(EDIT: As of June 6th, I’m over 15,000 copies sold!!!)
On Tuesday, I reached a milestone: 10,000 copies of my books sold! What started as a “love letter” to my kiddos became a series of children’s books celebrating new big siblings as superheroes. I’m beyond humbled that over 10,000 kids read, colored in, and (hopefully) loved my books.
As I soak it in, I’m reflecting on all I’ve learned as a self-published author. Here are three lessons through the lens of having a goal to create income-producing books.
Lesson 1: You may be a writer first, but you are a marketer and PR pro as a close second.
Writing is only half the job. The other half is marketing and self-promotion. Actually, maybe it’s 40/60. There are many strategies to test – social media, website building, ads, and reaching out to readers for reviews. You must be prepared to be your own PR agent because you are the only one responsible for getting your book noticed.
Lesson 2: Building a brand and reputation takes time
Making a name for yourself as an author is not a quick path to passive income. Have a plan for how you will promote your book, and stick to that plan even when things don’t seem to be going your way. You’ll likely need to experiment with different strategies to find what works for you.
My books saw minimal traction in the first few years. I used reviews and feedback to improve the quality of my books AND experimented with marketing strategies until I found momentum. It was just last year that I saw sales growing consistently.
Lesson 3: Be open to feedback
Use reviews and criticism/feedback to improve your writing AND guide your marketing and promotion efforts. There is some controversy around “writing to market,” but knowing your audience and meeting their needs is part of business 101.
Self-publishing is an adventure for those willing to wear many hats – and, as my fashionista daughter says, who doesn’t love a closet full of fabulous accessories?