The "C" Branch

Jaded commentary on random shit, with an extra helping of cynicism, satire and general contempt for society & Western culture, religion, politics, celebrities, technology, business & more.

A Quick “Getting Started” Guide to Self Publishing Online

Posted by Chris DeMarco on Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 10:02 am

There are tons of ambitious people out there who are looking to publish some of their existing work – or even considering producing some work they haven’t even made yet – just for the sake of publishing it. However, the many factors involved, like up-front costs and the stress of dealing with publishers and printers, can often kill that ambition pretty fast.

Fortunately, this day in age there are many easy and low-cost venues for self publishing on the internet that won’t stress you out nearly as much. And, based on consistent trends, these venues will actually provide you a much higher return on your investment, since more and more people are dropping conventional information methods like books and newspapers and going online to find things to read. That means chances are good that many more people will see your materials this way anyways!

Essentially, there are only a few elements that you’ll need to put together to be effective in getting your quality content seen by thousands, even possibly millions of people.

  1. First, you’ll want a centralized publishing platform (very similar to The “C” Branch, actually). This is where you will post all your original content, and will be a space you own and have complete control over. This is also where you’ll have the opportunity to do whatever you’d like as far as capitalizing off the materials you produce. For example, you can make pages where people will see a preview of perhaps a chapter of something you wrote, and then have the option of purchasing the entire work as an electronic book (eBook or e-Book).
    • I can help you with getting this set up and uniquely designed just for you. This is one of the very few areas I do encourage some financial investment to launch your business, and would be glad to offer you very affordable web design options to help you get started strong and fast.
  2. Second, once you have your main system in place and ready to take your sales, you should put “snippets” and previews of your materials all over the internet and link them back to your main, central site. This gets a constant stream of targeted people who already like what you’re writing coming directly to your site and being offered the chance to purchase your materials. Since you’re already getting a somewhat targeted audience (and the traffic really isn’t costing you anything), you can expect a much higher conversion rate than you would with hundreds of random people just walking past your book on a bookstore shelf day after day.

    This is actually much easier than it sounds, especially after you’ve done it once or twice. You’re welcome to contact me if you would like some consulting to help you get started. However, here are some of the ways (and sites) you would use to do your promotion:

    • First, you would want to constantly write promos and “snippets” on your site (a blog works perfect for this) and submit each one to social bookmarking sites. This will direct people who are just looking for cool things on the internet (and interested in your topics) right to you! Some of my favorite social bookmarking sites are Digg, StumbleUpon, and Del.icio.us. However, to simplify things, a tool called SocialMarker can submit to a large selection of these sites all at once.
    • You’ll also want to make profiles for yourself on social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. More to come on this at a later time.
    • Lastly, you’ll want to write articles discussing and promoting your work on article sites like Ezines and Press Release (PR) sites like PRWeb. These will help you gain publicity and also drive targeted visitors to your site who are already interested in what you’re selling.

To conclude, don’t let the daunting aspects of conventional publishing stop you from fulfilling your self publishing dreams. You can begin publishing and selling your work on the internet with very low up-front costs and with much less stress than dealing with printers and publishing companies. For more information or a one-on-one consultation, please feel free to contact me.

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