You’ve probably heard this story a thousand times before: An inexperienced author writes a fantastic book and decides to self-publish it, but he makes mistake after mistake, leading to his book not getting any exposure or sales. It’s a story that scares a lot of new authors away from self-publishing, but it doesn’t have to. You can self-publish your book professionally if you stick to a few key rules.
- Make sure your book looks professional. It’s important that your book makes a good first impression, whether at a brick-and-mortar store or online. If design isn’t a strong suit of yours — or if it is and you just don’t have time for it — make sure to invest in professional cover design services.
- Don’t let unintended errors distract your readers. It’s easy to make mistakes while you write a novel, but a typo here and a typo there add up pretty quickly and can easily distract from your novel. This is where a professional editor comes in. Editing your own work is difficult, so make sure to devote some of your book budget to finding a talented editor to help you get your book ready to publish.
- Spread the word! You might have the best book written this century, but if you don’t promote your book, no one will know about it. Research the people you want to read your book and use a variety of channels to talk to them. Social media, Web and print advertisements and speaking engagements can all help you to spread the word about your new book.
- Control your message. This is probably one of the easiest traps to fall into when you decide to market your book. While some authors start out without any clear message at all, others get distracted from their messaging and end up missing opportunities in the process. Before you decide to market your book, come up with a few key points you would like to communicate to your audience. Then, stick to those points in all of your promotion.
- Be passionate. It’s vital to be passionate about both your topic and your readers. Keep in mind the reason why you wrote the book and use that to drive your interactions with readers, industry journalists and others. By doing this, you can share an authentic passion for your book with everyone you meet, and that kind of passion is contagious.
What pitfalls have you seen other writers fall into when they’ve self-published their books? Share your insights in the comments below!