7 Things That Will Change Your Approach to Self-Publishing
Self-publishing is the new black. Many frustrated writers are tired of waiting to get noticed by agents and traditional publishing houses. Self-publishers work by a different set of rules. They write, publish, and distribute prolifically, getting their work out in the hands of readers quickly, and build a fan base rapidly.
“To be a successful fiction writer you have to write well, write a lot … and let’em know you’ve written it! Then rinse and repeat!” – Gerard de Marigny.
These seven tips will change your approach to self-publishing.
1. The Platforms
Self-publishing platforms are growing in numbers and types. Naturally, each platform has its pros and cons. You just have to weigh them out before deciding which one you’ll choose. What do most writers do? And what’s right for you?
Institutions often prefer to have ebooks installed as desktop apps on all machines to assure easy access for all staff or students.
Companies and individuals who want their ebook read in internet browsers will seek out ebook web apps. Some fiction writers also release teasers on their book’s launching page as ebook apps, especially if the ebook is interactive.
The go-to format for highly interactive ebooks, particularly influencers or writers with an established fanbase.
Selling your books on Amazon brings you the least revenue per sale, but the most sales, meaning the highest profits in the end.
Writers who want to reach as many readers as possible will distribute their ebooks via ebook aggregators. Aggregators facilitate the distribution of your ebook to multiple retailers, saving you time, so you can start work on your next project.
The large retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo now offer publishing services, such that you maintain full creative freedom and copyrights over your work, while still benefiting from the services of a publishing company.
2. Your Readers
Before you begin to write, learn more about your audience. It’s not stalking; it’s market research.
- Find out where they spend their time – Facebook? Instagram? Twitter?
- Find out what content they’re excited about.
Knowing your target audience will help you pick the right publishing platform and might even prepare you for the reactions and reviews you will encounter.
- Don’t ignore social media! Take visual content seriously – add infographics, images, memes, explanatory videos to your webpage and share them on social media along with a masterful description of your work.
- An excellent place to begin networking is Goodreads – it is an international market full of networking opportunities.
- Even though writing is not a group activity, you should definitely keep in touch with various worldwide authors. Who knows when an outstanding partnership opportunity might come up? Cross-promotion is the key to expanding your work abroad. You can meet authors at conventions or join different online author groups.
3. The Cover Art
We’re impulsive people. Sometimes we buy books just because we found ourselves gravitating toward the cover. To have readers buy your book, you must capture their interest. Read here for more tips.
4. The Blurb
With ebooks, in particular, your readers will not be able to flip through the pages. Their decision to buy will ultimately depend on your description of your book. As funny as it might sound, there are three important rules that need to be respected when writing your blurb:
- Get catchy. – your blurb’s introduction will show up first on the book’s description, whether that is on Amazon, Scribd, or any other platform. Make sure you keep those first lines super-interesting and catchy!
- Keep it short. – no one has the time or the patience to read a 10-paragraph blurb. People want to know what the book is mainly about, then quickly decide whether they’ll purchase it or not. They don’t want complicated, endless content. Keep your blurb down to a maximum of three paragraphs.
- Don’t include too many details. – I guess you must have figured that out from step one, but it is an important reminder to underline. Cut all unnecessary content such as full first and last names or the denomination of different cities and locations. You really don’t need to include those.
- Leave them hanging. Tease them, give them enticing hints to what they’ll find. Make your readers want to buy your book.
5. The Experts
Self-publishing doesn’t mean doing everything by yourself. It just means you’re the one in charge, not a publishing company. Supportive services for self-publishing can be found at every step along the path. If you the financial means you can hire someone to do every step–even writing the book.
6. The Costs
Self-publishing means paying for everything on your own. As with every other self-owned business, you are going to have to invest both time and money as soon as you start.
It’s important to:
- Do your research and find out the costs for every step of the publishing process.
- Choose wisely – set a budget and start only when you know that you can cover all the costs. Otherwise, you might end up either working for nothing or find yourself overspending.
- Map out a plan and fill out a financial cost sheet.
- Hire an editor or appeal to cheap writing services for some parts of the process if you are not completely confident in your editing abilities.
- Invest in developmental editing and proofreading for your book.
7. The Reviews
Get reviews for your ebook. Reviewed books reassure readers. Get your book reviewed. Believe it or not, there are dedicated review services.
Self-publishing is not as complicated as it once seemed – write quality content, choose the right platform, ask for feedback, and engage only in the things you know you can handle.