Ten Tips For Success As A Self-Published Author

Ten tips for success as a self-published author

By Sandra N. Peoples

 

When you publish a book, especially on your own, your ultimate goal is to be a success at it. You don’t want to invest a ton of money into producing your product, only to fail at it. Here are ten tips that I have compiled that I think are the keys to help you succeed in this cut-throat industry:

  1. Educate yourself.Take the time to learn all you can about the industry of publishing. Like any industry and profession, those who are armed with knowledge are the ones that stand to reap the greatest financial rewards. Take to time to attend seminars, classes and workshops to ensure that you are getting the most current information to help you stay on top of the game.
  2. Study the competition. This may seem a bit mean, but it’s true. As with any industry, you have to be aware of what the other guy is doing that is working for them in order to get their books moving. You study them and model them, but by all means, do not copy them.
  3. Think marketing from the very beginning—before you write the book.Before you even think about printers, graphic artists and all of the technicalities that come with book publishing, you must think about the most important piece to your puzzle: who is going to read your book? How are you going to reach them? If you don’t know who the book is intended to be read by, how do you expect to sell it?
  4. Get professional editing.I can’t preach this enough. I have learned from experience how lack of professional editing can hurt your career as a writer. I was one who figured that since I could easily spot errors in the works of other, obviously, I would be able to catch them in my own work. Little did I know, you don’t use the true ‘editing’ eyes on your own manuscript. If you read my previous post on how to find an editor for your book, I offer some advice on how you can possibly avoid spending thousands of dollars and possibly get your book edited for free.
  5. Create a snappy title–and then research it.When I published my first book, I had no idea that my book shared the same title as a best-selling author’s book. I didn’t know you were supposed to research your title first by doing a simple amazon search. You simply go to amazon.com and enter the title you would like to use to see how many other books will share the same title as yours.
  6. Include all the necessary components.Be sure your book has an ISBN number and barcode, a cover, everything that is needed to make your book look like something your readers need to invest in.
  7. Have an eye-catching cover.Even if you may have crafted a New York Times bestselling novel, if the cover screams ‘blah!’, you may never see that status anywhere except in your dreams.
  8. Make the interior worth reading.Don’t throw your book together just for the sake of being able to say you have a book out. Be sure that your book is typeset by someone who knows the publishing industry and what book printers expect. And by all means, tell a good story.
  9. Use a real book manufacturer for printing.I hate to say it, but if you plan to publish a quality paperback or hardback book, you must use a book printer. You can’t go down to your local print shop and expect them to produce that type of book.
  10. Promote! Promote! Promote!This cannot be stressed enough. If you want people to read what you have written, you have got to get out and really pound the pavement. It’s your book. If you don’t believe in it enough to talk about and preach its message why should anyone else?

Want even more tips for building a successful career as an author? Learn more about The Author’s Success Academy.

How To Choose The Right Platform In Your Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is crucial for building your presence online.

But with so many platforms to choose from, which one is best for you?

In a recent article I posted on LinkedIn, I shared four things to consider when choosing a platform. I believe that everyone has that one main platform that truly works for them, and that is the one that they should focus the bulk of their time and energy preparing content for. Why overwhelm yourself? If it’s working for you, that’s what you stick with.

You can always repurpose your content for other sites; which is why you need a content marketing strategy in place.

So, how do you choose the right platform? Read this article on LinkedIn.

Until next time,

 

Some People Be Lying When They Say They Want To Be Successful

Successful people are all action, less talk.

So, I know that this title is really ratchet for a post about being successful, but it is the truth.

People are lying to themselves, saying that they want success, but their actions say something totally different. Their priorities are all screwed up.

For some reason, people think the mere thought of success will be enough to actually help them experience it.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but, it doesn’t work like that.

In order to experience a type of success that you have never seen before, you must do something different.

Being an entrepreneur is a great career choice; but it is not for everyone. There are some who are better suited as an employee, and that is fine. But if you are going to decide to throw your hat in the ring to become an entrepreneur, you had better be ready to work; hard. You had better be ready to face rejection; even from those you love. And, you had better be ready to be elevated; you have to prepare yourself.

Why most people are not successful

Some entrepreneurs never see the kind of success they want in their businesses because they don’t take what they do seriously. They say they want to make major moves, but they never move. Your business is supposed to grow, not remain stagnant. If you are still making the same money you made last year working for yourself, with no projections to change that, you may as well just quit playing games and go back to work.

You have to plan for success. What will you do when you start actually earning the kind of money you want to in your business? How will you react? Will you go and blow it all on some shoes and clothes, or, will you  invest some of it back into your business?

If you have never had a large sum of money before, you need to start learning how to handle large sums of money so that you can be prepared for it when it comes.

What are you doing to accommodate for the swarms of people you’ve been calling in to your business everyday? You do speak over your business everyday, right? If not, you should start doing that.

Change the way you have been doing things if you want to finally see the kind of results you’ve been dreaming of for your life as an entrepreneur.

The first thing you should do right now, is make a list of all the things you have been doing concerning your business. How many hours do you spend actually working, versus perusing social media aimlessly?

How many people have you reached out to about your business?

Who have you introduced yourself to today that could possibly partner with you in your business?

The next thing you need to do is prepare. How will you know if you have arrived if you don’t even know where you’re going?

If your goal is to serve a thousand people this year, what do you need to do in order to make that happen?

Can you deposit a million dollars in the bank, or, do you have to get a safe for that much money?

Stop playing around in your business, yet claiming to want success.

Get up and take action. Get busy.

You can’t just sit around and confess what you want all day and do nothing. Action is required.

If you are ready to take your business to the next level, you need to enroll in The Blueprint Masterclass. The Blueprint Masterclass  is designed for the serious entrepreneur who is ready to build solid relationships, attract a rockin’ tribe, and create an infectious online presence while building a rock solid business and an iron clad brand.

Click here to learn more about The Blueprint Masterclass.

Until next time,

 

4 Keys To Building Effective Relationships In Business

Building relationships in business is critical in establishing long lasting connections.  Relationship building is especially important to entrepreneurs in the digital arena, where the trust factor is low due to the fact that many scammers live online. So, how do you find a way to build the know, like, and trust factor with your clients? There are four things to consider when it comes to relationship building.

The Four Components

The first thing to consider is what are you hoping to gain from the relationship? Is this going to be short-term, constructed long enough to make a sale and then end? It is important to have a goal in mind at the initiation of the relationship, and make this known.

Which brings me to my second point; honesty. You have heard the saying, honest is the best policy. That is especially true in the online space. Deliver what you say you will, and be honest in your dealings.

My Personal Experience

When I first started in business, I had been told that you should ‘fake it till you make it’, and boy did it show that I was faking it! My first full year as an entrepreneur was one filled with learning the ropes of how real business worked. I wasn’t exactly deceptive in my dealings, I just didn’t really quite know what was I doing when it came to some aspects, and I know that my clients picked up on that. I was in need of cash, so, I took on some rather challenging clients in the beginning. The bright side of it all was that taking on those clients and actually having to learn the process of what they needed done, gave me the skills I needed to be able to excel in my business today.

The third element to building effective relationships in business is to talk to people. Get to know the people you serve. Hold conversations with them. Talking to people helps you to learn what their pain points are, which in turn positions you to be the person to solve the problem they are having. Far too many entrepreneurs fail to implement this very important step, and wonder why their business is failing, or, is stagnant in growth. It is because they have not taken the time to get to know their audience.

Finally, the fourth component to business relationship building is to listen. Sometimes people just want someone who will hear what they have to say. Don’t always come back with an answer; just listen.

I believe that building relationships is only one of the keys to success in business. I am doing a 5 day free challenge for entrepreneurs who want to build solid relationships, attract a rockin’ tribe, create an infectious online presence while building a rock solid business and iron clad brand. If you would like to more about the challenge and sign up, click here.

Until next time,

 

Did You Make A Resolution?

interesting text and photo of authorWell, it’s January. So many people make resolutions for the new year, but how many ever stick to them. I’m not gonna lie; I made a resolution at the end of 2016 concerning my health. I want to do more this year than last year, and I knew that my health was playing a huge factor in the level of energy that I had.

So, I took to the internet. One of the main problems that I had was trying to learn to eat right. For years I have struggled with portion control. I am a short woman, standing only five feet two, so it doesn’t take much food to fill me up. Yet, I had taught myself that even though I felt full, I should keep eating because a few bites of food wasn’t enough.

I took inventory of the types of food that I was eating, and I found that I was eating a lot of food with high fructose corn syrup in it. My sodium intake was too high as well. I didn’t want to deprive myself of taste, or completely give up on sweets; but, what was my alternative?

While researching online, I stumbled upon the Daniel Fast.  When you go to the site, you are given the opportunity to sign up to learn what types of food to eat to help you not only be more healthier, but lose weight without deprivation. Yes, you do have to give up junk, but, you find plenty of health alternatives, such as fruits and vegetables, which are better for you anyway. Plus, as I get closer to turning forty, I am eager to learn how to eat better so that I can lead a healthy life.

Smoothies are a great way to ‘eat’ healthy. I found a few smoothie recipes that help you get in a good mix of fruits and vegetables without having to sit down and eat a meal. I like smoothies because you can mix them up and take them with you. They are the true convenience food.

It’s important to know though that no resolution will work without a clear plan of action. In fact, you not only need a plan, but you need to set goals along the way to help you celebrate the progress that you are making towards your big goal.

Don’t quit on your resolution. Think about the reason why you decided you wanted to make that change in the first place. Is it because you wanted to be able to buy smaller clothes? Or, if your resolution was business related, was it because you wanted to experience the life of an entrepreneur? Whatever your reason may have been for setting your goal for the year, stick with it. There is no reason why you should decide that you are not worth having the goal that you set for yourself.

Until next time,

 

How To Start Selling Your Books Online Without A Third-Party

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Here’s How To Sell More Books Online Without Having To Rely On A Third Party

One of the best pieces of advice that I have heard in order to sell more books online is about to be revealed right here on this blog post.

But first, a little spiel….

I get a lot of questions from authors wanting to know how to sell more books online, specifically from their own website.

In order sell more books online it is a good thing to diversify the sites where your books can be found.

What do I mean by that?

Make your books available for sale on more than one site.

While there are some authors who have experienced massive sales by offering their books exclusively on Amazon through their Kindle Unlimited Program, I am not one to put all of my eggs in one basket.

For instance, Authors who sold their books exclusively on Amazon through the KDP Unlimited Program were probably hurt by the recent changes made to the way authors who use the program would be paid.

Your book should be available on more than one platform because even though it may seem as though the whole world uses Amazon to shop, there is still a number of people who do not.

People who have Apple products will more than likely shop in the Apple store first.

Then there are those who have Nooks who shop on Barnes and Noble’s site.

Why wouldn’t you want to expose your books to those readers?

You don’t have to manually submit your book to each site individually,

You can use a site called Smashwords to make the process of selling your ebooks on other sites much easier.

Publishing with them allows for your book to be sold on many other platforms, such as the Apple Store and Scribd.

They don’t require you to sell your books through them exclusively.

Authors should also have digital versions of their own books for sale on their own sites.

Having your own website to sell from is the key to selling your own books online without a third party.

I believe that every author should have their own website or blog, and that you should have your books available for purchase there as well.

It is never a good idea to rely on someone else to exclusively handle your product because things can change in an instant.

One minute a business can be booming.

But blink, and it could very well be out of business.

On my business blog, I sell books there as a PDF.

Most smartphones can open a PDF, so, all you need is a PDF and a PayPal account to get the ball rolling with your own book sales from your website.

I have a WordPress.org blog, and use plugins to make the delivery of the PDF much easier for me.

But, if you don’t have WordPress.org, there are still ways that this can be done.

In order to sell your books from your own website, your focus has to be on getting traffic, readers and building a list.

This way has more work involved, but, it allows you to be in control of your sales and promotion.

Look at it this way.

You are a business owner.

Your books are your product.

So, why wouldn’t you want to get people to come to your business (your website or blog) to purchase their product?

Authors have to get proactive with their books and stop just putting their books up on a website and riding off the traffic.

Be sure to check back here for more information on building your author website, your following and your income.

Until next time,

P.S, If you liked this post, be sure to share it.
To get more tips and strategies on how to build your career as an author, click here

 

How To Balance Entrepreneurship

You have to find balance if you want to succeed at being an entrepreneur.

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I am an entrepreneur. I have been in business for myself for the past eleven years. I am a single mom of four children. I had to learn how to find balance in my life if I wanted to be successful and keep my sanity. In this post, I am going to share with you some tips that I have found helpful in balancing family and business.

As I stated earlier, I am a single mom. My kids are 16, 9 and 3; with the latter being twins. So, I have to balance teenage problems, tween problems, preschooler problems, and everything in between, with running my own business from home.

I own a publishing and media company. We publish books, manuals, guides, and  also create content for company blogs and websites. My company also does a lot of audiovisual work in the form of course creation.  Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming, being a mom and entrepreneur; I would be lying to you if I said that it wasn’t at times. But one thing I have learned is that you must take some time for yourself. You can’t be superman, that person is not real. You have to allow your body to rest; or your body will make you give it some rest. Sometimes I think we as entrepreneurs push ourselves way too hard. Yes, we want success, but you won’t be able to enjoy the success if you haven’t made time to take care of yourself. Learn to listen to your body. If you need to take a break, then by all means, take a break. If you need to turn down a few clients, do it. I had to learn to say no to people even when I felt like I really needed the money. My sanity is worth a whole lot more than a couple thousand dollars.

You also need to leave work at work. I don’t care what anyone says, you can’t work 24/7. You need to establish working hours and when those hours are over, you need to close up shop and step away. I have seen people turn spare closets into offices just so that they can close the doors at the end of the day and leave the office. I actually converted a space in my bedroom into an office, using cute draperies to section it off from the rest of the room.

Another thing that I do is schedule breaks throughout the day and I stick to my working schedule. Think about it: if you work for someone, you have a set time that you actually spend working; so, why would you do anything different in your own business? I will say that being an entrepreneur does allow for you to deviate from the schedule just a little, but  I wouldn’t do it to often. I take my lunch break outside of my office space, simply because I would have to do that at work. When I used to work at a nursing home, we had two fifteen minute breaks and a  thirty minute lunch. I do the same kind of thing now, only my lunch is for an hour and I take two thirty minute breaks for power naps.

Knowing when to ask for help also helps a ton. My mom is there to help me with my twins so that I can focus on work. You may have to find someone who will be willing to come into your home and help with your kids, or, take your kids to daycare for the hours that you have designated as work hours. If you need help with office work, depending on your budget, consider hiring someone. You could hire a virtual assistant to help you with the tasks that keep you from doing actual income producing activities.

These are just a few of the things that you can do to find balance in entrepreneurship. In my future posts, I will share more ways to help you with entrepreneurship and working from home, if you’re like me. Be sure to subscribe to my blog if you want to be in the loop of when I make a new post, which I plan to do at least three times a week.

If you are looking for a home based business opportunity, you should consider blogging. I offer a free blueprint that shows you how to get started. Click here to get it now.

Until next time,

 

You Don’t Really Get Paid To Blog

Despite What You May Have Heard, You Don’t Really Get Paid To Blog…
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This will probably be one of the most controversial posts that I will write. But, there are many people who have come to believe that just because they put up a blog, that they will make money from it. The truth is, the money does not come from the blog alone. Simply putting words on a page will not magically create an income for you. But there are ways that money can be made as a result of blogging.  In this post, I am going to tell you some of the ways that blogging can add to your income.

First off, in case you don’t know me, I started blogging in 2008; grew my blog to a nice sized audience, and then quit because I, like many others, didn’t really understand how to monetize my blog. I thought that just by blogging alone, I would earn money. I didn’t understand the logistics of blog monetization.

Before a dime can be made online, or even offline for that matter, traffic must be present. Traffic is the people who are going to come to your site. And, you don’t just want a bunch of random people coming to your site; you want people who are actually looking for whatever it is that you happen to be selling. Your site must offer a solution to the reader if you want them to stick around long enough to even see what you have to offer in the form of a solution for them.

Not having traffic and readers to your blog or to your website, it like having a beautiful storefront that nobody knows exists. 

Before you even think about trying to get monetize your blog, you first have to be concerned with getting traffic, visitors, to your site. Visitors who are looking for what you have to offer.

Next, you need to focus on getting a good amount of traffic to your site. I mean, let’s face; one visitor to your blog is probably not going to be enough traffic to write home about. You want to get your posts in front of as many people as possible. Your focus should be on getting as many people into your virtual storefront as possible, every single day.

Not only do you need to send good traffic to your blog, but you also want to build your mailing list up so that you can send special offers to those who come and visit your site and like what you have to offer on your site. Depending on what you blog about, you could offer a discount if they spend so much money with you on your site, a discounted course,  an ebook, whatever matches what your overall goal is with your site.

Once you build up your traffic and your mailing list, then you can start to look at ways to make money with your blog. Many of the big players in the blogosphere, make their money from affiliate marketing, which is where you get paid to promote someone else’s content. In fact, you can make a very good living being an affiliate marketer.

You can also get paid to write a sponsored post for a company and selling advertising space on your blog.

These are just some of the ways that people are really paid for blogging. Let me sum up the three that I know about personally:

  1. Affiliate Marketing: Getting paid to promote other people’s content via a website or blog, in exchange for a commission.
  2. Write a sponsored post: Sometimes a company may approach you to write one post promoting a particular product or service in exchange for a set fee.
  3. Sell advertising on your blog: You can rent out space by the month on your blog in exchange for a monthly fee.

So of course, money can be made as a result of your blogging, but it takes strategy. 

  1. Focus on getting targeted traffic to your blog
  2. Focus on building your mailing list so that you can do special things for your subscribers
  3. Focus on monetization techniques after you have built up the first two.

If you want to get started blogging, get the blueprint that can help you launch your own profitable blog. Download it now.

 

How Often Should You Blog?

Sandra N. Peoples

One of the questions I am asked quite frequently on social media is how often should you blog. I know from experience that when a blog is brand new, you need to blog consistently. I blogged every single day when I first started my blog. But in all honesty, you don’t have to blog every single day; you just need to set a schedule and stick with it. I am an Author, so I like to blog about books, writing, and the writing process in general. I like to talk about the characters in my books, as well as the inspiration behind the stories that I write. You just have to find your topic and go with it.

I would also say that you should plan out your content. Whatever the subject of your blog is, you should be prepared to write at least two to three articles a week about that topic. So, what is it about that topic that excites you? What do you think will make people want to read your posts and subscribe to your blog? Our blogs are meant to educate our audience about what it is that we do exactly. If we aren’t passionate about our chosen blog topics, why should we expect anyone else to be?

How often you should blog really depends on your overall goals for your blog. Do you plan to blog to simply generate leads for your business, or, do you want to share information that you find to be interesting to your chosen audience? If the goal is to generate leads, then of course you would blog more frequently than a person who maybe just wants to share a few interesting stories here and there.

A good rule of thumb  is to blog at least three times a week and promote your content daily. This helps you to practice being consistent and also builds your audience. You should also decide on how serious you plan to be with your blog. You have to know that if you don’t take your own blog seriously then neither will anyone else.

I had to remind myself of this as well. If my goal is to blog three times a week and I miss a day, I have to condition myself to do makeup work; which means that I have to blog on days that I would normally have off. Doing this will cause me to get my blogging in on the days that I have scheduled to blog.

Perhaps if you are reading this post, it is because you are interested in either starting a blog, or, trying to figure out how to make blogging work for you and your business. If this is you, then may be interested in my blogging course, “Ignite My Blog”. You can read about the course by clicking here. My blogging course details how I have been able to grow an international client base using my blog and social media.

WANT TO KNOW THE BLUEPRINT TO LAUNCHING YOUR OWN PROFITABLE BLOG? CLICK HERE.

Until next time,

I Almost Forgot How Important A Blog Is

Blogging is a critical component to building your credibility online

Author Sandra N PeoplesSo it has been a while since I have actually blogged about writing and business and things of that nature. I don’t know if it was because I was getting burned out, bored; not really sure. But one thing is certain: I almost forgot how important a blog is to anyone who is serious about building credibility online.

I started blogging in 2008, and I used to have a set schedule where I treated my blog as an important part of my marketing strategy (which you should do too if you are serious about getting results). I blogged every morning at 6 am. But then as time wore on, and I started seeing results from my blogging, I got lazy and relaxed. My focus was all over the place and wasn’t very clear at all. The audience that I had built suddenly started to dwindle because I started to talk about everything else except books, writing, and how this whole industry works business wise.

What I learned was that I had lost focus of what the purpose of a blog really is in the first place. The purpose of your blog is not make money; it’s main purpose is to educate your audience, help them get to know about you and the products and services that you offer, and help them make the decision on whether or not they should become a customer or client of yours.

There are so many people who teach that you can make money blogging; which you can. But the money does not come from blogging in and of itself; it comes as a result of blogging. That may seem a little confusing, but, once you catch on to it, you will understand the concept a lot better.

I am making a commitment to get back to building my marketing platform, which is my blog. Blogging allows you to share your knowledge and expertise with the world. If you are serious about growing your business and your platform, selling more books, or whatever it is you want to do, you need to blog. And you need to do it on a consistent basis. So, are you up for the challenge? Are you going to make a commitment to blog? I hope that you will add this powerful marketing strategy to your arsenal in the coming year.

Until next time,

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