Thursday, January 15, 2015

Self-Publishing: A Return on Your Investment?

Can I Expect a Return on my Investment as a Self-Publisher?

Can you “expect” a return? The answer to that is no. The odds are against it. But, if you focus on the following six steps you will increase your chances, and the possibility of generating an income, if not a profit, but not from one, stand-alone, title.

I initially anticipated this to be a single article, but I am convinced that it needs to be expanded into a six-part series instead. There’s just too much to share in one sitting. I don’t want you falling asleep on me, or going to YouTube and watching videos instead.

Step No. 1 — Write more. Write often. You need more than one title.

You won’t break even on one title, but you stand a chance of that and more if your sites provide more than a single title option for visiting readers and, eventually, loyal followers.

Here’s the thing. Sure, you want to publish longer stories. You desire to push past the average short story (or maybe not) and pen and publish novellas and novels in the 25,000 word to 90,000-plus word category But, assuming you have sites where you can feature your titles, even offer eBook downloads and print versions, you can do something within the next two weeks that will generate a surge of interest in your titles—feature eight to ten good, well-written, satisfying short stories.

This keeps your one longer title company and gives the impression you are a dynamic writer, a prolific writer, and that the return visitor can depend on finding new material written by you virtually every week or ten days they drop in for a look.

Come up with a 500-to-1,000-word short story today. Edit tomorrow. Generate a reasonably attractive cover for it (more on that later), polish and publish. Announce its availability on all your social sites, especially Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. As well as others. At the rate of one new title every two days, you will have effectively buffed up your backlist to seven, or more, new titles in two weeks.

No, no,'s totally doable. You’re a writer with lots of ideas going on inside that creative mind of yours. Take those ideas, use your muse, and generate these titles. Let them be the precursor to future, longer works, but make them complete, with the traditional beginning, middle and end.

Plan on four hours tops, to generate a 500-word short story—maybe the same for a thousand words, or an hour or two more. Editing? The next day? A couple of hours. Formatting and uploading, another couple of hours. So, you invest, say, eight hours in two days to generate a new title. Some can do this faster while others may need a bit more time. In any event, you are a writer. Write those stories with the knowledge that you are investing in a business that can bring a return provided you are willing to make it happen.

You might be more comfortable knocking out seven or eight short stories in a few days, then going back and editing them, then going back and designing the cover, formatting and uploading. If that is how it works for you, then by all mean, go for it.


1 comment:

Alex Hurst said...

Loving the new dark green on the site. It's very pleasing.

Ah, the ever important backlist. Yes, it really is important to have more than a couple titles out there. Just like with musicians, fans aren't necessarily waiting on the edge of their seat to come and buy your next album--especially if it takes the artist so long to come out with a new one that they think the band's broken up!

Looking forward to the rest. :)