Dear Indie Author, Remember to Guide Your Readers to Your Own Platforms

None of us can deny the power of social media to impact businesses, big and small. As we’ve seen repeatedly, what we post to our accounts can have positive and negative real-life effects, destructive and groundbreaking. With it, we can reach people worldwide without leaving the house. It is no longer just about posting family photos. People are making real money and establishing real connections.

However, an over reliance on social media to hold up the core of our business can prove disastrous since we do not own them. Lately, I have heard many complaints of Instagram pages being hacked, Facebook jail, and TikTok suspensions.

And these are not complaints from people with small accounts. People with tens of thousands of followers have had to start from zero.

People who operate systematically, moving their tribe (those genuinely interested in their content because everyone isn’t), over to their own platforms, do not lose when their accounts are hacked or when IG decides to glitch.

They do not lose because they understand a basic principle:

Social Media is the vehicle, not the destination.

Photo by cottonbro studio

Social Media is a powerful tool for socializing and networking with your target audience. Still, you want to always be moving them along your funnel.

This looks like adding them to your blog, email/text list, website, or membership site.

To do this, use a call-to-action at the end of your posts to tell people what you want them to do.

The call-to-action or CTA is when you give your people direction. What do you want us to do after seeing your post?

  • Do you want us to visit your website by clicking the link in your bio?
  • Do you want us to leave a comment? Are you asking for feedback?
  • Do you want us to buy something? Are you having a Black Friday sale?

The goal is to avoid getting too comfortable with the followers you get from these social media platforms. Only some people following you are interested in what you have to offer. You can ensure they know where to find you outside Instagram and Facebook. This allows you to nourish relationships and build stronger bonds with those who care.

In a matter of seconds, your thousands of followers can be gone if someone hacks you or your account is deleted for whatever reason.

Protect yourself by establishing an online home.

Indie Author Basics simplifies and streamlines the Self-Publishing Process so authors can Self-Publish high-quality books without pulling out their hair.

One Way Indie Authors Leave Money On the Table

Due to how the royalties are structured, an author with a 99cent ebook on Amazon will only get about 35 cents per sale. For books priced between $2.99 and $9.99, there is a delivery cost for the ebook file (based on the size) for each book sold.

You also pay Amazon a sales commission based on your royalty rate.

  • 35% royalty: the Amazon sales commission is 65% for books priced below $2.99 and above $9.99

  • 70% royalty: the Amazon sales commission is 30% for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99

What about taxes? 

You pay that too. 

These are just a few reasons why it can benefit you to sell your book directly to readers from your website.

While I have only made a few dollars in ebook sales from my new book, my print book preorder sales from my website are doing far better, and I am close to making money back from the cover art. By the time the book releases next month, I expect to make back what I paid for editing.

I am going to make this post real short because it’s real simple.

The hard truth is that if you are not selling books through your website or worse, you don’t have an author website, you are leaving money on the table.

While some authors have chosen not to deal with Amazon at all, it’s smart to make sure your book is on Amazon for a few reasons.

To start, Amazon is a giant. To have your book available there is just good sense. People trust Amazon, so some people will look for your book there before they look anywhere else. And with the pandemic, people use Amazon regularly. It’s all about making it easy for your readers, and being able to tell them to go to Amazon isn’t only super cool, but it’s also super easy.

But while Amazon is easily accessible to your readers, the relationship between Amazon and you as the author is a bit different.

There are tons of authors making good money from Amazon, but they are not the majority.

Here is an example from an author about his Amazon royalties:

“One month, I sold 5 paperbacks at a list of 13.99 each. The report stated the manufacturing cost was 5.33 (I assume each), and I’m on the 70% royalty. I got a total of 1.30 cents. That’s 26 cents a book. The next month I sold 1 paperback at 13.99, and I got a 3.13 royalty on it.”

The 2021 Guide to Amazon Fees and Royalties for Kindle eBooks and KDP Print, 2019, Comment Section

This is where your author website comes in to pick up the slack.

What if he had sold five paperback copies of this book from his author website? Since he would have to calculate shipping, let’s just round it up to a cool fifteen dollars per book. That’s $75 in his pocket. If he sells 20 books, that’s $300.

It might not sound like much, but it adds up if he sells books at this rate daily.

Even with website transaction fees, authors can still add more to their bank accounts by having their books on their websites alongside Amazon.

In closing, if you are a Self-Publisher, you can buy your books in bulk and sell them in bulk to companies and corporations like schools and independent bookstores.

Heck, you can sell the books out of the trunk of your car if you want.

The sky is not the limit of what you can do when you control the distribution of your own work.

Considering you are not signed to a publisher or are not restricted to any outside contracts that may otherwise prohibit you, you don’t have to be exclusive to Amazon. Instead, you use Amazon as one of many options.

For digital, you can set your book up on Draft2Digital to distribute it to several digital platforms outside of Amazon. For print, you can set your book up on Amazon KDP but also Ingram Spark for distribution to bookstores and libraries.

Ready to publish that book? I can assist with that. Click here.

Enjoyed this post? Check out more Indie Author Basics Here but hurry. I am changing things up soon. Details to come.

Don’t Forget to Preorder Your Copy of The Women with Blue Eyes: Rise of the Fallen! June is right around the corner.


When Tina’s nephew, Ronnie is killed, she is left to care for his siblings and to solve a series of mysterious murders involving only black men. Investigating each murder thrusts her and her team into a world of deities, demons, and fallen angels, leading Tina to battle a serial killer beyond this realm.

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What Your Author Website is Likely Missing

Do you have an author media kit on your Author Website?

Story Empire

BlogHi, SEers. Forgive me for being a hypocrite, but today’s post is going to be a do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do post. Remember, I used to work in corporate communications, so I know marketing strategies. (That doesn’t mean I use them myself; it just means I know them.)

Okay… Unless you literally just decided to become an author today, you almost definitely have an author website. Hopefully you’ve included the basics:

  • landing page to advertise news and collect email addresses
  • blog to share content, generate interest, and remain fresh in the minds of your fans
  • book pages so your work is well-defined and easy to find
  • about page to introduce yourself to new visitors
  • social media links so people can find you elsewhere online
  • contact page so your readers can reach you
  • platform-wide cohesion and pleasing design

Many authors stop there. Okay, let’s be honest—many readers fall short in some/most/all of those categories.

  • Their…

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Before You Publish that Book, Don’t Forget these Things


Start a Blog – A blog can be a great way to get your feet in the door far as reaching out to an audience is concerned. The frequency to which you can publish articles on the blog can help people to become familiar with you and your writing style. I think blogs are especially important for people who aren’t necessarily known for writing (a doctor or construction worker) but they’ve decided to write a book. Starting a blog first can introduce them to the writing community (whichever community that is) and get people familiar with them as a writer. It’s one thing to enjoy doing something but it’s an entirely different thing to translate that into a language that others will understand. The immediate feedback from the blog can help writers to access not just where they are with their writing (if they can engage a group of people or not) but also help to draw out the people who are interested in what they are writing about. Blogs also provide ample opportunity to network. It is the first step in learning how to do so. By commenting on blogs, liking posts, and sharing information you are networking even if you didn’t know you were doing it.

Incorporate Blogging into Your Platform Growing Strategy – Before I move on to the next bullet point, I am not finished with blogging just yet. I think more so than starting a blog, it’s important also to make it a part of your platform growing strategy. By this I mean it may help to try to learn to blog. (Something I think we never stop learning to do!) If the blog is going to be the place where you reach and interact with people the most, make it a part of your writing schedule. Be sure to carve out a day or time where you can schedule your blog posts so that you have regularly updated content but are not neglecting your life outside the blog. You can also schedule a day where you can catch up on the blogs of others (you are following other blogs right??) and be as engaged as possible.

I like to schedule my blog posts to publish anytime around 12:00 – 1:00am CST or sometimes as late as 2:00am. This gives people on the other side of the world a chance to read the post while I’m sleeping. I can then take the rest of the day when I am up and about and read the blogs of others via my mobile. This is why I am usually re-blogging throughout the day (depending on where you are in the world). It keeps this blog updated and consistent. I am not necessarily at the computer 24/7 but by having my main blog posts (such as articles, creative pieces or poems) scheduled to go out, my time is free to browse the rest of the day. Quotes, music, reblogs, I can do all of this via my phone. As long as the long posts are drafted, edited, and then scheduled to go out, I am free.

If you’re new to this blog, go back and read How to Blog in Your Sleep, a post I wrote some time ago on scheduling your blog posts to go out when you’re sleeping. This helps your blog to work for you even when you’re not awake. Also check out How to Make Your Blog Work for You (Even When You’re Not Blogging). Don’t be distracted by the numbers if they are low. So, what. Focus on being consistent and engaging with your content and the rest will take care of itself. Celebrate every victory and measure your growth with social media not by numbers alone, but by the feedback and engagement you receive. If people are liking, sharing, and commenting, that’s a good thing and the numbers usually follow.

Website – If you have no books out or just one or two books, it’s not necessary to go all out with paying for an expensive website (especially one that that will require e-commerce when you’re not selling), but you can set up something simple to help promote yourself as an author. For more, be sure to go back and read 3 Reasons You Need an Author Website (and why it’s not the same as a blog).

Sometimes, you don’t have to spend money on a full-fledged website. Just a landing page is great for those building an email list, have no books out, have only a couple books out, or are not selling books.

Landing Pages – I forgot to mention Landing Pages in the post about author websites. I forgot all about it. Not everyone needs a full-fledged website. For some of you, a Landing Page will do instead. A landing page is just what it sounds like, a mini website or page people “land” on as a result of clicking on the link from someone’s blog or website. It is like a digital business card or mini website. Landing pages are also good for encouraging email list sign-ups.



Email List – I hate to beat a dead horse (poor horse) but if you are publishing a book, it’s good to have an email list. No, it’s great to have an email list! Email has been around forever and remains the best way to keep in contact with people. You would want to set up an email list the same time that you set up your blog, website, or landing pages. (You can sign-up for mines HERE. Shameless plug. Gotta love it.)

Content is a big question when it comes to the email list. I started by just sharing updates of my work (and I still do) and my writing. Other writers I know share their writing as well. Exclusives are great (everyone wants to be exclusive). So exclusive or non-published content is a great way to start. Right now I am sharing excerpts from my unpublished memoir and I am happy that my readers are enjoying it so far. We are three chapters in and I am excited to share Chapter 4. These are works that no one, not even this blog, has seen. They are just shared with my email list subscribers. You can always start by just sharing exclusives of your writings or tips you have. We all have the insight to share. You’re an expert on something I am sure.

The email list, in short, will give you an opportunity to grow your platform even more and beyond the blog. There are people on my email list who don’t follow this blog or are even online like that. The email list gives me a chance to keep them abreast of my work. The email list is also more reliable than social media accounts and blogs. In the event, you want to stop blogging, (or something goes wrong and you can’t get your subscribers back which, I’ve heard horror stories! People with thousands and thousands of followers they lost either due to transitioning to self-hosted or something else) you don’t have to lose your audience. The email list helps you to keep in contact with those who support you beyond the blog.

Social Media – Finally, once you’ve got your blog, website, and email list, set up your social media handles. Your Facebook or Twitter or IG accounts. You will feed the content of your blog to these for more exposure. As people share your content, you grow your platform even more. Choose a few where you get the most engagement and dedicate yourself to them. Don’t try and be everywhere, just find the one place your readers are at and where you get the most out of.


  • Start a Blog
  • Build a Website / Landing Page / One Page Site
  • Build an Email List
  • Set up your Social Media Pages

These will help you to build a readership or at least start to. Of course, there are a gazillion other things, but this is a great start. I made the mistake of not starting out this way (I didn’t always be into the online scene like that. There was a time I didn’t even have a cell phone but that’s another story) but I know lots of people who did and they published their first book on a strong start. Their first books did very well just by doing the above. Remember, the foundation is everything. If the foundation is weak, so is everything else. Whether you’re Self-Publishing or publishing Traditionally it doesn’t matter. You will need a platform once the book is published. Don’t wait until you publish the book, do all of this before you publish. Start out strong and finish likewise.


I’ve put together a Promotional Website for The Nora White Story, my soon-to-be-released novel series. CLICK HERE to discover the launch schedule and everything you need to know about this project. My email list subscribers already know about it. Wanna get first dibs too? CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP FOR MY EMAIL LIST. I am sharing my memoir, writing updates, and more. Thanks a ton!


My New Author Website!


Important Update: My Website has moved and is now available at:

ATTN: This is the permanent website of Yecheilyah Ysrayl. Please go here to purchase books from now on. The old site will remain open for a while during this transition. Thank you for your patience as we strive to improve your buying experience.