Several websites and blogs in the self-publishing arena have recently come out with lists of things that writers should know or do before self-publishing. After reading a few of those and mulling them over with my own experiences thus far, here’s what I’ve got for you –
Remember that just about everybody’s in it for the money! There are so many print-on-demand and self-publishing services out there right now and ALL of them, without exception, want your money. Regardless of what their websites say, they are not all about the glory of the written word or art or anything else.
This leads to the next point –
Do your homework! There are so many choices out there for the ambitious writer/publisher. Take the time to learn about as many of them as you can. Not only will this help you make the best choice, but it will educate you on the industry that you are stepping into. This will be tremendously useful for your future publishing endeavors or in the services that you may choose to offer to others.
Don’t assume that ebook publishing is like book publishing. They have quickly become very different arenas – especially as the e-reader population widens. The rules are different for pricing, design, formatting, marketing, and publishing in general. Don’t assume that because you know one you know the other. NOT TRUE. And since ebooks are still relatively new as a legitimate market, the rules for ebook publishing are changing just about every day. Try to keep up or know people that do.
Make your ebook AWESOME! Just because it’s an ebook doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t look professional. The ease and quickness of creating ebooks has fooled a lot of people into thinking that “good enough” will do. IT WON’T! Ebooks should look just as professional as regular books. This means that your ebook should be properly edited, designed, and formatted . Make it a GREAT read with a STELLARS look! And if you can’t do that, find someone who can. It’s hard enough to sell ebooks out there right now. The competition is growing every day. Make your ebook stand out. There are a lot of people that won’t invest the time or money to do that – but it can make the difference between a book that sells and one that doesn’t!
Study the competition. That means you need to read other self-published ebooks, other ebooks in your genre, and keep up with the list of bestselling ebooks on all the major online sellers. These ebooks can both inspire you and steer you in the right direction – both with what to do and what NOT to do. Learn about the author. Go to their author website, if they have one, and learn from their experience and journey to be published. Use what you see, what you read, and what you learn. Apply it to your book whether it has to do with content, pricing, design, or marketing.
These are the tips I have for self-publishing so far. I hope to add to these tips in the coming days. The bottom line is - be smart! You can never stop learning – especially in an industry that changes each and every day.