Many authors may find themselves asking whether or not to pursue self-publishing their books. Even though taking this path may not lead to sudden wealth, it’s much more straightforward than most people think. Self-publishing is a viable option for writers who want to get their work into the world. By the end of this guide to self-publishing, you will have all the knowledge you need to successfully self-publish your book.
Publishing a book is an ambition that many writers aspire to achieve. It has been observed in surveys that the majority of people would like to pen down their stories and get them published. This aspiration may be driven by a desire to communicate one’s story or share knowledge or ideas. For some, writing a book may be seen as a legacy project – something to leave behind for future generations.
- Approximately 200 million people in the United States aspire to become authors and publish their books.
- A survey conducted in 2002 revealed that 81% of respondents desired to publish a book.
- Many people express the ambition to write a book, with some claiming that this is true for up to 90% of the population.
With so many people eager to share their stories and ideas, why do so many never achieve their dream of writing a book? For many people, the idea of writing a book is daunting. It seems like such a huge undertaking, and they can’t imagine where to start. But if you take it one step at a time, it’s achievable. So if you’ve always wanted to write a book, why not start today? This guide to self-publishing will help you.
Dismantling the Self-Publishing Lies
A major issue that authors face regarding self-publishing is the lack of support and resources compared to working with a conventional publisher. This often causes confusion and anxiety as they may not know what to expect or how to go about getting their work in the market. Generally, traditional publishing is considered the preferred option compared to self-publishing, as it provides a level of expertise and professionalism that is not present in many self-published books.
Yet, many self-published books are far superior to traditionally published ones. This is likely because self-published authors have more control over their work, and can therefore put more time and effort into ensuring that it is of the highest quality possible. A common misconception is that self-published books cannot match the quality of those published through traditional routes. Contrary to popular belief, many authors have managed to produce high-quality work by self-publishing.
Andy Weir’s novel, The Martian, and Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad were both self-published before they became major movie or book successes. Both books sold millions of copies despite not being published traditionally. These books show that self-publishing can produce high-quality, professional work on par with anything coming out of the major publishing houses.
The Ultimate Guide to Self-Publishing
This guide to self-publishing will teach you the steps you need to take to self-publish your books. This includes everything from formatting your book to creating a marketing plan.
Step 1: Planning
Writing a book without any kind of plan is doomed to fail. To avoid this, it’s crucial to have a clear vision and plan before writing. Here are some steps you can take to create an effective plan for your book:
- Select a topic –Whether it’s a topic you’re passionate about or one that has generated great metrics online, writing about it can be a worthwhile endeavor. To create highly engaging content, you can either select a topic that is widely searched for or something that you have extensive knowledge about. Either way, picking the right topic is key.
- Create an outline or mental map of your book’s subject – To move forward with your project, it is important to brainstorm and record all of your ideas. This will help you keep track of your thoughts and make it easier for you to review and develop them further.
- Decide on a few things – It’s important to consider some questions when you start writing a book. These can include: Who is your target audience? How long should the book be? What is your timeline for completion? Answering these questions will help you determine the scope and focus of your work. This will also ensure that your book is tailored to your specific audience and that you can complete it within a reasonable timeframe.
Without a detailed plan, your journey toward success will be much more difficult. You should consider the three main points you need to focus on and create an actionable plan for each.
Step 2: Writing
Writing is an essential part of a writer’s life, one that they greatly enjoy. The feeling of crafting something out of nothing and watching it come alive on paper is immensely fulfilling. After taking the time to plan out your project and map it out in written form, bringing that vision to life becomes much simpler. The hard part has already been done! All you need to do is take your ideas/information from your plan and transfer them onto paper. Here are some useful techniques that can help:
- Blog Posts – You can use blogging as a way to give readers a preview of content from your book and gauge their response. By creating these posts in any order you want, you can get an idea of how the public will react to them.
- Write your book – Google Docs is a great tool for writing books, as it makes the editing process much easier for both you and your editor. Additionally, this can save you a lot of time and hassle when it comes to blog posts and any other type of online content.
- Put it on paper – Although it is not as common as it used to be, in the past this was an effective way of quickly getting down ideas without worrying too much about grammar and spelling. After you have brainstormed and come up with all of your ideas, you can go back and revise each sentence in a word processor to make it sound better.
We would strongly suggest that you resist the urge to edit your work while you are writing. It can be tempting to want to go back and fix things as you write but it is important to just let the words flow.
Step 3: Editing
For some, the editing process can be stressful and uncomfortable. This is often because they are unsure of themselves or their work. Editing can also be a source of discomfort because it may require writers to change or rewrite certain parts of their work.
There is more to getting your manuscript ready for publication than just finishing the writing and editing process. To take your manuscript to the next level, you should seek professional editing services to refine it and make it ready for publication. A professional editor can help point out any areas that need improvement and make your manuscript the best it can be. With their help, you can ensure that your manuscript is polished and ready for publication.
Here are a few ways that can help you find an experienced editor for your project:
- Freelance/Job Websites – If you’re seeking an editor but don’t have any contacts in the industry, using freelance/job websites is one of the best ways to find a suitable candidate. Several choices are accessible for you to choose from and you can use filters to limit your search results and make a more accurate selection.
- Google – Honestly, if you want to find a book editor, you can go to Google. You’ll find plenty of options, including many reputable editors. When searching for editors, it is essential to do your due diligence. Always check the credentials of anyone you’re considering hiring to avoid scams or fraudulent activities.
- Writing Groups – Joining a writing group is an excellent way to find high-quality editors who are passionate about helping you improve your work. By becoming a member, you can tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience that can help take your writing to the next level.
Step 4: Design a Cover
Most people would agree that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Nevertheless, it’s an undeniable reality that first impressions matter. Thus, if you want people to take the time and read your book, having a captivating cover design is essential. Here are steps to create an impactful book cover:
- Form a design brief – When drafting your design brief, be as concise as possible so your designer can easily understand the look and style you envision for your book cover. Keep in mind that providing too much information can overwhelm and confuse your designer, which may result in a less-than-satisfactory outcome.
- Work with a professional cover designer – A book cover is often the first thing potential readers see and can be a powerful tool to help you stand out in a crowded marketplace. A great cover designer will help you create an eye-catching design that captures the essence of your story while also meeting industry standards.
- Listen to your audience – It is important to include your readers’ input when designing the cover of your book, as they are the ones who will be buying it. Use surveys or social media polls to get ideas from potential customers about what type of design they would like to see. This way, you can create a cover that appeals to people, which will help boost sales.
Step 5: Formatting
A great book cover is essential for grabbing attention, but it’s just the beginning. The quality of the content inside should be strong enough to make the reader want to buy it.
People often overlook the importance of formatting when writing. Proper formatting not only makes the material look good but also aids readers in understanding what they are looking at. Thus, it should be well-thought-out to create a successful reading experience.
Step 6: Publishing
Publishing your book is only the first step to becoming a bestseller. To make it to the top of the list, you’ll need to do some planning and go around with this guide to self-publishing before you launch your book.
- Keywords – Amazon is an effective search tool. Strategically choosing relevant keywords that people are frequently searching for can propel your book to the front page of searches and subsequently bring more attention and reach. If you miss this, your book may not have a long life.
- Categories – Knowing which genres are the most popular and successful can give you an edge over your competition and help you reach that top spot on the bestsellers list. Understanding how to optimize your book for different categories will give you the best chance of success in reaching your goal.
- Pricing – If you price your work too high, it may not be accessible to everyone. On the other hand, if you price your work too low it may not be taken seriously. It is essential to find a balance between these two extremes to maximize the success of your project or product.
Step 7: Distribution
Distributing books independently of the publishing process provides more opportunities to make your book accessible. As part of this guide to self-publishing, below are some of the ways to distribute books to your target audience:
- Smashwords – Through this website, authors can distribute their books to major retailers like Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, libraries, and services like Scribd. With Smashwords, authors can easily upload their manuscripts in various formats, set prices, and track sales.
- ACX – Not only does ACX provide a platform to publish audiobooks, but it also helps authors promote their work and make money. With ACX, authors can create high-quality audiobooks that anyone can listen to anywhere.
Step 8: Book Launch
Book publishers and authors alike have long awaited the day of release with great excitement and anticipation. It’s a milestone that marks the completion of months or years of hard work and dedication. If you want to increase your chances of getting featured on the 1 Bestseller list, following these strategies can be helpful:
- Free book promotion – From social media campaigns and blog tours to giveaways and email blasts, there are numerous ways to market your book for free. With the right strategy, free book promotion can be an invaluable tool in the author’s arsenal.
- Paid promotions – With a paid promotion, authors can target specific audiences, identify key influencers within the industry, and even run giveaways and competitions to generate interest in their work. Furthermore, paid promotions can help authors create stronger relationships with their readers by providing an avenue for them to interact with one another and receive real-time feedback.
Step 9: Promotion
Launching your book is an exciting and important moment, but it doesn’t end there. The launch day should be more than just a one-time event. It is also about creating an ongoing presence in the market and keeping the momentum going after the initial buzz has died down. To do this, it’s important to have a well-structured promotional plan that includes activities such as content marketing, social media campaigns, email marketing, and more. By having a continuous approach to promotion, you can ensure that your books remain in the public eye and continue to generate interest long after launch day.
Celebrate Your Book
After going through this step-by-step guide to self-publishing, it’s amazing to think back to when you first had the notion of becoming an author – crowded amongst the many others who shared that same dream. Now, you can proudly join a privileged group with that same ambition who has actually achieved it!
Congratulations! You have achieved an incredible accomplishment that is the dream of many writers. By setting and achieving your goal, you have shown yourself what you are capable of and should be proud of yourself. Take a moment to celebrate this remarkable self-publishing milestone and reflect on the hard work and dedication that it took to get here. Enjoy this moment and look forward to tackling the next challenge!