I was chatting with a couple of coaching students yesterday. They’ve both transitioned from freelance writing — that is, writing for others, for money, to creating and selling information products.
I love the “create and sell information products” business model for writers. I’ve been using it myself for over 30 years; I started out writing romance novels. In those days, I considered that only writers who wrote BOOKS were legitimate writers. The rest were just hacks. I was young, what did I know? :-)
I got over that prejudice pretty fast when I started my copywriting career. The money convinced me that authors were just hobbyists… yes, I know, another misconception.
Anyway, I digress. I’m helping the students to develop both arms of their info products business: creation and promotion.
Creation and promotion: you need both, neither is optional
As an ebook writer and publisher, you must create and promote, EVERY DAY. There’s no way around this. You’re a self-publisher. People need to find out about your books somehow, and of course, you need to keep writing books as well.
If you’re self-publishing on Amazon, the company does a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Amazon has a fantastic database publishing system, and getting it to work for you is simple.
Getting Amazon’s system to work for you starts with your blurb for your book, and your metadata, as I pointed out in this blog post, New Author: Five Easy Ways to Promote Your Book | Write a Book: Just Write A Book Blog:
“We’ve already talked about metadata. Even huge publishing companies don’t use the metadata on Amazon as effectively as they could. Beyond metadata, Amazon has other tools for you to use.
Your primary tool is your Amazon author page. Make sure that all your books are listed on your author page, and that you write an effective bio.”
Amazon is packed with buyers. Unlike the Web, where people search for information, and perhaps to buy something or other, people go to Amazon to buy. That’s the reason they’re on the site.
Please learn how Amazon works. Then put some time into writing a great blurb. I talk about all that stuff in my Write a Book Collection. I know it’s hard to understand in the beginning, and possibly a bit geeky. But once you know how it works, you KNOW, and then you can put the system to work for you. You’ll get buyers because people search for stuff to BUY on Amazon. When they find your books via search, you’re golden.
If you don’t get your books’ metadata right on Amazon, you’re crippling your books. You won’t make the sales you could be making.
So, that’s the first step in promotion: get your books’ pages on Amazon set up properly, and set your author page set up properly too. Then devote time every day to promotion — start with the easy promotional methods I talk about in the article.
Create, create, create!
I love promotions, and I’d spend all day on it, it’s huge fun for me. However, if you spend all day on Twitter and Facebook, guess what? You’re STILL shooting yourself in the foot, because you need to write every day, so that you’re writing fresh material for your readers.
Creation takes an entirely different mindset from promotion. I set up the 30-Day Novel-Writing Challenge because I was having problems with working on my novels consistently.
Although I know what I should be doing, writing books is just as hard for me as it is for everyone. Promotion — blogging, social media — is easy.
Creation is easy too, but let’s not kid around. It takes a lot of focus to create. It’s mentally exhausting, and if you push yourself too hard, there’s every chance that you’ll block. Your creativity is like a well, as Julia Cameron points out. Once you drain that well, it takes time to fill it again. So make sure you don’t drain the well.
Create, AND promote. You can do both. Aim for balance; neither to excess.