7 Lies Self-Published Romance Authors Believe

Start Where You Are
Posted by Autumn Stone
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I had a number of reasons why I decided to create “Let’s Talk Romance with Autumn Stone.” In addition to uplifting and shouting out books featuring black and brown characters, I wanted to help encourage and develop more authors, especially authors of color to stop waiting and to start writing their works. What I soon discovered with every product that I’ve developed both in my other life as a personal finance influencer and as an author of fiction and non-fiction works most people get distracted by some false narratives about how they should start. In this episode, I briefly share my story and encourage you to start where you are.

*In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

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Show Notes

I will be the first to admit that my books aren’t perfect. Yes, they entertain readers, and yes, they do sell. But, in my mind, they could always be better. When I released my first book and series, I loved that I could make money using my writing skill in a completely different way than I had been before.

It was so empowering to release books out into the world that:

  • Had characters that I was excited to read about and share
  • To share stories that weren’t limited by what other people thought my characters should do.
  • Actually made me money.

However, I soon learned that would be authors were listening to some lies and I wanted to address them.

Lie #1-You Should Pay for an Editor

Now, before I get into this one, let’s be clear-editors ROCK! They help writers create better books. Period. However, what if you don’t have editor money? When I released my first book I didn’t have the money to pay an editor because I was paying off thousands of dollars of debt. The money I was earning had to go towards that goal. And, in case you’re wondering, I’ve paid almost $70,000 in unsecured debt. I had to start where I was at which was broke. I edited my books myself. Did I do a perfect job? No. Did I connect with readers who enjoyed my work despite that? Yes, and I made thousands of dollars that I could use to pay off more debt. The lesson? Start where you’re at, you never know what will happen

Lie #2-You have to Pay A Lot for Your Covers

I paid $15 dollars for my first book cover and it has made me thousands of dollars. I started where I was at and got my product out there. I should mention that I could have side-hustled to earn money towards a book cover but I wanted to act fast and get my book out there before I outthought taking action.

Lie #3-It’s Impossible to Make Money if You’re Writing About POC Characters

This, in my view, is just not true. However, I do think that many authors have incomplete income growth systems that affect their book earnings. Own your niche. Or, create a corner of the world where you can do that and grow your email list. I have a secret pen name in the reverse harem space and I began emailing that list when 3 people were on it. And, one of those people was me. The reason I did that? I needed to get use to communicating with that list. In order to earn money with your books you have to be deliberate about connecting with your ideal readers.

Lie #4 You Have to Use Facebook Ads

I actually love how affective Facebook Ads can be and if you understand how the Facebook Pixel works investing in Facebook ads can be a dream. But, when I started writing my books I just didn’t have the money to invest in ads. There was no way that I would go further into debt to do it. Instead, I spent a lot of time doing the following:

  • Focusing on SEO or Keywords so that my ideal readers could easily find my books.
  • I shared my books at least 3-4 times a week in marketing groups specific to my book genre
  • Emailed my list twice a week and focused on always growing it. I also loved it when people dropped off because they cost money to host on my list. This didn’t mean that they would no longer purchase books from me. It just meant that they were off of my list.
  • Joined Facebook reader groups specific to the book genre that I was currently writing in. Those groups make it much easier to write to market.
  • Networked with other authors and author groups outside of the genre that I currently write in. In fact, I ran a session on developing an author’s mindset in the fabulous Level Up Romance Community recently.

Lie #5 Self-Published Books Aren’t as Good

As traditionally published works. This is simply not true. In fact, the majority of the books that I currently read are self-published. And, I should clarify, I’m reading self-published books in both the non-fiction and fiction space.

Lie #6 You Need an Author Website

Actually, you do eventually need an author website but it has taken me 2 years to launch mine. To be honest, it wasn’t a priority and noticed that as a reader I wasn’t going to author websites to find books. I was discovering my favorite new books through:

  • Keywords
  • Groups
  • Recommendations
  • Social Media
  • Newsletter Swaps
  • Bookfunnel Sales promos

Lie #7 You have to Sell Your Books on Amazon

I should mention that I do sell my books on Amazon’s platform. However, there’s more than one platform to sell your books on. If you’re not a fan of Amazon you have several options on where you can sell your works. The biggest question you need to ask yourself is this:

Where do my readers live?

The next question you have to ask yourself is:

How can I connect with my readers on an ongoing basis in the event that something goes wrong with that platform?

What self-publishing lies have you bought into that have kept you from writing your first romance?

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