5 Lessons on Self Publishing

What we've learned from a month of "self" publishing.

Onwards and upwards!

Well, folks, Andrés Cruciani here, and today's a day of contemplation for us here at of Toho Publishing. It's a day to take stock of what we've accomplished this week and to plan out the weeks ahead.

There've been a number of lessons learned this week.

1) Choose your social media (wisely). It's easy to get lost in the thicket of social media (Medium included). As you'll hear repeatedly from numerous sources (and which we'll attest to here at Toho Publishing), choose one maybe two social media platforms and do those well. Trying to do ALL of them will leave you spread thin—and possibly burnt out. Choose one. Maybe two. Do those well and take your time. (It's hard enough just keeping a daily blog!)

2) Self-publishing's easy. Doing well at it ain't. By this point, it's clear that anyone can publish just about anything. The days of making bucks just by throwing a book up on Amazon (if those days ever existed) are gone. The competition is phenomenal. Which means that the barrier to entry is low, but getting a book to rank at the top (unless you already have a well oiled machine in place) is incredibly difficult. So, if your goal is to sell lots of books, define your long-term goals and strategies. Go for the slow build. Be consistent.

3) Promote others. While we've had a few posts do relatively well, two that've outperformed many of the rest were written by others. This one by Josh Martin. And this one by Parker Hilley. So, the lesson there is clear: if you have a blog, get outside contributors. You're then tapping two audiences (your own + theirs). Speaking of guest blogging, if you're interested, please pitch us an idea!

4) All that glitters ... Look, there's always the lottery winner (someone has to win), but more often than not, if something came too easy, it probably ain't what it seems. This week, we had an author receive a book deal, but upon further inspection, the offer revealed itself to be less than stellar. Most/all of the promotion fell on the author, no royalties were given, and the list of negatives went on. So, play the long game. Slow and steady.

5) 80/20 rule. This is something we keep reminding ourselves of. 80% of the results will come from 20% of the effort. So figure out what that 20% is! In a way, the 80/20 rule is a reframing of the Law of Diminishing Returns (if you're studying for a test, that first hour is essential, the second hour very important, the third hour less so, etc.). Figure out where the bulk of your results are coming from and focus your energies on those efforts. You'll find your performance just about the same (better?), and suddenly you'll have a bunch more free time.

Anyway, that's all for today. If you haven't yet checked out our first novel, please do!

Toho Publishing aims to be the best independent publisher out there, and we’re publishing Andrés Cruciani’s first novel. Join us (and him) on all the things: Facebook, Twitter, Medium, YouTube, and Instagram.