So you want to self-publish a book?
As you may or may not know, I have self-published my first book. With that complete, I wanted to share with everyone embarking on the same adventure some tips and things I learned in the process.
Join me as I hop into my time machine to visit my past self with these tips and for the most random musical soundtrack for my journey. Some of these tips may seem obvious, but when you are smack dab in the middle of a major project it can be easy to lose your perspective.
Identify Your Audience & Purpose:
Maybe your book is finished or you are still working on it. You need to ask yourself a few questions. Why are you writing your book? Who will want to buy this book? And most importantly – how does your book benefit the reader?
Knowing this information will help inform your thinking in all of your planning. Whether you are writing a book for a niche audience or the mass market, you need to understand this information.
Identify Your Projects Value:
You may be thinking you are writing your book just for you. And maybe you are, but if you want other people to buy it you need to know what value it brings to a potential reader’s life. It might be as simple as bringing beauty to their lives. Maybe it is to entertain, educate or inform? You are going to need to articulate this information succinctly and repeatedly if you want people to buy your book.
Take the Time to Make a Project Outline:
Writing a book is a major undertaking. Many writers will create an outline for their book, which helps many immensely. I have news for you. You are going to need an outline for your adventure in self-publishing too. Be sure to include all critical milestones, deadlines you have, and any promotional opportunities you have identified. Make sure you have a clear timeline for your project and build in some extra time, because there is a good chance you will need it.
Money, Money, Money:
Unless you live in a rich man’s world and that rich man is you or a friend of yours you are going to need a budget for your project. Make sure you get a quote for the printing of your book and any services you may require to get the job done. Set up a full and comprehensive budget for your project that includes printing costs, design and layout costs, shipping and and any promotional costs you may have. Most important – figure out your profit margin so that you can calculate your break even point, which is where you start to make more money than you spend. This may help you identify your sales goals.
Know When to Take Break:
Self-publishing can be full of challenges, particularly if you are new to it! You need to be on your game, which can be hard when you are mired down in deadlines and work. The more relaxed you are the better your work will be. There is a balance you will need to find between the place where you can do the most work effectively and staring at your computer screen struggling to lift your fingers and not break into sobbing. Find yours!
Celebrate Milestones, But Keep on Keepin’ On!
So with any luck, your book is printed and copies are on there way to you and those first readers! Take a moment to pat yourself on the back. Remember it is not everyone who can write their own book and even fewer who can get it published. You should be proud! There is nothing like the feeling of holding your first self-published book in your hands. You can count on seeing a few things you may want to change in future printings, and that is okay.
Once you have cleaned up the confetti and recycled the champagne glasses, know it will be time to roll up your sleeves again. You will know need to promote your book and gain readers.
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below and I will answer. If you are interested in learning more about my journey as an artist and things I have learned along the way, you can subscribe to my newsletter here.
And since I need to follow my own advice, here is where I add a shameless plug for my own book!
Printed copies of my book are ready for order on my website as well, and you can get your copy here!