We are all aware by now: self-publishing is a business. We talked to Ben Galley about it and the ways to get in the right mindset. The young British writer is one of the most sought-after self-publishing consultants and tutors. For the past few years, he has been helping fellow authors from all over the world to publish and sell books. He has been featured on the Amazon KDP Youtube channel, successfully crowdfunded one of his books and wrote the best-seller “Shelf Help.”
How do you organise your self-publishing process?
I am basically project managing. I find the professionals who can help me with the cover design and editing and achieve the professional standards necessary for being successful in the book market. You don’t have to learn all the new and separate skills.
How do you keep up to date with the news and trends in the self-publishing industry?
It’s a variety of things. I am involved with the Alliance Of Independent Authors. I look at the major news sources in the UK and the U.S. There are some really great websites as well such as the Bookseller. Finding news through social media is also very important.
You were interviewed for Amazon KDP Youtube channel. How did you get there?
This is not something you can apply for. But I recommend to authors to reach out to platforms such Amazon, ask if they can partner for content or do something at events.
What tools do you use to grow your audience?
Content marketing. I produce video content, text content, visual content such as infographics or pictures I can put on social media. I also do a bit of paid marketing on Facebook and Twitter. I had done Google Ads in the past. Make sure you are active on as many platforms as you can. Don’t ignore Kobo, Google Play, iBooks. Guest blogs are also very useful. I try to structure it all so that I make sure that I have a constant presence there.
How do you generate engagement on your social media channels?
I think is just a simple case of being human. Social media is more than just “check my book on Amazon” or “buy, buy, buy!” That sort of things turn people off. There is so much more you can do with social media. You can join communities or groups. You can share advice, funny things, new stories. That’s how we discover great new ideas and meet new people. Social media is a rich resource for any author. It’s not just a broadcast network. I like to chat with people. But I also like to produce content that people I chat to would enjoy.
Self-publishing is a business. How can an author manage it?
If you want to make money from your books, you need to act like a business person.Get into the business mindset. That includes emailing suppliers, creating briefs, managing your funds, decide where to put advertising budgets. You also have to have a professional mindset. Take pride in your products, make sure they are the best they can be. If you do that, if you are really focused on marketing after you publish, and continue creating new products, your income will grow. It’s like a start-up business. Year one or two you might not make much of a profit, but years three and four are the most exciting ones.
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