It is more feasible than most writers think to publish work. So once you have a written, edited and final copy of your work, you just need to learn how to self publish.
Here are some tips:
Self-Publishing Service Companies: Before we get into the details, some of you may be tempted to use one of the many self-publishing service companies that have sprung up. In short, avoid. Out of the three main steps – writing, publishing, and marketing – publishing is by far the easiest and these companies will give you no help with writing or marketing. And anyway, the value of the assistance they provide with publishing is questionable. Most of these companies overcharge for basic services both through a hefty upfront fee, and by taking a big chunk of your royalties.
Networking: The publishing landscape is changing continually; it’s essential to keep in touch with developments so that you can exploit opportunities as they arise. The following blogs are must-reads: Dean Wesley Smith, Joe Konrath, and The Passive Voice. The Creative Penn and Lindsay Buroker’s blog are also highly recommended. The Kindle Boards Writer’s Cafe is the most popular hang-out for self-publishers – a real mixture of those starting out and those that have already sold tens or hundreds of thousands of books. It’s a great place to find editors, cover designers, formatters, artists, and to get advice on all aspects of self-publishing. I have found that the best way to get recommendations for any service provider is to ask a fellow writer.
Covers: Your book’s cover is the face it shows the world. You want to make a good first impression, don’t you? A smart, professional cover makes all the difference. People really do judge a book by its cover. I can hear the complaints: this stuff shouldn’t matter; it’s all about the writing. Look, the world is unfair. Get over it. If you want your book to stand out from the crowd, if you want to send the reader a signal that you have taken as much care with the inside of the book, you better make sure the outside looks good. In short, get a professional to design your cover. Joel Friedlander has an excellent post on common mistakes book cover designers make, and I have a post here covering design basics and the process I go through with my designer. I recommend reading them both (note: Joel’s site has an astonishing number of fantastic posts on all aspects of self-publishing. He also runs monthly cover design awards, providing expert commentary on most entries).
Editing: This might be where self-publishers skimp most of all. Unfortunately for them, readers will spot the errors straight away. But even if they have eliminated the obvious stuff, such as typos or grammar issues, there may well be deeper problems. If you aren’t planning to hire a professional editor, I strongly urge you to reconsider, and to read this article on the importance of editing, as well as this example of how much an edit can alter and improve a story. The following three post by experienced editors (here, here, and here) are also essential reading. I hope we’re agreed now that you need an editor. If not, please re-read these posts. Editing is crucial.
Formatting: Once your manuscript is edited, and your cover is ready, you will need to turn that into a neatly formatted e-book that will wrap and flow and resize, and have nifty features like a clickable table of contents (and links to your other books). If you don’t own an e-reader, and you have never read an e-book, I recommend downloading the Kindle software so you can play around with it (available for any computer, tablet or smartphone). Grab some free books while you are at it, and look at the formatting. Watch how the text reflows when you make the font bigger and smaller. If it is formatted correctly, it will all be quite neat.
Uploading: Since December, self-publishers have a big decision to make when they upload: should they go exclusive with Amazon? The community is divided on this topic, and I tried to present both sides on my blog. Here is my initial post outlining the pros and cons of KDP Select, and explaining why I wasn’t participating. Here’s one author’s guest post on their success with the program, and here’s another. Finally, here’s one from an author who has seen sales increase by staying out. You really have to make your own mind up (and this is where keeping in touch with the latest developments on the above blogs and the Kindle Boards forum comes in handy).
Now marketing your new e-book may prove to be a little tricky. Always use social media and don’t turn to spam techniques to get the word out about it. Also, make sure to include links at the end of your book back to your website or list of other publishing’s as well as to a sign up for an email subscription. Creating smaller books to send out as training tools or advice is also a great way to get the word out about your book. Last, make sure you offer an actual print of your book.
I now many writers are conflicted with that last piece of advice. What is your opinion on providing an option for an actual print?
Article Source: David Gaughran
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