If you’re new to self publishing, or even just thinking about becoming a self published author, then every little bit of information helps. These tips for self publishing a book are based on tried and true ways new and upcoming self published authors can make their self publishing more successful.
20 Tips for Self Publishing a Book
Writing and publishing a book is a lot of work, so it only makes sense that you’d want your self publishing efforts to pay off. Not every author writes to make money, but most write at least to share their ideas with readers. By following these tips for self publishing a book you can make the self publishing process a little bit easier.
- You can do it
Self publishing a book actually isn’t that hard. The most challenging parts are writing the book, navigating self publishing websites, and marketing. Besides that it’s almost as simple as uploading your manuscript to the self publishing website(s) of your choice.
- Niche books sell better
If you have a specific area of expertise or write in a certain niche, your sales will probably be better than a book for the general public. Why? With so many options available there’s less competition within sub groups.
- Have a clear picture of what success looks like
Yes, it’s important to set realistic expectations when it comes to your self publishing success, but you should also define what success means to you. For one person, it might mean a certain dollar goal, while others measure success in how many people read their book.
- Set a budget and stick to it
There are plenty of free options out there to get your book self published. Even with no budget, you can still do a lot to promote. It is nice to have a bit to spend on creating or promoting your work, though. If you have a budget set make sure you stick to it. Spending too much promoting a new book doesn’t always increase your sales.
- Create a marketing plan
Whether you invest a dollar or a thousand into marketing nothing happens without a plan. Do your research, and find out what other self published authors do to maximize their advertising budget.
- Slay your cover design
We all agree that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but people still do. That’s why it’s vital that your book has a great first impression when it comes to the cover. Use a design program, or hire someone to help.
- Edit, edit, edit
There’s a fine line between perfectionism and good editing, and it’s important for authors to walk it. Read (and reread) your book to look for mechanical errors and writing mistakes. If possible, give someone else a copy and listen to their feedback too.
- Start your social media now
Even if your book isn’t done, get those social media accounts reserved and active. You can gain a following to advertise your book to, or hype up an upcoming release. Ask all your friends and family to like or promote your account to gain traction faster.
- Get yourself a professional website
Now, you really don’t need to spend a fortune on your site, but you should have a professional website and branding to go along with your self published book. As an unknown author, anything you do online affects how others perceive you. This is one way to give a great first impression.
- Start a blog
On that subject, it’s also a good idea to start a blog as a new or aspiring self published author. Not only is it great for SEO on your website, it also helps get other people familiar with your writing style. Another option is to guest post on blogs to promote your book.
- Do your research before choosing a platform
There’s a lot of options out there when it comes to self publishing services. Make sure to do your research before making a final choice. This goes double for companies that have an upfront cost or you’re considering their extra services.
- Ask for reviews or endorsements
As a new author, you may not have any reputation to help sell your book. If you can, find people who will leave online reviews in exchange for a free copy. You should also ask author figures in your book’s niche if they could recommend your book to their audience. You never know!
- Price competitively
It’s very challenging to give general information about self published book pricing. The reason is that the prices vary based on length, niche, and even the author themselves. Don’t be afraid to change your price and experiment once you get some personal experience.
- Get your own ISBN
This is different in every country, so you’ll need to look up the guidelines for your area. In the US, for example, ISBNs cost money to register. Some services do offer free ISBNs for self published authors, but that will list them as the publisher, not you. Keep in mind that you will need a unique ISBN for each version of your book.
- Avoid print
Who doesn’t want to hold a physical copy of their book in their hands? If that sounds like you, opt for print on demand services and order one for yourself. Keep away from ordering a printed run, if possible. It drives up costs and with more and more people moving to digital books it may not be worth the cost or effort.
- Good books are uncommon and tough to make
There’s millions of self published books on the market, and most of them aren’t very good. If you want yours to stand out then release it with professional quality. That means excellent writing, good editing, and great cover design.
- You’re on your own
Even though websites like Amazon Kindle say they care about your and your book, they really don’t on a personal level. Without a publisher backing you, you’ll be on your own with your self published book. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but don’t expect to get a lot of personalized support from your publishing site.
- Consider taking a course on self publishing
Online courses are a great way to get a lot of information in one place. Think of it like taking a class on that subject! If you’re wanting to break into the world of self publishing, an online course can help clarify everything you need to know.
- It might not sell
Statistically speaking, most self published books don’t sell very many copies. Every now and then you get unknown authors who find major success, but most will have to work to get sales. Just because your book doesn’t sell doesn’t mean it’s bad, either! There’s just a lot of competition.
- Don’t give up
Even if it seems overwhelming, or your book doesn’t sell, it doesn’t mean you should give up on your writing goals. Keep trying tips for self publishing a book until you make it happen.