Is It Wrong to Think of Your Book as a Product?

Brooke WarnerGuest Post by Brooke Warner

As part of a writing group or club, you’re already self-selected as a writer who cares about their craft. You’ve probably taken courses to help improve your writing. You certainly read more than the average person. And it’s probable that you hold out the dream of publishing on a traditional press.

Nothing wrong with that dream, but there are some concrete steps to help you get there that didn’t exist five years ago. Everyone knows the traditional publishing landscape is changing. You probably know that you need to be entrepreneurial and that you need to have a platform. Beyond that, however, you need to have a published book under your belt—even if it’s an ebook.

An ebook puts you on the map. It gets you on Amazon and allows you to have an Author Central page, which is vital. When people type your name into Google, your ebook will show up. It gives you SEO (search engine optimization) without you having to do anything.  And most important, it lets you begin to touch your readers and build a fanbase.

Publishing today has moved past the point of being something you strive toward. Now it’s a journey, with milestones along the way. Publishing ebooks and treating them like products might feel like the antithesis of a creative outlet, but you better believe that will change once you start making money and generating fans from your written word.

If you have writing that’s just lying around, do something with it! There are five easy steps to getting your book up for sale on Amazon:

  • Write your content (usually about 20,000)
  • Get your content edited
  • Get a cover design made.
  • Get your book converted into an epub file (or .mobi for Kindle)
  • Upload your book to Amazon (and other platforms)

 Whats-Your-Book

A realistic time goal for something like this, if you’re starting from scratch, is about two to three months from start to finish. And it’ll run you in the $1000 ballpark. You can price your ebook anywhere from $2.99 to $9.99, and you’d need to sell approximately 100-200 copies (depending on your price point) to break even.

I advise writers I work with to start small. Start with what you know. Write an ebook. And get it published. Start acting like an author-preneur and watch how your author platform begins to take shape. Thinking of your book like a product will never have felt so good.  

If you’re inspired to learn more, please join Brooke at her Self-Publishing Summit in Berkeley, CA, on June 1-2. She is presenting about ebooks, marketing, platform-building, creating the best books you can to attract the interest of a traditional press, industry secrets and money-saving tips, and much more.

Members of the CWC will get $200 off the cost of the Summit, plus four special bonuses. Read more here: http://selfpublishingsummit2013.com

Register here: http://selfpublishingsummit2013.com/registration

Promo code: SELFPUBDEAL (case sensitive)

_______________

Brooke Warner is Founder of Warner Coaching Inc. and Publisher of She Writes Press. She is the author of What’s Your Book?

Warner Coaching Inc. http://warnercoaching.com/

She Writes Press http://shewritespress.com/

What’s Your Book? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193831400X/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=

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3 Responses

  1. Brooke, your post is an important one, especially for developing writers. When the time comes to publish your work and put it on the market, a transformation takes place from the labor of love, literary exertion, etc. that it has been up until this point. Then, it becomes a product. Something to be marketed; and as such, falls right into the need for the kind of thinking associated with marketing any product. Refusing or denying this gets many writers into trouble. Writers have got to learn to be fast on their feet, and switch hats as often as needed. When your book becomes a product, rather than your child, it’s much easier to make the hard decisions and begin acquiring the new skills you’ll need to market it properly.

  2. Thanks for this response, Richard. I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s a shift of perspective for a lot of writers, but one that’s important to becoming a career writer.

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