It can all feel so overwhelming.
But it doesn’t have to be! The truth is, whether you choose to self-publish or secure a traditional book deal, there are a handful of key factors that are crucial to getting it right. And rather than crossing your fingers and hoping somebody else comes along to shower you with golden praise, you *really* need to learn what you’re doing, or else you’ll be taken advantage of by a predatory author service or vanity press.
On this page, you won’t find a simple, easy publishing solution. Instead you’ll find a private cache of publishing tips and book marketing strategies I’ve used to hit the bestseller lists and sell a ton of books.
Self-publishing basics (the easy stuff)
Publishing a book is almost completely about book design: you need your interior manuscript formatted, and you need a print and ebook cover. But it’s not *just* something that needs to get done. Your cover especially is everything. Does it appeal to your target market? Does it communicate the right genre?
Most authors fail by commissioning cover art without understanding the basics of book design; or by signing up with a boutique press that does a capable, but uninspired cover. And while you can design your own cover from scratch, make sure you approach it as a professional: the cover is packaging to help lead readers to a purchasing decision.
What I can do for you…
I’ve made over six-figures in book sales and been featured in CNN for renting castles; I’m pretty good at going viral and have spoken about cover design and marketing at writing conferences around the world. But I don’t have a pricy publishing package or book launch service to offer you, because I don’t really believe in them.
Instead I make a ton of content, and then organize it together in cheap course bundles, and invest in practical tools to help you self-publish better, on a much smaller budget. Unfortunately this means, you need to actually do the work yourself to get results, but this is usually true regardless of how much you pay for some shady publisher to handle everything for you.
I’m a big fan of self-publishing so that’s what I focus on. The main thing is, nobody else is going to figure out what your book is or who it’s for: you need to know that long before you design your cover or write your blurb. Most people think “book marketing” is about getting more visibility… but it isn’t, not at all! It’s about packaging and positioning your book to attract the right audience – and that’s exactly what most authors get wrong.
Book Design and Formatting Templates
Since cover design is so important, I’ve spent countless
hours years creating book cover and formatting templates, along with tutorial videos, so that you can learn to create your own graphics without screwing everything up.
Click the links below to explore, or grab my self-publishing bundle for ALL the templates, including some cool book promotion and social media graphics.
The 21 Day Bestselling Author Platform
I have several courses on book marketing, which I’ve bundled together with a newer program on launching an author platform quickly. It’s a good introduction to the options and choices you’re going to face. If you’re pitching agents with a book proposal, you absolutely need to be secure in your genre identifications and marketing appeal. But they’re also going to want to see your blog or website, email list and social media following.
And if you’re self-publishing, you may struggle with setting up your blog and email list, driving traffic, and networking on social media. But the truth is, you can set it up quickly and set it on maintenance mode, so you can go back to writing and grow your fanbase on autopilot.
Guerrilla Publishing (get feedback)
This is my *huge* course on self-publishing and book marketing, that includes everything else I offer – and it’s the *only* way to get direct and personal feedback from me (which is the fastest and easiest way to see results). Even if you don’t have time to go through all the videos, I can get you up-to-speed quickly and help you avoid some expensive mistakes.
Though I *can* take care of the book editing and book cover design, and love to occasionally put my skills to use on a satisfying project, I prefer to do light consulting. Hiring me as a coach or consultant is as easy as joining Guerrilla Publishing for access, so I can tell you exactly what to fix in order to sell more books.
What kind of writer are you?
Author Platform (DIY)
21 Day Author Platform. Learn how to self-publish and launch a bestselling book quickly.
GP (Get Help)
Guerrilla Publishing. Everything you need to build a profitable author career, and feedback to avoid mistakes.
Fine. I’ll do it all for you.
Publishing Package. If you need my team to take care of editing, book design and formatting, this is for you.
Here’s what’s included in each offer:
1. This self-publishing bundle includes a ton of exclusive tricks for reaching readers and building your author platform, along with actual design templates you can use in your book design.
Reg. $197 $37 (91% off)
2. But if you need real feedback, or someone to quickly point out why your books aren’t selling and what to do about it, you can get access to my advanced program, which comes with some quick ‘done-for-you’ services like a platform audit and first chapter critique.
Reg. $997 $397 (special price)
3. And if you really want someone to just take over and help you launch your book, I’ve set up a comprehensive deal that includes everything you need. It’ll be similar to most other self-publishing packages, only we’ll do it so much better.
You’ll actually get great design, we won’t charge you extra for useless ‘promotion’ tactics that stopped working decades ago, and you’ll have full control over your own platform.
$3997 (payment plan available)
* I don’t offer ‘book launch’ services, because they almost always lose money, unless the author has done a proper job with the basic design, packaging and positioning.
Book Marketing is a Scam
The truth is, it doesn’t really matter how you publish. So don’t worry so much about all the choices. It’s not even that hard to launch a #1 bestseller, at least in a few categories. But long-term, continued book sales, will depend on understanding that book marketing is mostly a scam: you don’t need more visibility or promotion. You need a product readers want, with instinctive features an benefits that match what they’re searching for.
It’s not rocket science, but most authors won’t take the time to learn, which makes them lucrative targets. Spending a few hours reading through my articles will put you way ahead of your competition. I have some free guides and super-intensive book launch tutorials to help you get started; or save time and grab a course if you’re determined to succeed faster.
My Publishing Guides
“Why reinvent the wheel, and spend money uselessly, when we can leverage off the info from this book. The book contains a treasure trove of actual resources, not just advice.”
“I hate to admit this, but the tips and tricks in Book Marketing is Dead were so great I, uh, well I purposely didn’t tell anyone about the book. There, I said it. I’m selfish and was looking for an edge.”
“FINALLY some actual, helpful advice. If you’re an author who’s tried everything and you find nothing seems to work for you to sell your book, please pick this up… before you waste a bunch of money on marketing.”
As you’ll probably notice, most of my resources are rough and unpolished. I overthink and get lost on interesting tangents. Some people think that makes me super authentic; others think it’s sloppy. For an ADHD socially-anxious trash panda, clinging to the edge of inspiration and creative burnout, I do the best I can with presentation. But if you can overlook my faults, you’ll probably find (as most people do) that my advice works. I hope you’ll stick around.
Best Books for Authors
How to choose the PERFECT author pen name: and when you should!
Update: this is an older post that still gets a lot of traffic, so I made a video on some critically important pen name tips that will help you sell more books. Watch the video to learn more. For a long time I thought using an author pen name was disingenuous. Plus it gets confusing
Best free online graphics editors for making your own book cover designs
Looking for a book cover maker? So was I! But I’ve built some recent solutions to book cover design, scroll down to see the latest stuff! So here’s an interesting problem: self-publishing is exploding globally. People want to publish quickly and cheaply. Formatting can be automated to some extent. But getting a high quality book
How to make a full print book cover in Microsoft Word for KDP, Lulu or IngramSpark
A few years ago I put out a package of DIY book cover templates in Microsoft Word and revolutionized publishing with a how-to guide to designing amazing book covers in an easy to use program you’re already familiar with. But it took me a while longer to figure out how to customize your front cover
Is self-publishing “real” publishing? (aka I want a real book, not an ebook)
I was at a conference this weekend talking to a lot of smart people; many of whom wanted to write a book. They’d inevitably ask, “are you self-publishing?” and then scowl, because they “want a real, physical book, not just an ebook.” I explained that print on demand has been around for a decade and
- The 3 unskippable steps to self-publishing success
- How to choose the PERFECT author pen name: and when you should!
- Best free online graphics editors for making your own book cover designs
- How to make a full print book cover in Microsoft Word for KDP, Lulu or IngramSpark
- Is self-publishing “real” publishing? (aka I want a real book, not an ebook)
- My favorite 21 people in self-publishing
- 134 publishing questions answered (the ULTIMATE resource guide on how to self-publish and market a bestselling book)
- 29 new ways to sell more books RIGHT NOW
- Why you should never try and get your books in bookstores or libraries
- A simple 10-step book launch plan you can easily use to outrank bestselling authors.
- How to design 3D book mockups and promo graphics with Google Slides (FREE TEMPLATES)
- $35K in 7 months self-publishing on Kindle
- How to get your book on Oprah – A LONG SHOT COME TRUE
- Why you should never hire a publicist for your book (do this instead)
- Best self-publishing companies for indie authors (that aren’t scams)
PS. don’t forget you can grab my bundle of book marketing courses for just $37. Pay it forward by learning as much as you can, and then helping out less experienced authors when they need guidance. If you need more help, you can grab my books, or get lost in my free resources. Whichever path you choose, I sincerely hope I’ve been able to help you on your journey.