So you’ve written an ebook. That’s great! The hard part is over. Or is it?
If you’ve written an ebook and actually want people to read it, then you must know that your work isn’t even close to being done once you type the last word. Self-publishing and marketing your ebook can be just as much (or more!) work than writing it. Your decisions on publishing, marketing, and selling your ebook should always be research based. Having the necessary information you need before starting the publishing process can make your work and decision-making a whole lot easier. Having all the facts before you make decisions also means you will go into your self-publishing venture with more realistic expectations and goals as you understand the system, the market, and the challenges ahead of you.
No matter where you are in your ebook publishing journey, these 6 questions are something you need to be thinking about in order to make sure you’re publishing the smart way.
1. How factual are my facts?
It’s only natural to want the book you’ve spent countless hours researching, writing, editing, and formatting to be the best it can be. Your grammar might be top-notch and your formatting immaculate, but part of putting out the best work possible is making sure your facts and data are accurate and up-to-date, especially if you’re writing in a field or for an industry where information and statistics are dynamic and constantly changing. Having another set of eyes go over your book and fact-check using quality resources is a great way to ensure you’re putting your best work out there.
2. Who is my audience?
Knowing and understanding your audience is fundamental to successfully publishing, marketing, and selling your ebook. Think about and learn about your potential audience. Social media monitoring can be a great way to discover an untapped audience. Locate market research reports and studies for the demographics you’re looking to target and ultimately reach. Look for data on what your target audience reads, how they read, and where they learn about new books. Your audience should be one of the guiding forces when making decisions on how to publish and market your ebook, and being adequately informed on your audience’s interests, preferences, and habits will make your decision-making process a lot more fluid and strategic.
3. Who and what are my competition?
Treat your competition as a valuable source of information. Scan the genre, field, or industry your ebook is focused on with an eye towards seeing what others are doing and have done. What kinds of ebooks are out there? What marketing techniques have worked for other authors ? What hasn’t worked? Why? In order to price your ebook competitively, take a look at how your competition has priced their books. Are their books selling at these price points? You can learn a lot by looking at your competition and you’ll be able to map your strategy a lot easier when you know exactly what you’re getting into and any potential obstacles and challenges you may face along the way.
4. How will I reach my audience?
After all the work you’ve put into creating your ebook, of course you’ll want people to actually read it. But how will you reach your audience? Research the best venues for publicizing your ebook and begin thinking about social media marketing campaigns. The research you did into your competition and into your target audience will be highly valuable in answering this question.
5. Who are the top names in my genre/niche/industry?
When researching your competition, you’ll likely come across the big names in your genre, niche, or industry. Don’t ignore these names or let them intimidate you. While you may see them as competition, their popularity and success can benefit you. Could you contact them for blurbs? For reviews? Networking opportunities?
6. What are my options when it comes to publishing my ebook?
Before you publish your ebook learn everything you can about the process. Make sure you understand all your options. Will you do everything yourself or will you outsource certain parts of the publishing and marketing process? Research the pros and cons of different distribution methods and channels. Without understanding how the system works—and doesn’t work— you can’t make informed decisions. And if your decisions aren’t informed, your ebook’s success is on the line.
Whether you choose to do the research yourself or get help from a pro, being aware of and possessing the information and resources to confidently answer these questions just may be the key to successfully self-publishing and selling your ebook. Good luck!