Ethan Lazzerini

Self Publishing Spiritual Books (tips & myths)

Self Publishing Spiritual Books (tips & myths)

Self Publishing Spiritual Books (tips & myths)

I am sharing my tips and insights from self publishing three spiritual books. I expose the myths about self-publishing and offer tips for aspiring authors. Learn why indie publishing was my Plan A and not my Plan B…
Over the last four years I have written and independently published three books (in paperback and ebook format) about crystals and crystal healing through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and formally CreateSpace (now merged with KDP).
The publishing world is constantly changing and I am still learning all the time. I wanted to share what I have learned in this journey and a few myths I’ve come across. I’m a non-fiction author, but most of this will apply to both fiction and non-fiction and other genres.

Why Self Publishing Was NOT My Plan B

When I first started writing 10 years ago, the publishing world was a different place. Self-publishing was much harder, it cost a lot of money and was a huge risk to new authors. Back then I only saw it as a possible plan B if I couldn’t find a publisher.
When I returned to wanting to write and publish a book about 5 years ago, everything had changed but there was still a stigma and a lot of myths about self-publishing. I decided to research both options and became very inspired by how many authors were doing really well self-publishing their books.
By the end of this, I decided that Indie Publishing was a better fit for me, at least to get started. Here are just some of the reasons:

9 Empowering Reasons Why I Chose To Self Publish

1. It’s common for a finished book to take up to 2 years to be traditionally published by a big publisher. I wasn’t prepared to wait any longer.
2. Indie authors earn higher royalties. You don’t have to sell hundreds of thousands of books to make a living as an author any more.
3. With KDP and BookReport you can see all your stats and monitor your sales in real-time online. No surprises.
4. With POD (Print On Demand) services, you no longer have to pay to print your books and hope they sell. Books are printed for you once someone buys them and all shipping is handled by websites or distributors.
5. A POD paperback book never runs out of stock online or goes out of print unless you remove it from sale.
6. You have complete control of how your books look inside, illustration, photography and the book cover. You can update the book at any time.
7. I’m an introvert and this way also meant I could decide what I would and wouldn’t do to promote my book.
8. It allowed me to see if anyone was even interested in my writing and if my books would sell.
9. You decide what price your ebook and paperback books sell for and can adjust this at any time to find the right and fair price.

3 BIG MYTHS About Publishing Your Book

1. If I independently publish my book I am saying no to a book deal.
Completely false, many well-known authors were discovered through self-publishing. It actually shows publishers how serious you are and how much interest there is in your book.
2. Traditional publishers will handle all the advertising and promote my books for me.
False, these days unless you are JK Rowling, publishers will only promote you on a book launch, after that you will be expected to promote yourself and your book.
3. You need to have your books in a book shop to sell them.
My books are bought and sold by some book shops, but did you know that most of the world’s books are not actually sold in book shops? Most books especially specialist books are sold online these days.

The Hardest Part Of Writing A Book is…

The hardest part of writing a book is finishing the book. I’ve seen so many people with a great idea who never seem to complete this. If you go on forums or Facebook groups for writers, some of the most active and popular members have never actually published a book.
Don’t get me wrong, I procrastinated for years and this is a really common thing. It is scary and there are so many options now but be careful you don’t overthink things.

What helped me get my first book completed was focusing on one step at a time. I stopped worrying about all the other steps and quit a very common bad habit…

TIP: Don’t Edit As You Write!

I think it is easy to be a perfectionist with your first book. Don’t try to edit what you just typed. Professional authors don’t do this. Write your entire book as a rough first draft, even if you don’t like the idea, it works. You will get such a sense of achievement getting the hardest part done.

TIP: Proof Read On Paper

Once complete, give it a rest for a week and then print it all out on paper. Go through with a red pen for any changes or mistakes. Then tick these off as you edit the digital file (this becomes your second draft).
This helps avoid eternally editing your writing on a computer or over editing and losing the best bits. You get to look at your words with fresh eyes when you are not in the thick of it. I didn’t learn this till book two and it changed everything.

7 Things I Learned From Publishing Three Books

1. Learn as much as you can before publishing a book. The publishing world is constantly changing, make sure you are up to date and not following old school rules and outdated ideas.
2. Beware of taking advice from people who have not actually published a book or who haven’t been successful doing so. This includes wellmeaning friends and family.
3. Book cover design is very important. Look at your genre top 10 as a guide. Unless you are a graphic designer, seek out a designer who has experience with book covers ideally in your genre.
4. You should ideally start a blog before you release a nonfiction book. Blogging increased my confidence, writing skills and lets readers sample my work. It is how most people find me.
5. Although you can self-publish a full-colour book, it costs a lot to produce these and that makes them expensive compared to traditionally published books. Hopefully, the price will come down in the future.
6. Starting a newsletter helps you reach your readers easier than on social media alone. A free gift for subscribers like a mini ebook, printable or mini-course is expected these days.
7. It is extremely rare for anyone to make a living from one book (self-published or otherwise). If you want to be a professional author, be prepared to write more books. My first book didn’t do very well, my second book changed everything for me…

This was the original cover of my first book. After updating the cover it sells well now

Further Research:

I highly recommend you do your own research. I attended many free webinars and courses on traditional publishing and self publishing online. Youtube is also great but as I said make sure youre listening to the right people.
Here are some very good books by people that know what they are talking about, that helped me along the way. Some I wish I found much sooner:
The Successful Author Mindset By Joanna Penn
Helpful if you haven’t even started or have fear of failure.
Successful Self Publishing by Joanna Penn
Walks you through the process of writing and publishing your first book.
Platform by Michael Hyatt
Helped me put myself out there, start the website and blog and find my readers.
Your First 1000 Copies by Tim Grahl
Makes connecting with new readers natural and authentic.
How To Market A Book by Joanna Penn
Lots of non-shady ideas from a full-time author.

Did I Use Crystals While Writing?

Yes, please read my recommendations for crystals for writers and authors in the following blog post:

I hope this has been helpful. I would love to hear from you in the comments below (PLEASE keep any questions you have concise and stick to this blog post topic if you want a response).
With gratitude,

P.S. If you know anyone who may be interested in this article please share it with one of the sharing buttons at the end or side of this post.
Copyright © Ethan Lazzerini

9 thoughts on “Self Publishing Spiritual Books (tips & myths)

  1. Iren

    You never cease to amaze me, not just with you deep knowledge and understanding of the Crystals and the ways they help us to ascend, heal, protect and many other ways to assist us on our journey. But your thoughtful, attentive, very supporting and empathic presentation of the subject. Reading your books and your blog feels like having a true friend who has your best interest at heart. God bless and big thank you.

  2. Teju

    Wow, Ethan!
    That was so insightful! Thank you so much for sharing this. You truly are a very beautiful human being. Looking forward to reading more amazing articles from you.

  3. Michael Flint

    The subject of self publishing and traditional publishing is something I’ve meant to research for sometime and now I feel I don’t really need to thanks to your very informative article. Thanks so much!

  4. pam tierney

    Thank you Ethan.
    I have been stalling in taking the steps to have a spiritual work published. The traditional path seems almost impossible to break into, while self-publication seems to attract costly publishing agencies which I distrust. I liked your list of points in order to proceed, and your book recommendations. Can you recommend best source for blogging lessons, and best avenue for current publishing guidelines. I have resisted the self-publishing route, but conclude it is the only viable option for me, if I am serious about wanting to publish.

    1. Ethan Lazzerini Post author

      I am now beginning to see some people get traditional publishing deals but only because they have built a platform online and a good following over time. I haven’t taken any blogging lessons but a little book that helped me start out was Write Blog Posts Readers Love by Henri Junttila. Joanna Penn’s books cover the most professional way to self publish and always gives good advice on best practices.

  5. siggi b

    Hi Ethan
    Really appreciate your inspiring and encouraging words you share.
    Can you recommend (maybe i missed it, if you wrote it somewhere!) where to find book publicists or marketing experts in the body mind spirit / new age / spirituality sector? I am finding it so hard to find any albeit i am absolutely sure they exists even here in the UK. I know how much it can help, despite the fact i will do much myself too.
    Any tips IF you have, please would love to hear.

    Thank you

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