Awesome Self-Publishing Resources For 2018

How was your 2017 in terms of self-publishing success?

Perhaps you achieved all the goals you set and are aiming to take things to the next level in the new year.

Maybe 2017 didn’t quite go as planned. You might not have completed everything you intended, or maybe life threw you a curveball and things didn’t work out the way you hoped.

No matter how the past year was for you, 2018 represents a chance to refocus, hustle hard, and turn your dreams into achievements.

To offer a helping hand, we’ve gathered up some of the best content from round the web.

If you find any of the following useful, please take the time to check out the blog or website and see what else they have on offer. Each and every blog or website is a rich resource packed with useful ideas you are sure to love.

Enjoy, and here’s to your success in 2018!

Self-Publishing School’s Newbie Guide

One of the most common problems I find with self-publishing content is a presumption of existing knowledge.

I get why it happens.

For writers, publishers, bloggers, and other authorities, the knowledge and skill needed to release a book is almost second nature. A lot of people offering advice have been active in this niche for years.

For newcomers to the self-publishing world, this can feel very discouraging. It’s easy to feel like you’re late to the party if you don’t have a grasp of the basics.

Self-Publishing School is a great place for newcomers. Their content is easy to digest and presented in a friendly and non-intimidating manner.

A prime example is Self-Publishing School’s 13 step guide on how to self publish a book.

Chandler Bolt breaks down the lengthy process of publication in 13 simple steps which anyone can easily understand.

If you’re just starting out, or know someone who is, Self-Publishing School is more than worthy of your time and attention.

Develop Habits With The Help Of NYT Bestseller Jeff Goins

If you didn’t achieve everything you wanted to in 2017, the chances are you didn’t have the right habits in place.

Jeff Goins is a bestselling author and all-around helpful dude who shares concisely written, personal gems of wisdom on his blog, GoinsWriter.

In his guide to setting habits, Jeff talks about how choosing the right daily habits has been a lot more effective for him than setting goals that never seem to get fulfilled.

It’s definitely worth it to read Jeff’s full article, as he has a way of expressing profound ideas concisely that is inimitable.

To get you thinking along the right lines, envision something you really want to achieve in 2018. Next, try and imagine the regular habits that will make it come true.

If you want to write a novel, what kind of daily writing habit would you need to put into place to make it happen? If you want to learn a new skill, how much time each day should you dedicate to it?

Jeff’s blog is full of beautifully written content that has the feel of a friend offering heartfelt advice. No matter what problem you face, Jeff probably has a blog post to help you out.

An Injection Of Inspiration Courtesy of Jane Friedman

Self-publishing is not easy. It requires focus, a tolerance for risk, multiple skill sets, and a little bit of luck.

It can be easy to become dejected and put writing and publishing on the back burner when life gets tough.

If 2018 gives you some difficult hurdles to overcome, I’d urge you to check out Audrey Berger Welz’s guest post for Jane Friedman.

Consider the following extract –

“Truthfully they expected I had about twenty minutes of life left in me, but I surprised them. I lived! They went in and operated, again, and again, and again—four major surgeries in two weeks. I was put into a medically induced coma for close to three weeks, and was on feeding tubes for about a month. Later I was told that I had had less than a one percent chance of survival. Yet I held onto my dreams. I hadn’t quite finished my novel and was oh so close. I hadn’t held my book in my hands, so I could not die.”

Isn’t that one of the most inspirational things you’ve read in a long time?

Drawing on positive and inspirational role models is one of the best ways to find inner strength and determination when we most need it.

In addition to this inspirational guest post, Jane’s blog is packed full of smartly written, useful content from someone who has truly walked the walk in the world of writing and publishing.

Keep Your Knowledge On Course With Create If Writing

We probably live in a time when knowledge is more readily available than ever before.

How cool is it that we can learn almost anything from our computers?

It’s often possible to take a high-quality course which makes a genuine difference to our daily life and work without paying a single penny.

Kirsten Oliphant runs the Create If Writing blog which is an upbeat, quirky place full of cool content.

Particularly useful is the list of free online courses specially chosen with self-publishers in mind.

Kirsten’s list covers a wide range of topics including writing, social media, blogging, and even broader life skills. No matter what you are looking to improve upon in 2018, there is almost certainly a free course on the list to help you on your way.

Happy New Year From NerdyBookGirl!

Hopefully, you’ll take action and check out the above resources.

After all, there’s no time like the present to start walking the path towards your goals for the new year.

NerdyBookGirl will continue to bring you a mix of ideas and inspiration throughout the coming year.

Until then, Happy New Year, and here’s to a successful 2018 for us all.


Inspiration For Writers

It isn’t always easy to feel inspired as a writer.

Sometimes, you feel overflowing with creativity and inspiration. It can be difficult to keep up with the sheer cascade of ideas you have.

Other times, writing is like getting blood from a stone. Each word is a genuine struggle and even thinking about writing is painful and unproductive.

For most writers, their level of inspiration usually falls somewhere between the two extremes. Some writers experience a fairly consistent level of motivation while others have a far greater ebb and flow.

No matter how inspired or not you may be feeling, it’s always valuable to have some go-to ways of topping up your inspiration. The following five sources have proved powerful for countless writers, and may just give you the boost you need.

Books

It’s incredibly rare for a writer to not also be a reader. Therefore, it’s only natural that books about writing are some of the most valuable and treasured sources of inspiration for writers.

The best books on writing will offer both emotional inspiration and practical advice. A perfect example is ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King.

Writing offers the inspirational story of how Stephen King went from a financially struggling teacher to one of the most successful authors ever. In addition, it also provides King’s own method of writing and editing as well as plenty of practical advice.

The type of writing book you find most inspiring is likely to depend upon your situation. If you are lacking self-belief, it can be useful to listen to someone who has overcome a similar, or more serious, struggle than yours. If you are struggling with a particular area of writing, such as outlining or writing dialogue, reading a specialist book by a master of that aspect of the art could be the light at the end of the tunnel.

Books are wonderful as they provide an incredible depth of information relative to their price. It’s often possible to learn far more from a book than from a video course for a fraction of the cost.

Support Groups

Sometimes, we need a personal and human element to our writing inspiration.

One of the best ways to get inspired is to join a writing group.

This can be either an offline, in-person group or an online option such as a Facebook group or writing forum.

Some of the key benefits to writing support groups include the personalized advice you will receive, the chance to give back by contributing and helping out others, and the personal connection that comes with being part of a group of people over time.

Support Groups

Sometimes, we need a personal and human element to our writing inspiration.

One of the best ways to get inspired is to join a writing group.

This can be either an offline, in-person group or an online option such as a Facebook group or writing forum.

Some of the key benefits to writing support groups include the personalized advice you will receive, the chance to give back by contributing and helping out others, and the personal connection that comes with being part of a group of people over time.

TUCKEN READING LIGHT

You’ll like this one.

If you are seeking support from a writing group, there are a few things to keep in mind. You should seek out a group which has the right vibe or feel for your own personality. Some groups are formal, others very informal. Finding a place you will want to spend time and will feel at home is important for making the most of your group.

You also want to choose a group with the right level and type of information for your needs. If you are just starting out, an advanced group probably won’t be the best fit, and if you write nonfiction, but the majority of your group talks about fiction, you should look elsewhere.

Podcasts

Podcasts are an underappreciated source of writing inspiration.

There is something really special about being able to dip in and out of podcast episodes no matter where you are or what you are doing. You can use podcasts to make your commute a useful and enjoyable experience or to get some fresh writing ideas while on the treadmill in the gym.

The best podcasts for writers contain a mix of practical advice and general inspiration. Podcasts are perfectly suited to interviews, and as a result, offer some of the best opportunities to hear authors you admire talking about their work. There’s something really special about hearing a writer you love sharing their wisdom in their own voice.

It’s useful to develop go-to podcasts for different situations. For example, if you find a particular podcast which gives you inspiration whenever you listen to it, make a note of it. That way, you have inspiration on tap when it’s running low. If there’s a podcast which always makes you laugh, be sure to give it a listen anytime you feel frustrated and everything gets too much.

Online Courses

Online courses are some of the best ways to learn in-depth information. You get the personal touch of having an instructor cover the material with the convenience of being able to log in and cover the content at your own time and pace.

Learning from an online course is great if you prefer to watch someone else actually carry out the topic being taught. For example, if you are struggling with inspiration for brainstorming plot points, you can watch a real writer show you their actual process. This is often a lot more educational and inspirational than merely reading about the same process.

If you are looking to learn from an online course, be careful. A lot of courses are slickly marketed but talk the talk a lot better than they walk the walk. Before investing in a particular course, it’s worth thinking about whether –

The course covers the material you need
The course is taught in a way which will be inspirational and effective for you
Real reviewers have praised the course in a way which resonates with you
The course represents value for money and time

You can find online writing courses at Masterclass, which has the benefit of being taught by incredible superstar instructors, and Udemy, which has a wider range of courses and teachers.

Writing Retreats

Sometimes you might feel the best way to regain or boost your inspiration is to change your environment and attend a dedicated writing retreat.

This is a big step to take and is something which obviously can’t be used as often as listening to a podcast or reading a chapter of a writing book. However, if you need a supportive environment away from the mundanity of everyday life, a retreat might be your best bet.

Retreats are expensive but offer the most drastic chance to completely focus on your writing. They also serve as a form of vacation and can be superb for general rest and relaxation purposes.

Attending a writing retreat is likely to be a rare step and saved for special occasions. However, it’s a valuable option when you really need to turbocharge your writing inspiration at all costs.

Writing Inspiration Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article will provide you with a menu of inspiration to feast upon whenever needed. Whether you need a quick five-minute boost of inspiration from a podcast or a period of serious retreat and reflection, there’s something for your situation.

No matter how uninspired you may feel, there is always a solution. Be brave and hold on until you find it.


Amazon Role Models

One of the problems we all face when starting out trying to make money online is knowing exactly what to do, and who to listen to.

It’s absolutely overwhelming. There are a whole host of voices vying for our attention and, more often than not, our cash.

Perhaps the most common mistake when starting out is thinking that we have to discover the right way to do everything for ourselves. We end up spending a lot of time and wasted effort figuring out the most basic of tasks, and inevitably making a lot of mistakes along the way.

I am a firm believer that there is no need to reinvent the wheel in life – and making money online is no different!

Over the coming weeks, NerdyBookGirl will be presenting a series of case studies about people who have absolutely crushed it at making cash on Amazon.

As an introduction to the series, read on to discover how to make the most of Amazon role models, and why they are a serious shortcut to success.

The Killer Benefits Role Models Bring To The Table

The benefits of having a proper role model to follow are too many to fully list. However, some of the key benefits are as follows –

  • Learn from the mistakes of others
  • Follow a tried and tested path
  • Shorten your learning curve
  • Adopt efficient processes

Perhaps the best reason to have a role model for your Amazon endeavors is to avoid fundamental, rookie errors which you would inevitably make on your own.

Think about any new skillset or process you set out to master in your life. There were probably a lot of simple mistakes you made starting out which look absurd in hindsight.

However, as trivial as they may seem in retrospect, the time you spend making and learning from those basic rookie errors is the time you will never recover.

By following the advice of a role model, you eliminate all of the basic rookie stumbling in the dark, and instead, take a more disciplined and focused approach to start out generating wealth on Amazon.

Paying attention to the wisdom of a role model also stops you from trying out an idea which simply wouldn’t work.

If you are new to Amazon then you may have an idea for a product which you think is a sure ticket to success.

However, as plausible as it may seem to an outsider, an Amazon role model may be able to nix your idea right away.

Why? Their experience and familiarity with Amazon allow them to more accurately assess if any given product has a real chance of doing well or not.

This may be down to something as simple as your idea violating one of Amazon’s rules or regulations – something you simply wouldn’t know as a newcomer.

The right role model can also point you down a refined path of learning. Think about a wise professor or teacher – they can give you a helping hand with regards to the best resources, the right things to read and the tried and tested names within any given field.

By following the learning tips and guidelines of a role model who has experienced success on Amazon, you can dramatically shorten the time it takes for you to progress. The end result? More money made in less time.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Who Makes The Right Role Model?

Hopefully, by now, you are sold on the benefits of Amazon role models in general.

Like anything else online, it’s absolutely vital to be discerning and only pay attention to the right people. After all, following bad advice is almost always worse than not following any advice at all.

So, how can you know who to trust when drawing inspiration for Amazon?

You should be able to see some kind of tangible track record of success from anyone you are considering following. If they claim to be able to help you sell a lot of fiction books, for example, you will want to see evidence of their own success, as well as satisfied clients who have in turn been helped by them.

A lack of a clear and credible track record is a major red flag which you always need to listen to, no matter what.

The second key thing to consider when vetting potential role models are the concept of suitability. Basically, ask yourself if someone is the right person for you to learn from.

Something to keep in mind when considering this is how closely the person you are going to be learning from one’s own activities resemble what you want to get into.

For example, if the person you are considering as an Amazon role model has published fiction, but you want to publish non-fiction, wouldn’t it be better to find a role model more closely aligned with your own activities?

Yes, you can almost always learn something from anyone successful – but it’s better to learn as much relevant information from a person as possible.

Another thing to think about when seeking out a role model is what the person’s motivation is, and whether they would be a good fit for your personality.

If it seems like someone is entirely motivated by making money, steer well clear of them. There is no harm or problem with legitimate teachers/experts charging for their services – however, if money is all they care about, you are sure to have problems with them in the future.

Instead, seek out a role model who seems to genuinely care about helping people and sharing their knowledge with them. You are likely to benefit a lot more from the search for a person. You also want to consider whether the potential role model’s personality is a good fit with your own – we are a lot more likely to take on board the ideas and information from a person we genuinely like and get on well with, rather than someone who is very different from yourself.

How To Make The Most Of A Role Model

Once you have found the right role model, it’s important to make the most efficient use of them in order to gain the maximum level of benefit for your own Amazon efforts. Consider the following rules for making the most out of a role model relationship –

1. NO ONE IS PERFECT

A trap you must avoid falling into is seeing anyone role model as infallible or seeing them as some kind of guru whose advice cannot be questioned.

Understand that even the best online money making experts, even the people with the most knowledge and experience, are just people like you or me. They still make mistakes and can still give bad advice.

Of course, if you have been careful to find the right Amazon role model, then they will give less bad advice than you would expect on average. However, it’s still crucial to avoid following them blindly. Instead, listen to their ideas and suggestions, but always remain a critical, logical frame of assessment towards them.

2. TRY THINGS FOR YOURSELF

It can be tempting to fall into the trap of becoming addicted to ideas and information.

This occurs when you spend an excessive amount of time learning about the many ideas and avenues which exist for you on Amazon – instead of actually putting them into practice and seeing which you are able to experience success with!

It’s a lot better to take one, actionable piece of advice your Amazon role model talks about, and actually implementing it before moving on and trying out anything else.

This will ensure you avoid the trap of information overload and instead focus on seeing what really does and does not work for you.

3. CONSIDER IF ADVICE IS A GOOD FIT

Sometimes, your Amazon role model may offer you some advice which is good advice – just not for your circumstance.

Always consider if whether the advice on offer is right for you. For example, some good ways of making money on Amazon may require some form of upfront cost, for example taking out Facebook ads to drive traffic towards a particular product.

This may be a tried and tested strategy which has worked for many – but if you don’t have the advertising budget to make it work, it’s not right for you.

Never fail to consider whether you have the resources at your disposal, and the timescale over which to use them, in order to make any Amazon strategy work out.

4. NEVER FEEL CONSTRAINED

Realize that an Amazon role model’s job is to guide you – not to constrain you.

You should never feel as if you are held back simply because a role model suggests you should do things a certain way, but you want to try out something else.

Never be afraid to trust your intuition, and to try things out for yourself. Learning from your own mistakes can be valuable at times.

Ideally, you will use the ideas and advice of your Amazon as a foundation, on which you can then build your own approach.

Role Model Roundup

So there you have it – the main reasons why you need an Amazon role model in your life, and some of the best ways to ensure you thrive on the advice offered.

So, who should you consider as a candidate for your Amazon role model?

Don’t worry – NerdyBookGirl has got you covered.

Starting soon, we will be presenting you with some case studies on tried and tested Amazon champs, and how you can apply their ideas and experiences to your own online endeavors.


Featured Niche - Self Help

Welcome to a new series on NerdyBookGirl in which we will take a look at some of the best niches to consider placing your self-published book.

The series is intended to help you in one of two ways – either to open your eyes to a niche you might not have considered publishing in before, or to help you narrow down your existing idea and find a natural home for it.

For a particular niche to make the series, it needs to offer both evergreen potential, and also represent something most people could potentially publish in. That means if you see a niche featured here, we don’t just think it’s a niche which makes money, but a niche which could make you money.

So, without further ado, let’s crack into our first NerdyBookGirl Featured Niche, self-help.

What Is The Self-Help Niche About?

Perhaps you have an idea of what a self-help book is all about in your mind. Perhaps you’ve made use of such books yourself in the past.

What most people fail to realize, however, is that self-help is typically a much broader spectrum of books than they perhaps realized. It runs the full range from kind of slushy, touchy-feely titles, through to pull no punches, Fight Club style advice.

Broadly speaking, any book in existence has one of two purposes – to entertain or to solve a problem.

Self-help is very explicit about its purpose – it sets out to solve problems. The scope of the problem it seeks to solve may vary from very general, non-specific problems, through to more specific, niche topics. The whole gamut of problems and their prevalence can be found in the body of self-help titles.

The lasting appeal of self-help is due to the fact that human beings will always seek advice to the things which bother us or hold us back in life. That is why some of the top self-help titles are still selling immense numbers of copies decades after their original publication.

Simply put, there will always be a market for good advice.

Within the broad umbrella of self-help exists a number of more niche submarkets, such as self-help for single people, self-help for marriage or self-help for people with a range of psychological health conditions. More specific niche variants of self-help may be dealt with in future installments of this series – however, for the purposes of this article, we are considering self-help as a broad, umbrella genre.

Why Self-Help Represents A Good Niche

Unlike many other well-selling topics, self-help is truly evergreen.

The public’s interest in certain flash in the pan topics, like vampire romances, or Pokemon go, may wax or wane – but people seeking advice with the things which give their life pain will never go away.

As mentioned, self-help can range in scope from very general topics, such as how to be effective, through to very niche topics, such as how to apply Stoic philosophy to business negotiations.

This means that there is no shortage of ideas whatsoever for you to access the self-help genre from a creator’s perspective.

No matter who you are, or the kind of life you have had, you will have faced problems at some point. Chances are, you will have approached these problems from a frame of reference which is different from other people who approached similar problems.

This means that you have a unique background in solving particular problems in a particular way. Your experience may be able to speak to others in a way which touches and reaches them like nothing else out there can.

Say, for example, you have a health condition, which you have learned some really good approaches to managing over the years. You also happen to be a woman in her early 30s.

Your advice and experience relating to your illness are likely to be a lot more relevant to another woman in her early 30s than, for example, an older man in his 50s. Your perspective is therefore inherently valuable as it offers the chance to reach people who may not otherwise be reached.

Another key reason why self-help is an important niche to consider is the fact that it represents a genuine chance to make a difference to people and bring some benefit to their life.

If you are someone who is motivated by helping others, and seeing the difference you can make in life, then self-help is a genre you should absolutely consider writing in.

It represents a good combination of a genre with sustained interest, a multitude of ways to approach writing about it, and the genuine chance to benefit others.

Strategic Angles To Access The Niche

So now that we’ve taken an overview of self-help as a genre, and looked at some of the main reasons it represents a good opportunity for you to write in, let’s consider some of the strategic angles you can use to break into this marketplace.

A NICHE VARIANT OF WHAT’S SELLING

A key strategy for entering into the self-help genre is to consider what is already selling, and considering whether there is some way you can make a more specific, niche version of an already successful title.

For example, let’s consider the area of self-help which is based around helping people to develop habits.

A plausible top-selling title within this area of the self-help genre may be entitled something like ‘How To Form The Right Habits’.

You may see this title and think about different ways in which you could make a more niche variety of the broad idea, for example, ‘How To Form The Right Business Habits’ or ‘How Millionaires Form Habits’.

Don’t be afraid to consider niche brainstorms of almost any successful title. By changing elements such as the target market’s age, gender, purpose or background, you are likely to be able to find a lot of potential varieties of a title which is already working.

Don’t just assume that any niche variant will automatically work. Make sure to do some market research into the demand for your idea, and also to consider it from a common sense perspective. A lot of topics will only be right for a particular age group or gender, for example, and trying to niche down their market inappropriately is a recipe for failure.

A BOOK VERSION OF A HOT TOPIC

A lot of the most popular and successful books actually start life somewhere else, such as in blog format.

This conversion of existing source material to book form is a strategy you may wish to consider when looking for a way to enter the self-help market for yourself.

An effective way to do this is by seeking out a topic on which there are several blogs publishing regularly, getting engagement from their readers – but on which there is no book currently published.

This requires spending some time browsing the search engines to locate potential ideas. Searching for your self-help idea followed by ‘forum’ is a way in which you can discover active areas of discussion around almost any self-help topic.

If you are able to find an active, passionate forum which is based on a topic which does not currently have a book based on it, then you may have stumbled across the next self-help goldmine.

A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE YOU HAVE

The previous two strategies for entering the self-help genre for yourself have focused around seeing what is already selling, and finding a way to put your own approach to that.

This strategy instead takes the opposite starting point – thinking about a unique perspective you have which there may be some demand for.

Start by brainstorming all of the roles and identities you have in life – for example father, student, boss, husband etc.

Then, brainstorm all of the situations you have faced, overcome or have some experience in, such as cancer survival, stress management etc.

You may be able to come up with some combination of perspective and experience, such as Stress Management For Married Bosses, that stands a chance of helping people with their own problems, and in turn generating you money.

Before you launch full throttle into your own idea, carry out a little bit of market research. Make sure your perspective and idea actually are unique, and try and ascertain that people are searching for similar material on Google. You can find out how to do this here.

Self-Help Summary

By now you know –

  1. Why Self-Help Is Worth Your Attention
  2. Why Almost Anyone Can Enter The Self-Help Market
  3. Specific Strategies For Your Self-Help Success

Let’s end on a note of caution – although it’s fine to make money through helping others, money should never be your sole motivation.

In order to experience success in self-help publishing, it’s better if you genuinely care about helping others.

Why?

Simply put, the depth and quality of help you offer are likely to reflect your commitment to making a genuine difference in your reader’s lives.

The quality of your help determines the quality of your book, which in turn lead to your reviews and sales figures, which of course end up determining the almighty revenue figure for any given project.

The bottom line?

The more help you offer, the more money you’ll make.

It really is that simple.

Now go and help yourself by exploring whether a self-help publishing project is a good option for you.