Become A Published Author With Ease: 5 Top Tips For Self-Publishing

Joanne Philips

Joanne Philips

Thought being a profitable Self-Published Author was only for professional marketeers? Think again!
It is rapidly becoming a really viable option for anyone who is prepared to learn the secrets to Self-Publishing success. In 2016 The Writers’ Workshop is launching an online course dedicated to help you achieve the dream of getting your work published. To give you a taster of the wisdom our tutor Joanne Phillips will be sharing, take a look at her Top Tips below! Self Publishing Success 4 Week Course.JPBookBanner

You’ve written your bestseller and practiced your Booker prize acceptance speech. If your book was actually published, that award would be much more likely, right? There’s no need to sit around waiting for someone else to give you the thumbs up. You can make that publishing dream happen for yourself, right now.

Self-publishing is growing, not only in the UK but all over the world. Now accepted as a valid and mainstream way of reaching readers, anyone can learn how to make their masterpiece available as an ebook or paperback and start selling. Yes, that’s right – anyone can do it. Self-publishing is not techno-heavy. You don’t need a degree in computer technology to get your book in front of those wonderful people called readers. All you need is little know-how …

Tip One: Decide on your personal goals.
Do you want to go global, selling millions of ebooks all over the world, or are you focussed on printing a hundred or so copies to hand-sell at speaking events? Will you aim to sell via local bookshops, or will your readers buy your books primarily online? Your decisions will affect the self-publishing route you take, and will be driven by the kind of book you write. Fiction or non-fiction can be broken down by genre: for example a non-fiction book of local interest can be marketed differently to books of special interest, while romantic fiction is consumed in great quantities by ebook readers who generally purchase online.

Tip Two: Know your readers.
Know them so well they feel like your best friends, or part of your own family. Okay, I don’t expect you to go out and actually introduce yourself to every potential reader, that would be silly, but the key to getting your awesome book in front of readers is to know who those readers are and to understand how they look for, find, and ultimately buy books. Think like a reader. Where do they shop for books? Who do they ask for recommendations? Why do they enjoy that genre? What kinds of covers attract them? And most important of all, does your book fit in with what they expect of the genre? (If the answer to this last question is No, or I’m not sure, go back and revise until you can say a resounding Yes!)

Tip Three: Set a budget and stick to it.
I want to make it clear from the outset that you do not need to spend a fortune on publishing your book. There are companies who will happily relieve you of thousands of pounds – and some of them (not all, unfortunately) will give you a good service in return, and a few hundred copies of a nicely printed book for your cash. But – listen up here – you do not need to spend thousands to achieve this. You will, however, need to spend some money. A professional book cannot be produced for free, unless you already possess exceptional book-design, proofreading, typesetting and formatting skills. Speaking of skills, one of the most important investments you can make is in yourself – learning the skills you need to publish and sell this book, and the next, is an investment that will pay out over and over. Beyond that, expect to pay for cover design, proofreading, and formatting to convert your book to an ebook as the barest minimum. These costs are not high, and with savvy marketing can soon be earned back.

Tip Four: Build a support network.
You already know that writing can be a lonely business, so make use of your Word Cloud network to build support for your self-publishing journey, as well as reaching out to other authors to share advice and tips. It’s never too early to start a blog, develop a Facebook page and set up a Twitter account. Connect with your fellow authors and your readers at every opportunity – and not only with the aim of selling books. Be authentic and be yourself. Give more than you take. Support others and you will find it far easier to ask for help when you need it yourself.

Tip Five: Keep it simple.
Don’t get distracted by this new marketing craze or that new blog post about the latest Amazon antics. Write the best book you can. Edit it well. Research your readers. Get a great cover. Produce something you can be proud of. Get it out into the world without breaking the bank and then let people know about it. Lots and lots of people. And then move on to your next book. Repeat this many times and you have a career. It really works, and it’s easy. All you need to do is make a start.

So, you’ve completed your novel or non-fiction book and you’ve polished and edited it to a high shine. Maybe you want to bring your book to market without following the traditional route of agent queries – or maybe you’ve tried that route and are simply being overlooked in a crowded market of ‘slush pile’ submissions. Our four week Self-Publishing Success course will give you all the skills and information you need go indie. The exercises and feedback will be tailored to your own book and genre, with an experienced and bestselling self-published author to guide you through the process step-by-step. Find out more here!

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  • Good advice, Julie. I’ve recently pressed the button to approve the proof, after about 50 times of spotting one more thing I didn’t like. Now it’s gone off, and if anyone points anything out, it’s going to be ‘My style’ as it is how I want it now. Like you say, I can’t wait to get back to the writing now.

  • As a professional e-book formatter, I would strongly advise that, of the three—cover design, proofreading, and formatting—an author should spend the least amount of money on e-book formatting.

    E-book display devices and apps are designed to do some fairly complex things to quite simple electronic files. If you, or your formatter, insist upon too many complexities in your e-book file, the customer will end up with a complete mess and you will get the blame. Hence, e-book formatting is extremely simple. The problems arise for most amateurs when they don’t realize that e-book formatting is also extremely specific in its requirements. A good formatter knows this and knows how to handle the specifics correctly. Despite the knowledge required, because of the simplicity of the process a good—meaning also an “ethical”—formatter will charge no more than $100.00 (some charge even less) to format a book of straight narrative text, no matter how long it is. A 300,000-word major novel is not much more difficult to format than a 20,000-word novella. If the author delivers to the formatter a correctly Styled manuscript as a Microsoft Word file, for example, there is no difference in difficulty at all. Non-fiction can cost a bit more because of all of the structure that’s typically required, and formatting a book for print can cost more still, because of the special layout requirements.

    On the whole, though, spend money on proofreading/editing first, then on a great cover. Those are what require a good bit of skill and are worth the money. Don’t get hoodwinked by someone who tries to sell you an expensive formatting job.

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