The other day I totally over simplified the self publishing process. I just said, “And then self publish” but it is not as easy as just that.
There is a lot more to it and I suggest you do your own research after reading through my notes. Everywhere I have looked has suggested different things, so do as much research as possible. I have done some of the hard yards for you, so hopefully I can help.
- After finishing your MS, Editing is number one. You must get your MS edited. Yes, you do. No arguments. If you don’t have the money (like me) then find someone that is willing to edit your MS in parts. Mine is getting done 10,000 words at a time, so the payments are small chunks periodically, rather than a big amount at once.
- Get a web site. If you haven’t already, go get yourself an author website. I was once told by a MS assessor to “Dream Big” and go get an author page. So I did. WIX offers free website and have a great range of templates to choose from.
- Research. Research all your options. At as many different websites as possible.
- Choose a self-pub option. Whether it be KDP, or Smashwords, or POD through CreateSpace or, ACX, or the any number of offset printing presses or vanity publishers. Pick one or a few and start researching them.
- Tax info. Organize your tax stuff, especially if you are not a US citizen.
- Hire a book cover designer. Do your research on these too. I have found some as cheap as $69 and some as expensive as $3500. You do get what you are paid for though,so save up and try to get an artist that fits your style and budget. We all judge books buy their covers, People!
- Hire a MS interior designer (if your chosen method of self-pub doesn’t include that service)
- Apply for an ISBN, copyright, etc. Also the cover info like blurbs, Reviews (ARCs, which I will talk about later) Hashtags, bar codes etc.
- Set a cover price. Once again this comes down to research. Look at what price books sell for. And think about what you buy yourself. Normally, if I don’t know the author, I won’t pay any more than $5 for an ebook, or $15 for a paperback.
- Select a publication date.
- Develop press materials.
- Plan and implement a reasonable marketing PR and add campaign. Think about the things you know you will stick to. There is no use in starting a Tumbler account for your author page if you will let it fall into disrepair. Also, do some research on how other Indie authors have done it.
- Begin the pre-sale of your book. Start promoting to distributors and lining up booksellers and taking out ads and have your book listed with online retailers.
- If you are not already, get yourself on Goodreads. If you have not published anything at all, maybe think about publishing a few short stories just to get yourself out there and start building a fan base. Offer them for free so it just gets your name out there. Smashwords is awesome for this.
- Make a book trailer for Youtube. Start a Youtube channel. (I won’t be doing the Youtube thing because I am shy. I haven’t even got an author photo yet. Oh yeah, get an author photo!)
- Publish your book! (and ship to people if applicable)
- Continue to promote yourself. But remember, you are not a dick. Subtle promotion always works better than being shoved down peoples throats.
I am positive that I have missed some things. If you can think of something I have missed, let me know in the comments or you can contact me on Twitter or Facebook or Google+ or Pintrest or email … Not on Tumbler though, I do NOT understand Tumbler!