How I Went From Confused to Self Publishing a Book, Pt. 2

Focus baby.

We’re following up last week’s post about how I went from confused to self publishing a book (pt. 1). If you haven’t read that post, go back!

So to continue, here were the steps.

  1. I researched how to produce an eBook. I first wanted to find out how much effort making an eBook would be. Could I sell it for money? What would the potential avenues be? What technology would I need? One of the alums from my school was kind enough to give me advice.
  2. I thought about who my target customer was. Since I had been in all three positions, I quickly realized that those considering business school, those those in business school, and those just out of school would be interested in the subject matter.
  3. I made an initial list of classmates who would be good to interview, keeping them in a detailed spreadsheet.
  4. I set my goal for interviewing 50 people
  5. I started interviewing people. As the interviews went on, I got better at the questions, adding to things that I asked. At the end of every interview, I asked my interviewee whether they had someone they could refer me to.
  6. About 10 interviews in, I started writing. Things were going ok until I realized I had never written anything of this length before. At this point, I became intensely dissatisfied with my work and took a break. I started to read other non-fiction books with the objective of learning how other authors did it. Once I finished one, I got back to interviews.
  7. I worked in spurts where I’d do about 3 interviews then write a little. As I went on, I modified my questions to fill out areas where my book was lacking.
  8. When I got to 30 I realized that the same themes were being repeated, so I decided to call it a day and stop interviewing.
  9. I went through one draft to be somewhat satisfied with it myself, then another so it was decent to send it out to others.
  10. I sent it out to 6 people for an initial peer review. I gave them a month to review and fill out a targeted survey and review.
  11. During this month, I worked hard to figure out how I could get as many people as possible to check it out.
  12. I asked one of my friends from undergrad for advice from her eBook experience.
  13. I searched for what formats I should be publishing in.
  14. I asked whether I should sell on Amazon or exclusively through my website.
  15. I set up my website on WordPress.
  16. I read Guerilla Marketing to give me some ideas about how to get the word out.
  17. I created tracking sheets to keep up with all the marketing avenues I would attempt to utilize.
  18. On these sheets I had 2 months of blog posts, an email campaign, a Facebook ad campaign, a classified ad campaign, business school sites and contacts, target schools, and LinkedIn ads planned.
  19. I wrote a bunch of blog posts.
  20. I created an After School Facebook page.
  21. I created a Mailchimp account to handle my email campaign.
  22. I installed SumoMe apps on my site to collect subscribers.
  23. I set up a Paypal professional account to collect payments.
  24. I registered for Gumroad to put a shopping cart on my site.
  25. I set up Google Analytics to track site traffic for every page on my website.
  26. I got my outstanding graphic designer friend to create a book cover.
  27. I got the feedback back from my test readers and arranged it into themes.
  28. I wrote my second draft based on the feedback.
  29. I submitted this draft to an editor contracted on Upwork.
  30. I put the shopping cart on the purchase page.
  31. I had a soft launch where I just posted the website link to some group chats.
  32. I finally had my official launch the next week.

And that’s it. It honestly didn’t take that long; I just had to focus.

If you would like to participate/be interviewed for the blog, contact me at nkem.nwankwo@lifeafterschool.co.