It’s a well-known fact that nowadays, anyone who is able to write a whole book can get it published. You can publish your own book because it has never been this easy. There are lots of online tools to bring your manuscript to life, give it a professional cover, and promote it where you want it to be.
If you need extra help, follow this simple guide to achieve your goal and publish that book you’ve always wanted to write.
1. Plan and Write Your Story
Take time to outline your story, sketch the characters and organize your plot. Write down the details of your characters, their personalities, their involvement in the story and the relationships among them.
Write an unexpected story that goes somewhere, describe ambiances and use lots of descriptive language.
Stick to a Writing Regime
You’ll need a lot of discipline to finish that book, so you’d better focus on establishing a rigorous writing routine. Plan your writing, set a specific time for each day, and focus on that; you can also use these tips to establish a writing routine:
Set small goals that can be measured. For example, set a goal to write 2000 words a day, a couple of pages every 30 minutes, or a complete chapter per week. The thing is to reach these milestones to see and measure your progress.
Commit to making time to write. Waiting to find some spare time will only get you so far; every successful writer started with a blank page and ended up with a beautiful result after hours of hard work. You can also set a specific time of day when you are more productive, for some people this is mornings, for others, late evenings work best.
Get a writing space. This is really helpful if you already know how you get your inspiration from. Make sure you choose a workspace to stay away from distractions. It could be a public spot or an isolated room at home, but you need it to be a place where you can focus completely.
Break Down a Budget
Your budget will depend on the quality you go for, and your content’s length. Even so, you can anticipate a part of the expenses and write down rough costs for editing, illustrating, and designing.
The following are average editing costs for a 30,000 word book:
Editing: About $720 USD
Proofreading/copy editing: Between $300 and $550 USD
Assessment: About $400 USD
Cover design: Between $500 and $1500 USD
2. Edit Your Book
A crucial part of knowing how to publish your own book is editing it appropriately, many authors like to edit their own work, but my advice on this is to get at least another professional to look at your manuscript. By doing so, they may look for mistakes, misspellings, and suggest stylistic corrections that you could’ve missed out.
If you are considering illustrations or photos, make sure they’re the right size for printing or optimized if you’re going for an ebook. The maximum width for an ebook image is 659 px and its resolution should be 72. If they’re too large, you can use an image cropper and get the exact sizes you need.
3. Design a Beautiful Book Cover
People do judge a book by its cover, so you’d better have a great one. A lot of successful writers have other talents in illustration or graphic design, and you should give this a go. In my experience, it’s worth the effort because you get the chance to portray your book with your own personal vision.
Of course, you can hire a pro designer, but that could raise the cost, especially when making changes to the cover design.
Think about it, you can get great results by working with online tools made exactly for design purposes, without even closing your browser and choosing from templates that already look professional. Even if you’re not a skilled designer, you can design your own book cover and getting great results if you use an online book cover maker.
4. Publish Your Book
The core of knowing how to self publish a book relies on two things: choosing the format to publish and protecting your material.
Protect Your Work
Visit a copyright office to get information about how to register your work and protect it from plagiarism.
Get an ISBN Number
You should also ask for an ISBN number, which is a 13 digit universal code to identify and put your book into an international book catalog. This way, publishers from all around the world can track your work.
When you publish on Amazon, this isn’t required because you get an ASIN number, but if you submit a paperback, you should include it on your budge. Getting a single ISBN costs about $125 USD, and you’ll need one for each format you decide to publish your book.
Choose Your Publishing Platform
You can choose to print your book and look for a deal with a bookstore, or you can publish on different online platforms like Kindle, Lulu, Google Play, Barnes and Noble Press, and many others. Keep in mind that ebook distributors have fees too, and Amazon, for example, offers you lots of promotional advantages to get exclusivity.
Of course, the best way to self publish is the one that allows you to get more profit, so take enough time to evaluate your options, and carefully read their requirements before signing. Pay special attention to royalty percentages in your country, because it may vary between regions.
5. Promote Your Work
So you publish, your book looks great, and every little detail has been covered… Now, how to promote a self-published book? You can always go to networking sessions to look for people who want to be part of your book’s launch. You can also take advantage of social media platforms, and start a Facebook Business page, a YouTube channel, or an Instagram profile.
Also, beautiful book covers look great when put into a real-life environment. See what it would look like using a book mockup, and get one step closer to selling it.
Create a Marketing Strategy
Also, you can use some of these ideas for your strategy:
Plan a book launch event. It doesn’t matter if it’s an ebook or a hardcover, you should be planning a launch event to get to know your young readers, but most of all, to get people to know what you’ve created. They will be delighted to meet the author and get a special dedication when they get the book.
Contact a booktuber. Search for a YouTuber that reviews books, and ask for their collaboration. Most of them have fees for these kinds of business inquiries, so it’s your chance to negotiate a good deal.
Run targeted ads on Facebook. Set a target for potential readers. Is it a book for young people with an interest in fiction? Or is it for foodies? The clearer this is for you, the better it’ll work for setting your target on Facebook.
Price promotions on Amazon. Amazon offers a variety of deals to boost your sales on Kindle Publishing. Think about it as a side tactic, but not the only one.
Create a mailing list. Are you running a blog or a website already? Great! Start a mailing list for your current subscribers and tell them about your great new deal.
Write guest posts. Contact bloggers and web managers to see if you can promote your new book as a guest. Explain who you are and what the book is about, and, if possible, offer them the opportunity to collaborate with your blog as well.
Join publishers/readers groups. These forums are perfect to talk about your book and discussing why is worth reading it.
Set a Goal for Selling
Advertising your book should focus on sales, right? But how are you going to know if it’s doing well or not? Come up with a plan based on how many copies you sell after a while and adjust your efforts afterwards.
My advice is to start by focusing on selling 50 copies the first month. This should be a realistic goal that reflects where you are as a writer, and the contact you’ve had with potential readers. Then you can set a goal to 200 copies sold after six months and keep reorganizing your promoting effort to reach those numbers.
Also, make sure your readers can identify you as an author! Start by creating a brand for yourself, and create a logo design that embodies your personality and style.
How to become a best selling author? Well, you must make an effort to really get your book out there. Self-publishing is an easy task if you have enough discipline and love for books. Make sure you give your book the commitment it deserves. Share your tips if you already are a self-published author!