Whether you’re writing your first book or tenth book, until you’ve actually been published, you probably have little to no idea what it actually takes to get your book from your hands into the hands of readers. OK, maybe you at least know that the traditional publishing route will mean hundreds of rejection letters before someone else finally sees your potential, but what if you decide to self publish? You might not be ready to take on the task of self publishing just yet, but if you are, if you’ve seen the light and know that self publishing today is not the negative thing it once was (thanks to Amazon), there’s a few things you should still know.
- Editing. No, I’m not talking about having a couple friends read through your book, I’m talking about handing over your hard earned cash to a professional that will do it right. The thing is, there’s a lot of self published authors out there today, and it’s pretty easy to get lost in the sea of endless books that appear every day. If you want to set yourself apart and really stand out, get your book professionally edited! I read an article a while back about a self published author who has it right. Every book she publishes goes through one round of copyediting and three rounds of proofreading. Overkill maybe, but nothing can kill sales worse than reviews from people complaining about errors in your book, and I speak from personal experience!
- Formatting. Here’s where the technical stuff begins, the part where your book is formatted to actually look good, be it in digital or paperback. Sure, you can do this yourself, if you have hours and hours, weeks and weeks, to spend researching all the details on this process. Or you can just hire a professional to do it for you. That was easy.
- Publishing. Even if you’ve already figured out how to create your Kindle and/or Createspace accounts, the actual navigation part requires some acclimation. Again, there are tons of resources to help you do this by yourself, and if you’re the guy/gal that likes to figure this kind of stuff out, power to you, but know that it will take some time and possible frustration before you reach the finish line.
- Promotion Part 1. This one technically falls under publishing, but choosing the correct categories and key phrases for your book can actually make a difference in how many people find it. No guarantees of course, but this could literally mean the difference between your book showing up in searches or not. So unless you’re already an Amazon marketing guru, you might want to seek out some help withÂ this one.
- Promotion Part 2. This is the single most challenging part of publishing a book. Well, that is of course if you plan on selling more books than just the one to your mother and your best friend! Ironically though, the challenge isn’t all in the promotion itself, but also avoiding the countless pitfalls that are out there. Seriously, do a search for ‘kindle book marketing’ and you’ll quickly learn that lots of websites have ‘awesome’ marketing services for the right price…only I can guarantee that most (if not all) of them are anything but awesome. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on promotion services, and there’s just not much that’s worth spending money on. Focus like crazy on growing an audience and keep writing books! Authors with more books tend to see more sales.
Rest assured that none of this is meant to steer you away from the world of self publishing, you just deserve to know what you’re stepping into before knowing that the water’s deep and you will need to swim! And if you want some help, that’s what we do!