Publishing a book can be a lengthy and confusing process. You will have to find agents, write multiple versions, negotiate contracts, and whatnot. And even all this doesn’t always result in success. This is why a large number of people now choose to self publish.
It comes with several benefits – there’s less paperwork, everything is faster, you get to save money, and the content is largely in your control.
But, how do you make self publishing a success? Here are some tips:
#1 Understand Why You’re Self Publishing
The first step is to know exactly why you have decided to self publish the book. This will help you create a roadmap and ensure you don’t lose interest. Self publishing is easy but it still requires some effort and you will need the right motivation to keep going.
#2 Make Sure to Complete the Book
Do not move to publishing it till you have completed the book. Publishing is usually the last step. First, concentrate on the book and make sure to write the best book you possibly can.
While some platforms will allow you to set up publishing before you have completed your book, the fact remains that an incomplete book will not get much traction and all your effort will go to waste.
Here are some tips to follow:
- Consider creating and sticking to a schedule.
- Create an outline and expand on it so that you don’t lose focus.
- Talk to experts if you are facing issues such as writer’s block.
- Think of a clever title and make sure it goes well with the content of your book.
#3 It’s Still Important to Edit Your Book
Do not make the mistake of uploading or publishing an unedited book. Authors pay a lot of attention to editing when they are working with large firms since they know that grammar issues and typos can get their books rejected. They, however, often take editing lightly when they’re self publishing. This is a big mistake that can cause your book to receive poor reviews.
Here are a few editing tips to remember:
- Give your book a few days to sit and start editing with a fresh mind.
- Don’t just edit for grammar and typos but also for storytelling and character.
- Tools like Grammarly can help reduce editing efforts.
- Consider hiring an expert to edit the book if you find it too intimidating.
- Editing can take weeks based on the size of your book. Do not haste through it.
#4 Consider Getting Feedback from Experts
It might be a good idea to send your manuscript to experts for feedback. You could use this feedback to improve your work and also to market your book. Kind and positive words from known authors can be used as testimonials and boost your stacks.
#5 Work on Getting an Exciting Cover Page
Now that you have completed your book, it is time to work on a cover page. You can hire a professional or find exciting book cover templates online. Despite what the world says about book covers, the truth is that readers still judge books based on the cover page so pay special attention to this factor.
Here are a few book cover design tips to remember:
- The cover should be eye catching but also tasteful. It shouldn’t look too busy and the title must be easily readable.
- The cover should ideally be genre-indicative.
- It should be designed according to your publishing medium.
#6 Get an ISBN for Your Book
The next step is to protect your work and get an ISBN. You can do it by going here and creating an account. Follow the steps on the page and you will get your ISBN and copyright. The process is simple but it will cost you $184 for a single book.
Some platforms will allow you to publish a book without copyright but we encourage you to get an ISBN as it will prevent copyright issues.
#7 Choose the Right Self-publishing Platform
The next step is to choose a publishing platform. Here are some of the most popular options:
This is easily one of the most popular and well-known names. Known for being easy to use, the platform is quite affordable as well. It will cost you $0.85 flat fee + $0.12 per page to publish a book. For books above 300 pages, Amazon would charge you $4.45 out of the retail price.
On the downside, it will only give you access to the Amazon market.
Publishing on IngramSpark will give you access to a large market as the platform has partnerships with not just retailers but also international stores, schools, and libraries.
You can choose hardcover when printing, however, we must mention that it is a little costly to publish on IngramSpark. Expect to spend between $25 and $49 per book + $25 edit and additional handling charges.
Here’s another top self publishing platform that only takes 10% of the book’s retail value. Draft2Digital is easy to use and will give you access to some large retailers including Amazon, Kobo, Tolino, Hoopla, Apple Books, and 24Symbols.
Some other top options include Lulu, BookBaby, and Smashwords. Some will only give you the option to publish online and some may also offer hard copies. Compare all these options and pick one that fits you the best.
#8 Format Your Book According to the Platform
Now that you have finalized a platform, it is time to format your book according to their requirements. Some platforms have minimum page requirements, some have size limits, etc. Go through the fine print to ensure your book matches all these requirements.
#9 Write an Exciting Description
Most buyers will read the book based on the description so work well on it. Remember that a description is not the summary of your book. It is more of a teaser that tells readers what a book is all about and intrigues them into reading it.
Descriptions are supposed to be short and crisp and not reveal much about the story.
#10 Upload the Book
The last step is to go ahead and upload the book. The method will depend on the platform of your choice. Some require specific file formats so make sure to pay attention to the details.
Most platforms have a waiting time and your book may not be live right away. You will typically receive an email once it goes live. Hardcover copies can take even longer to arrive.
Congratulations! You have self published your first book but the job doesn’t stop here. You will have to go all out to create some noise and promote your content. Social media including Twitter marketing can be a great start. You can also try looking for the best Instagram post template to get people to take notice.
Sharing excerpts and reviews on public forums can also be of help. Additionally, consider getting in touch with publications to review your book. Your book may not turn out to be an immediate hit but if it’s good, it will find readers.