Newbie author’s ultimate self-publishing checklist
You’re finally ready to get your book out, but the thing is, you don’t have any single idea how. So how do you publish your own book with little or no knowledge at all? And what are the things to consider to know how to get your story published? Maybe you’ve noticed that there is a growing number of self-published authors today, as self-publishing has tons of benefits: complete creative control, more revenue, and faster process.
So what’s stopping you? You too can publish your own book and make money. You don’t have to wait for an approval or hire an agent to pitch your book. You can be your own publisher!
But before you even hop on into the self-publishing hurdle, make sure you’re equipped with the essential arsenals. Here’s an easy-to-follow checklist—a guide map— to make sure you’ve got everything you need to get your book published.
Define your target readers.
Get familiar with your target audience. Focus on a small group and understand basic demographics on your target’s profile. And once more, narrow it down through finding an ideal reader for your book. Observe values, interests, lifestyle, behavior, and personality.
Determine your book’s potential market.
Search the related keywords and categories of your book in Amazon and find out if there’s a large demand for your book idea. See if there’s a potential revenue, and discover a marketable idea to make more impact to your readers.
Write a compelling manuscript.
Now, you’ve got an idea to whom you’re writing for and what you want to write. This time, you need to put your ideas and words into paper. Writing a great book that grabs the reader’s whole attention is a tough row to hoe. Just an advice: most prolific and successful writers often follow a writing framework or a formula. Find yours.
Edit and refine your work.
Once you’re done with your manuscript, check for grammatical errors. Spend a little time to edit your own work. Get a little distance, read it again out loud, and correct some spelling and typos.
Work with an editor to proofread the manuscript.
Self-editing can pretty much help you with the surface. But hiring a professional editor can help create a clear, coherent, and error-free content for your preferred readers. If your book reeks of plot holes and inconsistency, you should tap an editor to clean these for you.
Hire a cover designer.
Make sure your book’s cover capture the theme and tone of your book.
Browse through the myriad of books related to your genre. Seek inspiration and create a sketch, or a brief design. Collaborate with a designer and talk about the visuals you want to achieve for your book.
Format your book’s interior design.
From cover to format, every minutia of your book matters. The fonts, spacing, chapter headings, among others can affect the reader’s reading experience. Ask help from a book interior designer to produce a book that is readable inside and out.
Acquire an ISBN (International Standard Book Number).
An ISBN is a 13-digit number (since 2007) that gives your book a universal identification and is usually found in the lower portion of the book cover. You can purchase your own book’s ISBN from Bowker or from your local ISBN agency. For a revised edition, you need to acquire a new ISBN.
After owning an ISBN you should:
- Find a reliable self-publishing house to print your own book.
- Calculate your estimated book price.
- Find the right book distributor.
- Publish your own book into an e-book online in Amazon’s Kindle Platform.
Create different social media accounts.
Other than writing, editing, and designing, you should also market your book to stand out among the rest. There are plenty of social media marketing platforms you can avail through creating a profile. Then lay out a marketing plan and social media activity to widen your reach.
Establish an author platform—your website.
Build authority online through creating your own self-hosted website. You can start from scratch, through WordPress.com or wix.com, and draw attention from your targeted profile. You can also directly sell book from your website and add updates of what you’re currently up to.
Create a mailing list.
Set up an e-mail list for your readers to get updates on a regular basis. Create a writing cheat sheet, an infographics, a case study, an e-mail course, a webinar, or a detailed checklist, so your ideal customers will stick to your website. Give something relevant and useful, and they’ll give value to you as an author.
Advertise through social media.
After self-publishing your own book, you don’t necessarily have to spend money to promote your book. With just enough time, you can use different marketing platforms to get your book be heard. But if you’ve got the cash, you can try Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, or other platforms that can market your book effectively.