Welcome to this two-part article series covering the Do’s and the Don’t’s of self publishing. This first post is the Do’s and what factors you need to consider with how to self publish a book the right way.
1. Start with a quality, critiqued manuscript
There’s thousands of books published every year, most are of very poor quality (dare I say crap?) and the authors wonder why they don’t sell books. Make sure you have a quality product that will see your book be part of the cream that rises to the top. Re-read your manuscript through multiple times. Get critiques from others who’ll have an objective eye and spot things you didn’t. This is your first step to refining your manuscript eliminating plot holes and inconsistencies in story details for fiction books. For nonfiction books others may find a lack of visual aids to accompany descriptions, or that changing the order of your book’s content will make it easier to follow.
2. Publishing your book with the ‘True Self Publishing’ method
This means you are not looking at vanity publishers or paying so-called ‘self publishers’ to publish your book. True Self Publishing means you are maintaining control of every aspect of producing your book product, executing your vision for the book. From your own imprint name, having your own ISBN’s, setting the price, having the cover design you want, making sure the book is properly edited and YOU reap the benefits and profit.
3. Readers want you to get professional editing
There’s nothing worse than reading a book with obvious spelling and grammar errors that rip you out of being immersed in a story. Besides terrible cover design the lack of adequate editing is at the top of the ‘most complaints’ list by readers online. It’s a sure way to receive 1-star reviews of your book and I don’t have to tell you what that means for a book in the marketplace. Seek out professional editing with a services vendor or independent contractor. Do a search online or ask those in your network for recommendations.
4. A great book cover design, helps sell books
Before potential buyers see the juicy story or information inside your book, they need to feel compelled to pick up your book for a closer look or read the blurb and reviews. This only happens when you have a quality, striking book cover design. Readers quality radars are sharper than ever, as a self publisher you want to emit your authority and authenticity as an author and expert as strongly as possible. Make sure your book cover design does this for you.
5. Have a compelling blurb for your book
Once the cover has done it’s job and drawn your potential buyer in for a closer look, it’s time for your book blurb to step up and work it’s magic. For fiction authors you are looking to start by setting the scene of your story and ending your blurb description so it’s intriguing and sparks curiosity in the potential buyer. Nonfiction authors you’ll want to detail the benefits the reader will receive having read the book and the new opportunity that may potentially await them moving forward.
6. Accompany your print book with an available Kindle version
Noticed I said ‘Kindle’ version instead of eBook? That’s because Amazon has the monster share of the eBook market. As the sales of eBooks continue to sky rocket and as Amazon broadens it’s market reach, it would be detrimental not to have a Kindle version accompany your print book. Get someone to properly format your eBook using HTML with a full table of contents, adapted structure and links. Having someone do this for you saves frustration, your hair and above all allows you to spend that valuable time creating your book marketing plan.
7. Create your book marketing plan
After following the previous steps, you’ll have a quality product that can fuel word of mouth. Now it’s time to start the marketing machine and get your book out the door and in front of the masses. Have an action plan ready to go that includes having your author website up and running, review copies sent out, news releases, your book launch, giveaways and competitions, book tours, school visits, online community building and social networking. Here’s where you can seek aid from friends, family and professionals to help spread the load.
When it comes to real self publishing and how to self publish a book properly, it helps to chunk things down into small milestones. This is why I’ve created this seven Do’s and Don’t’s overview series. Part 2 is the horrid DON’T’S that you need to avoid!
Keep up the hustle!