To say that I was overwhelmed when I first looked into self-publishing would be an understatement. It’s one thing to begin studying something you have some kind of a clue about; it’s another thing altogether to start at ground zero with no foundation whatsoever. Can you relate?
Self-publishing a book can almost seem like a full-time job once you start looking into it. It seems overwhelming from the outside, especially for someone who has a) never done it before b) doesn’t know anyone who has, and c) has no idea where to start.
This resource guide contains everything I wished I had known way back when.
What Is Self-Publishing? (article)
This checklist is designed for you to work through before publishing your book. It covers all you need to know (i.e. author bios, getting an editor, an ISBN number, hiring a graphic artist for your book’s design, etc.) I highly recommend it: A Complete Pre-Publishing Checklist ($5.99)
The title says it all: 17 Crucial Things Authors Forget To Do When Self-Publishing (article)
How much will self-publishing cost you? When you sign up for Curiouser Editing’s blog, you will receive a free self-publishing ebook that will help you determine the cost.
Did you know that getting your book professionally edited before publishing is super important? If not, then read this: The Importance of Professional Editing (article)
Not sure where to find a book editor?
Design & Formatting
Pick up the closest book to you. Look at the cover. That cover was designed, in all likeliness, by a professional graphic artist or book designer. Open up the book and you will see the arrangement of the chapters, headings, fonts, the set-up of the pages, etc. That’s formatting.
- Book Cover Design (article)
Self-published books are notorious for their bad covers and poor design. You can design and format your book yourself, but if you want the best version of your book, look into getting a professional designer or formatting service. Prices vary. Some options include:
- CreateSpace (tools and services that include design, formatting, printing, and more)
- Lulu.com (tools and services like CreateSpace but most people seem to prefer CS)
- Fiverr.com (website for design and graphics services)
- Curiouser Editing Services (book covers, formatting, book trailers, etc.)
Building Your Platform
The sooner you get started on building your “platform” the better. What is a platform?
This article breaks it down: The Basics of Building a Writer’s Platform (article)
This site covers all you need to know: Your Writer Platform (website)
Your social media sites are the breadwinners of your platform. Create a Facebook page, a Twitter page, an Instagram account, etc. Get your name out there. Create buzz.
Creating a website is an important part of the process as well, and blogging is a great way to generate views and visits to your site. I recommend WordPress. It’s free (unless you purchase a domain name, in which case the price is $18) and very easy to use. Guest-blogging is also highly recommended, as it’s a great way to get your name out there.
- Platform Building Essentials (resource guide)
- The Step-By-Step Guide To Launching Your Own Blog (article)
- Marketing for Self-Published Authors (article)
Marketing & Promotion
Marketing your book means connecting with a larger network or audience in order to increase buzz about your book and generate book sales.
To understand what marketing is as well as the easiest, most effective ways to do it, check out these articles:
Launching your book falls under the category of marketing and promotion. Below is an article written by Jeff Goins, a prominent blogger and the author of The Art of Work. It covers all that you need to know. Start here, and build on the foundation this article supplies.
I recommend reading through these articles and resource guides at your own pace. Take your time. Take notes. Don’t overwhelm yourself. This is the culmination of all that I have learned over the course of last year, and I share it here as much for your benefit as for mine.
Any self-publishing authors out there?
Did I miss anything crucial? Let me know!