- Books, Literature, and Writing
Sixteen Steps For Self-Publishing
What’s the Big Deal?
Welcome to the world of 2013! Fast food and fast books, all at your finger tips….we have reached the point in the literary world where literally anyone can publish a book. Gone are the days of not-so-long ago when writers would slave in relative obscurity with no guarantees that their book would ever see the light of day. Today you can write your book, download it and format it onto Kindle, and your book is online and up for sale in a matter of days after you have finished writing it. In other words, slam, bam, thank you ma’am.
And no worries, mate, if you want to see your book in hard copy. There are numerous sites available that will be more than happy to print your book in hard copy for a price of course, leaving you with a book in your hands and hopefully a marketing plan in your mind.
That is all well and good if your only goal was to just write a book and get it published, but what if your goal was to not only get the book published but to actually have someone buy it and read it? Every Tom, Dick and Harry can publish a book, but not every Tom, Dick and Harry can sell a book, and that’s what this article is all about.
If your goal was simply to publish then stop reading this article now. You have been successful and I say congratulations to you and best wishes on your future writing.
If, however, you actually want to sell a few of those books, then read on!
MAKE A SCHEDULE FOR PRODUCTION
In other words, organize, organize and organize some more. It is too easy to get sidetracked or completely knocked off the tracks. Write up a schedule detailing each step of the publishing process, and then plan on life interfering and double the time you are allotting for each step….and then commit to the schedule and stick with it.
FIND AN EDITOR
A doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient. The same can be true of an author who edits his/her own work. Do not save pennies and skip this step. Find a trustworthy editor who you can afford and pay to have someone edit your work.
PAY FOR A DESIGNER
Find someone who knows what they are doing to design the cover and other interior work as well. If you want your book to be taken seriously then it needs to be visually appealing. We would all love to be accepted just for our writing talent but that’s not how the real world works.
DECIDE WHO YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS
This is so important as you prepare to market your book. Who is your book aimed at? Who is most likely to read your book? This is Marketing 101, folks, and you need to pay attention to this very important step in the process.
DECIDE ON A PRINT AND DISTRIBUTION PLAN
How are you going to get your book out to the public? If just online then your decisions are limited and easy. If it is a printed book you have many options and you need to make some decisions so you can focus your marketing plan accordingly.
Listen to those who have done it
Inexpensive ideas for marketing
- Five Inexpensive Book Promotion Ideas
The book is written and you have self-published. Now how do you get people to buy your book? These five suggestions might help.
- U.S. Copyright Office
U.S. Copyright Office is an office of public record for copyright registration and deposit of copyright material.
DECIDE ON A PUBLICATION DATE
Set a date and stick with it. Your marketing plan will hinge on this and needs to be decided upon in advance. If you schedule a reading of your book at a bookstore based on a publication date and then the publication is late, you end up looking like a fool at a very important time in your life. Let’s avoid that, shall we?
DEVELOP A MARKETING PLAN
Unless you are rich this will require some imagination, but it is possible to market your book spending very little money. Figure out what you can afford and then get specific regarding the steps you are going to take.
TWEAK THAT TITLE AND MAKE IT EXCELLENT
Your title is the first thing new buyers will see….does it say what it needs to say? Does it grab hold of readers and is it reflective of the point you want to make? If you are writing non-fiction the title is a bit easier; simply describe what your book is and do it in an interesting way. In fiction your job is a bit tougher.
Do this in advance of publication. Send your manuscript out to other authors or experts in your field and ask them for an endorsement. Once you have that endorsement make sure it is either on your cover or on the inside of your book. Also look for some reviews from fellow authors and include those reviews inside your book and online.
GET A COPYRIGHT
Go to http://copyright.gov for more information, and important information it is….protect your work! You worked hard writing that book so let’s not get lazy on this step and open it up to being stolen. According to copyright law as soon as you publish you are protected, but many choose to take it the extra step, so you might want to consider going to this website.
A great resource for writers
Get your ISBN here
- Home | ISBN.org
The official U.S. ISBN Agency. No other source can assign legitimate ISBNs to US publishers! Bowker also sells Book Barcodes, and tools for self-publishers.
GET AN ISBN
Booksellers track and sell your book by use of the ISBN code, so make sure you secure one. You can go to www.isbn.org for more information.
MAKE A TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR NONFICTION
This just makes life easier for readers of your nonfiction book, so take the time to include it in your book. Even writers of poems and essays should include a table of contents so the reader can randomly choose chapters that interest them if they are in a hurry.
INCLUDE AN AUTHOR BIO
Readers want to associate with an author. Don’t skimp on this important section of your book. Include it at the end of your book for easy reference.
INCLUDE CONTACT INFO
If you don’t have a website then get one, and include it at the beginning of your book along with copyright and ISBN information. The more ways you have for readers to contact you the better, so consider also including an email address and any other site address that will help in this goal.
EXECUTE MARKETING PLAN
The book is published and now it is time to sell, sell and sell some more. Do guest blogging, do readings at the local bookstores and libraries. Schedule book signings and radio appearances. Get out there and sell your work.
KEEP DETAILED TAX RECORDS
Tax deductions, expenses and revenue. Big Brother is watching and you definitely want to keep Big Brother happy, so make sure you have great financial records of expenditures and income based on your writing efforts.
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Have you self-published?
And That’s All There Is
Easy peasy, right?
Yes, it is easy to get published in today’s world, but if you actually want to have people read your book and buy your book then you have some work to consider. I have often said that writing the book may be the easiest step in the publishing process. After the last sentence is written then the real work begins, so organize your efforts and maximize your rewards.
Best wishes to all of you. I want you all to know the thrill I have known through publishing. It really is quite a remarkable feeling to see your own work in print, and it is an added bonus when someone else actually reads it and raves about it. I hope you all spread your wings and fly with your own book.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”