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Self-Published Children’s Author Shares Advice

Author Timothy Cohorst was the first children’s book author to crack our Self-Published Bestsellers List this year. Since its publication last year, His Jocomo book has always hovered near the top of the Smashwords charts.

We caught up with Cohorst to find out more about his self-publishing career, getting some indie writing advice at the same time. Here’s more from the author:

The first step is to not be fearful of the process. Just prepare your text and artwork as best you can, make sure it is edited for grammar, usage and punctuation, and utilize a professional formatter to prepare your book to meet Smashwords standards. Smashwords provides a list of formatters who will do the work for a nominal fee [email list [at] smashwords [dot] com to request the list]. I would say a good price for your book would be commensurate to the length and/or complexity of the artwork and text. The more effort or cost to render the book, the greater the price. Smashwords payment percentage is maximal at a price of $2.99 or more.

Cohorst also offered this advice about marketing your self-published book:

It is very easy to become lost within the sheer volume of titles available on the Smashwords website.  Begin my emailing a copy of your book to friends and family. Ask them if they would kindly review your book. Ask them to suggest it to their extended network of friends.

Utilize social media via Facebook and Twitter to announce the publication of your book.  If you belong to organizations, religious or other, notify them of your publication. Utilize every avenue to promote your book.  In this field, success is directly proportional to promotion.

The author also outlined his indie writing career:

I’ve been self-publishing my books for many years. I have marketed my books along with collectable figurines and plush toys of the Boogle characters upon which my stories are based. I’ve been doing this for over twenty years.

I have been blessed to have developed a customer base through my years of marketing my characters. I promote by emailing a notification or “press release” of my book to my existing customers. I have been very fortunate to have had a good response.

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