Self-publishing is an incredible opportunity. You can self-publish as a way of expanding your business, getting more recognition in your niche, and getting in front of more customers. You can also self-publish to cash in on trends and as part of a creative outlet. This is perfect if you’ve always wanted to be a writer.
There’s no real barrier to entry here. If you want to self-publish, you can… and you can earn a lot of money doing it. It’s really a very flexible opportunity since self-publishing can be so many things to so many people.
What Do You Want To Publish?
If you haven’t self-published before, now might be the time. There’s a reason you’re interested in this topic. But, you have some decisions to make. One major decision is whether you want to publish in the fiction or nonfiction category.
The choice might be easy for you. Maybe you would never consider writing fiction and you already know the topic you want to tackle for nonfiction. Or, maybe you just haven’t written fiction before but you’re really attracted to the reports of high income from many authors – even new ones.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to write fiction, and you’re so excited that it’s so easy to publish these days. You’re ready to get started as an added income stream.
The decision of what to write might not be easy for you – maybe you’re stuck between the two choices. Some people say that nonfiction is easier to write than fiction. So, should you stick with that? On the flip side, many people say that fiction is a lot more lucrative on Amazon Kindle than nonfiction. So, will you be wasting your time with nonfiction?
I want you to know that either one can work and work well. Choosing the right genre and the right niche is extremely important. You can’t just decide that you want to write about a topic without checking to make sure it will be profitable first. Follow the money.
It’s also very important to consider your goals. If you’re using self-publishing as a way to expand and earn more money with an existing business, then you’ll probably want to publish nonfiction. You’ll publish on topics related to your area of expertise and on what your business represents overall.
If you’re using self-publishing as an added income stream or you’re looking to cash in on the Kindle gold rush, then you might want to pay more attention to fiction on Kindle (or on other self-publishing platforms).
Don’t just choose something because other people have been successful with it. That’s part of it, but you have to think about your overall goals. You don’t want to choose to self-publish fiction if your goals all relate to nonfiction and building your existing business. You don’t want to focus on nonfiction just because it’s easier to write if you’d be better served by writing and publishing fiction on Kindle.
So, you have some decisions to make. Are you going to write fiction or nonfiction? There’s no correct answer to this question. The only right answer is the one that’s right for your business and your skills.
If You’re Choosing Fiction…
If you choose to write and publish fiction, there are some important things to keep in mind.
It’s so important to target a specific genre. You might have what you think is a great idea for a story in your mind. But, if it’s not selling well on Kindle, then you might not earn the money you want to make. Now, maybe you’ll want to write the story anyway as part of a passion project. But you’re in business so I’ll assume that one of your goals is to make money with your book.
Fiction follows trends. We’re lucky that Amazon provides us with a ton of information so we can analyze and follow the trends. Study the bestseller lists of the niche you’re interested in. You can also check out new and upcoming releases. You’ll want to know which books are doing well that are self-published versus those that are doing well that are traditionally published.
You can bet that if a book was traditionally published in a certain category and you see many others like it, then a company with a lot more resources and know-how than you could have is betting their money on that topic. Follow the money… find a specific, less saturated yet popular, niche within a niche to target.
It’s also very important to understand your market. What do people in your genre expect from a book? It’s got to get their attention – from the cover, to the title, to the blurb, to everything else.
Hopefully, you’ll feel excited as you do this research and the ideas rush through you. It can be really exciting to get to put your passion for writing to use as a tool for income generation.
I don’t mean to make it sound like you have to be an all-star writer to write fiction successfully and self-publish for Kindle and other platforms. Do your best to read and study your genre and just practice, practice, practice. Release a lot of books and you’ll get better over time. Get beta reader feedback before you release on Kindle.
Hiring a Ghostwriter for Fiction
If you really don’t want to write fiction yourself or you’re completely unsure of your skills, but still want to earn from fiction, then you might consider hiring a ghostwriter.
Ghostwriting is a time-honored tradition among writers and there’s nothing wrong with hiring one for yourself. You can hire this writer to write an outline for you, to write something for you after you’ve outlined your plot idea, and that you later edit, or whatever you want. This should be a work for hire agreement, so anything they work on will belong to you. This is a great way to cash in on publishing fiction work without having to write everything yourself.
If You’re Going to Write Nonfiction…
If you’re going to write nonfiction, you’ve probably chosen your general niche or topic ahead of time. You already have a business, so it makes sense to write something related to your business.
You can use the books you publish as list builders as well as income generators. Include a link to a squeeze page with a freebie inside your book. You’ll get the list building benefit of traffic that’s casually looking at your book as well as those who read your book.
Writing nonfiction is great – especially if you target a group that’s particularly passionate or desperate. If you can solve their problem and present it in a way that’s different from anyone else, you can get a lot of sales. These books can act as lead generation tools and authority builders that can help boost your business.
Nonfiction books that are related to your business or niche are great because they can act as giant business cards. It’s extremely impressive when you have several books or even just one book published in your name. It’s a great way for potential customers to get to know you and they might then go on to purchase higher-priced items and products or coaching services that you offer.
Do Your Research…
Make sure you do your research ahead of time. Don’t waste your time writing books people don’t want to read.
Also consider that just because your work sold well in other venues doesn’t mean that it will sell well on self-publishing platforms like Kindle. I’ve been surprised that some of the books I’ve very successfully sold to my own lists and through affiliates haven’t done quite as well as expected on Kindle.
Those buyers simply are not yet trained or ready to purchase some of the types of content I specialize in, plus there’s little opportunity to pre-sell by email. Know your audience and know what’s already selling really well on Kindle (or wherever you’re publishing) and combine that with your current business model and the passions, skills, and talents you already have.
Fiction or Non-Fiction—the Choice Is Yours
There’s no right or wrong here. Either fiction is right for you right now or nonfiction is right for you right now. You eventually might even want to publish both fiction and nonfiction. For now, I recommend you focus. Focus on the journey that’s right for you, right now.
Self-publishing online truly is a gold rush. I highly recommend you take advantage of it right away. Spend your time doing market research and understanding what’s already selling and then mesh that with your own goals and business model.