Once upon a time self-publishing a book was something that was considered a “last resort,” for those authors who really didn’t have any other options, and wanted to see their name in print. But the field has evolved, and there are good many success stories who have “made it” after self publishing, and even authors well established with major publishing houses that have decided to take a break from working with their publisher and have a go at putting out a book on their own. But even though self-publishing has more promise than ever, it still needs to be done right. Here are some tips on how to approach your self publishing project and increase your chance of success.
1. Remember the Writing Still Matters
There are those who think that self publishing gives them a break because they don’t have to deal with big agents and publishers set to nitpick every word. While, yes, publishing a book full of grammatical errors and incoherent sentence structure is technically possible, you will likely not sell many books. If you care enough to write a book, you care enough to do it well.
2. Think about your audience before you type, “The End.”
Marketing for a book does not start when the book is printed or all formatted in its electronic form. Your book will be applying for a job as something readable for entertainment and information. By joining communities and seeking out blogs of those who will have an interest in your subject manner, you build anticipation for your book before it’s done.
3. Pre-edit with those you know, then hire a professional.
Yes, your friends and family will see your book through rose colored glasses, but they should still read and offer editing help where they can. Make it clear to them that they should not go easy on you, although they likely still will. With most of the little things taken care of, your professional editor will be able to get into the meat of the book.
4. Take your cover design seriously.
Whether your book is in print or an ebook, book buyers will initially see what you choose as a cover. If you aren’t an artist yourself, it is a good idea to work with a graphic designer such as the ones available through Virtual Gal Friday. They can work with you closely to create an image that captures the essence of your book and the book buyer.
5. Take the time you need.
With the National Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) craze many authors race to finish a manuscript. Remember when writing was something you loved? Do you want to give your reader some stale leftover chocolate from your kid’s Halloween loot or do they deserve a fine Swiss chocolate truffle?
6. Think about how you want to present your book.
As many times as we’ve all been told not to judge a book by its cover, it’s something we all do. We also judge it by the way the words are formatted, and how physically heavy the books is, as well as its price tag.
7. Get help and support.
In the business world many people hire coaches to help them get to the next step. Hiring a virtual assistant to help you with your publishing process can serve a similar function. Virtual Gal Friday has been working successfully in the publishing industry since 1998, and they have dealt with all the little things that go with publishing a book, and they can help keep you on track.
8. Don’t underestimate the eBook
Authors like the feel of a book in their hands, but eBooks often offer opportunities that don’t exist in print. Books do not need to be as long. They are also cheaper to publish and distribute, so you can keep your book affordable, which is important when you are making a name for yourself.
9. Formatting Counts
No matter which self-publishing service you go with, getting the formatting correct can be a tricky thing. Authors that attempt to do this themselves often go through a good deal of trial and error– and dollars trying to get it right. They also tun the risk of presenting a book to customers that looks unprofessional. The experts at Virtual Gal know how to see that everything in your book is properly aligned, including pictures, chapter sections, and a table of contents. They also do a little light editing — it never hurts to have that one last pair of eyes after the professional editors are done.
10. Keep Perspective
If you’re like a lot of authors, you book is your baby. Even when you can see some flaws it is hard to imagine that anyone could read it and not love it as much as you do. Still, while that pride will come in handy as you market your book, it’s important to remember that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to books whether self published or traditionally published. Take criticism with a grain of salt and use it to make your next book even better.