In the last decade, the success of self-published authors has shown traditional publishers that DIY writers can earn the adoration of millions and the respect of even the harshest literary critics. In fact, self-published and independent authors are sometimes so successful that they have forced traditional publishers to do things they never would have agreed to in years past—things like split digital/print publishing rights and change royalty rates.
That said, because self-publishing is an avenue that is open to any writer, some authors do publish works that, shall we say, do not meet high standards. We’re talking about writers who don’t bother with proofreading, writers who don’t research their subject matter—even writers who don’t actually read books! It’s an unfortunate fact: Self-published writers who truly labor over their craft to create a quality piece bear the burden of distinguishing themselves from writers who don’t especially care about technique.
How To Establish A High-Quality Reputation As A Self-Published Author
Expert editing: Career writers know they need a professional review of their books prior to publishing. Hire a freelance content editor to ensure your narrative or poetry is the very best it can be.
Proofreading: Nothing screams “amateur” louder than typos and grammatical errors. Don’t let readers find anything to gripe about in your text. Find a great proofreader for your self-published book.
Professional cover art: Low-resolution, poorly designed cover art creates a first impression of low-quality writing. Invest in your cover art in the same way that you invest in your words.
Book endorsements from famous authors: Yes, it is possible to ask a famous author to endorse your self-published book. And though you might not get an affirmative answer—it never hurts to ask! You can also ask for reviews from respected book bloggers.
Great reviews featured prominently in promo materials: If you do have glowing reviews, make the most of them by putting them front and center on your author website, cover art, and other promo materials. Hint: Short blurbs tend to work better than long paragraphs.
A classy author bio: Your author bio is a great place to brag about your reputation for quality. Learn more about the types of publishing credits you can include in your author bio and how to order them to support a strong reputation for good writing.
Lots of positive popular reviews: While critical reviews from famous authors or bloggers carry a lot of weight in and of themselves, a high volume of popular reviews from everyday readers can make an especially strong case for quality writing. Let readers know that your book has “50 five-star reviews on Goodreads.”
And The Most Important Thing For Creating A Reputation For Quality Writing…
Create a consistent “product.” Though you may be tempted to rush a book into publication, slow down and take the extra time needed to get your book into its best possible shape. One bad book can make readers have second thoughts about purchasing future books from you. And negative reviews will reflect poorly on your writing overall.
QUESTION: How can you tell if what you’ve written is high quality?