Writing a Book? Here are 9 Steps to Follow to Self-Publish Successfully
Last week, I shared some tips about the four reasons why you should write a book and six steps to take before writing one. In continuation, this post is about the steps to follow to self-publish a book successfully.
Writing a book can be a very stressful process. I underestimated how stressful it could be until I stepped in those shoes. My goal was to write a book that will make a tremendous impact on the way women entrepreneurs think about and build a profitable brand online. Prior to that, I had read many great books on business success that focused a lot on the “what” but ignored the “how.” I wanted my book to change that. I titled it, UNEQUALED: The Power Woman’s Pathway to Building a Profitable Brand Online and started writing. By the time my manuscript was ready, I thought I had crossed the greatest hurdle in becoming a published author, but little did I know that it was the beginning of the beginning.
Everything I planned – the proofreading, the editing and formatting, the graphic design – didn’t go on as planned. It was as though I was watching a movie. The only saving grace was my patience and ability to see the bigger picture. I had to move my book launch by 6 months and I can tell you it was a wonderful learning experience for me. My patience was rewarded with astounding success and one month after I published, my book had reached readers in more than 20 countries across the world. That’s the reason I am able to write about it today.[Read: 6 Practical Ways to Inspire Creativity]
If you truly want to reap the rewards that comes with writing a book and becoming a published author, it’s time to fasten your seatbelt and follow the steps below. If you follow them dutifully, you are on your way to self-publishing your book successfully.
1. Get a proofreader
As a self-publisher, the first thing to do when you are done writing is to get a proofreader. A proofreader is a professional who reads your manuscript and corrects all grammatical errors. Do not attempt to use the spelling and grammar check feature offered by Microsoft word to proofread your book because you’ll find out it’s not an effective tool to use. Instead, you should look for a professional proof-reader who pays attention to details and is ready to go above and beyond the call of duty. Once the proofreader sends your manuscript back, I would also recommend you get a second proof-reader to go over it again.
2. Get an editor
Once the proofreading is complete and you feel satisfied, you can move to the next stage which is editing and formatting. This process, like the proofreading, takes longer than many people realize. When my book was still being edited and formatted, I wondered why many of the vendors were dragging their feet until I had the opportunity to work with someone who formatted my book and gave me the access to watch the process live. I found out that it’s a skill that needs attention to details. If you have great editing skills or you are a self-learner, you can edit and format your book by yourself. The only challenge might be the time you need to invest to get things done.
3. Get a graphic designer
A graphic designer is responsible for designing your book cover. Many times, people who do editing and formatting are graphic designers as well. When looking to hire a graphic designer, be sure to ask about the type of software your designer uses. This is important as it would help to determine what your book cover will look like. For example, the text and layout of your book cover should be compelling and distinct. Anything short of this will not give you the type of results you are looking for.[Read: 4 Graphic Design Tools You Can Use in Creating Stunning Designs for your Brand Like a Pro]
4. Get your ISBN
The ISBN number is a 16-digit number that is used in tracking your book worldwide. This number can be bought via Bowker or if you are planning to self-publish through a vanity press (this is a hybrid version of the traditional publisher where your upfront cost is greatly reduced), you can get your ISBN from them. My recommendation is that you buy your ISBN number directly from Bowker.
5. Design a launching and marketing strategy
This is the crux of everything. Yes, you worked so hard writing your book but no matter how great the content of your book is, if you do not know how to launch and market it effectively, then it’s as good as having gold in a remote area no one knows about. To help people realize how great of an impact your book will make in their lives, you need to find a way to bring it into their consciousness. That way is by designing a launching and Marketing strategy that will help get the word out about your book.
6. Register on Ingram Spark/Create Space
One of the advantages of being a self-publisher is that it saves you the cost of printing books that might end up in your garage. Platforms like Ingram Spark and Create Space help you to sell your books by printing on-demand. On-demand printing means that the books will only be printed after someone has placed an order. Traditional publishers will not do this and you will be required to pay upfront to cover printing costs.[Read: 10 Things You Can do to Drive Traffic to Your Website]
7. Create an author website
One of the ways to make your book more prominent is by having an author website. If you already have a website and you are short of funds, you can create a page on your website dedicated solely to your book. On your author website, you provide every information about how you started writing, why readers should buy and where they can buy. Also, share reviews from trusted experts and readers who recommend your book on your website.
8. Register your Copyright
By the virtue of publishing your book, you already have copyright protection. However, if you take the extra step of registering for copyright on your book, then you have more protection. If you live in the United States and you want to register the copyright for your book, you can do so here. If you live outside of the United States, find out what your local copyright requirements and steps are and then register your copyright.
9. Save money
Book publishing is not cheap and even though selecting the self-publishing option might appear cheaper than the traditional publishing or the vanity press option offered by some businesses, book publishing is an expensive project that will eat into your finances. Having enough money saved will ensure that your book launching plans will not be halted.
Once you follow these steps, you are on your way to publishing your books successfully and experience astounding success in your endeavors.
Thank you for reading. What stage are you in your book writing process? Leave a comment or feedback below and remember to share this post with a friend.