Why Should You Be Your Own Publisher?

What you can do to become a publisher, without any contracting with a corporation, and how you can publish on your own terms.
It is not theory:  I began as a publisher of books and an aviation magazine almost 30 years ago (print) and still publish (print and digital) my own books and those of other authors.

But I also have seen many authors giving the rights to their fabulous work away for a pittance and now are trapped for their whole life in very unfavorable contracts.  Or even worse: Some PAID for publishing their books, and on top of that they contracted their work for their lifetime plus 70 years!
So, Why Should You Be Your Own Publisher?
Consulting and coaching authors, I can see every day how difficult it is for authors when they don’t own full rights to their books.  Even their own book marketing efforts are limited and they have to rely on the mercy of their “publishers” where their books are sold, how long their book is listed, to which price it is listed etc.  I know an author who is waiting for more than two years that her books are converted into e-books by her publisher.

Which Are the Best Reasons to Be Your Own Publisher?

  • it costs less than you think to publish
  • you just “shop around”, check quotes and decide your service providers
  • you earn 100% of your net income, don’t have to split it with anyone else
  • your book will be faster on the market, compared to traditional publishing
  • you retain all rights, worldwide and forever for your books
  • you can sell your book as long as you want – not as someone else dictates
  • everything in the publishing process can be easily learned – and you will have to do your own marketing – no matter if you self-publish or go the traditional route.

Author-publishing is about taking personal responsibility for the management and production of your writing content!

Hugh Howey, author of “WOOL” explains the benefits of being the author-publisher of his (digital rights) e-books:
“No “compete clause”, having more time to write and you can take your time until your books take off.”
And further: “A great shift in publishing went from physical to digital.  And the center of publishing — New York and the east coast — is now the west coast.  The Big 5 of publishing is now better thought of as: Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter.”

James Altucher, another bestseller author wrote in an article about self-publishing:
“I have published eight books in the past seven years, five with traditional publishers (Wiley, Penguin, HarperCollins), one comic book, and the last two I have self-published. In this post I give the specific details of all of my sales numbers and advances with the traditional publishers. Although the jury is still out on my self-published books, “How to be the Luckiest Man Alive” and “I Was Blind But Now I See” I can tell you, these two have already sold more than my five books with traditional publishers, combined.”
He listed the negative site of going the traditional route:

  • Advances for authors are going to zero
  • Marketing by trade publishers: almost zero
  • Grueling long process until the book launches
  • No control over content and design

… and most amazing: “Often bookstores will look at what’s hot on Amazon and then order the books wholesale from the publishers” – which could be you if you are self-publishing!

Do As Most Authors Did in the Past
Before the 1920’s they published their own books – until clever businessmen/trade publishers discovered this as a lucrative way of income.  They told writers in the past “no self-respecting writer would self-publish.  It’s for losers who couldn’t get their work published by a publishing house.”  Why?  To get the book rights and make the money – at the expense of authors.

It seems self-publishers approach the publishing process more and more confidently, are well-informed, and aware of how much publishing will cost and how long it is likely to take.  Finalizing a project you have long planned feels good, and it never was easier to be your own publisher!  Create print books, audio-books and ebooks, get Beta Readers and a professional editor.  Find a designer who makes a fantastic cover and promote your work to your readers.

If you follow my book’s advice you WILL become a successful self-publishing author – get it for less than a Latte:
111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free:
Detailed Plans and Smart Strategies for Your Book’s Success

Here are more blog posts, full of valuable tips for self-publishing authors:

How to plan your publishing “business”

Where to find all the necessary information – with lots of links

Editing, cover design and book layout

Printing and the distribution of your printed book

Marketing, communication with readers and book promotions




Real Publishing vs Vanity (Subsidy) Publishing


Ever since trade publishers entered a lucrative side business: to milk the writers that they once ignored:  Lines became increasingly blurry… between trade publishing, also called legacy publishing, and vanity “publishing”, now often referred to as subsidy publishing.  A famous example is the once reputable Penguin Publishing, one of the “Big Five” who bought (and in the meantime sold) the notorious AuthorSolutions.  However Penguin is still in the vanity publishing business involved.

One Thing is for Sure…
Every writer, no matter if they author-publish (self-publish) or if they have sold their manuscript to a publisher, has to do their own marketing.  But how can you promote your book, if you are at the mercy of a publisher – trade or vanity?  What if you don’t own the ISBN and if you have no access to the retailers’ publishing / author pages, such as Amazon, B&N or Apple?

We had clients who’s publishers were not able to properly set up the Amazon page, did not choose the proper category, took weeks to make changes to a wrong price and months to add the images and text the author had provided for their Goodreads or Amazon page.

This is a huge problem (among many others) that authors face after they have given away their work for a pittance – or worse, have paid thousands of dollars to a vanity publisher.   So, what’s the difference between both, beside the fact that they make it difficult for their authors to market their books?


Author needs to have a platform
Trade publishers accept very few submissions (average: 4%)
Authors might have to pitch dozens or hundreds of puplishers / agents
Authors receive a small advance and even smaller royalties
They do not use POD (single or few books), rather print large quantities
Authors have barely any say to cover image, publishing date etc.
Authors cannot decide the sales price, e-book prices are often un-competitive
It takes very long until the book is published (12-18 months average)
Publisher pays for printing, editing services and cover image
Distribution services are covered by the publisher
Professional marketing services available – but only for celebrity writers
They own the ISBN for the book

Author needs to have a platform
Accepts almost ALL submissions
Author never receives any advance in this “partnership
Author contracts are often worse than those of trade publishers
Author pays for printing or ebook-formatting, editing services, cover image
Authors have barely any say to cover image, publishing date etc.
Authors cannot decide the sales price
Mostly Quick turnaround and Print on Demand (POD)
Barely any distribution services, compared to commercial publishers
Vanity publishers don’t live from book sales, they live from printing/author services
No professional marketing services
Very few royalties – if any at all
They own the ISBN for the book
Your book has only 3 months time in bookstores to sell – before being discarded!
Bookstores generally are wary of vanity books (except maybe local writers)

Authors needs to have a platform in order to build a brand
Needs to learn about the publishing / book distribution industry
Needs to plan the publishing / marketing process
Authors have to find / compare author services (POD, distribution, formatter, designer)
Authors pays for printing or ebook-formatting, editing services, cover image
Authors can decide everything: cover image, publishing date, retail price etc.
Authors can do their own or hire marketing services
Authors get up to 70% from the books retail price (or 100% if sold from own website)
Authors own their ISBN – which is FREE in Canada! and low-cost in other countrie
Bookstores generally are wary of author-published books (except maybe local writers)

If an author has all these challenges, waiting times (or costs to cover, in the worst scenario) – and cannot even do the necessary marketing without huge problems, what is the point in having or even paying a publisher?  Why not author-publish / self-publish in the first place, and be totally independent when it comes to your marketing?
Whatever you will decide, take your time, don’t rush in anything and don’t let you sell any services, before you have thoroughly evaluated them. It does not matter if your book launches a month or a year later – important is that you have a platform as a writer and that you find a way of publishing that suits you and that gives you the freedom of your own decisions.
If you decide to go with a publisher, don’t forget: Real publishers sell to readers – vanity publishers sell to writers!


Professional Publishing: How to Master Editorial Reviews

Browsing through print books in libraries, bookstores, or in your own book shelves at home, one thing stands out – compared to digital books in your eReader or on your computer screen: almost all of them have editorial reviews on the inside flap or the back matter.  These are often just excerpts from reviews, but most of the “reviewers” or “endorsers” are household names: bestselling authors or experts in the book’s genre.  You might ask: How can a book already have endorsements and reviews before it is even printed?

Trade publishers are setting up ARC’s (Advance Review Copies)  – often not even edited – and send them out to newspaper and magazine editors, librarians, bestselling authors in the same genre and influencers in the books category. They start 6-8 months before book launch to send out advance copies of the book in order to get reviews before printing and formatting it. Those early reviews are used for the book’s cover, for marketing purposes and certainly for sales pages at all online retailers. This is exactly what self-publishers can do too.

Editorial Reviews on Your Amazon Sales Page.
Let’s assume you have finished your manuscript and edited it. In order to obtain early reviews and endorsements,  just go to a digital printer (or copy studio) and get a couple of book print outs.  Send them out to the most influential writers, bloggers, reviewers, librarians, bestselling authors in your genre, and media people.  Use excerpts from the best reviews and add them to your book’s cover and marketing text – and your online retailer’s sales page under the section EDITORIAL REVIEWS.  In case you don’t have a print version of your book yet, only the e-book or audio-book version: placement of these reviews and endorsements at all sales pages is even more crucial!

Checking out the Amazon sales pages of one of our book marketing clients – a successful independent multi-book author – I discovered that on each of his book’s pages instead of the “Editorial Review” only a short description “About the author” was placed.  As there is already a section for an author bio on the page, he could have placed either or all of these:

  • Editorial Reviews (or parts of) from authors in the genre
  • Updated Book Description
  • An Author Message
  • Product Detail Page
  • From the Inside Flap
  • From the Back Cover
  • Magazine / Newspaper Reviews

How to Update Editorial Reviews.
The place for editorial reviews at Amazon for example is also a great opportunity to post reviews that are usually not accepted by Amazon “as you are related to the reviewer”, or if the review was an “exchange between colleagues”.  How to add a new editorial review is explained on Amazon’s Author Central help site:

  • Log in to Author Central.
  • Click the Books tab at the top of the page.
  • Click on the book you are updating editorial reviews for and select the applicable edition as each can be updated separately. Under Editorial Reviews, there are three possible links:
    If there is no review yet:
    Click Add and follow the instructions at the top of the Add review window to enter the text of the review.
    If you are entering a Review, you must also enter the review source. This is the name of the person who wrote the review and the name of the publication, website, or forum in which the review appeared.
    If you are entering From the Author, From the Inside Flap, From the Back Cover, you do not need to enter a source.
    Click Preview and review your entry.
    When you’re satisfied, click Save changes.
    If there is a review you can edit:
    Click Edit and make the desired changes to the text.
    Click Preview and review the entry.
    When you’re satisfied, click Save changes.
    If your review has been manually edited by Amazon in the past:
    we may ask you to send us your updates. In these cases, we will make the updates for you, and they will appear on the website within 5 days.
    Got a message that Your Content is Too Long?
    The character counts (including spaces) for Editorial Review fields are:
    Review—600 characters
    Product Description—2400 characters
    Words From the Author, From the Inside Flap, and From the Back Cover—8000 characters

What about Customer Reviews?
Customer Reviews are written by customers about your book. They can be found near the bottom of a product detail page and are NOT editorial reviews.
Pete Nikolai Provides the Following Advice:
“To make edits, you must first claim your Author Page and make sure your book is listed there so that it is clear that Amazon recognizes that you are the author.

_ click the link for the book on which you want to add editorial reviews
_ in the Review section, click the Add button
_ go to the site that has the review to select and copy it into memory
_ go to the Amazon page for editorial reviews of your book and paste as plain text in the text entry box (in Windows: right-click to select “Paste as plain text”)

On a paperback or hardcover: add one review at a time to avoid exceeding the 600 character limit for each review. On an ebook: you must add all reviews at one time and the character limit for all those reviews combined is 1,750 characters
_ edit the review to put the source after the review as per the Amazon Guidelines
_ click the Preview button
_ if review is acceptable then click the Save Changes button
_ if you have another review to add then click the Add button and continue through the steps again

If you have made any edits on the Amazon pages for both the print and ebook editions of your book then you will probably need to add the reviews on both editions too–just repeat the steps above to add each review on both editions. On the rare occasion that Amazon has made changes to a section, a “Request a Correction” button will be shown and you must click it and follow the instructions to have Amazon make the corrections you request.

You can add several “Editorial Reviews” and each one is important in confirming the quality of your book and removing a potential impediment to sales.

How to Set Up Your Amazon Author Central Account:
Amazon explains: once published, expect to receive an email from Kindle Direct Publishing announcing the news and inviting you to create your Amazon Author Central Account.  Note your book’s ASIN enclosed in the email.  You will need this to locate your book later and associate it to you as the author.  Just sign up for free accounts on both sites, and follow the instructions to set up your page:
Use all the Space Amazon Gives You:

  • Add a professional author photo & biography
  • Add all your books
  • Add videos (e.g. trailers for your books)
  • Add up to seven additional photos, e.g. you writing your books or scenes from your book
  • Add images or graphics from your books content
  • Add a biography – make sure to update it frequently
  • List events, such as book readings or book launches
  • Add your Twitter address so people can see your latest Tweet and easily follow you
  • Set up the “Search Inside/Look Inside” feature
  • Add an RSS feed, linking to your blog – a great way to get your blog in front of new people and encourage them to follow you.

View and edit the list of books you have written – the Amazon system doesn’t always get it right.  If you have written more than one book, it will link your titles together, and allow your readers to find all of your work.  Edit your product description and “about the author” section, add any professional reviews you have had.”
You need a separate account, (and also author pages) for each Amazon “country” where you sell your book: USA, Canada, UK, Australia, India, Germany, France, Japan etc. to reach your readers worldwide – and you have to do it separately for each country.
Be aware that the versions vary slightly.  You can also use an English version and one in the language of the country if you speak it or have a professional translation (not Google!).  Beside for Japan I was able to place it in each language on the pages for these countries.

Fazit: Before creating an author page, check out the ones from famous writers / publishers to see how it is professionally done.  There is a lot you can copy.  I am not saying that these sites are always perfect, but it will help you tremendously to avoid rookie errors.

Read more about creating a professional Amazon author page.


2nd Part of Test Yourself – How Professional are You Publishing?



Here is another example of how poorly publishers often treat their author’s presence, this time a small publisher in Kelowna, BC, Canada.  Statement on their website: “Initially a small kitchen-table operation, the company has grown over the past 30 years to become one of Canada’s most respected independent, ecumenical Protestant publishers, with approximately 200 titles in print.”
Well, I believe, they are still at the “small kitchen-table operation” status, or even worse… See how unprofessional they created the sales page of one of their authors at Amazon (BTW: a fantastic book, I read the print version at a friends place – and I am feeling sorry for the author) :

This publishing company did not even
create an authors page at Amazon! 

They totally omitted this great free marketing and SEO tool. Instead they placed “About the Author” under “Editorial Reviews”, a rookie mistake!  Even worse, if this comes from a “30 year old” publishing company!

Editorial Reviews
About the Author
<P class=MsoNormal style=”MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt”><SPAN lang=EN-US>Lee Simpson was the first female publisher<I style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal”> Chatelaine – Canada’s most successful women’s lifestyles magazine. As such, Lee worked contentedly as one of the primary voices in marketing to women for 20 years. Her year of buying nothing was documented by <I style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal”>The United Church Observer to help spread this message.<?xml:namespace prefix = “o” ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” ><o:p></o:p></SPAN>

I have never seen such a poorly set-up Amazon sales page at a self-publisher’s site, as this one here by a trade publisher!

No matter who’s fault it is, (the publishers or a glitch by Amazon, a publisher (or self-publisher) should periodically check their online presence in order to show a professional appearance to their potential readers and book purchasers.

Oh, and BTW, it’s not a matter of funds to have someone look after the marketing: This publisher is, like many other publishers in Canada, funded by the Government as well as by the province of British Columbia!  See the official acknowledgements in their print and digital books.  Benefit of being a publisher in Canada…

Check Your Own Self-Publishing, Using this Questionnaire:

  1. Did you find ways to recommend books of your writer friends on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, iBooks etc?  And convince them to do the same for you?  YES / NO

  2. Did you buy your own ISBN (to officially be your own publisher)?  YES / NO
  3. Do you list your book for pre-orders at least 3 months in advance (Amazon) or 12 months on iBooks?  YES / NO
  4. Did you plan Giveaways for your print and e-book via Goodreads (print) and LibraryThing (for e-books)?  YES / NO
  5. How are you planning to promote your Giveaways?  YES / NO
  6. Do you utilize the FREE Event feature on Google+ and Goodreads for Giveaways, book signings, your book launch?  YES / NO

  7. How many reader and writer forums did you join?  YES / NO
  8. Did you use every possibility to add friends to Goodreads?  YES / NO
  9. Did you use Goodreads’ “Share This Book” feature?  YES / NO
  10. Did you connect your blog with your Goodreads page?  YES / NO
  11. Did you already join LinkedIn (over 300 million members) – even if you do not need a job?  YES / NO

  12. Do you know how to import your LinkedIn contacts to Google+?  YES / NO

  13. Do you have hundreds of LinkedIn connections?  YES / NO

  14. Did you create and promote your book via book trailers?

  15. Do you know the tools on the web to help with basic keyword research?  YES / NO

  16. Do you plan a “book-cover-reveal” for your next title?  YES / NO
  17. If you had book signings already, did you take a video about it?  YES / NO
  18. Did you establish a monthly email newsletter for your readers?  YES / NO
  19. Did you create a magnificent book cover?  YES / NO
  20. Are you sure you have the “right” price for your book?  YES / NO
  21. Do you know the “reputation of numbers” in foreign countries?  YES / NO
  22. Do you have the perfect title to ensure the success of your book?  YES / NO
  23. Do you work hard on getting lots of reviews before book launch?  YES / NO
  24. Did you sent out “Advanced Review Copies” of your book?  YES / NO
  25. Do you write lots of book reviews to get the good karma returned?  YES / NO
  26. Do you use several beta readers before the manuscript goes to editing?  YES / NO
  27. Do you use at least two proof readers before the book’s launch?  YES / NO
  28. Do you know what line editing, copy editing and content editing means?  YES / NO
  29. Do you have a profession book layouter for your print version?  YES / NO
  30. Did you or your formatter create a “Table of Contents (TOC) with links to your chapters?  YES / NO
  31. Did you take advantage of hyperlinks in your e-book?  YES / NO
  32. Did you install review links at the last page of your e-book?  YES / NO
  33. Did you install an opt-in link for your email newsletter?  YES / NO
  34. Did you list your author page on all your books?  YES / NO
  35. Do you have a link to your social media sites in your book?  YES / NO
  36. Did you install re-tweet buttons in your e-book?  YES / NO
  37. Do you use the last pages of your book to promote former or future books?  YES / NO
  38. Did you implement pre-worded tweets in your e-book?  YES / NO
  39. Did you create an audiobook as well?  YES / NO
  40. Did you include the sales tax into e-books in foreign countries?  YES / NO
  41. Do you plan a translation of your books into Spanish, French, German, Cantonese, or Russian?  YES / NO
  42. Do you pitch radio / TV stations for an author interview?  YES / NO
  43. Do you write articles for a local newspaper?  YES / NO
  44. Do you diversify, selling your book at several online retailers?  YES / NO
  45. Do you work on getting your book into libraries?  YES / NO
  46. Are you demonstrating the quality of your book to librarians?  YES / NO
  47. Do you work on getting your books into retail bookstores as a “local author”?  YES / NO
  48. Did you “bundle” your books or create box-sets?  Two or more e-books, or one e-book and one print book?  YES / NO
  49. Do you participate regularly in writing contests?  YES / NO
  50. Did you discount your first book before launching a new one?  YES / NO

How many of these questions could you answer with YES?To implement all these steps and for even more tips read:
111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for free

For more motivation read the author of “Wool” Hugh Howey’s article “So You Want to be a Writer…



The “Amazon of Social Media”


Ever wondered how you can manage to sell your print books worldwide, maybe even selling books of your writer friends, or those that you reviewed and titles you are passionate about?  Maybe you even tried to get into book stores and libraries with your ebooks or to sell as an affiliate of Amazon?  A lot of time and work effort and often only a few bucks at the end – despite being on Social Media and having thousands of followers.
There is a Solution: combines the simplicity and zero risk of an affiliate program with the earnings potential and email relationships of a full eCommerce investment – without you the author or publisher having to stock or ship anything!
Joel Friedlaender
“Even before their acquisition by Ingram, I would have said the big news for 2016 is the evolution of Ron Martinez’s retailing tools at, which, for the first time starts to address the problem of distribution for indie authors – especially those who publish print books. allows authors to sell direct to readers on their own site or through the social web.”
Social Media and Author Websites as “Point of Sale”.
Aerbook, now a venture of Ingram that creates retail opportunities in social media for publishers and authors.  It allows (self) publishers to connect with their readers via the social streams through their timeline, news feed, and boards—on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook and similar applications, offering product information, sample chapters, social sharing, and use of the “buy” buttons.

It’s a shift from just advertising to commerce, available to any book via interactive social content and links to purchasing opportunities that can be sent down the social streams of targeted consumers, alongside their posts, RTs, and social chit chat.

The service is focused on selling digital books as well as print books.  Unlike on the traditional Web, where the user “visits” various URLs, or social media sites, content comes to the user via a news feed or on their social media timeline.  The ability to sell directly to consumers via social media is key to Aerbook’s utility.

This is How it Works:
When a Twitter or Facebook user clicks on an Aerbook link in his or her timeline, the Aerbook Cloud Reader opens, which can be used to read a sample chapter (or the entire book if the publisher chooses), share the excerpt, download it, or buy the book outright.

The Aerbook Cloud Reader can be viewed on laptops and mobile devices, and publishers can use it to sell print or digital books.  The service allows publishers to push books periodically into the social stream.

Publishers and authors can upload conventional epub files or PDF of their e-books to Aerbook and convert them into its format, adding keywords and metadata.  The company offers three product plans, one of them is book retail sales:
Aerbook Retail, which is free, includes a product page with a book sample, social sharing, and buy buttons to sell directly from the social stream. Aerbook fulfills the orders, and the publisher gets 85% of NET sales.  The plan also includes metrics, usage, and best of all: buyer data – well, if the buyer agrees.

A Turn-Key Solution. Set up in Minutes.
Start selling in a day. Storefront, social marketing tools, mobile-optimized cart and checkout, and fulfillment for both print and eBooks, even audio or games.
Reliable consumer direct fulfillment for print books by Ingram Content Group – you don’t need to ship anything.  Aerbook multi-format ebook fulfillment in ePub and Kindle formats.
Try it for Free.
There’s no upfront or ongoing cost to set up an embeddable storefront, curating from their extended catalog of 14 million books, DVDs and Blu-Rays, Graphic Novels, Games, and more.
Upload Your Own eBooks.
…and offer them alongside print editions drawn from the millions of books in Ingram Content Group’s warehouse. Then brand your offerings and sell on your site and on the social web. There’s no setup or annual fee for your Retail page. earns 10% of the selling price on each sale, and handles fulfillment, support, stats and more.  Plus ask for and get user email from within the sample.  In addition to selling directly, add links to retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.
See an Example of a Book Sales Page.
Embed a storefront with a line of code, or commerce-enable an existing website and book pages. requires no code development.  All you need is an empty web or blog page, and your books will be presented in a mobile, responsive storefront, full of rich product detail.

If you already have a fully developed website with detailed book pages, you can add the “Buy” and “Preview” buttons without ever using their storefront.  The choice, and the power to retain the value of your investment, is yours.  Preview and sell in social streams and native apps, desktop and mobile.
What’s the Deal? combines the simplicity and zero risk of an affiliate program with the earnings potential and email relationships of a full eCommerce investment. Authors cannot only sell their own books, but also any book, available from the largest wholesale company Ingram which represents 28,000 publishers.
See an example economics for a hardcover book on their website.

Exclusivity: You can opt for the ability to make your own or other books “private” to your Store, to make it unavailable for sale via any third party Store Partner, so that you sell it exclusively.
The Small Print: 
Currently this program seems to be best suited to US-authors and national publishers: You will need to have access to a U.S. bank account in order to receive Referral Fees under this agreement. will not transfer your commissions in any amount to any non-U.S. bank account or entity, and you will be required to provide a U.S. Social Security number or Tax ID when setting up your account.
Good: Referral fees will be payable on demand when Referral Fees earned by you are in excess of ten dollars ($10.00).  In order to initiate payment, you will use the interface in the dashboard.  You can download a sales report that lists books sold, date and time, that includes the email address (where provided with permission to contact) for each sale. The report format is a CSV file that can be opened or imported into Excel or other financial software.

Aerbook / has been described as “Amazon for Twitter,” but one should also add Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and other social media applications.  The good thing is, you can send a sample of your book around the world, not just have it displayed in one online bookstore.
If you want to sell ebooks via your website (provided you are not in KDP Select) get all the information from a former article here: SavvyBookWriters How to Set-up Your Online Bookstore.  The eCommerce platforms described there charge only very small fees per month, this way your revenue will be likely over 90%.

However, if you would prefer to extend the reach of your digital AND your print book version tremendously, and stock your own virtual bookstore with an almost unlimited amount of books – plus a very sophisticated marketing system that is included – then Aerbook  is for you.  Their referral payments are approx. five times higher than those from affiliate programs for books at online retailers.

A third possibility is to sell your ebooks on both: your website and through Aerbook.  Your print version is best suited to sell via their app to worldwide retailers, bookstores and libraries thanks to the Ingram Content Group ownership of Aerbook / and their distribution services across the world.

You as an Indie author can also use Aerbook  to achieve the same goals as those of traditionally published writers. ~

More About Aerbook:




Recipes for Writing and Publishing Success


Snippets from:
111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free
If anyone has earned Bestseller status for a book, than it is YOURS. You worked very hard for years on your first novel, invested in a professional editor and you chose one of the best book cover artists.

But your book sales are still disappointing… and your friends are postponing their promised book reviews from week to week.  You get more depressed from day to day and don’t even want to read tweets or posts on Social Media where authors are bragging over their bestselling works.  Even worse for you is to check the weekly NYT Bestsellers.  Becoming a bestseller author seems to be totally out of reach – or is it? Here is what you can do about it, but first some hard facts:
7 Million Self-Published Titles: Stiff Competition.
Since 2010 roughly 7 million new self-published books appeared, almost all at online retailer’s websites.  And not only new books will launch every day, but also these titles will be offered for many years to come, as most of them are in digital format. The “gold rush” seems to be over.
How NYT Bestsellers are “Made”:
Bestseller does not mean an outstanding book in quality-writing, it means only: sold in high numbers during a certain period, compared to other books who sold less copies.  And it means a print book, mostly as hardcovers and sold at book chains and mass markets.  This way to count numbers excludes: ebooks, audiobooks, books sold in other countries than USA, and self-published books.

If you can spend between $60,000 and $100,000 for marketing, you can use the services of a promotion company, e.g. the San Diego-based who will buy your books en masse in chain stores to get your book into the bestseller lists …  We explained in detail “The Dark Side of Bestseller Lists”.  First investigated while writing “The Mystery of the Book Sales Spike” by Jeffrey Trachtenberg for the Wallstreet Journal.

Roadblocks for Independent Writers
– and How to Overcome them.

  1. Without your personal ISBN (not from a POD) and without national distributors e.g. Ingram/ LightningSource etc., bookstores will / cannot even order a book for a customer. If your book is not internationally listed at Bowker, bookstores cannot find it in their computer.
  2. Big media reviewers do not even accept 10% of the submissions they receive – and as an independent author you are competing with traditional publishers – who know these reviewers for many years and might even be friends with them – and mostly are also their advertising customers …. you get the idea?
  3. Bookstores are still very reluctant to order self-published books from CreateSpace – after all, Amazon is their hardest competitor.

Dreams Don’t Work – Unless YOU Do!

Bestseller authors who are the most successful, understand that publishing is a business. If no one knows about your book, then how can you expect to make sales? Nobody ever made money writing a book – only by selling it!

Plan a Budget.
Here at we have more than 1,230 articles, explaining authors in detail how they can overcome all these obstacles.  Succeeding at self-publishing means also to use some traditional marketing methods, and a budget, including anywhere from 5-10% for your overall book marketing, including a website or blog, paying for IT help, a web designer, or Google ads.
Start early and do Your Market Research!
Authors, and especially self-publishing authors need to study their competition carefully too: Read their books, study book covers, pricing, reviews, and the marketing of competing books.
Bestseller Authors Need Years.
Building up their audience takes lots of time, so it is surprising, that authors dream of their first book as a potential bestseller, and don’t realize that it takes a long time and hard work to get an audience, one reader at a time – especially if they did not do the groundwork to build a huge following at Social Media, in reader forums or in real-life before they start publishing.
Get Help from a Publishing Professional.
A book marketing professional has to learn years and years.  Why, as an author, not take advantage of their knowledge to keep your head free for writing and interacting with readers?  No one would start a catering business without learning to cook, and knowing how to present food or how to find customers.  Writing a book does not make for a publisher.  Take the time to build your author platform and establish a brand, it will eventually give you an advantage in the market, no matter if you are self-publishing or if you go with a trade publisher.
Print is a Must!
Print books still make up for about 60% of the book market, depending if you look at book sales numbers or revenue per book. The audio-book market is certainly growing too. Libraries order both book forms, however prefer hardcover with spine.  How to sell / distribute to libraries is explained in detail in our blog article.

Books for library-use need a Library of Congress Catalog in Publication block or, for a self-published book, Publishers Catalog in Publication block and / or a listing with Bowker word wide.
Choose the Right Categories.
Be very carefully in which categories you place your book, especially on Amazon and other online retailers, so that readers find you easily and that you are not placed in a category with too much competition.
How to Get Prestigious Book Reviews.
Check out professionally published books:  Many of these trade books have either on their back cover (paperback) or on their binding flap (hard cover) several snippets of the book reviews, as well as endorsements from bestselling writers or other professionals, that were already written before the book was printed.  It is not easy to get your book reviewed in these journals: however, it is possible. Librarians read reviews — at least those in Library Journal and Kirkus.  Both are paid reviews, so are a couple other professional book reviewers, which are often used by Trade Publishers, and are open to independent authors as well.
Study the Magazine’s / Newspaper’s review submission guidelines – and follow to the point!  Read also their previous columns, maybe a book review fits into this column, rather than in the book review editors’ section.
Find Professional Networks.
Long before your manuscript is finished (or even better: before you start your book) get yourself into professional networks: Join lots of reader communities, such as Goodreads, Wattpad, LibraryThing etc..
Joining reader communities, and posting sample chapters (immediately after you write them) also helps to attract book lovers who often are approachable for review inquiries.
Send out Advanced Reader Copies.
ARC’s, or advance review copies to booksellers and journalists: 8 – 6 months BEFORE your publication date! Because ARCs may not have been put through the entire editing process, the copy will often differ slightly from the standard edition of the book. You need professional reviews to entice pre-orders and early readers / reviewers.

Turn Writing Content Into Income.
Why?  These networks with editors and publishing professionals will not only help you to improve your writing portfolio (and you even get paid for it) but it also improves your chances to get coverage by your “colleagues” – in contrast to beg an editor of a prestigious newspaper or magazine to review your book.  Clever Marketing and reaching millions of people can be done totally free (other than your time).  Just use your creativity and imagination!

  • Be self-assured and don’t hesitate to pitch international newspapers / blogs. It takes as much time as to pitch your local neighbourhood paper.
  • Write something of value for readers – which is “by chance” part of your book, such as travel tips to the location of your books plot, museums, festivals or public transportation that are mentioned in your book.
  • You have to do your research anyway, why not use the material you gather and write several articles that you can offer – always mentioning your book.
  • As a writer you know how to write, just learn how to write online content by reading lots of online articles and how they are set-up
  • Have a stunning photo of yourself on your books cover!
  • Prepare a Media Kit on your website – and in print, with perfect book description and professional photos.

Online Marketing and Social Media
“At the very least, authors should be blogging” – that’s what publishers and agents expect.  Blogs are an essential tool of any writer.  Not only does it get you writing on a regular schedule, it lubricates your writer’s brain, eases that fear of putting yourself out there in the world.
Social Media Tips.
In order to be found on the Internet’s Search Engines you need to be on Google+.  Second comes Goodreads where all the book lovers are, and then Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.  Try to stick with readers, reviewers and book bloggers on these Social Media platforms.
Become Friends with Book Bloggers and Reviewers.
Careers everywhere depend on networking, same with a writing career.  Start making “friends” with reviewers, long before your book is finished: Search on your social media sites for reviewers, reviews, book bloggers, etc. when using the search function on top of Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and Google+ pages.  At Goodreads, reviewers are listed, so you can conveniently choose them as friends and follow them for a while, see which book genres they prefer, before you approach them.
Check out the bestsellers in your genre (in bookstores or online) and find names of reviewers.  If these reviewers have a blog (and most do), comment on their articles.  Offer them well-written guest blogs, geared to their topics and readership.
Learn from these Writers:
In previous blogs we explained how: “Smart Authors Get Paid for Marketing Their Books!” and “FREE, Brilliant Book Marketing to a Million Audience“. 

Write Something of Value for Readers.
– which is “by chance” part of your book, such as travel tips to the location of your books plot, museums, festivals, restaurants or public transportation that are mentioned in your book.  You have to do your research for your books anyway, why not use the material you gather and write several articles that you can offer – always mentioning your book.  One more way of content writing: Try to write as many guest blogs as possible for top bloggers that are high on Google and Alexa rankings.  It will give you and your books more exposure and new readers.
Why Asking for (media) Book Reviews?
When you could get both: book promotion and at the same time (often) being paid? I know, it is a new concept to many writers, but when you think about it – it makes really sense: why use your time and effort to chase reviewers, when you can use your energy to leverage your books content and your research content – to create articles that you can pitch to both, print and online newspapers and magazines?”

Perfect for Shy Writers.
Content book marketing is also perfect for shy writers who might cringe at stepping outside their comfort zone. They can promote their books at the end of each article they write and even add links to their website or book sales page.  Writing content will not transform your book into an overnight success, but it is a wonderful option for a long-term strategy, to build an author’s platform and it gives your readers a sample of your writing.  BTW: Traditional media is more and more outsourcing, barely any full-time writing staff is left, which means they are open to pitches from freelance contributors…

Josh Pigford, a Social Media Marketing Guru:
“The bottom line is that people trust editorial content more than they trust advertisements.  Do the right mix.  Whether your business is as big as Colgate or whether you are a one-person start up, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to utilize this simple fact in order to engage your audience and build your customer base.” 

Do’s and Don’ts in Content Writing / Blogging.

  • Headline attention – encourage readers to read the next line
  • Use keywords that resonate with your audience
  • Use simple and direct works
  • Exciting, interesting, controversial, sensational all work well
  • Numbers / lists / real data works / infographics are popular

Your Email Newsletter:
Don’t forget to install an opt-in email list to be able to contact your fans!  Lori Taylor wrote in an article: “Ask any serious blogger the biggest blogging mistake they have made.  All of them will tell you the same thing.  Their biggest regret is failing to set up an email list as soon as they started their blog.  Money is not an issue – nor is it difficult to set up a list. is free – if your email list is under 1,500 email subscribers, while you can try out for just $1.  Adding a signup form to the sidebar of your blog is simply a case of copying and pasting some html code.
The possibilities to market your book are endless, and it should be an ongoing process to build your author brand and to establish a huge platform from where you can interact with your readers.

At our online seminars we help you to get ideas how to use your books’ content to write, promote and how you can even make money with your articles.

However to become a recognized and “real” author with lots of book sales, you need to write at least three to five books and dozens of magazine or newspaper articles for your portfolio.  It will take time – a couple of years – but you will eventually become a Bestseller author.  

Take Stephen King as a role model and never, ever give up! Have fun writing and meeting your readers!


Here Some Links to Professional Book Marketing Tips:


7 Most Popular Blog Posts 2011 – 2014

Curious if we had already reached the 1-Million-reader mark, I was browsing through the statistics of our “old” WordPress blog – which has been moved to: over a year ago – and discovered this list of the seven most popular blog post between 2011 and 2014:
46 Top Websites to Promote Your Book for FREE

How to Start Your Own Book Publishing Business

11 Websites to Find Freelance Writing Jobs

50 Web Links to Let Your Book Go Viral!

15 Million Reads Before Her Book Was Even Published

What is the Salary of an Editor, Reporter or Columnist?

The Traps in Publishing Contracts

Where did the Blog Traffic come from?
90% of the traffic to our blog came mostly from search engines, where people looked for advice and typed in certain keywords (see how important hashtags and keywords are!).  Research also shows that readers are fifteen times more likely to seek out and purchase a book from an author with a recognizable brand. And these authors can also charge more for their books. If a writer is trying to build a career as an author, this becomes crucial to success.
The top three social media networks that send readers our way:
#1 Twitter,
#2 Facebook
#3 Google+

Also Google+ is mainly responsible for the overwhelming success of search engine traffic.   And the Independent Publisher blog who had just mentioned SavvyBookWriters in one single sentence, sent almost 900 readers to our blog.
What surprised me was the fact that Pinterest brought more referrals than LinkedIn, even though only images were posted there, while on the other hand many useful articles went to LinkedIn. The reason might be the number of followers on Pinterest are double than those at LinkedIn?  Resolution for 2016: Being more active on Linkedin, following more people there.  Did you know: every article one writes on LinkedIn is emailed to all followers’ mailbox there.  It makes all the  difference if 200 people receive a message or 2.000 get it…
Blog posts on SavvyBookwriters contain usually between three and ten links.  The most-clicked and followed links in our blogs came from readers at, and

Last, but not least the countries where the most readers came from: USA (over 60%), United Kingdom, Canada, India, Australia, Philippines, South Africa, Germany, Singapore and Ireland. And amazingly even from countries such as Micronesia, Bhutan, Solomon Islands, Angola, Moldova, Paraguay, Uzbekistan, Cayman Islands, Burundi, Fidji and Cuba.  It’s just amazing how the Internet connects the world…

Well, and 5,000 more readers TODAY, the first day of 2016, would make the 1.000.000 mark – please use the share buttons : ) and invite all your friends and followers to visit our blog.  THANKS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!


111 Tips to Improve Your Writing Career in 2017


SunSet 1
After some relaxing holidays and on the brink to a new year, you might tinker about your writing and publishing career… maybe even have some new year’s resolutions.
Before you dive into 111 Ways in 2016 to Improve Your Writing Career – all the tips for professional publishing and savvy book marketing – here are some basics for your writing pleasure:
What You Need Most of All:
A room of your own, with a door to close to ensure uninterrupted writing time.  Provide yourself privacy and eliminate visual distractions.  Play music on a headset or use ear plugs to block out sounds.  For some writers, having an office outside the house helps them take their work more seriously.  It’s like going to a job.  Or go to the next library.  It’s free and (mostly) quiet and you write surrounded by great literature.
Make Time for Your Writing.
If you want results, you have to put your butt into chair and just … write.  But it isn’t that simple, is it?  Most of us have jobs, kids, chores, and other interests that take away from our writing time, and there are only 24 hours in the day.  And most of us also need to sleep.
Write When You Don’t Feel Like it.
No excuses! Show up: at your desk, every day, without fail.  Turn your passion into a professional discipline.  There’s always time to write. Turn the phone to silent, unplug from the world for a couple of hours and … Excuses are easy to make, but all of us, have at least an hour or two of quiet time a day to devote to our writing: If you’re able to write even 500 words in an hour, and you write for one hour a day, you’ll have written about 15,000 words in a month.  And even if only 50% of those words are usable, if you keep up the habit for a year, you’ll have written 90,000 words – a whole novel.
Rewrite, Rewrite and Rewrite Even More.
You first draft might not be brilliant – however, that doesn’t matter, as it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t consider yourself done until you’ve put in at least several rounds of editing and improving your manuscript.
Is your New Year’s resolution to become a real professional writer, writing at least 2,000 to 3,000 words a day?  Don’t worry about success.  Sit down and write.  Writers write.  Look forward for 2016 which will be your most productive writing year ever!

However, More Important Are These Questions:

  • Has this year fulfilled you?
  • Did you gave as much smiles as you wanted to?
  • Have you had conversations that felt like you?
  • Have you kissed as much as you yearned?
  • Did you get all the hugs you needed?
  • How many dreams yet to accomplish?

2016: will you at last make yourself happy?

More Tips for Writer’s New Year’s Resolutions:



How to Find Out Who Bought Your Book at Amazon

Did you ever wonder who are your readers and book purchasers at online stores – or brick-and-mortar?  Would you like to tell them about pre-orders for your next title?  Unfortunately, no retailer would ever give you their names or email addresses.  They all consider customer details their propriety, and also respect their customer’s privacy.  If the person really enjoyed the book, however, it’s possible they’ll contact you, the author, themselves.  And if you have taken full advantage of your Amazon Author’s Page, interested readers can click a button to follow you, after which Amazon will send them an email when you have a new book release.

How Can You Get to Know Your Print Book’s Purchasers?
Each book you are creating, no matter if print and digital, should include a prominent message to your readers, encouraging them to connect directly with you, the author and publisher via your blog, your website and all your social media accounts. Read more in detail how to do this at 111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free.

***However, giving readers a compelling reason to buy in the future directly from your own bookstore – instead from online retailers, such as Amazon, you have to give them an incentive to connect with you and to stop by at your author website.***

Sell From Your Own Website.
Setting up your own web store is easy and inexpensive and will give you approx. 85-95% revenue from your book – versus only less than 70% maximal from Amazon, Apple, B&N or Kobo. How to set up your own store, and even more important: to get to know your readers – can be found in this article at the blog: How to Sell Your Books From Your Own Website.

Take advantage of these three fantastic benefits of selling your books from your own webpage:

  • You will have much higher Revenues
  • You get paid faster – immediately
  • You will get to know your readers

Here is How to Find Out Who Are Your Readers:
The best way to do this is to offer the free e-book edition of the book your reader just purchased from a retailer – no matter if online or in a bookstore.  If they just bought your print book version – for example as a birthday or Christmas gift – they might also like to read it themselves, as an ebook on their phone, laptop or in the Kindle app.  For them, just sending you a receipt copy or a screenshot via email in exchange to receive the Kindle edition of that same book for free is a no-brainer – much better than Amazon’s “Kindle Match Book” where you will never learn who are your readers.

How to Make a Screenshot of a Book Purchase Receipt.
Ask your readers to scan and email the receipt from their print purchase or even easier: to make a screenshot from their Amazon receipt, which they received via email. Not everyone is familiar with the procedure, so tell them how to make screenshots. Here is how it works on Mac and here it is shown how to do it on a PC.

Get to Know Your Readers.
Now as you have established a connection with your reader via your free ebook, you can follow their social media sites, or their blog or website and also ask them if they would like to get a message once your next title is available, maybe even if they want to sign up for your newsletter or for your blog posts.
However, make sure to place an invitation for your free e-book into every print version – at the first pages of your book and at the end of the story again, in case your readers missed it. Write an article in your blog posts about this generous offer of a free ebook and let your social media followers know about it.

More Related Articles:

How to Set-up Your Online Bookstore

Top Reasons to Hire a Professional Editor



Hi…how’s yo doin! Doyou like read ing this pargraph?  Doe it mak you want to read more?  Doe the author seem credible to you?  You believe she have some wothwhile information?  She soundimpressiv.  Don’t you thin?

You want to find the entire work of this imagined author and buy her book/s immediately, right?  I don’t think so!  Let’s return to Planet Earth.  This writer may have impressive academic credentials and tons of writing experience.  But who cares?
You wouldn’t be able to get beyond her sloppiness.  Why?  Her background doesn’t matter if she’s putting out a faulty product.  You probably wouldn’t want to read more than the first few sentences, if that.  Reading the selection probably made your head and eyes hurt.  It certainly was painful for me to write it!

Alright, so my example may seem extreme.  It is exaggerated.  On the other hand, I have seen plenty of books that have quite a few of these same mistakes.
Untidiness Erodes Credibility.
In a real-life illustration, I came across a sample of writing from a lady who has written quite a few self-help guides.  She gives crucial, hard-won information for helping readers to further their freelancing careers.  However, she doesn’t seem to care about the quality of her proofreading and editing.  I would be more inclined to read her books if she invested in a few self-publishing services.

It’s a Huge Debate on Social Media.
Many indie authors don’t see the need for skilled beta readers and for professional editing services.  In fact, it’s a constant, huge debate on social media.  Those advocating professional editing lose the battle 95% of the time.  That makes me sad.  In this article, I would like to explore two reasons to hire a professional editor:

There is a visible difference between professionally edited manuscripts and those that the author put together fast.  Yes, it’s obvious to readers.  Trained editing really is more affordable than most authors imagine.  It should be considered as part of the necessary cost of publishing a book.

#1 Readers CAN Tell the Difference.

Okay, so every reader won’t be a grammar or literature wiz. Yet, no credentials are required to spot basic typos and awkward sentence structure. It looks negligent.
People can spot general messiness in any form; they aren’t going to buy it.  Untidy books get bad reviews, which get noticed.  Many people do read reviews of books–or any product/service.  Sometimes, it’s the quickest way to the truth.

The time for the author to establish a quality product is in the beginning, not after she has written more books.  In the meantime, what if the author loses readers because she made a slipshod effort?  A clean manuscript is a useful investment.

Let’s compare publishing disorganized books to medications bought from unproven sources.  There are plenty of them out there.  But, here are some crucial questions to ponder:

  • Do the remedies actually work?
  • Were they obtained legally in the first place?

Sure, medicines cost a ton of money.
There’s no denying that Pharmaceutical companies make a huge profit margin on them.  It’s not fair.  However, the medicines are efficient.  Do you really want to risk your life on untested sources?



Rolex Watches
Next, let’s liken putting out low-grade novels to fake Rolex watches.  As shown in the above image, the accessories may look almost alike on the outside.  However, they are quite different on the inside.
Rolex is a top-of-the-line watch.  The company is known for its precision time-keeping mechanism.  In addition, the chassis can be either solid steel or solid gold. The Rolex Sea Diver is the divers’ watch pictured above.  It retails at $10,400.  This item offers truly amazing extras beyond a normal watch.
How about Rolex replicas?  These watches are renowned for their inaccuracy and flimsiness.  Would you want to trust your life to one of these watches, literally, if you were a deep-sea diver?  Not me!  I’ll stick with the brand name.

#2 You CAN afford it.

Self-publishing is a business.
You should have set money aside for your book.  Any new venture requires a certain amount of funds.  “Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something”, to quote my favorite movie, The Princess Bride.  You have to spend a little money to generate income.  Entrepreneurs know this.  Why should publishing be any different?
The cost of editing may be less than you imagine.
I have chatted with numerous authors who have not even researched the cost of editing.  They merely assume it will be expensive. (This is the point where I say it’s not wise to assume anything.)  Obviously, the cost may vary with the experience of the editor.  There are a variety of levels of this service:

  • Top editors advertise services that could end up costing authors thousands of dollars.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want to choose an inexperienced, unbelievably inexpensive editor.  That professional might give your manuscript two super quick readings, research nothing, and do a slipshod proofreading job.
  • The middle-of-the-road professional catering to indies may charge from .6 to .8 cents per word.  Of course, some editors charge per page, instead of per word.

My Conclusion
I’ve been told by some authors that they consider their books to be their babies.  That’s probably because writing requires such a huge emotional investment and risk.  Isn’t your “child” worth a little extra time, money, and attention?

About the Author:
Traci Lawrence is a teacher, author, blogger, and freelance editor.  Traci lives in the southern area of the United States with her family.  She considers it her mission to spread positivity and self-empowerment through her writing.  Please visit her uplifting website at and view her book, Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds.


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