If you’re thinking about self-publishing your book, make sure it’s ready before it goes to print. My friend and Gilbert Writer’s group member (I’m still a member via telecommute), Frank Kelly just self-published his book Shadow Dancer. It’s a great book! You may think I’m biased but I’m not. Frank is a great wordsmith and knows how to spin a story. It was a pleasure to read his book and offer suggestions when necessary. A writer‘s group will have an objective viewpoint of your book to make sure it’s spot on before it goes to print.
Self-published author‘s to-do list
1. Hire a professional editor, proofreader, and graphic designer. If you’re a skilled graphic artist or know someone that is, hire them to design your book cover (inside and outside). It’s important to hire an experienced and professional editor to edit and proofread your book. You can find one online or through social media and writers groups.
2. Don’t skimp on editing. Before your book hits the virtual bookstore it must be error free. It’s true that well known authors publish work with errors, but you don’t want to do that. Do you? Make sure your writing is free of grammatical and other errors. You may want to work with beta readers to ensure your work is high quality.
3. Make sure your book is properly formatted for an eBook. A conversion house can assist you with this process.
4. Understand that being an author is a business — take the vanity out of it. Why did you write your book? What made you want to share your words with readers all over the world? If you wrote a book just to see it on Amazon.com and other websites, it may not do well. Don’t forget “Why” you wrote your book — get back to the root of it.
5. Give honest reviews of books. If you give your friend’s book a 5-star review when it doesn’t deserve it, you’re doing a dis-service to your friend and readers. Many readers complain about false high rankings among self-publishers. Be honest with your friend about their writing and provide constructive feedback. It’s a small world and you never know who reads book reviews. A literary agent or publisher could read a 5-star rating you wrote and it could affect your chances of being taken seriously as a writer.
6. Don’t ‘toot’ your own horn aka self-promote everywhere you go. There’s nothing wrong with advertising and marketing but don’t go overboard with it. Your readers will get the feeling that all you care about is making money. Remember, people usually buy with their emotions not with their heads. You can lose readers if you use your blog/website and social media websites to advertise and market your book. It won’t be any fun for your readers and they won’t “Like” or “Tweet” about you.
7. Give reader’s a quality sample of your book. People love to try things before they really buy them. Give readers a chapter or two of your book. This will entice them to buy your book versus reading a bunch of ratings and reviews.
8. Patience is a virtue. Not for some authors. But it can be in your best interest to be patient. It’s an instant gratification world! Expecting and wanting results and feedback ASAP has become the norm. Take your time and produce quality writing. The internet isn’t going anywhere. You and your book can stand out from the crowd if you give readers high quality writing. Do this from the beginning and your book will be number one!
9. Take responsibility for your work. Many people don’t take responsibility for their lives; they don’t want to. It’s always another person’s fault. Sorry … this isn’t true. You and you alone are responsible for your book. You must write it or hire a professional ghostwriter, editor, and proofreader who can bring your style, tone, and voice to life. Stand by your work and readers will stand by you.
- How to Find the Right Writing Partner (savvy-writer.com)
- 7 Key Differences Between Rich and Poor Authors (savvy-writer.com)
- The Influential Marketing Book List – May 2011 (rohitbhargava.com)
- Good eReader profiles self-publishing author Gordon Bonnet (teleread.com)
- Tough Love: Things No One is Brave Enough to Tell Self-Published Authors – (co-written with Amy Edelman) (mjroseblog.typepad.com)
- 99 cents doesn’t undervalue me (comingalive.wordpress.com)
- Introducing Our New Book Publishing Reporter (paidcontent.org)
- What If You Think You Might Be a Mediocre Fiction Writer? (advancedfictionwriting.com)