As we approach the month of August, when teachers return to work and students go back to school, I couldn’t help but to get excited that in just a few short weeks (mid August) I will be publishing another book. I’m really excited about this one and this excitement led me to a thought which in turn led me to something I think all Self-Publishers should take into consideration. I know that finances are a big deal to Self-Publishers and we are always looking for the most cost effective, yet professional, way to produce so here goes:
Never use POD (Print on Demand) services like LuLu and Createspace for anything other than Printing your books. Do not use POD editing services, POD promotional services, or POD book cover design services. Why? Because you can save a lot of money not doing so.
The most effective and creative action we can take as Self-Publishers is to use Print on Demand Companies as Printer Companies for our books, and then sell them from our own Author websites. Let people buy your books from YOU and you take a percentage of that income to pay the Printing Company (Createspace) to print the book AND if you don’t have the funds to buy your books in bulk from the POD, you can still send it to the buyer directly from the POD service. Remember to apply wisdom to everything that you do, so remember that you still have to pay the POD to print the book and to ship it so set your prices high enough to actually reap a profit but low enough to be reasonable. When people have to go to YOUR website this helps build you as an Author brand.
However, there are some exceptions to be understood when considering these methods:
- You’ll never make Amazon’s Best Sellers List using this method because your buyers are not buying from Amazon they’re buying from you. If making Amazon’s Best Sellers list is important to your writing goal (which is understandable) I suggest you ignore this post, carry on and not use this method. (It would be wise to use Amazon to sell your e-books and your Author site to sell your print books, kill two birds with one stone).
*Here’s another secret*
Amazon, Createspace, Kindle Select etc., is extremely popular right now. When people hear your book is on Amazon they go and inquire, they get excited and you feel like you’ve accomplished something great, AND YOU HAVE. But, it’s not really that big of a deal. If you really want to build yourself as a Self-Publisher, invest in your own Self-Publishing Company and make YOUR name the one people get excited about. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just your name alone will do. (I will draft another post for another day on building a Self-Publishing Company and creating a name brand in the most cost effective way possible).
- If you don’t buy in bulk and are shipping directly from your POD, you won’t have the chance to include promotional products with the book since it ships directly from the POD, which doesn’t help you with promotion.
(OK so I’m really letting all the cats out the bag, gonna have to get a dog)
…you can send readers a separate gift with the money you saved AHEAD of the books arrival with these special offers (bookmarks, flyers, business cards, gifts etc.). Make sure to expedite the mail so that it gets there BEFORE the book for a professional outcome. Include a little note that thanks them for the purchase and that you hope they’ll enjoy the free gift. Don’t forget to include your contact information (business card) and to also inform them that their book is on the way! Readers will appreciate this, trust me. Why? Because, who doesn’t like to get mail filled with free goodies? Plus, if your readers are anything like yours truly, they’re extremely anxious for the book’s arrival and a little something ahead of time will help calm their nerves while they wait .
I hope this information has been helpful. Now, get off the internet and back to writing :).