A Self-Publishing Author’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Writers are naturally curious about what’s going on around them. That’s a good trait considering that exposure to new things helps increase your brainpower and fuels your writing ability. Likewise, authors want to know what other authors are up to and what’s working for them.

To help satisfy some of your curiosity, we’ve listed a few of the most common questions that new (and seasoned) authors ask:

  1. How do I decide on a price for my book? The best way to figure this out is to research the market. Find books that are similar in content (page count, subject matter, etc.) and review their pricing. Your pricing doesn’t need to be the same, but you should be sure to price your book competitively. In addition to researching other books, you must also consider your experience as an author. If you are unknown, you may want to price your book just a bit lower because buyers are less likely to pay a premium price for an unfamiliar author.
  2. How do I get my book into bookstores? You must have a combination of things – a higher trade discount (40% or more), full returnability, and a strong sales history.  Meeting these “requirements” doesn’t guarantee that the bookstore will want your book, but you must have each (at a minimum).
  3. How can I sell more books on Amazon.com? Your listing on Amazon should be pristine, and you should strive to provide as much information about your book as possible. Book reviews also help. If you’re stuck, our CEO’s book, Sell Your Book on Amazon can help.

Do you have your own questions? If so, we’d love to add them to the list. Just drop us a quick comment below, and an Outskirts Press representative we will answer any of your questions live on this post (but for THIS WEEK ONLY). So, lay it on us. What burning questions do you have about the book publishing/marketing process?

If you’d like more one-on-one help, it may be a good idea to speak with one of our book marketing specialists.

Ready to take advantage of your own publishing and marketing team?

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8 thoughts on “A Self-Publishing Author’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. I plan on using outskirts to help me put my whole book package together when I’m ready in a few months, I’m a recording artist and want to give a free CD of my music, with my book. My Question is: What is the extra cost to attatch a pouch to hold a CD, on the inside of the back cover of each book.
    Thank you,

  2. Often, it seems that the authors of books that have sold the most copies have received the most reviews and have been affiliated with book clubs. Do you know how self-published authors can find and approach book clubs in order to drive sales and book reviews?
    Hollie M. Woods, author of Hoop Hussies

      1. Hi, Hollie:

        You didn’t miss the deadline. What I normally suggest for authors who want to reach a book club audience is to start locally and get some reviews/write ups from members of that small book club. All the while, you should continue marketing your book in other ways as well. Provided you can establish yourself as an author, you will stand a greater chance of achieving your goals in that area.

  3. Hi, Elise: I have a question. What proportion of the books OP publishes would you consider a financial success? How many out of the 7,000 plus titles on Amazon are actually selling. Chuck Hall.

    PS: Brent should not respond to the online criticism. It makes him sound peevish.

    1. Hey Chuck! Thanks for reaching out. We appreciate your feedback!

      On to your questions —

      Financial success is relative as each author has their own goals when they go into publishing their book. Also, each of our authors set their own retail price and royalty amount. That means some books may earn more for each book sold while others earn substantially less. Again, it depends on the goals of the author.

      For your second question – most all of our titles have sold. However, future sales are dependent upon the author reaching their target market appropriately. Our most popular books are featured on this blog each month.

      Brent agrees with (and abides by, as much as humanly possible) your final comment. In fact, he recently wrote a series of blog postings on his blog concerning this very topic, valuable for any author, entrepreneur, individual or business that deals with online brand/reputation management. You can read that series here: http://brentsampson.com/?s=criticism

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