So many of us have had the fantasy of having a book published. With self-publishing quickly overtaking traditional publishing, there has never been a better time to make your dreams become reality. The big publishing houses turn up their noses at “indie” authors, but the publishing industry is experiencing a paradigm shift. Remember what happened to music with iTunes?
You have to convert your book to all the different ebook formats to make it available on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and many more. You can do it yourself, or hire a firm to do it for you.
You have to know publishing lexicon. What the heck are ISBNs? I’ve come to learn if you know what you’re doing (which I didn’t) you don’t articulate the acronym letters. It’s pronounced “izbins” by those in the know. Who knew?
Self-publishing entails a lot more than just writing a book and throwing it up on Amazon and all the other sites. Unless you hire a publicist or a PR firm, you’ll have to become a book publicist.
Here are a few dos and don’ts for those of you who are planning to self-publish:
- Write a good book
- Create a memorable title
- Arrange for beta readers
- Hire an editor
- Hire a proofreader—you can’t do it yourself
- Learn everything you can before you make any final decisions
- Determine how you’re going to use social media
- Learn everything you can from bloggers and vendor websites
- Create your own publishing house
- Buy universal ISBNs; one for each format (ebook, print)
- Find reviewers and have them post reviews
- Learn how to use Amazon to full advantage
- Offer a print-on-demand (POD) version
- Be realistic
- Forget to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite
- Relentlessly hawk your book on social media
- Use paid advertising when there are so many sources for free publicity
- Push people too hard to buy your book
- Expect everyone to like your book
- Price your book once and never experiment with different prices
- Set your expectations too high
- Get discouraged
- Forget to create a marketing/publicity plan
- Design the cover yourself (unless you’re a designer)