason why people choose to self publish is it just makes more sense financially.
Indie author Stacy Claflin is one of my favorite writers. She sells her books on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, the Apple Store, the Google Play store, and several other book retail websites. She recommends Draft2Digital, a service that publishes your book to several sites at once. She also has great resources for writers at her website.
Self-Publishing School: The BEST course for both writing, publishing, and marketing your books
So I’ve been through the process of self-publishing a few times, but I certainly don’t know enough about it to teach you the entire process.
(I’ve got enough on my hands teaching people proofreading! :-))
I can’t teach you the entire process myself, but I know who can! And it works. The best way to learn both writing and selling books, hands down, is to enroll in Self-Publishing School, created by fellow entrepreneur and six-time best-selling author Chandler Bolt.
What SPS Includes
The course is mostly video lessons, followed by action steps, and it covers everything you need to know — from writing to designing to selling copies of your book. You can listen to the lessons while doing housework or commuting, which would allow you to progress pretty quickly.
It’s the only course you'll ever need if you want to self-publish. Chandler offers a 30-day trial of the entire course. If you decide it’s not for you, he offers a no-questions-asked refund. This type of integrity lets me know my PA readers won’t be risking anything by enrolling in the course… just in case it sucks (it doesn’t!!). In fact, Chandler says if you complete the course and your book does not become a best seller, he’ll refund you!
What a guy. That makes it a no-brainer for me.
You can also check out his super thorough blog post on how to publish a book from start to finish. There’s a ton of free content in there, folks!
What to Expect
Once you enroll, you’ll get access to the course for life and become part of an active online community of like-minded people who want to see you succeed — very similar to our PA Proofreaders Facebook group.
A word of warning: publishing a book is a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong on that. Succeeding at self publishing — and as a student in Self-Publishing School — will require you to get out of your comfort zone and work hard.
But if you want to skip all the guesswork, save a ton of time and money, quickly self-publish your book, and start making money sooner rather than later, SPS will help you make it happen. The coolest part is that Chandler already figured out the formula to success. You just have to follow it.
Chandler always says, “There’s a book inside you. And my goal is to help you find it and go from blank page to bestseller.”