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The Career Author Podcast: Episode 94 – Things to Know When Self-Publishing a Book

Things to know when self-publishing a book can be overwhelming. Zach and J. share some surprising and important pieces of advice for those who want to be independent creators.

There are horror stories out there. And not the fun kind we like to read during the month of October. If you don’t understand how business or publishing works, you can lose money, time, and your motivation for writing. It’s important to educate yourself so that you’re not taken advantage of by unscrupulous people or publishers who might not have your best interests at heart.

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Why you’re a small business owner, whether you like it or not.
  • The reasons behind having separate bank accounts, an accountant, and services like PD Abacus if you co-write.
  • Why you can’t stop piracy.
  • How to register your copyrights, and why you should.
  • What happens when you don’t hire an editor.
  • That your story isn’t unique and you’re not special.
  • Why you’re playing with fire if you haven’t backed up your files in at least 3 places.
  • Why you need an email list.

Also, discover why chasing happiness can make you unhappy.

Send us your ways and hacks – https://thecareerauthor.com/waysandhacks/ 

What’s one thing you wish you would have known before publishing your first book?

Thanks to all new Patrons Kim Barton, Leftie Aubé, and Mikki Tuohy.

Podcast sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – https://writinglife.kobobooks.com 

Get exclusive bonus content by supporting The Career Author Podcast on Patreon at www.patreon.com/thecareerauthor

Want to work with us? Get the details at https://thecareerauthor.com/services/

Links:

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman – https://amzn.to/2AIUcUj 

Dianna Gunn’s newsletter. Get on it! – “This newsletter offers biweekly business tips based on my years of experience in SEO and digital marketing, with a focus on how these lessons apply to author careers.” – http://www.authordiannagunn.com/for-authors 

How to Lose a Third of a Million Dollars Without Really Trying https://forge.medium.com/how-to-lose-a-third-of-a-million-dollars-without-really-trying-d3c343675aca

The Career Author Podcast: Episode 60 – Nerd Alert! Implementing a Backup System – https://thecareerauthor.com/the-career-author-podcast-episode-60-nerd-alert-implementing-a-backup-system/ 

The October Giveaway is up now! – http://www.thecareerauthor.com

The Career Author YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/thecareerauthor

Three Story Method – http://threestorymethod.com

Molten Universe Media – http://www.moltenuniversemedia.com

Events – https://thecareerauthor.com/events/ 

19 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 94 – Things to Know When Self-Publishing a Book

  • Morning guys. Great way today J. I’ll defo check that out. Not an expert but I can suggest one reason it hasn’t hit the zeitgeist; check out the cover; it screams amateur and is so bad it might be good 🙂. Maybe you could reach out to him.
    Reference main subject, I read the original article and wasn’t shocked; the UK media is full of stories of lottery winners with similar falls. I felt sadness for her and I hope she has learned. Sage advice today guys, even the stuff about editing… maybe one day 🙂.
    What do I wish I knew when I first published? I think email lists but I’m not sure they were invented in 2011.
    One piece of advice I have never heard in the Indie community but I think is essential for long term author aspirants: spend some time learning how to write better sentences. I know you did it at school, college or university but that doesn’t mean you are any good at it; make it a lifelong goal to keep improving your writing; you will not regret it.
    Great show guys.

  • I followed indie publishing from the start of the Kindle days, and thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect: my first book would sell nothing. Maybe $20 if I told friends about it. Because of that, I slapped it up (good cover, blah story imo, no editing, no mailing list or link), just to get it out of my system.

    Occasionally, people find success with their first book. So hard ditto on that mailing list recommendation—just do it! It doesn’t hurt you to have it and it definitely hurts _not_ having it.

    The thing I would say is: Expect failure, prepare for success.

    Don’t pin your hopes and dreams on that first book, not even a little bit if you can help it. Disappointment makes book 2 that much harder to write. But have your system (a spin off of J’s recommendation) for success in place. Have your mailing list. Have reminders in your calendar to send out regular emails. Once a month is fine! Claim your Amazon author page and your book(s). It really doesn’t take much.

    • Totally agree. I’d say you can extrapolate that out to each book. You can’t expect any one book to be a “home run.”

  • Hey career authors! I have made all the mistakes, but the thing I would definitely do differently if I could go back would be to write a bunch more books before publishing. If I’d really understood my voice prior to publishing, and knew what types of books I wanted to keep writing, I could have handled my branding a lot better. I also might have waited for a time I could give it more effort — I first published when I had an infant, a toddler & a full-time job. I have worked hard to make things more consistent and now I’m very focused on the road I see ahead. No longer dabbling with pen names and different genres…with limited time I think that focus is going to be critical for me these next couple of years. Thanks for the podcast!

  • Thanks, guys, for doing this episode! It was great to hear your thoughts on all of this. Great advice, as always. I haven’t published yet (I’m waiting until I finish all three books of a trilogy), so I’ve been trying to learn all I can before I dive in.

  • Welcome to my landmark comment #13 (I don’t know but I figure its a good guess.)
    First off I like how Zach intros each show now.
    I feel like one piece of advice that I wish I would known is how many to write before I start publishing. I also figure it doesn’t matter in the end since people only care about backlists when you have one. So just start working on my craft and my email list and my marketing and my author contacts and eventually it will fall into place. I don’t plan to be the next Martelle or Fox or Cooper, I am fine with being profitable over series which will allow me to keep writing.

    Thanks for the wisdom guys.

  • One thing I wish I had known earlier is the importance of defining your genre. My first few books didn’t really fall into any particular genre, and was a mix of a bunch of different genres. It made marketing for those books very tricky.

  • I self-published my first book in 2003 (yes, self-publishing on Amazon existed before Kindle), but the networks to “get the word out” didn’t exist yet. Even with a great website, my marketing stalled after a couple hundred books. So I’m really looking forward to jumping back into the new world of self-publishing. Thanks for all your advice!

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