Tag Archives: indie authors

How to Price an Ebook: A Guide for Independent Authors

NOW AVAILABLE through Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo, and E-Sentral for FREE! Download it today!

As an independent author (a.k.a. “indie author”), you must oversee all aspects of your own book business from the project management aspect of things (e.g., writing, editing, designing, proofreading, indexing, publishing) to the financial end of things. If you’re feeling stumped when it comes to setting your manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), you’re not alone. Many indie authors are in the same boat. I wrote this mini ebook for all of you, and I’m giving it away free of charge along with an earlier mini ebook I wrote titled An Independent Author’s Checklist: What You Need to Have Ready for Ghostwriters, Editors, and Graphic Designers. I hope you find both these resources to be informative and helpful supplements to my other full-length ebooks and paperbacks.

This is an important ebook for indie authors to read. I’ve written several articles and blog posts about how to price an ebook in the past, but I’ve never been this strategic with regard to tailoring one’s prices for both Western and Eastern world markets. In retrospect, up until 2016, I had a pretty narrow view of how to price ebooks outside of North America and Europe. What changed for me in 2016? Quite simply, I became a little more “worldly” when I travelled to Asia for a working holiday. What I learned during my six-month trip will no doubt help many indie authors like you with the pricing aspect of a book business.

I’m still a strong proponent of value-based marketing. As I’ve stated many times in the past, most indie authors are already pretty comfortable with price-based marketing (e.g., offering really low prices to try to undercut one’s competition). At the end of the day, anyone can sell based on price. Right? But here’s the biggest problem with that plan: if a low price is the only thing you’ve got, and then another indie author with a similar ebook comes in at a lower price than you can match, you’re done. You’re finished. You’ve got nowhere else to go. But if you can learn how to sell based on value, right from the start, then you’ll always be able to justify your price where it is, no matter what other indie authors are doing. You can even increase that price, down the road, by adding more value to your overall offering. Value-based selling is such an important skill for all indie authors to learn, no matter where you live in the world.

That said, my trip to the “Eastern World” opened up my eyes to all the different markets today’s indie authors can sell into. What might be considered a discount rate in one region of the world is actually considered a value-based rate in another. So, as I discuss in more detail throughout this mini ebook, it’s important for indie authors to be strategic in the way you’re pricing each and every one of your ebooks. Your ability to understand each individual market and adjust your prices accordingly will make all the difference to your sales success around the world. Good luck!

How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers

Now available through AMAZON, KOBO, and E-SENTRAL!

There is a form of online book sales and marketing known as “rapid release” publishing that many of today’s most successful independent authors (a.k.a. indie authors) are using to sell thousands of books every year. Some of these authors are earning six-figure incomes from their ever-growing online platforms. What is a “platform” you’re asking? It is a loyal readership. And that’s what the Big Five—Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster—trade publishers are looking for when scouting new book projects. They’ll sign the unknown indie authors with built-in audiences that can guarantee them sales before they’ll re-sign a known trade-published author with limited traction. That’s the reality of this business.

INDIE AUTHORS CAN BE SUCCESSFUL WITH FICTION AND NON-FICTION

Throughout 2017, my primary focus was finding and sharing indie author success stories with my subscribers on the PPG Publisher’s Blog. I’ve included many of those stories in this book, too. Interestingly enough, some of those original posts led to cautionary comments from other “author marketing consultants” who suggested that this type of online marketing technique can only work for indie authors who write fiction. They seemed to suggest that it’s somehow simpler to sell multiple fictional books than it is to sell multiple non-fiction books—that it’s easier to build up one’s readership based on entertainment genres rather than self-help/educational genres.

Something deep inside me disagreed with their logic. Something in my heart said it would be just as easy, if not easier, for indie authors to successfully utilize “rapid release” publishing for non-fiction books as it would be for fiction. I went in search of proof and found it once again. (You get what you focus on in this world!)

In my research, I’ve found that non-fiction indie authors are among the perfect candidates for this form of self-publishing. Why? Because of your diverse demographics (e.g., seniors, adults, teenagers, children, males, females, et cetera) and the varied subject matter you can cover within your respective industries (e.g., hairdressers can write about long hair, short styles, curls, braids, updos, colours, et cetera; automotive service technicians can cover vehicle maintenance and repair for all kinds of different makes and models, various automotive parts and how they work, et cetera). When it comes to topic matter, the sky is the limit for most non-fiction indie authors; and “rapid release” publishing provides an opportunity for you to expand your business to genuinely help more people—the do-it-yourselfers—without over-extending your current workload. Think of this as a unique way to clone yourself.

MODERN BOOK SALES AND MARKETING FOR INDIE AUTHORS

Selling physical books in an offline marketplace is different from selling digital books in an online marketplace. In the traditional offline world, indie authors must appeal to people such as booksellers, reviewers, and publicists to help you sell more books; but, in the online world, you’re working with intangible algorithms and computerized search engine optimization (SEO) processes to increase your exposure. This is a blessing, as you’ll clearly see once you read this book. This is a new and highly effective way for indie authors to reach literary agents and trade publishers. Or who knows? You may decide to remain independent once you see the kind of success that is truly possible for you.

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An Independent Author’s Checklist: What You Need to Have Ready for Ghostwriters, Editors, and Graphic Designers

NOW AVAILABLE through Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo, and E-Sentral for FREE! Download it today!

As an independent author (a.k.a. “indie author”), you are the project manager of your own book’s production from start to finish, from conception straight through to publication. This may include hiring a freelance ghostwriter (if you choose not to write your book yourself), an experienced editor, and even a professional graphic designer for best results. It all depends on the type of book an indie author wishes to produce.

For example, there are different components involved with designing a paperback book than an ebook of any kind; and there are even more components to consider if that indie author wishes to publish and print a hardcover book. An Independent Author’s Checklist includes an important list of questions indie authors will want to answer for a graphic designer, ahead of time, to ensure the book is completed properly and professionally the first time around. This type of preparation can save time and money for both project stakeholders because it can prevent complete do-overs in cases where the designer was unclear about the indie author’s original vision.

Communication is so important throughout this process—not only with your graphic designer. An indie author will also want to have certain things prepared ahead of time, in certain ways, for both the ghostwriter (if applicable) and the editor. As such, it’s often helpful to have a checklist at your disposal that makes this entire process run as smoothly as possible—particularly for the indie authors who are new to the whole publishing business. That’s why I created An Independent Author’s Checklist and decided to publish it online for indie authors everywhere. I want you all to have as much helpful information as possible at your fingertips, so you all have a positive publishing experience coupled with the best possible chances of success. That is my wish for you.

An Independent Author’s Checklist includes helpful information for indie authors regarding effectively communicating your book’s vision to a ghostwriter. Although some indie authors are both qualified and have the time to write their own books, you might choose to hire someone else to help you create that compelling narrative. Both are acceptable ways to produce a book. That said, when hiring a ghostwriter to help pen your book, it is important for indie authors to remember that ghostwriting is an ongoing, collaborative process (much like the entire publishing process). To make things run smoother, you should be prepared ahead of time.

An Independent Author’s Checklist also includes important guidance for indie authors regarding how to submit one’s manuscript to an editor so that it contains all the information you want edited. For example, some indie authors will only have the main body of their book interiors professionally edited. In that case, often any front matter, back matter, and back cover copy that is added after the fact is riddled with all kinds of spelling errors and typos, diminishing the professional quality of the book. But for indie authors like you who follow the guidelines in this checklist, you’ll avoid these issues and end up with the best possible result.