The book industry is experiencing a self-publishing revolution. With the rapid growth of digital technology, it’s never been easier for aspiring authors to self-publish their stories. If you’re wondering where to start with self-publishing, you’re not alone. Here are 6 tips for authors who want to self-publish their book.
What is self-publishing?
Self-publishing is where an author publishes their book independently on a digital platform (such as Amazon or Apple iBooks Author) instead of using a traditional publishing house.
What are the advantages of self-publishing?
Traditional publishing involves getting an agent to pitch your book to a publishing house and fighting to get your manuscript approved by said publishing house. It’s a long-winded process over which the author has little control. In contrast, self-publishing is completely independent. It encourages a greater diversity in the literary world and what’s more, because there are no agent or publisher fees to pay, it allows authors to earn more from the sales of their book.
How much does self-publishing cost?
Self-publishing isn’t free, so you’ll need to consider several factors when planning your publishing budget. For example, you’ll have to pay for an editor and invest in a good cover design for your book. There may also be costs associated with advertising and promoting your book. To boot, if you want to print your book, the length of the book will affect the price. So, take the time to investigate all your options and the costs involved before you start the self-publishing process. That way, you can plan accordingly and avoid any unexpected bills that could delay your book.
6 tips for self-publishing
Manage your own expectations
Before you start, decide WHY you want to write a book. Are you an entrepreneur looking to build your brand, or a storyteller who wants to share their tales with an audience? Once you’ve decided this, consider your goals in terms of sales, impact, brand growth etc. The self-publishing revolution has resulted in a constant flood of content onto the market, that’s on top of all the books already released each year by traditional publishers. What we’re saying is, be realistic. You’re unlikely to become a millionaire or a New York Times bestselling author overnight. Remember, success requires right mix of dedication and business savvy, so set thoughtful goals, and put the steps in place to achieve them.
Write with discipline
Writing is a creative process, but it requires huge amounts of discipline and organisation. You need to develop good writing habits. Remember, Olympic sprinters don’t just arrive at the track when they feel like it and bust out a world record time, they train day in and day out. Writing is no different. You can’t just sit around waiting until you feel inspired – you need to write, every day, at the same time. Do this, and the writing process will become automatic. You can help yourself by using a calendar to plan daily and weekly writing goals and create the outline of your book BEFORE you start. If you don’t have a plan, writing is like driving a car without knowing where you’re going – eventually you’ll get lost.
Hire a professional editor
There’s a difference between publishing a best-selling book and publishing a mediocre one, and that difference is your editor. Everything from creative writing to factual, non-fiction content requires professional editing to produce a polished publication. Remember though, editing is a complex process, and there are different stages to that process. For example, developmental editors check your book for plot development, character building and the strength of your argument, whereas copyeditors finetune spelling and grammar. Read up on the types of edit first, so you hire the right editor for the stage your book is at.
Design a cover with impact
Whoever said “don’t judge a book by its cover” was lying to you. The book is a powerful marketing tool that helps your book convert into sales. It’s the first thing potential readers see, and it helps them decide whether they want to read your book or not. So, it’s worth investing in professional cover designer. With impactful design and top-end print quality, your self-published book will stand its ground against traditionally published works.
Purchase your own ISBN for your book
ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. This number provides important data about your book to those in the book supply chain – such as publishers and internet retailers. More importantly, purchasing your own ISBN labels YOU as the publisher, giving you control over your book. In contrast, allowing a publishing services company to assign you an ISBN means THEY are classed as the publisher.
Market your book
Are you a celebrity or prominent public figure? – great, there’s probably a waiting list for your book already. But for those who aren’t public figures, it’s unlikely that people will just stumble upon your newly published book. You need to promote it. Book promotion is something that traditional publishers usually handle on behalf of their authors. Their marketing team will devise a seamless, multi-faceted marketing campaign for your book launch, that covers everything from writing press releases and designing adverts, to booking interviews and engaging with influencers.
When you self publish your book, you must do all your own promotion, or hire a digital marketing professional to do it for you. Book launch campaigns have many moving parts, and you need to plan your launch strategy carefully, getting everything in place before you start. You’ll need a strong online presence, including a website, social media, and an email list, where you can promote your book, build a connection with your audience, share positive reviews of your book. These digital platforms are also where you’ll keep your eager customers up to date with key information such as release dates, public appearances, and any interviews you may do.
Wordsmiths is a British editing company that offers a variety of services for non-fiction and children’s authors seeking to self-publish their books. We provide:
- Developmental editing
- Line editing
- Social media strategies for book launch campaigns
- Copywriting for promotional material
- Illustrations and cover designs (through our partner, Azzouz Illustrations).
To get in touch and discuss your needs, you can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or WhatsApp us on 07743 518681. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for writing tips and updates from the publishing industry.