10 Tips For Self Publishing A Book
Online technology has inspired a self-publishing revolution in recent years, making it a perfectly reasonable, attainable, and affordable goal to write and publish your own book, as opposed to the traditional route of having to find an established publisher. Self-publishing offers a cost-effective path to seeing your work out in the public domain. But there are many aspects to consider on the route to your book being a success. Here are some tips with regards to commercial book printing and self-publishing:
Just Get Started and Write
It may seem an obvious piece of advice – but this is the crux of the matter! Many people love the idea of writing and publishing their own book but getting started is not that easy. Dedicate an allotted amount of time each day to write and get into the habit of writing daily. It doesn’t matter how you set your targets just so long as there are some. It may be a couple of hours a day, or a certain number of words per day – whichever format you are most comfortable working with, set the target and ensure you complete it each day.
Create A Series
It is easier to market a series than a ‘stand-alone’ book. Readers love to revisit and follow characters with whom they become familiar (Harry Potter, Inspector Morse, Miss Marple, and such). Once you establish a character that readers can identify with, then writing successive stories around them will garner an automatic audience for each new book.
Pick A Subject You Like
It is easier to write about a topic you like and enjoy in your own life – don’t try to predict what the ‘market’ would necessarily like to read! It is pointless trying to write a spy novel if you know nothing about politics and espionage. It would be difficult to write, and the end product would likely be unrealistic and unconvincing! If you write about a subject that you are genuinely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about, your readership will feel the genuine passion and interest you put into your story and characters. That makes it an exciting read and people will engage with your story.
Curate a Mailing List
Finding ways to access your potential readers is important. Create a mailing list, primarily of people you know of who may be interested in your book, then from customers who buy or download any work you have previously published. Obviously, this is not easy for an initial book, but a mailing list will give you an automatic, proven clientele for any subsequent work. With every new publication, you can swell that mailing list, giving you an ever-increasing ‘jump start’ with every new book.
Consider Starting Fan Mail
Again, this may be an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised how many people do not take advantage of this! Anyone who has taken the time and effort to contact and congratulate you on a book you have published is a declared fan – and an immediate buyer of your next work! These people are an unpaid marketing force for you and your books – these are the people who will tell their family and friends about your books and encourage further readership. Apart from the common courtesy aspect of taking the time to reply to these people – it can be done through a simple email or social media platform, and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult – it is a genuine boost to potential future sales and a lovely personal touch that your readers will value.
Quality is Important
Independently publishing your book doesn’t have to mean that the quality of the finished product is any less than using an established – and expensive – traditional publisher. A properly designed cover and quality paper will always be a good investment and raise the professional look of your book. Using an online book publisher can make independent commercial book printing a cost-effective and high-quality option to bringing your book to a mass audience. These online print companies can offer valuable advice on cover design, layout, printing, and finish. They offer a variety of book binding methods, along with a selection of quality materials and can recommend what the most relevant options are for the type of book you are writing.
Get Help and Advice
It is always wise to consult with others who may have the knowledge to help give your story credibility and depth. If parts of your story include subjects or environments of a specific nature, and of which you have limited knowledge or experience, then seek out expert advice in these matters. It would be a shame to spoil an otherwise interesting and realistic story with an inaccurate and implausible section on a subject you haven’t properly researched or learned about.
Hire the Help of a Proofreader
A very simple, but very important, tip on proofreading – DO NOT DO IT YOURSELF! Whether you hire a professional proofreader or editor to do it, or you just get someone who you know and trust, and whom has the relevant language and grammar skills, another pair of eyes can look at the work subjectively and impartially and highlight any errors!
Learn by Experience
Take time to study other people’s work – consider a relevant course, join online forums, read other, similar writers’ work, listen to relevant podcasts, and read appropriate articles. Other people’s successful writing experiences are only ever going to be of benefit to you!
Just because it is now achievable to write and self-publish a book does not guarantee that it will be a commercial success! Many authors now self-publish and, along with the traditional, established ‘big’ publishers, there is a vast amount of content out there for the public to access – so do not automatically assume that, just because your book is in print and available, it will sell millions of copies! Be realistic about your goals and what you consider success from your book – it may not happen overnight, or indeed at all, but dedication and doing things professionally by putting the correct steps in place will go a long way to helping achieve your aim!
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