Do you want to do self-publishing but don't have the capital to get started? Here’s how to self-publish with no money.
Reaching A Point Of Frustration
Saeed was excited because he had finished writing his very first book. The problem was that he didn't have any money. So, he knew he had no chance at all of ever getting his book published, or did he?
Well, that's the reason why in today's topic we are going to discuss how to self-publish with no money? So, the thing was Saeed is a 20-year-old and he lives in Egypt. He had been watching some of my YouTube videos.
Over some time, he began to understand that even though he had no money, maybe there were options. The problem was he wanted to get his book onto the market and sell it because he had written it.
He just really enjoys writing and he didn't have any money though. So, he was thinking that with the cost associated with the cover, the editing, and the formatting, maybe somebody could write the description.
Then put it all together and get it onto the website. And how to set up an account? All of these things seemed very overwhelming for Saeed.
He was thinking that “Without the money, I can't pay somebody to help me do this stuff and I certainly don't know how to do it myself. So, I am in serious trouble.” And so, it was good that he wrote a book but he would never see it enter the market.
Well, he had been watching YouTube because that's what I do. I am also watching YouTube and seeing what are the best strategies and such. He was watching one of my videos where I was commenting that you can do this without using any money at all.
The thing was that if he didn't figure out how to do this, he would never get his book onto the market and get it selling at the same time. He was thinking that he knew he could save some costs. But he wasn't sure about that.
How would you exactly cut back all the costs and all the expenses when it comes to self-publishing? So, the first thing he did was he'd found plenty of gurus. There are a lot of fake gurus out there, people who are telling you that self-publishing is no problem.
Hybrid companies will say “Just give us thousands of dollars and I'm sure you'll be super happy with the work that we're going to do.” Now you know me well enough. You've been watching my YouTube channel all this time.
Check out this related article: How To Self Publish Your Book | Step by Step 2022
You know that I'm going to be pushing “doing it yourself”. Learning the skills, yourself and then hiring out as the money starts to come in. So that you can focus on the parts of the journey you enjoy best, which I'm thinking is the writing.
Sometimes, you may enjoy the marketing or the cover design. But it depends on when you first get started. You figure out the things you want to do and the things you don't want to do.
But learning the skills is not a terrible way to go. Many of the self-publishing gurus out there will try to tell you that “Look, you just give me a thousand dollars and I'll tell you how to do it.”
But it doesn't have to be so difficult. He was completely listening to the messaging and things that were coming from those people. It was very demotivating.
The second thing he was thinking was his book is going to be in English and that is not his first language. So, there were some challenges with that. He was thinking, “Maybe I can't get this book on the market.”
Because he knew that if he could get it into English, he could sell more copies. Which is a true statement depending upon which book in certain markets they target certain languages.
If the book is about how to learn Arabic, then it might have been a better book in that category to go in that particular direction. But in this case, it was not exactly working. So, he reached a point of complete frustration, not sure what to do.
So, what happened then? The thing was that he noticed that I do free sessions whereas a lot of these other people are charging hundred dollars. I do a free session, a discovery session where it's not just looking at your issues but seeing if we can give some results.
If we can solve some of the issues that were going on and decided to book a session with me. Now, he started by saying “Look, I have no money. I can't pay you anything.” My comment was that I learn from all of the sessions that I do.
I hear different problems and some of the problems repeat. My interest is that authors can get their books onto the market. I believe that is incredibly important for the world.
Using The Necessary Tools
Even if I don't get paid for anything, if I'm able to help a few more authors, that is definitely worth the time. Especially in some regions of the world where maybe money doesn't come so easily.
To start getting in and building a business. Bringing money into their community through self-publishing. And so, I do sessions regularly with people who will never be able to pay me back ever.
That's something that you may be thinking, “I don't have any money.” You can do it for free so I would suggest starting on that particular route there. But with him, I went through the steps.
So, the first step is you have to write a book well. If you can't write the book, then we have a problem. Because you either have to pay somebody to write the book which costs money or you have to write it yourself.
So, he wrote the book himself which was great. The next thing is four ways of editing. The first thing is we're going to run it through Grammarly, that's one.
Two, we're going to run it through Word. It's a spell check and grammar check in English to make sure it's the right grammar check version of Word. Then we're going to use Libre Open Office and use its grammar check.
Now you might be thinking about some of these tools. Why do I need to use so many of them? And I'm telling you, this is something you're going to want to do.
Because each one is finding things that some of these other free tools are not finding. Then the final editing trick is going with friends. Do you know anybody who knows English or know anybody who could read through the book and give you feedback?
If you happen to have an audience already, you could ask them as well if they're willing to read like a beta reader. To find and do some editing not just beta reader but the editing side of it and help you with that. So that was number one.
Then comes number two, we're going to take the book and put it into Word. From there, we're going to upload that. You can take the Word in, now it's going to have issues with the table of contents.
Check out this related article: Should You Self-Publish Your Book In 2022?
But we're going the free route. The goal is to get the book onto the market. So, we can make some money that we can use to learn a great program like Jutoh.
I teach people how to use Jutoh in my Book Formatting Course. Even without doing that, we can just use Word and upload the file. It may not pass the test; we may have to go back and forth between KDP and Amazon.
But eventually, we can get this book out and published on the market. Even if we don't have a better tool like Jutoh that I like to use. Then we move on to the next one which is we're going to need to create a cover.
This is going to be an expensive one. Well not really, on Fiverr we could do it for about $18. We always want to use a premium photo if possible. However, I like 99Designs.
But he was not ready to go spending a hundred dollars on a cover. So that wasn't going to happen. So, then we do our fallback which is Canva. It is a great way to get started with free covers.
We're going to go to Canva. We're just going to build it out. Let it have a template for the Kindle book version of your eBook. It has all these templates and even designs already there.
We love the fonts and we love the colors. Maybe we don't like the photo, so we’re going to go to Pixabay or Pixels. You can get a free photo that you're going to be able to use.
You can use that image without giving attribution, saying who exactly made the image. You can edit the image and you can put it on a product that you can sell like a book for example. So, we find the image that we're going to need on the cover from Pixels and Pixabay.
I just did a session with somebody else also, just in the last couple of weeks. That was dealing with this like a haunted mansion or something. We were able to look on these sites and find a cover.
Because somebody had told them you can't use it if you're going to sell it. Or you can't edit the cover or something. And we went on the site and we read the exact details. Yes, you can do these things, so what happened was we did find the right cover.
Got The First Book On The Market
Then the final one is in terms of how we're going to do the description and these other aspects of our specific book. The answer is we're going to look at the best sellers in our same niche. We're going to target our book going in that direction.
To make sure that it flows and looks very similar to those other best-sellers are doing and their best sellers on Amazon. Because people are buying lots of their books. People vote with their money, so with their wallets, they pull out their wallets.
They say what they're willing to spend money on. If we go to Amazon, they're willing to tell us what people are voting for. And if they vote for books that look like this, well then, we want our book to look not too different from that inside the same niche.
The key is that each of these steps followed exactly the pattern of making sure it was free. But also doing the best that we can. Now listen, you're going to do a lot better if you don't go the free route.
The goal isn't to do great; the goal is to do that first book. We want to see if we can optimize the page. Based upon our abilities without spending thousands of dollars to get this book on the market.
This was exactly what he needed to hear. Because he could see the path as we were moving through it. He had also got in my free checklist but as we were moving through that, he was able to see exactly the steps that were necessary to get going and even do it the free route.
As I mentioned to him during the discovery session, he wasn't going to book another session. He wasn't going to join the 1-On-1 Program. He wasn't ready for group coaching at this point but with the discovery session, we got him up and went on his way.
So even if you're in the same situation and you need that help, just go and check out the free discovery session. Even if you could never book another session, just book one session, and then we can see what we can do for your book.
But let's get back to Saeed. So, the thing was that he still wasn't sure about the Canva front. As he went in there, you could see you had to sort of move things around in the pictures and stuff. Now keep in mind that Canva is the easiest program to use.
There isn't anything easier than Canva when we're making our book covers. But everything takes a little bit of time just to learn the basic tools and he gave it a try. He started working through the steps that we had discussed.
Check out this related article: How To Write, Publish, And Sell An Ebook
He got his cover complete. He got it all to put together and he uploaded it onto Amazon. He got his very first book on the market and so it did pass the test.
There was a little bit of back and forth with Amazon. But that's expected and that's also free. It's not a problem with the account or anything.
It's just that they have quality standards and they're even doing spell checks and grammar checks. They're doing all sorts of stuff on your book to make sure that it's okay. But he had already run it through Grammarly and other programs.
So, it had already found those sorts of issues. It wasn't going to get onto Amazon with tons of spelling errors. That had already been found by using the grammar checking in those three programs that we already discussed.
The thing was that he did see some sales. Now he did not see as many sales as some of my clients and some of the people go through this particular process but he was trying to go for free. So that was the starting point.
Marketing can also be done for free but by using content marketing. But ads of course are going to cost money. So, at this point, he's not ready to commit to that until we can see if we can boost the sales up a little bit more.
So, he did leave me a testimonial which I appreciated. I was appreciative. If you have no intention of booking additional sessions but at least have the ability to go through that portion of it we're able to take a look and just give you a basic idea.
So that's one of the things I also discussed with him. This subject of things you can do for free. That will seriously improve your overall performance on your books.
Improve your self-publishing business and overall, just being an author. There are some things you should avoid. That's one of the reasons I created an article called 3 Habits I Gave Up To Win At Self-Publishing | My Self-publishing System. You can check that out and learn more.