If you have something to say and you’ve been thinking of writing a book but don’t know where to get started, look no further. Valerie joins us as our expert in the next post in our series of different ways women can make money online. Enjoy!
Why did you want to write a book and how did you get started?
Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads was born after I had a personal experience with financial infidelity. I thought, I can’t be the only idiot on the planet. Why not write a book to show other people they’re not alone, and help others avoid similar mistakes? It sounded so easy. Little did I know what “write a book” would entail.
Did you search for a publisher or is it self-published?
Originally I searched for a traditional publisher, which means first you have to find an agent. One agent was ready to sign me, but I felt it wasn’t a good fit. Years later, I read about self-publishing. Wow! All you do is write your book, make a cover, hit “publish” and it’s done! You’re an instant author!
Again, it sounded so easy and I had no idea what “self-publish a book” involved. As it turned out, I loved the self-publishing process. As the project manager, I selected my entire crew of cover designer, editor, interior designer, launch team, endorsers, reviewers, and pulled the whole product together. I set the deadlines, the prices, and the sales outlets.
Do you do any type of advertising for the book?
Advertising and promotion is the trickiest part and I don’t do it as well as I’d like. A lot has been trial and error. For example, I did a Good Reads giveaway but the winner didn’t review the book (which is supposed to be part of the deal) and I don’t think it generated any sales. But perhaps I should have given away more copies, or run several giveaways.
One thing I know I did wrong: I made it available to Canadian readers. No disrespect but my giveaway winner lived in Canada and the postage cost me more than the book.
You can’t scream on Twitter “BUY MY BOOK!” because that doesn’t work. I don’t buy Facebook ads. I don’t even have a Facebook author page. I’m probably doing everything wrong, but I find the less effort I put into promotion, the better I do. For example, I’m a freelance writer for several personal finance websites, I’m a guest on podcasts, and I give interviews such as this one (thanks again!). If I’ve written a popular article, book sales often spike and traffic to my website at ValerieRind.com increases.
Is it sustainable to live off income from book sales?
Of course not, unless you’re the unlikely exception to the rule. And we all optimistically think our book will be a best-seller. I got news for you. Keep your day job. Sure, there are authors making six-figures in annual sales. Perhaps my book stinks and I’m lousy at advertising. All I’m saying is keep your expectations realistic. It’s not a get-rich-ever scheme.
Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads: True Stories of Friends, Family, and Financial Ruin, is available for sale at Amazon, (paperback and eBook) on the iBookstore, and at Barnes & Noble for NOOK. I set my own prices and the retailer keeps a percentage of the royalties. I can change the online prices at any time. The advantage of “print on demand” is that CreateSpace (Amazon’s self-publishing paperback division) generates a copy whenever someone buys it.
So I have no upfront costs and I don’t have to store a box of books in my closet or car. Oh wait, I do. For book fairs and other direct sales, I buy the books at a reduced rate. I have one of those cool Square gizmos that I plug into my cell phone to charge the buyer’s credit card (and of course there’s a fee I pay for that service).
What is your advice for someone who wants to write a book?
Do it. Why not?
Has your business changed since the book?
There’s a symbiotic relationship between my book sales and freelance writing. Because I’ve published a book (and it won the 2015 Plutus Award for Best New Personal Finance Book), I get more freelance writing jobs. As I’ve built up my portfolio, I sell more books. It almost sounds easy, doesn’t it? Frequently people need urgent help with writing reports of any books, they can easily get custom book reports at AdvancedWriters.com website.
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