When you’re self-publishing a book, it’s important to consider the big picture: your brand, your author platform, your point-of-purchase marketing via your book cover, etc. But Self-Publishing Relief knows that there are little, easily overlooked details that are just as crucial to your book’s success. The self-publishing process has many steps and substeps—and when you’re trying to juggle so many tasks at once, it’s easy to inadvertently drop a key element and let it slip through the cracks.
The Four Biggest Little Things You Shouldn’t Ignore When Self-Publishing
Feature your author website.
The author bio on the back cover of your book needs to cover a lot of ground in a few words: publishing credits, writing degrees earned, perhaps something fun about yourself. But don’t forget to mention your author website! If you don’t have room in the bio section, add the website under your copyright notation. Hyperlink to your author website in your e-Book versions—and include the link on your “Other Books By” page, the title page, or the copyright page. Your website is the hub of your author platform, so use every opportunity to get it in front of readers and potential fans.
Choose the right trim size.
There are lots of trim sizes available for your book. For example, CreateSpace offers at least fifteen trim sizes—as well as the opportunity to create a custom trim size (within certain parameters). But if you want to take advantage of CreateSpace’s Expanded Distribution program, your trim size options narrow, especially if you want your book printed on cream paper.
You should also choose your book’s trim size based on genre and desired market placement. Most novels, for example, are either 5 ½” x 8 ½” or 6” x 9”. Many poetry collections also come in those trim sizes, but for a small chapbook, you might want to choose 5” x 8”. If you’ve written a nonfiction work book, consider using a bigger trim size.
Focus on the technical specs for your cover.
As soon as you’ve selected your trim size and the companies you plan to use to produce your book, find out the specifications each company has for covers. How much of a bleed do you need to include? Is there a maximum file size? What color profile does the company use? Should your cover file be saved as a PDF or a JPEG? Save yourself some headaches later by getting all of this information before you or a designer start working on your cover art.
Set your price wisely.
You’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and money into the writing and editing of your book—and you want some return on that investment. Sure you want big royalty payments, but be careful not to sabotage your own efforts by overpricing your book. On the other hand, if you underprice it, you’ll give the impression that the book is not worth buying. The market is saturated; be realistic about how much readers are willing to pay for a book like yours.
Self-publishing a book is a big undertaking, and indie authors must keep track of countless details. Total control over the process is one of the most attractive aspects of self-publishing, but don’t get tripped up by the little things! If you need help keeping all your self-publishing balls in the air, contact Self-Publishing Relief—we’re experts at juggling the many aspects of getting your book published!
Question: If you’ve self-published, what are some of the small details you’ve almost forgotten to address?