Episode 55 : Paul Teague
Paul Teague is a successful non-fiction author and host of the Self-Publishing Journeys Podcast. He is now attempting to move solely into writing in fiction, which is where his passion lies.
You’ve had success with non-fiction books, why did you decide to move into writing fiction?
Paul started with non-fiction in 2013 from a collection of transcripts from interviews. Paul had created 5 pdf books before this. The big issue he faced though was that his non-fiction books dated so quickly. While they were lucrative, the constant change required lessened his interest in non-fiction. He also enjoys writing fiction far more than non-fiction.
What is the biggest difference you have noticed about publishing fiction as opposed to non-fiction?
Fiction has its own difficulties. Non-fiction is a lot easier to sell, because it is easier to use keyword marketing for non-fiction. Fiction is a different beast; if you are unknown then it is harder to break into fiction than non-fiction.
Did you pay for any advertising for non-fiction?
Four of his non-fiction books got to the top in free book charts, using free promos from KDP Select and keyword optimisation. He also had built up a large list of 25000 e-mail subscribers which helped to sell his book. He used free giveaways of one book to cross-promote his other books.
What advice would you give to people to be successful in publishing non-fiction books?
Think about keywords and areas with strong sales. Don’t choose obscure categories but also you don’t want too broad a category where your book will get lost. He recommends free promotions as the way to get your book charting initially. It is a treadmill though as you will need to be continually updating most non-fiction books as they quickly go out of date.
In your podcast you interview people who have self-published. What is the biggest thing you’ve learned so far about self-publishing from your guests?
He targets people at the beginning of their self-publishing careers. Money is an issue for many of them. It is hard work and self-publishing isn’t for the faint-hearted. The first hurdle is that it takes time to build up an audience. He has been impressed by the novel ways that self-publishers have used to promote their books.
What do you think is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your self-publishing journey so far?
Paul arranged a book-selling event in a bunker in Scotland for his Secret Bunker book. He wanted to bring a pull-up (that’s a huge pull-up poster) to the event – he ordered it and didn’t notice that it was enormous and non-foldable at ordering time. He just about got the pull-up into his car but had to leave it at the event. But Paul feels that most things can be fixed in self-publishing, so doesn’t regret most of the mistakes he has made. He also realised while creating his course on self-publishing that he was doing too much of the work himself.
Would you start with non-fiction again?
Paul would still start with non-fiction again. While he finds them boring to write, they are easier to create than fiction. He hopes to reach the point where he can start writing on fiction solely.
In terms of the genres you wrote your fiction in, were they picked because you liked them or was their a commercial plan in terms of the genres you chose?
Paul began in fiction writing those genres he loved. However he wrote his first series as a Young Adult category but had no idea how to sell to people in that group. Most of his readers have been adults. In his later trilogy the Grid, he wrote for an older market. In his later books he wrote much more for a specific audience while he was writing the book.
Where can people find out about you?
You can find him at his podcast Self-Publishing Journeys (selfpublishingjourneys.com). His non-fiction can be found at paulteague.com. You can also take Paul Teague’s self-publishing course which is available here:
I’ve had a look at the course and it seems fairly comprehensive. I am an affiliate for the course, so if you do click through the link above and pay for the course I’ll earn a commission. If this bothers you then just go to Paul’s site directly and pay him directly (the price is the same).