Are you an expert in your arena? Has writing a book always been on your radar? If so, self-publishing might be the next step. Here are 5 tips to consider before self-publishing.
1. Identify the reasons you have decided to self-publish your book.
Is it because you have received many rejection letters from publishing companies stating that you have talent but they are not interested? Is it because you want to leave a legacy for your children and/or grandchildren? Is it because you want to make money off your talents and skills? Is it because you believe that others would enjoy reading your work?
Writers self-publish for a variety of reasons. I believe it is a great way to get your book on the market and you have total control over the entire publishing process. It also offers you a shorter production cycle than going with a traditional publisher. By self-publishing, an author can get his or her work on the market when the book is ready, rather than waiting for a traditional publisher to bite. It is a great way to get started in writing and can improve your writing skills.
2. Be clear about why you have decided to self-publish.
If you ask any of the writers and/or authors that I have worked with, what was the most challenging aspect of self-publishing? They will tell you it was a lot of work.
Be prepared to put in many hours into perfecting your book, studying the industry, networking, promoting and selling. People often say that writing is the easy part. It is the marketing, packaging, promoting and selling of your book that are the most challenging.
I often recommend joining writers groups and self-publishing organizations. Surround yourself with people who are going to keep you inspired when things get challenging.
3. Understand all of your publishing options.
As a writer, you have many options to getting your book published. You can submit your completed manuscript to traditional publishing companies, but keep in mind that they receive hundreds of manuscripts daily and that they are looking for unique book ideas that will sell books.
You can also publish it yourself, which simply means to take your own written material and make it available to the public in published form. The objective is to sell your book for a price that your customers can afford. You are responsible for paying the cost or hiring someone to edit, design, market, distribute and fulfill book orders. If you have the skills you can do a lot of this yourself.
Other options include hiring a subsidy or vanity publisher. They are companies that offer a variety of publishing services including typesetting, designing, marketing and book distribution for a fee. If time and money are no concern, you may want to hire a self-publishing consultant to assist you with the publishing process.
4. You must think like an entrepreneur.
As a self-published author, you are a business owner who will wear many hats, and writer is just one of them. You are also the accountant, bookkeeper, editor, graphic designer, marketer, public relations specialist and distributor, just to name a few. It may seem overwhelming, but don’t let that discourage you. You can choose to do them all yourself or hire an independent contractor to assist you in achieving your business goals. You can even contract with a temporary agency or call on family and friends to help. Be selective when choosing family and friend they sometimes can be the problem rather than solving the problem.
5. Never ever give up.
From my experience, self-publishing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires hard work, patience, dedication to the book, and a creative marketing plan. You must not only write the book, but also be self-motivated to sell it. There are many tools put in place to help you succeed. Whether you are a first-time writer, aspiring author or entrepreneur, self-publishing can be a very rewarding journey. So let today be the day you turn your dreams of being a self-published author into reality.
Renee Bobb is an authority in the field of career empowerment and small business development. As the CEO of R.B.I. Enterprise Empowerment Training and Development Firm, Renee facilitates a variety of training classes to include Financial Empowerment: A Practical Approach to Getting Your Financial Household in Order. She also teaches a class called Shifting Gears from Employee to Entrepreneur, in which she focuses on equipping and empowering people to start and expand their own businesses. Renee’s most popular workshop is The Self-Publishing Process: The Beginner’s Guide to Book Publishing Success in which she also has a top-selling book with the same title. Renee is also the Owner of the Music City Icons Semi Professional Women’s Basketball Team.
* Photography credit: Christy Shaterian