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Self-publishing Success Stories: Bryan Cohen – Indie Author, Podcaster, Coach

Self-publishing Success Stories: Bryan Cohen – Indie Author, Podcaster, Coach

Bryan Cohen's advice is particularly helpful for those who feel pulled in different directions

Bryan Cohen's advice is especially helpful for those who feel pulled in different directions


Most indie authors automatically associate the name of Bryan Cohen with his role as co-host (with Jim Kukral) of the Sell More Books Show, and with his books about marketing for authors. He's also a prolific and successful fiction writer, and a Professional Member of ALLi. In our exclusive interview, he shares his particular take on how to shape a successful self-publishing career, including:

  • the importance of consistency
  • focusing on positive reviews and happy fans at challenging times
  • following a strict routine



What’s your proudest achievement to date as an indie author?

This is a tough one! I feel like there are so many one-time sales milestones I could point to (selling 1,000+ copies in a day with a BookBub Featured Deal or hitting the Top 100 of the Kindle Store), but I think I'm proud of my consistency. By continuing to put out more books each year, I've been able to hit five-figures in book sales each year since 2011.

We love the flashy stories, but we should all strive for consistency.

What’s the single best decision you ever made?

cover of Dark Souls by Bryan Cohen

The first in Bryan Cohen's Viral Superheroes series

Relaunching my fiction series with better covers, better book descriptions, and better writing tripled my sales for that series. It also gave me the momentum to finally finish the seven-book series which had languished for so long. So, I got a financial reward and a creative reward. Hooray!

What’s been your biggest surprise as an indie author?

How awesome the fans have been! Some of these folks have stuck with me for 5+ years and are willing to read whatever it is I put out. Even when I haven't believed in myself, they've believed in me. Their encouragement means so much.

What’s your greatest challenge – and how do you deal with it?

Dealing with the trolls and haters is always a challenge. For the most part, ignoring them is the best way to go. I also try to look at my positive reviews and the emails from my fans to remind me that the negative people are just a small percentage of my readers.

How do you get/stay in a creative mood?

For me, it's all about routine. Making sure I write in the same place and the same time every day helps me to get in the mood. I've also always liked the advice that you should start your day producing, rather than consuming content.

How do you remain productive/motivated?

It's tough when you're being pulled in all sorts of directions, but if you can make sure that certain times of your day are always devoted to producing, then you can train your brain to almost always be ready to go at that time.

I also read a lot of motivational books and listen to audio programs that keep me pumped up.

What’s your favourite thing about being an author–publisher?

The freedom of being able to work where I want and when I want.

What are your top tips for other ALLis?

cover of How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis by Bryan Cohen

The go-to guide for indie authors perfecting their blurb

Do the right things in the right order.

It may be exciting to try to learn push-button marketing concepts like advertising, but if you aren't producing a lot of content yet, then you should work on craft and writing faster first. There's not much point in learning Amazon Ads if you have one book in an unpopular genre.

Get your ducks in a row and then move on to the next steps.

What’s next for you?

I've got a new fiction series and a few new nonfiction books in the works. Balancing teaching and creativity is difficult, but I know that it's worth it!

#toptips for indie #authors on how to #selfpublish successfully by top coach, podcaster & marketeer @BryanCohenBooks of the @smbspodcast (Sell More Books Show) Click To Tweet

Author: Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen runs Best Page Forward, a copywriting service specializing in book descriptions. He's also the co-host of The Sell More Books Show with Jim Kukral and The Split with Robert Scanlon. He's written over 40 books. Find out more at www.bestpageforward.net.


This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Bryan, I want to thank you for this insight into your own practice. I’m also grateful for your unit on Blurb-writing in the SPF-101 course, which was a revelaton to me. Blurbs are still not easy, but your analysis is a huge help.

  2. Thanks for sharing your advice! It confirms some ideas I was threshing out in discovering my own path as a writer. A routine has been worked partially out. The trick is staying consistent and focusing on the positive. 🙂

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