Self-publishing is all about marketing yourself and making yourself discoverable in the market. To promote yourself, you may not need any fancy skills but, yes, you do need to use some smart strategies to remain in the limelight. At one time, many books in the U.S were actually published by the authors themselves. Publishing your own book started losing its popularity with the onset of industrialization and came to be regarded as the last-minute effort of writers who couldn’t find publishers for their writing.
The publishing landscape has been undergoing a major shift, the resurgence of self-publishing being a case in point, due to the reach of the internet, the scope of print-on-demand services, and the upsurge of e-books. So what should a writer do next? How do you grow your self-publishing book business?
Evaluate options and select the best approach based on your needs
A smart strategy is to evaluate your options and choose the one that suits all your needs. What do you aspire for your writing career? Do you want your book to be a best seller? What do you think you should do to make your book a hit? Some writers may be satisfied with publishing the book for a small group of people, while others may aspire to feature their book in the bestseller list. It all depends on your goals of book publishing. Identify your target readers, find out the kind of books they buy and where most of those books are sold. The answers to these questions will make you figure out the goal of your book publishing.
The next step is to decide the printing method. Should your book be a hardcopy or an e-book? Go for print-on-demand if your book is of a standard size and if its format does not require many illustrations. When you use the print-on-demand service of a vendor, the advantage is that you do not have to shell out huge money for a big print. The flip side is that your book will be printed according to the demand instead of in bulk. This means it will be more expensive to print your books and eventually the profit per copy will reduce. Once your book is set up, the process becomes automated and each time your book is sold, you get the profit in your account.
CreateSpace, a division of Amazon, and Lulu are good print-on-demand providers. Though most books sold are print books, the trend of e-books is also on the rise. If you are considering self-publishing, then you can choose the Do It Yourself (DIY) approach, hire professional help or consider subsidy publishing. Choose the DIY approach if you are confident of the entire publishing process and have the expertise. Some writers choose to seek professional help to make their book look more professional.
Establish a publishing team
The next step is to shape your book in sync with your goals. If you are not looking at competing with large publishing houses, then go for budgeted assistance. This means you can seek the help of somebody you know and who has good command over English to check your manuscript. If you aim to compete, then it is advisable to hire professionals to help in the publishing process. Keep an eye for a developmental editor, copyeditor, etc. whose skills match your kind of book. Editorial Freelancers’ Association (EFA, http://www.the-efa.org/) offers the services of indexers, writers, proofreaders with a range of skills and specialties. 99designs.com provides you a host of designers for a price.
Touch base with the self-publishing community
Self-publishing is no easy task. You need to consider a lot of details like the finish of the cover, the kind of paper used and other details. It is a good idea to ask your questions on forums and community groups. Blogs like jakonrath.blogspot.com, davidgaughran.wordpress.com, deanwesleysmith.com describe are great placesto visit to learn about self-publishing.
Nobody knows your book better than you. Hence it is smart to do your own marketing and promotion. Social media sites are not always the best places to do your marketing. A smart approach is to target a specific audience, find out where they love to hang out and then reach out to them by writing articles or by making personal appearances. Self-published writers can benefit from book bloggers and online reviewers. You can also increase your book’s visibility through annual book awards. But you need to consider if the entry fee fits in your budget.
The Independent Publisher Book (IPPY) Awards (independentpublisher.com), Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Awards (ibpa-online.org/pubresources/benfrank.aspx) and Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards (writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished) are good platforms to promote yourself. Promote your books under the “Also Bought” category with a freebie launch on Amazon. Offer your book for free for a limited time. This is a good strategy if you have more than one book and it works because your readers will like your freebie and will come back for more, thus increasing sales. Offering a freebie during your book launch may fetch your more early reviews and downloads if there is an e-book version.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Smitha-Abraham.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I’m Smitha Abraham. I love traveling in my flights of imagination and use these flights to craft short stories and poetry. I am a budding writer from India. My passions are reading, creative writing, listening to music, learning new languages, meeting new people, getting acquainted with different cultures and traveling. Authors like Isabel Allende, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, genres like magic realism, historical romance, and writing styles that are imaginative and flow effortlessly fascinate me. I love to unwind with a book curled up on a sofa or by gazing at the stars by the sea shore. I am a nature lover and spending time admiring the sunset and sunrise is relaxing for me.[/author_info] [/author]