Stop procrastinating on… self publishing tips #4

Now that my books are on Amazon, I have to learn more about self-publishing. How to do it in a way that works? I used to think hitting the ‘publish now’ button would be the end of my work on a book. It’s not. Unless I want it to just sit there and not be sold. It’s been a month since I wrote tip #3. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about marketing self-published books. My main take away? It would have been better to learn this before From Do it Later to Do it Now in Ten Days went live 🙂

A good start matters more than I knew…

Yesterday I read somewhere that the first 90 days on Amazon are the most important ones. When I tried to find out why, I found this:

“Much of your book’s new release mojo wears off after 30 days (when it’s no longer eligible for the Hot New Release lists, among other on-site placements). This dips a bit further after 60 days, before the rest vanishes after 90 days. [..] Practically speaking, this makes it harder for an even four or five month old book to keep riding high in the charts. Amazon’s algos just don’t shower these “older” books with the same love as new titles.”

Hence the author of these words, Nicholas Erik  recommends building your sales steadily in the first 90 days. I’m going to check out his Ultimate Guide to Book Marketing to learn more.

I spent much of those first 90 days being happily flabbergasted that I suddenly had a book on Amazon. It was not a new book. I had created the  workbook years ago for my course on procrastination, and people could buy the PDF through my website. After my web designer put it on Amazon for me, as a paperback, my only marketing was sharing ecstatic joy on social media. Which is great for likes and feeling good, but not a very effective marketing strategy – even when it brought in my first sales.

My tip: start now

If you can, start learning about book marketing in the period that you’re still writing and editing your book. It can be easy and fun, for example by listening to podcasts.

My favourite ones at the moment:

  • The Creative Penn Podcast
  • The Branding Outside the Box Podcast
  • The Sell More Books Show
  • Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

One of the practical things about self-publishing podcasts, is that the hosts tend to get invited on each other’s shows. So by starting on one, you can easily find new ones. Since you’ll have your own taste in what you want to learn or who you like to listen to, simply starting on one may be the easiest way to find your personal favourites.

In one of my next posts, I’ll write about what I’ve learned about marketing so far, and what I would do differently if I launched my book again. I’ve learned SO much that writing the post will help me organise my thoughts.


Why a door at the top of this post? Well, it’s #ThursdayDoor. I normally participate from my poetry blog, but I really wanted to write this post today. I don’t know much about this door, my mother took the picture. I do know that the process of writing and self-publishing can feel like a closed, well locked door. It’s felt like that for years to me.

I’m glad this has changed. Submitting poetry and flash fiction to magazines turns out to be a satisfying process for me, even when it comes with rejections. To have a procrastination book on Amazon, a creative book (English version coming soon) and four beautiful note books… It feels great. Even when the marketing learning curve is impressive.

For more doors, hop over to #ThursdayDoor creator and host Norm. I’m a fan. New gems every week. Nice people too.


3 thoughts on “Stop procrastinating on… self publishing tips #4

    1. Angela van Son Post author

      Good question. I don’t have experience with the same book in hard cover and paper back, so I’m not the one to tell.

      My poetry/photography book is hard cover, with expensive paper, so expensive to start with. And only in Dutch. The English edition is almost ready.

      My procrastination work book is paper back. Much more affordable, and in English.

      From the pod casts I’ve listened to I’ve formed the idea that hard cover and paper back are different markets, and it pays off to have both of them.



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