Self-publishing has become a huge market in the publishing world. Gone are the days of agents, proposals, and seven-minute pitches. If you have a great story to tell or great nonfiction content to share with the world, self-publishing can lead to a very successful writing career. Any want-to-be-successful author should follow some absolute dos and don’ts when setting out to self-publish.
DO Invest in Your Craft
Before you dream of sales and top-sellers, you must invest the time needed in your craft to produce great content.
Sounds simple, right? Well, it’s not.
You cannot wake up one morning and decide you are going to write the next great American novel. You must do the work it takes to craft material that is engaging and relatable.
Find local writing groups, take a writing class, write every day, read a lot—learn from others who have gone before you. Study what makes a good story and research what’s gaining traction in the marketplace.
DON’T Skip This Step—Your Content Will Suffer: DO Hire a Team of Editors
Once you’ve done the work, and you have a manuscript of substance, hire an editor or two. Do not try to edit your own content. You are way too close to it at this stage and will need several sets of unbiased eyes on your work.
Look for two types of editors: one who can help you with substance and one who can clean up any and all grammatical issues.
DON’T Skimp on Editing and Unbiased Feedback
You cannot risk putting messy unedited work out into the world. A good editorial team is so worth the time and investment.
DO Smart and Strategic Marketing
Over one million books are published each year. That’s a lot of competition. You don’t have to be a marketing genius to get your book noticed; you just have to be smart about your marketing moves.
Know your niche: In what genre(s) will your book fit? Who is your audience?
Spend your time and efforts marketing to your strengths. Don’t spread your marketing too thin. Find your niche and drill down.
DO Create a Stand-Out Cover and Back-Cover Copy
Hire a great graphic designer who knows how to conceptualize your content with out-of-the-box thinking and design. Your book needs to pass the three-second rule: if it doesn’t catch the eye in three seconds or less, you have lost potential readers.
Your book cover is your ambassador to the world. Invest wisely in it.
Hire out the writing for your back-cover copy. This copy will need to be a bit more “salesy” than you’re probably accustomed to writing. Get help. There is no shortage of copywriters who can make your back-cover copy shine.
DON’T Pinch Pennies Here
With some strategic and smart decision-making, self-publishing can lead to a lucrative and successful writing career. To see your book from concept to completion is one of the most rewarding experiences as an author. If you’re going to give it a go, be smart: do your homework, hire an exceptional team, and don’t skimp where it counts!