Ten tips for success as a self-published author
By Sandra N. Peoples
When you publish a book, especially on your own, your ultimate goal is to be a success at it. You don’t want to invest a ton of money into producing your product, only to fail at it. Here are ten tips that I have compiled that I think are the keys to help you succeed in this cut-throat industry:
- Educate yourself.Take the time to learn all you can about the industry of publishing. Like any industry and profession, those who are armed with knowledge are the ones that stand to reap the greatest financial rewards. Take to time to attend seminars, classes and workshops to ensure that you are getting the most current information to help you stay on top of the game.
- Study the competition. This may seem a bit mean, but it’s true. As with any industry, you have to be aware of what the other guy is doing that is working for them in order to get their books moving. You study them and model them, but by all means, do not copy them.
- Think marketing from the very beginning—before you write the book.Before you even think about printers, graphic artists and all of the technicalities that come with book publishing, you must think about the most important piece to your puzzle: who is going to read your book? How are you going to reach them? If you don’t know who the book is intended to be read by, how do you expect to sell it?
- Get professional editing.I can’t preach this enough. I have learned from experience how lack of professional editing can hurt your career as a writer. I was one who figured that since I could easily spot errors in the works of other, obviously, I would be able to catch them in my own work. Little did I know, you don’t use the true ‘editing’ eyes on your own manuscript. If you read my previous post on how to find an editor for your book, I offer some advice on how you can possibly avoid spending thousands of dollars and possibly get your book edited for free.
- Create a snappy title–and then research it.When I published my first book, I had no idea that my book shared the same title as a best-selling author’s book. I didn’t know you were supposed to research your title first by doing a simple amazon search. You simply go to amazon.com and enter the title you would like to use to see how many other books will share the same title as yours.
- Include all the necessary components.Be sure your book has an ISBN number and barcode, a cover, everything that is needed to make your book look like something your readers need to invest in.
- Have an eye-catching cover.Even if you may have crafted a New York Times bestselling novel, if the cover screams ‘blah!’, you may never see that status anywhere except in your dreams.
- Make the interior worth reading.Don’t throw your book together just for the sake of being able to say you have a book out. Be sure that your book is typeset by someone who knows the publishing industry and what book printers expect. And by all means, tell a good story.
- Use a real book manufacturer for printing.I hate to say it, but if you plan to publish a quality paperback or hardback book, you must use a book printer. You can’t go down to your local print shop and expect them to produce that type of book.
- Promote! Promote! Promote!This cannot be stressed enough. If you want people to read what you have written, you have got to get out and really pound the pavement. It’s your book. If you don’t believe in it enough to talk about and preach its message why should anyone else?
Want even more tips for building a successful career as an author? Learn more about The Author’s Success Academy.