- Write. If you haven’t finished your book, and you want to publish it in a timely fashion, you will need to set up a schedule. It may help to create certain goals for yourself each day or week. Such as 1000 words a day, or maybe 5000 words a week. Be sure to keep your goals realistic to you and your daily life. This will keep you on track and constantly moving forward.
- Edit. Read your book. Done? Okay, now read it again. Done? Okay, now enlist the help of a freelance editor. This editor will assist you in ensuring that your book is at it’s absolute best before going out for print. Editing is an imperative part of the writing and publishing process. Remember, change is good, change is necessary.
- Title. One advantage to self-publishing is you have complete control over what your book will be called. Make sure to pick a title that represents your book well, as well as one that satisfies you. The last thing you want is to be kept up at night, full of regret after publishing your book with the wrong title.
- Design. Once again self-publishing saves the day by making it possible to pick your own cover design. You can either design the cover yourself, or hire a freelance artist to design it for you. Regardless, it should appropriately represent your novel.
- Promote. Utilize social media, and think about starting a blog or website devoted to your book. These platforms are free sources for advertising. Additionally, you may consider hiring a marketing professional to assist you with promoting your novel.
- Testimonials. Send out a sample, anything from a few pages to chapters to the entire book, to be read and reviewed. A good review from an online book blogger or newspaper columnist could boost your credibility and further promote your book. Nothing sells better than a book with something like “The New York Times called it ‘Fantastic’” printed across the top.
- Copyright. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s, make sure that your intellectual property stays yours. For more information on the ins and outs of copyrighting your work (in the USA), visit www.copyright.gov.
- ISBN. Registering your book with it’s own personal ISBN – the barcode you see on the back of books – will help your book get discovered by a wider audience, and is required if you want to sell your book to bookstores, libraries, and online. For more information visit www.isbn.org.
- Publish. You will need to find the right publishing process for you. This may mean using a POD (print/publish-on-demand) site; such as CreateSpace, Lulu, or WordClay; or it may mean committing to a traditional Offset Printer. This choice will depend on you, your budget, and your preferences as an author. You may also choose to publish your book in ebook format, either exclusively or in addition to hardcopy.
- Launch. Set your launch date and prepare accordingly. If you have already checked off everything else on this to-do list, then you should feel confident and ready for your self-published book to launch.
- Post-Publish. While you have finished publishing, releasing, and jumping for joy, your job is not quite done. You, or someone you hire, will need to manage orders and distribution. Additionally, you will continually want to promote your book, from now until the end of time – or at least until you’ve sold every copy.
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