Not everyone can approach a publisher and for every new project. It’s understandable why authors want to self-publish. Many books get rejected on the grounds that the author isn’t writing about a life they’ve lived. For some, it might also be a financial issue to go for a publisher. And last but not the least, getting approval from a publisher takes time – especially if you’re a new writer.
In this piece, we’re going to discuss the procedure that any author should follow while self-publishing their book.
Writing, editing, formatting, and covers
First things first.
- Writing: Preparing the manuscript and the first draft are obvious prerequisites to self-publishing.
- Editing: Get your work edited or proofread by someone qualified for this role. It will help. It also helps to get a second opinion or multiple perspectives on the first draft. You might figure out loopholes or awkward mistakes to iron out.
- Formatting: Whichever software you’re writing in – make sure your formatting is top-notch. Getting a copy of the first draft printed as a book would help.
- Covers: Front cover, back cover, and spine need to be designed. You can hire a designer for this or you can do it yourself using graphic design software and freely available assets and photographs.
Print-on-demand for books and Kindle for ebooks
Find a print-on-demand (POD) service in your area or the area you wish to serve. POD services work in a straightforward way:
- You make an account,
- Send your final book in PDF format,
- Publish it.
You’ll get a link that people can use to directly purchase the book. There are POD services that allow purchases and then there are some which only allow printing. In the case of the latter, you need to build another system on another platform for online purchases and hook that up with the POD service.
Another great platform is Amazon.
You can use Amazon’s KDP Print service as a POD service or as an ebook publishing service, allowing you to be listed on the Kindle Store. The setup process is very simple and entails details such as your full legal name, tax information, and payment method apart from the book itself (cover image files, book in .epub format for Kindle, and so on).
Amazon self-publishing has helped plenty of authors. Though it’s more or less a rudimentary science in many ways. The priorities of big retailers like Amazon change regularly. Generally, it’s a better idea to not put all your eggs in the same basket – diversify and make use of multiple channels to increase your coverage.
What other POD services are out there?
- IngramSpark ($49 setup fee)
- BookBaby ($399 setup fee)
- D2D Print
Depending on your region you might find better sources by doing a simple Google search.
Utilize marketing channels. Your book is only as good as the number of eyeballs it gets. If you don’t have a following (such as social media fans) and you cannot hire an influencer for marketing, then here are a few things to do:
- Spending on online ads and social media ads
- Mailing lists
- Cross-promoting with other authors
- Organic advertising on blogs and social media
- Being a part of podcasts
- Tying up with local bookstores
- Book donations
And that’s it! Formulate the perfect launch plan after you’ve built up some hype to get a better start.
Self-publishing is truly an effective tool.
No waiting times, creative freedom, no rejections, better royalties, and 100% ownership rights to your material are all great perks of self-publishing. Even remarkable authors are increasingly flocking to the self-publishing world. An indie author is more likely to build an audience with self-publishing vs. going for a publishing house.
The trend of self-publishing has been gaining more and more momentum. Is it the right time to get in? Yes!