Richard Lane Church, Author

Use Your Writing Talent to Make Money

Copywriting * Content Writing * Fiction

How to self-publish your writing

Self-publishing on Amazon is becoming increasingly popular for new and established authors alike. There are two reasons for the difficulty in finding an agent and then having to do much of the marketing. Another reason is the number of royalties an author collects. The Night the Cats Left Socorro is my first novel, available at Amazon.com and other online retailers. It has received several four- and five-star reviews. It is available as a Kindle eBook and paperback and hardback editions. (Click here to read the first chapters for free.)

Self-publishing my novel "The Night the Cats Left Socorro", on Amazon.com in eBook, paperback, and hardback editions.
This is my self-published novel. We all know that pets can provide comfort, health, and healing. Perhaps even miracles…

Selling your novel on Amazon

Self-publishing your novel or non-fiction book on Amazon.com offers many advantages. These are general observations. I read the Amazon legal statement before signing up. I advise you to do the same.

1. By self-publishing, you retain your copyrights

What if your book becomes a best seller or someone wants to buy the rights to make a movie? Forrest Gump, The Martian, and countless other novels have attracted producers before. When you reserve all of your rights, they must go to you to purchase those rights.

2. Amazon pays excellent royalties

Amazon pays up to 70% on Kindle eBooks. Many famous writers are now self-publishing at least some of their material on Amazon. Print-on-demand book royalties are based on the net dollar amount after subtracting printing costs.

3. Amazon self-publishing offers multiple formats

You are the self-publisher so you can choose a particular format or all available. Many books are published as eBooks on Amazon’s Kindle site. They also offer hardback and paperback versions published as print-on-demand copies. This means that when someone orders a paperback or hardcover book, they print a copy and send it out.

You do not have to purchase a thousand, a hundred, or even a single copy. And Amazon ships the book when ready, usually a couple of weeks. Postage is free when the person ordering is an Amazon Prime member. If you want to order copies to give away to friends, as part of a marketing strategy, or to sell at events (book signings, meet the author, etc.), you can buy one or many at the printing cost plus shipping.

You can even create an audible version to sell on audible.com. Many people enjoy listening to fiction when driving or doing chores.

4. Amazon self-publishing accommodates most genres

You can sell your book on Amazon whether you write in fantasy, romance, science fiction, technical or historic non-fiction, or many other styles and/or content. In addition, as the author and self-publisher, you may choose between page color (traditionally white for non-fiction or ivory for fiction), font, font color, size, etc. You can design your own cover, hire a designer or use Fiverr to find one (the link shown offers a 10% discount on your first purchase).

5. Amazon offers ways to track your sales

Amazon was built on the internet and allows you to track a variety of data to improve your marketing and, therefore, the sales of your self-published works.

6. People can read a small portion of your book for free, like browsing in a bookstore

When a viewer lands on your book’s page, they can click on the “Look Inside” link and be able to read a limited amount of pages; I love this feature!

7. Self-publishing allows you to set the price of your work

Amazon lets you set the price of your book within certain limitations. For example, you cannot sell a printed edition for less than the manufacturing cost. You can change the prices at any time. Often as the book gains popularity, authors raise the price. Amazon also allows times when you can give away Kindle editions for free. Why do authors do this? Because even eBooks that are given away count toward book purchases, raising your book’s rankings.

Need to know information

Above are several reasons to self-publish on Amazon. I will share my experience with you to remove some common misconceptions. Your book will be displayed on amazon.com pages professionally like other books.

You will be brought to your book’s page when you go to amazon .com and type in your title. This page will have its own unique URL that you can use in marketing if you want people to buy from Amazon. Other booksellers, such as Barnes & Noble, can sell printed editions but not the Kindle version. (When you self-publish on Amazon, you agree not to sell other digital versions.) Descriptions and other information are provided by you, so edit the information well regarding your book as to spelling, grammar, and readability.

Go to Amazon’s website to get their most current information and advice on self-publishing on their platform.

Other costs

There are other monetary and time costs in addition to the hours of researching, writing, and doing initial editing. As mentioned before, you need to create the cover art. You will need to download it onto the Amazon site to their exact specifications. Although you’ve edited your work already, the eyes of a professional editor are worth every penny (and it could be hundreds of dollars or more).

Marketing your book

Other than providing a professional display page, Amazon will do little to promote a new book by an unknown author. You must do much of that yourself. There are many ways to do this, and I admit I am still a novice. I hired someone at Fiverr to place my book on other book retailers’ catalogs. You can also hire influence to read it and comment on your work. Caveat: even though you pay them, these professional readers will give their honest assessments.

You can send out offers to your emails to entice your contacts to buy. I have created several graphics, like the one at the top of this page. It accompanies the text to sell my novel via Facebook and other social media platforms. Learn how to create graphics here for your books. Some authors promote their books (taking along books to sell) at events such as book signings, poetry reading, fairs, and other venues where groups of people gather.