So, you’re thinking about independently publishing a book. Creative control, shorter time-to-market, and greater royalty per copy are just a few of the benefits of independently publishing a book. A recent article in Writer’s Digest provides some strategies that you can use if you’re still deciding whether or not self-publishing is the route for you. Below, we’ll highlight some of the tips in the article that might be helpful as you decide if you should independently publish your book.
(If you’re thinking about writing a book, but aren’t sure where to start, check out our post, “I Want to Write a Book. Where Do I Start?”)
Strategy #1: Evaluate the latest options to find the best approach for your individual needs.
What are the goals for your book? Who is the audience you are trying to reach? Are you trying to promote your business or write a memoir for your family? Do you want to publish an e-book, a print book, or both? Identifying why you want to publish your book is important. Once you determine your end goals, you can set your course.
It also can be helpful to ask yourself these questions:
1. Who is your ideal reader?
2. What kind of books does he/she buy?
3. Where are most of those types of books sold?
Strategy #2: Put together a publishing team.
After you’ve set your goals, one of the next steps is to find help to make them a reality. Publishing a book on your own can be a long, lonely road. It’s a good idea to pull together a team who can help you manage all of the moving pieces that publishing a book entails. A few key members of your team could include:
- A developmental editor – Someone to help you shape the book – to organize your thoughts, create a theme that will attract your target reader, eliminate redundancies, and ensure the content is clear and concise.
- A copy editor(s) – Someone to correct the final manuscript – to perform line-by-line editing, and ensure good grammar and readability for your target reader. The copy editor will catch the things the developmental editor might otherwise miss.
- A designer(s) – Someone to help with the layout of the book – creates a professional interior design and eye-catching cover design.
- Proofchecker – Someone to double check the design and content, ensuring all content is there, no conversion issues, and the design is consistent throughout the book.
- A proofreader(s) – Someone to give a full proofread of the text after the layout is complete.
Remember! Not all developmental editors are good copy editors! Not all good proofreaders are good copy editors! These are three very distinct editorial roles. We highly recommend at least two separate editors. Several pairs of professional eyes will ensure a perfect manuscript. Also, consider having a third-party professional proofreader to give your book that final read through before publishing.
It’s also probable that you will need some assistance with figuring out the best way for you to produce and market your book once it is completed.
Strategy #3: Seek support & knowledge from the self-publishing community.
As we mentioned, independently publishing a book can be a long, lonely road. Finding like-minded people to discuss the triumphs and challenges along the way can be immensely helpful.
The article raises a great point: “All of these questions have been faced by many authors before you — which makes forums and community discussion areas great places to start asking questions. You’ll find lots of people who are ahead of you in the process, and whose experiences are fresh and up to date.”
Strategy #4: Be your own best marketer.
As we’ve discussed in past articles, marketing your independently published book is crucial. Whether your book is published by a traditional publisher or you decide to go the independent route, this is true. You’re going to be responsible for the majority of your own marketing and promotion. Some great ways to get started include:
- Register your title to the trade (online and printed databases around the world)
- Create a website with a blog, and blog regularly
- Create an author Facebook page
- Set up local readings and events
- Publish online press releases
- Pitch to book clubs
- Pitch to reviewers
- Set up a Goodreads profile
Check out: “’Warpath’ by Richard Blomberg – A Case Study on Successfully Marketing Your Independently Published Book” If you have questions about any of these strategies or how to determine if independent publishing is for you, please feel free to contact SDP Publishing Solutions.
SDP Publishing Solutions (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and self-publishing and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for our authors. Our services include developmental editing and copyediting, book marketing developing pitch proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development, and providing overall book exposure.