In the many years that I've been book blogging I have come across several bloggers that tell me they are writing a book. I've also worked with and currently work with many self-published authors. Some do it very well and I love discovering these Indie gems, while others could do better. I thought this article on the basics of self-publishing would be interesting to any of my readers that are contemplating this route.
Self-Publishing 101: The Hard Lessons to Know Before You Publish
Self-publishing has given people the ability to publish their own work. These people might have been rejected by traditional publishing houses for any number of reasons. The work did not fit what the company published, the company had already published too many that were similar that year, or they might not have liked it. Self-publishing gives people the opportunity to have their work out there, to legitimize their hard work, and to even have full rights to their own novel.
Publishing through a publishing house has many benefits, from professional and financial support from your submission to the final print. Publishing houses edit, format, design a cover, and print your novel. They will then put your novel into bookstores; they put money into advertising. They do the heavy-lifting of post-writing for you. They can also take away a lot of your power. When you are self-publishing, you need to do this work for yourself.
Start with a Great Book Cover
The old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” is both sound and also unrealistic. There are so many books to choose from – Google estimates there are more than 129 million books, and more are being published each year. If you want readers, you will have to stand out. Use a book cover maker to create a beautiful cover for your novel. The more eye-catching the cover is, the more likely someone will choose to read your novel’s blurb.
Have a Captivating Description
The next thing you need to do is make sure your novel’s description is captivating. You must hook your reader in again and again to convince them to stay and read all the way through. Make them pick up your novel with a beautiful book cover, and convince them to read your novel with a compelling description. Several drafts will be needed.
The secret to anyone’s success is marketing. As a self-publisher, you will need to take the reins and create a unified marketing campaign that will not only attract new readers to your novel; it will also grow and nurture a community. You want fans. You want people who love your writing and who love you as an author. You want to have a growing group of readers who will be there for your next book. You need to promote yourself, and your book, without sounding like spam.
- Have a Website
Having a website is a wonderful way to bring everything about you (or your book) into one place. You can include Q&As, excerpts, news, and more. Have your website be your home base where you draw readers in and direct them to your novel.
- Be on Social Media
There are billions of users of social media out there. Build a following on social media to direct potential readers to your site, and to grow your fan base.
This one is the most crucial – you will want to interact with people you meet, both online and offline. Build a community of fellow writers, nurture your relationship with your readers, and you will have a support system that helps you and follows you for years to come.
The last thing to know is that self-publishing is hard work. You need to take on the jobs of several people, and you need to do them well. Once your book makes it, however, you’ll be so much happier with having full control, rather than relinquishing creative power to a publishing house.
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