The Balancing Act, Pt 1: Dancing the tightrope as an author and independent publisher

This guest post was written by BookBaby friend and author Lexis De Rothschild.

Bravo! Your book is up and running on BookBaby. For most authors, the task of finishing a book can take up to 2,000 hours. Whew! You did it. A milestone is reached.

If your intent is to sell your eBook, it’s time to morph from author to self-publisher and create an online presence for your work. How do you become noticed in an ocean of books, blogs and social media? This, my dear authors, is when thinking like a publisher will put you on the map.

Scary, isn’t it? Public relations, blog tours, garnering reviews, website management and marketing the book itself are all full-time jobs. It can be absolutely overwhelming to even begin.

The very first step is to get clear about YOU: your passions, goals, and dreams. The answers to these questions are the BASIS for your book’s marketing campaign. Please take a minute to reflect on these key questions:

1. What passions drove me to write and publish a book?

2. What are my sales goals for this particular launch?

3. In my wildest dreams, I am…

In my case, I had a burning desire to put my art into a world-wide medium for the least amount of money. I mean, $99.00 bucks to launch with BookBaby on a global platform? It doesn’t get better than that.

My sales target for my novella The Cat Letters is to sell 1,000 units as a baseline. 50,000 units-sold is my “over the moon” dreams-do-come-true goal. Keeping both targets in mind will keep you steady on course. Being a pragmatist and a visionary are key components to a successful sales campaign. Now, when I make decisions about PR, my website and social networks, this goal drives my decisions and influences where I choose to invest my time.

Before setting these numbers in my mind, with an honest look at my positioning (new author, first novella), I was bouncing around Google reading about self-publishing with no clear objective.

The third question, “In my wildest dreams, I am…” might be embarrassing to answer. Seriously, who am I to want to be a New York Times Bestselling author? I’m just a writer in a room by myself, like every other author. But that’s what I really want. And your wildest dreams (to buy a house, quit that day job, or be acknowledged for your gifts) are what will keep you going as both an author and independent publisher.

In Part Two, I will address merchandising your book on Amazon, the behemoth of online marketing.

Lexis De Rothschild, a deft drinker with a writing addiction, is the author of “The Cat Letters: A Tale of Longing, Adventure and True Love.” In a former life, she was a start-up specialist in the financial and fine arts industries. Lexis loves to blog about the wild ride of independent publishing with her “Confessions of an eBook Virgin.”


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