Although I openly discourage this route, it cannot be avoided as some people still prefer it. With the advent of Do It Yourself (DIY), I would be oblivious to pretend that self-publishing doesn’t exist, and is often the most preferred, especially by upcoming authors. This is more due to the fact that landing a traditional publishing deal is tedious, and also because getting an independent publisher can be costly while the author is eager to get their work to the public.
Like I always say, the world needs your story and it’s prudent to smash all barriers that may be in your way to publishing it. After all, you can do it yourself if you follow these 10 steps:
- Define your reason
- Define your target audience
- Pick your genre
- Write your book
- Revise your work
- Get feedback
- Hire a great book Editor
- Hire a book and cover designer
- Price your book
- Launch and sell your book
10 steps guide to self-publishing
Here is a guide on how to successfully embark on your self-publishing journey:
Define your reason
Understanding the objective of why you want to publish your story is key to ensuring your success. Know why your story deserves to be out in the public. What is the message behind it? What lessons can we learn? What pain is it solving? Succinctly defining all this will help clearly define your target audience.
Define your target audience
Before I take on any client, I always ask them to define their target audience. This is an important step in determining the type of book you will write, how you will write it, the level of your language, the packaging and all the other aspects of book publishing.
Pick your Genre
A genre is a category or type. First, you decide whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction and then classify it into the specific type. If you’re a non-fiction writer, are you a narrative, descriptive, expository or persuasive writer? Your writing objective helps to point you in the right direction and category.
Write your book
I have done a couple of articles on what writing is, how to write, and our previous article talked about how to establish yourself as a writer. These are all filed under our Writing category. You can visit these for writing insights.
Revise your work
I cannot emphasise this point enough but it is mandatory for a writer to always revise their work. This process can also be repetitive but it cannot be avoided. Always revise your work and be sure you have put together everything accurately.
In your network, identify 3 people that read your book and give you some feedback on it. Be objective in your selection and receive their input openly. Do not be a person who does not like negative feedback, allow them readers to be as constructive as possible without intimidation. While you have the right to reject and accept all suggestions and comments offered, remain level-headed and use their input to revise your work.
Hire a great book Editor
No matter how many times you revise your manuscript and rewrite it, you cannot let it escape the eyes of a great Editor if you want it to be a success. Get a professional Editor who will work with you closely and help polish your work into a masterpiece. The fact that you’re self-publishing should not disqualify you from producing a great book.
Hire a book and cover designer
Most people overlook this process as they opt for the several design applications that are available. While they may work, I advise getting a professional designer to design and layout your book and to give you a stunning cover design. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but do people listen to that out there? Imagine yourself standing in front of a potential client and pleading with them to buy your book because the content is great while the cover is ugly. What more on the web where you may not be at the mercy of interacting with the client during the sale.
You better set your stuff right and try not to disadvantage yourself by taking certain steps for granted. A great cover sells a book. Great book design also helps the reader fall in love with your book.
Price your book
Pricing is a business step which cannot be avoided. The moment you decide to publish a book for sale, you establish yourself as someone in business and all the investments that you make into making your publishing journey count into this. Expenses to consider are:
- The research that you put into your work.
- Time spent writing
- The cost of hiring a book Editor
- The cost of the book and cover design
- Promotional and marketing cost
- Any other costs that you may encounter
NB. Do not forget to factor in time spent in publishing your book. It’s important to cost your time. One mistake that authors make is to think that they write for free. The process of writing the book should be costed as that is work. Think of it as a salary for doing that, or imagine what it would cost if you had hired a ghost writer.
Launch your book
This is where the hype is. Emotions change and adrenaline can shoot up. This is the time to get excited because it’s time to count the dollars.
Establish a great following ready to receive your book.
Make noise about it on social media.
Create an email list.
Get in contact with a few book clubs.
Where you can, get space into traditional stores and airports.
Your book is out. Published. Congratulations! Enjoy your profits.
The decision to self-publish can sound daunting from afar but once you commit yourself to it, you will find the process exciting. It is so much easier if you choose to work with an Independent publisher. Always ask for help as you go, that way, you will launch a successful book.
Make a date with me in next week’s article.
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