The beginning of a new year marks an opportunity to set new goals, pursue career changes and try and do things we might have been putting off due to fear of failure. If you’ve had ‘self-publish a book’ on your to-do list for quite some time, chances are the process may seem daunting to you.
The growth of self-publishing has signified a breakdown in barriers and gatekeeping that previously stopped prospective authors from realising their dreams. Challenging the traditional publishing models has given the world a plethora of new literature that they may otherwise have never been able to read.
Despite the many benefits of self-publishing, you need to ensure you’re doing things right. We’ve listed our six best tips for self-publishing to keep you on the right track and set your book publishing journey up for success.
Keep up the quality
Don’t cut corners when it comes to the quality of your book. It can be tempting to try to save money when self-publishing, as most costs are upfront but remember that your book will compete with traditionally published books.
Consider book covers, for example. The adage tells us never to judge a book by its cover. However, people, unfortunately, do tend to do just that.
If people are presented with two books, one poorly designed and one with a professional-looking cover, which book do you think they will go for based on first impressions?
You don’t have to splurge on the most expensive options, but it’s worth looking at your budget and prioritising which aspects of your book are most important to spend a bit more money on.
Editing and proofreading
Unfortunately, you can’t edit your own book. As a writer, when you carefully craft each paragraph and spend time choosing the perfect word to get your point across, you can sometimes lose sight of the big picture. Similarly, if you reread your work repeatedly, you might end up inadvertently glossing over spelling or grammatical issues.
If you’re working on a budget, you still have options! Find someone with a good eye who likes reading or has experience looking at your book.
It’s also important to note the difference between a proofreader and a copy editor. A proofreader will check your work for spelling mistakes, grammatical issues and typographical errors. A copyeditor will help to refine your structure and improve your writing.
Write, write, write
Are you struggling to keep the words flowing onto the page? It’s impossible to be constantly motivated all the time, and it can be disheartening to feel as though you’ve hit a wall. When motivation falls by the wayside, the best thing you can do is rely on habit.
Create a writing routine with a set number of words or a specific amount of time you’ll write per day. Make sure it’s achievabl. You can start small, and you might even find that you’re smashing your initial goals!
Many cost-effective writing apps will help you write, plan and store ideas to make writing that easier. Having your writing organised can help you see any areas of your work that might need improving and make writing less daunting.
Keep your expectations in check
Self-publishing removes the barriers of traditional publishing that aspiring authors face. Self-publishing means that you don’t need a literary agent or editor to approve your book or tell you it’s good enough. You can trust yourself and make your book available to the world without gatekeepers.
With that said, as a self-published author, you need to make sure that you are putting your absolute best work forward. Traditionally published books go through draft upon draft, with rigorous quality control. If you release your book before you are ultimately ready and have produced your best work, it makes it a lot harder to succeed.
It doesn’t mean that you should be disheartened! The beauty of self-publishing means that the world is at your fingertips—you need to be realistic, pragmatic and critical about your work.
Find your tribe
Finding your audience and marketing your book to your ideal reader is the golden ticket to success. If you can identify where your audience likes to spend their time, their age and where you’re likely to reach them, you can target them and convert them into readers. For instance, young readers spend more time on social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram, but older readers are more likely to use Facebook.
You want to build a rapport with your audience, so they trust you and look forward to reading your work.
Make sure you reply to any fan-mail and acknowledge any reviews. A great way to engage with your audience is to create a mailing list, so you can advertise via email and let your subscribers know when your book is coming out.
It’s time to self-publish your book
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! The term ‘self-publishing’ can bring up feelings of doubt and may even make you feel alone and directionless. There are, however, a sea of people who can help you achieve your dream of becoming a self-published author.
Self-publishing might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you follow our six quick tips, you’ll find yourself on a much better footing to publish your book whilst feeling confident that you’re doing everything right.
You can reach out to your audience to see if anyone wants to be an advanced reader. You can also reach out to a service like PublishingPush, which can help you with every stage of the process from start to finish.