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You’ve just finished writing your novel and now you can sit back while the royalties roll in, right? WRONG. Millions of books are for sale on Amazon. MILLIONS. Writing an incredible story is not enough. You need to know how to get a stunning cover, upload your book to the digital shelves, set up your author pages, write an engaging product description and more.
My name is J. Thorn and I thought I could cash in on the ebook boom of 2012 by uploading my Word document to Amazon and then signing the paperwork for my new Ferrari. Not so much. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with a book launch. You don’t know where to begin or even which questions to ask. I know how hollow and helpless that feels because I’ve been there. I can teach you what you need to know in a way you’ll understand, so you’ll be able to do it for yourself.
The hard truth is no matter how much you may despise marketing, you have to do it. Nobody can sell your book like you. Your parents bought it because they love you and your spouse bought it to bribe you into doing that extra load of laundry. Once you’ve gotten those pity sales, you’ve got to figure out how to sell your book to the rest of the world.
A little injection of confidence and you can do what you thought was impossible. Which also means you’ll have more time to write.
Sure. You could Google your question about formatting, or cover design or writing a great product description on Amazon. You’ll get thousands, if not millions, of hits and most of them will contradict each other. Some will be written by people claiming to be marketing gurus, yet they’ve never published a single book. You’ll waste countless hours and never get exactly what you need.
Or you can reach out.
Why am I qualified to help you?
- I have a teaching certification in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey and Tennessee and I have a Masters of Arts degree in Education.
- I’ve sold over 145,000 books – sales, not free downloads.
- I’ve collaborated and worked with over 50 authors, many of whom consistently rank on Amazon’s Top 100 list and a few have sold millions of books worldwide.
- Over the past five years, I’ve built my author platform out of nothing. I had no existing readership from a previous traditional publishing career.
Not sure what you need? Consider these questions…
When the Final Draft is Complete
How do I come up with a title? How do I write a product description? How do I format my book? How do I pick my genres? How do I get a cover?
How do I format my book for paperback? Where do I sell it? For how much? How do I get it distributed? What should I put in the front of the book? In the back?
How do I format my ebook? How do I know if it’s been done right? What happens if it isn’t? Do I need different versions for different online marketplaces? What should I put in the front of the book? In the back? Should it be different than the paperback version?
How do I turn my book into an audio book? Do I have to narrate it myself? How much does it cost? How much can I make? What services exist to do this? Where do I sell it? How do I sell it?
Marketplace and Distribution
Where should I sell my book? Amazon? Barnes and Noble? Kobo? Smashwords? Out of the trunk of my car? What other distribution channels exist and how do I get my book into them? Can I sell to the international market? What if I don’t speak German? Can I still sell books in Germany? Can I get a cheap flight to Munich? How’s the beer in Germany? Should I get an agent? How do I find an agent?
How do I create my author page on Amazon? Barnes and Noble? Kobo? Smashwords? Shelfari? Goodreads? Do I need them all? Why do I need any? Do I need an app? What is in an author app?
Will I get them? How do I get them? Will they be good? What do I do when I get a bad reviews? Will I survive it? Will Amazon remove reviews? If so, under what circumstance?
Author Website and Blog
Do I need a website? Do I need a blog? Do I need both? Can they be one in the same? How do I get one? What should it look like? What should go on it? How often should I post? Should I have pictures of cats on it? What is a domain name? Do I need one and how do I get one? Will Danica Patrick set up my domain for me? What is Google Analytics? Do I need it? Should I get a professional head shot? How should it look?
What is social media? Should I be on Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Instagram? Tumblr? Google+, YouTube? How do I self-promote my books on social media and make people buy them? What should I be doing while I’m on social media?
Should I spend money on advertising? Should I use GoogleAdwords? Should I use Facebook ads? How do I do that? What sites will promote my book? How much do they charge? Are any free? Do any of them work?
In what ways can I promote my book? Should I give it away? What is KDP Select? What are Smashwords coupons? What is permafree? Do contests work? How do I run a contest? What should I give away?
What is crowdsourcing? Kickstarter? IndieGoGo? Pubslush? Is it legal? How does it work? Are some better than others?
Financing and Legal Issues
How do I get paid? Can I sell my book outside of the United States? What is the royalty structure? Is it different based on price? Is it different based on marketplace? Do I need a checking account? Personal or business? Do I need a PayPal account? What tax forms must I provide? Should I use my real name or a pen name? Should I copyright my book? How do I copyright it? How much will it cost? Is someone trying to steal my book? Can I mail a sealed copy to myself as proof of ownership? How do I sign contracts and agreements? Is an e-signature legally binding?
Should I collaborate with other authors? How? How often? With which ones? What are multi-author box sets?
Fanbase, Readership & Email Lists
How many millions of fans will I have? How do I find them? Do I need an email list? How do I make an email list? Can I have an old-fashioned mailing list? Can I get a witness?
Giveaways and Contests
Should I do giveaways? What should I give away? How can I do it? Does it work?
Should I write full novels? Novellas? Memoirs? Short stories? Essays? Screenplays? Can I sell a screenplay? Should I write standalone books or books in a series? Should I write in one genre or in several? Should I tell my boss I write prehistoric dinosaur erotica? Should I quit if he likes prehistoric dinosaur erotica?
For two payments of $239, you receive one 30-minute phone call with one 30-minute follow up and unlimited email support for 30 days. That fire I’ll light beneath you comes free of charge.
This June I proudly celebrate the two year anniversary of the publication of the first book in my Grammy’s Gang series, No Way To Haircut Day! And I owe it all to J. Thorn. The man is a veritable genius when it comes to information on how to self-publish, select the perfect illustrator, and determine the best genre for your work. Thorn introduces you to author groups that both support and promote each other. His unrelenting tenacity to shake the dust off your yet-to-be published masterpiece is contagious. Give him the opportunity to infect you with his passion for success.
Flo Barnett, children’s book author
When I began my journey of becoming a self-published author from a writer in 2013, I had a rude awakening of just how much was involved to becoming a published author. I soon learned that being a writer and self-published author were two different animals. If I was going to become a SUCCESSFUL author, I knew I had to make it my business not only to KEEP WRITING but to also learn about building an author platform, the importance of GOOD book covers and a GOOD editor, formatter and most of all, learn how to market my books. These things certainly weren’t learned over night.
Thorn helped me learn about this new world. He helped to make me understand what it took to be successful and he helped steer me towards good people in the industry who were important for my business. J. Thorn is well-respected and has great knowledge and experience in the Indie world. He taught me all about learning to split myself and my thinking process between being a writer and stepping out of the box and learning to be a good business person to help my book flourish. I have him to thank with much gratitude for leading me through the process and sharing his strategies, as well as his editors with me.
D.G. Kaye, nonfiction memoir author