This Week in Self-Publishing: Making Your Package As Great As Your Content

This Week

Books sold: 7 ebooks, 0 paperbacks

Money earned: $19.56

Money spent: $0

Total

Books sold: 339 ebooks, 136 paperbacks

Money earned (book sales): $1,260.70

Money earned (Patreon): $6,909

Money spent: $4,820.71


On Monday, I launched Writing & Money, a new podcast designed to help you earn more money from your writing. (Some eps are free; most are subscription-only. $1 per month.)

I launched this week because I had the idea and I knew I’d be good at it, and because I wanted a way to start the “teaching” phase of my career without having to invest in the video setup that I’d need to create online classes on a site like Teachable.

Plus, it doesn’t make sense to start planning video until I know what my new apartment in Cedar Rapids will be like.

But I can podcast from anywhere, right? GarageBand has a “podcast” setting, so I could just… record and go!

Well.

Here’s what I’ve learned after two episodes.

I’m a natural teacher. I already knew that, for the most part—I started teaching piano lessons when I was a teenager, and have earned a decent amount of cash teaching theater, music, and writing over the years.

I have an engaging podcast presence. Again: theater, music, lots of experience speaking (and singing) in public.

My podcast audio is, at best, 70 percent there. There are plosives, there’s some room noise, and although it doesn’t sound dreadful, it doesn’t sound professional either.

I might be able to get it to 85 percent on my own, by learning a little more about GarageBand and buying some extra tools like a pop filter.

Or I could hire out to someone who could get it to 100 percent.

When I published The Biographies of Ordinary People, I wanted it to look 100 percent, and I hired a designer to help me get it there. (Veronica Ewing—she’s so great!)

When I launched Writing & Money, I wanted to earn as much money as possible from podcast subscriptions, so I tried to do the entire thing myself.

I don’t know how many people listened to the first episode and decided not to subscribe because the audio was only at 70 percent. (I do know that 198 people viewed the first episode, whether or not they listened to it.)

But I know that before I release the next free episode in December, I need to get that audio a lot closer to 100 percent.

Because my podcast content is REALLY GOOD. I’ve had multiple people tell me so. Episode 0: How to Pitch is already helping people get better at pitching!

So my audio should be REALLY GOOD too.

You can extrapolate that into whatever aspect of your own work is currently at 70 percent, whether it’s a cover design that isn’t quite right or a character whose motivation you haven’t yet figured out.

Also… I’m still in teaching mode, aren’t I. ❤️

 

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