Authors who self-publish their novels, memoirs, or nonfiction books are able to get their writing into the hands of their readers faster than those who choose traditional publishing. And independent-minded self-publishing authors also enjoy another benefit: They control every step of the process. When you self-publish, you alone are in charge. You don’t have to confer with anyone or listen to the suggestions of others—you make all the decisions! However, you still want to ensure great-looking results and the best possible sales numbers. To accomplish this, the professionals at Self-Publishing Relief have some self-publishing advice you’ll probably hate: Don’t go it alone—listen to these suggestions from the experts.
Self-Publishing Advice You Might Hate, But Is Really Good
The self-publishing process can be confusing and complex. There are a lot of important tasks that must be completed, and it’s easy to miss a step that will mess up every element that follows. Instead of winging it, use a checklist to ensure you’ve included everything you need to navigate in order to stay on schedule.
It’s also vital that you keep your workspace and your book files organized. Keeping your work area tidy will help you work more efficiently—and that includes on your computer! Remove anything on your actual desk that could be a distraction, and close all the unused tabs on your desktop to prevent files from being misplaced.
Make And Meet Deadlines
Since you’re the boss, you might think you don’t need to follow a schedule as much as you don’t want self-publishing advice. This freedom is why you chose to self-publish: You can do what you want, when you want! But if you want your book to move through the process efficiently, you should make a schedule and stick to it. You may have to adjust the timeline based on how your project is moving along (proofreading the manuscript took longer than expected, the book cover design was finalized more quickly, etc.), but having a schedule will help you stay on track.
It can be difficult to relinquish control of your project, but the process will go more smoothly if you delegate certain tasks—especially those that may not be in your wheelhouse. You’ll still have the final say about your self-published book, but without the stress, aggravation, and burnout that comes from trying to do everything yourself.
For instance, it’s not easy to proofread your own work. Another set of eyes can catch overlooked grammatical errors and typos. Whether you ask another writer, a grammar-savvy friend, or employ the help of a professional, be sure your manuscript is fully proofread before you self-publish it. A published book with typos will suffer from bad word of mouth and reviews—which will send your book sales into a death spiral.
Hand Over Book Cover Design
Your book cover is your most powerful point-of-purchase sales tool. With all the competition on the retail bookshelves, you won’t get a second chance to make a great first impression. So, unless you’re a professional graphic designer, leave the work of creating your book cover to the experts. While you want your book cover to be unique, there are rules you must follow to ensure your overall design suits your genre and readers’ expectations. The cover design pros at Self-Publishing Relief can create a book cover for your self-published book that will stand out for all the right reasons.
Choose The Right Time
If you’re self-publishing your book, you should be able to do so whenever you want, right? Not so fast: There is such a thing as the wrong time to self-publish. If the manuscript is finished, but you haven’t had it proofread yet, it’s not time to publish. Or, if you already have a lot going on in your life right now, you shouldn’t add the many time-consuming tasks of self-publishing (don’t forget marketing!) to your plate as well. And if your book would make a good graduation gift, holiday gift, or a great beach read, you want to publish closer to those prime buying time frames.
Allot Time For Marketing
Your work doesn’t end when your book is self-published—it just enters a new phase. You may have planned on taking a well-deserved break, sitting by the pool sipping margaritas, but readers won’t be flocking to buy your book if they don’t know it exists. You have to put down that cool, refreshing drink, take off your writer hat, and put on your marketing hat. Make sure you build interest in your book while targeting your intended audience. Your word-of-mouth efforts should be supported by thoughtful marketing on social media, book readings, blogging, and more.
Ask For Help If You Need It
Self-publishing isn’t easy! Once you take a good look at all the technical steps involved, you might have second thoughts about going it alone. And it’s okay to change your mind and ask for help. At Self-Publishing Relief, our experts will help you stay on track and navigate the entire process from manuscript to published book—one you’ll be proud to put your name on. Schedule a free consultation with our Self-Publishing team today!
Self-publishing your book doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor where you rely solely on your own wits and know-how. Instead, be open to taking self-publishing advice from experts, delegating tasks, working with deadlines, and following the tips outlined here. You may hate the idea of giving up some autonomy, but you’ll love the results when you see your book published!
Question: Which tip would be most difficult for you to follow?
I can’t afford to turn over book cover design. Not in the budget.
And I don’t have enough of a feel for how much time things take (for longer books, anyway) to have even a fuzzy schedule until I’m at least 90% complete.
Use IngramSpark to format your book and help distribute. Read up on cover designs and you can use Canva to create something. But be very careful to make sure it looks similar to bestseller’s in your genre. Also, the free Author Ad School challenge that comes up every few months is excellent.