The Essentials of Book Publishing For Every Writer

Self-Publishing Guide: Write, Edit, Publish and Market Your Book

Every writer dreams that their book hits the sky, but we all know it is only more accessible with a publisher’s help.

Getting a professional book publisher to notice your work takes a lot of effort, as if writing a book wasn’t difficult enough. You send the draft hoping to get your work read, even when you know the chances are low.

If you get past that, you still have to endure a rough patch of debates over unwanted editing or profit sharing.  

But what if you didn’t need them at all? What if you could write, edit, publish, and sell your book without dealing with those gatekeepers?

With the right tools and tech, you can do it yourself. That’s why we have jotted down this guide for you: to show you how to self-publish your book and claim the acknowledgment you deserve.

1. Write A Book That Sells

If you’re thinking about self-publishing your book, you might have just finished writing it or still be working on it.

Suppose your write-up is completed. Well done! You are almost there. This guide will help you figure out what to do next to get your book published.

Tip: If you’re still writing, you should look at our tips on how to edit your book. They’ll help you ensure your book idea is updated and allow you to make changes wherever required.

Self-publishing is beneficial because you get control over your book, but this guide is also for writers who want their books to reach a broader market. But first, ensure that your book is intriguing and fits your audience’s expectations.

You are all set once you’ve done your homework on what kind of books sell rapidly and have your manuscript ready. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. First, you need to make your book the best it can be by editing and fixing it up.

2. Edit Your Draft To Perfection

Experienced writers know that editing is more than just a task; it’s an exciting part of finalizing your book. It’s when your first draft transforms into a story people will adore. This process has a few steps, but they are worth the work.

1. Try Self-Editing

Start by editing your work. Fictional writers can revise their drafts multiple times to fully grasp the storyline and the growth of the characters. Non-fiction authors can revise chapters and reassess how the main message is being communicated.

2. Send Your Draft To Beta-Readers For Edits

Get feedback from different readers, and let others read your draft. Their versatile perspectives will help you see what needs fixing. You can show your book to beta readers for general feedback and sensitivity readers for advice on cultural issues.

Before you show your book to these early readers, check it for simple mistakes like grammar or spelling. You can use free online tools for this. Don’t worry too much about minor details at this stage.

3. Hire Professionals

Hire a professional for the final touches. Even with your best efforts, you might need professional help. Books that are published usually go through several rounds of professional editing, and you should aim for this quality, too. The main types of editing are:

  • Developmental Editing: Here, you can address broad issues in your manuscript, such as structure, plot, and character growth, guaranteeing a strong foundation for your book.
  • Copy Editing: This process goes through your text line by line to fix grammar and punctuation and ensure consistency in style.
  • Proofreading: This is the last check for small mistakes to ensure your book is ready to print.

Tip: Nowadays, it’s easy to find all kinds of editors online, making it accessible to connect with the ones that specialize in your book’s genre.

4. Finalize A Budget

Editing costs vary based on what you need, the length of your book, the genre, and the editor’s experience. Although editing prices vary according to the type of editing the author requires, for a 60,000-word book, editing usually costs around $1,000 to $2,000. Additionally, there are multiple tools online that can help you understand the total budget you might require.

Once your manuscript is edited and looks excellent, it’s time to ensure that your book’s cover and layout are equally impressive.

Planning to Publish Your Book?

3. Create A Captivating Book Cover

A fantastic book cover is crucial, especially when you’re self-publishing. It’s not just a cover; it’s your primary marketing tool and a big part of your success.

1. Work On Your Book Cover

Studies and experiments conducted in seven distinct categories indicate that books featuring professionally designed covers can garner up to 60% more attention in advertisements.
If you have design skills, knowledge of various book styles and fonts, and the ability to create an aesthetically pleasing cover while paying attention to technical details like dimensions and spine width, consider creating your own cover.

2. Hire A Designer

But if design isn’t your strong suit and you still want a cover that turns heads, consider working with a pro. A professional cover usually costs around $500 to $800.

3. Choose A Nice Interior

Remember, the interior matters. The cover gets people’s attention, but the inside of your book—the layout and text formatting—results in purchasing.

After you have finished preparing the exterior and interior of your book, the next step is to arrange your book for distribution and sale.

4. Get Your eBook and Print Files Ready

It’s time to prepare your book for printing and digital formats. Different platforms might ask for different types of files, but usually, you need an EPUB file for the eBook and a PDF for the print version. 

You can create both for free with different writing tools. After you’ve formatted your book just right, pick the size you want for your book and download the files!

If a professional designs your cover, just tell them where you plan to print your book, and they’ll handle the specifics. If you’re doing it yourself, be sure to check the printing platform’s guidelines and follow them closely.

Don't Forget About Audiobooks

The rise in popularity of audiobooks has increased significantly, resulting in many self-published authors seeing positive returns after investing in this format. To tap into the audiobook industry, you can refer to detailed manuals on creating an audiobook as a self-published writer on the internet. You can also discover all the essential information about creating and disseminating your audiobook files.

Now that you have the files ready, it is time to transfer them to the retailer you prefer.

5. Select a Self-publishing Platform

Select a platform that offers print-on-demand (POD) services and ships books directly to customers when you are ready to release your publication. POD refers to the printing of a book only after a purchase has been made. 

The best POD services, known as Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and IngramSpark, can be used for free. They provide similar products and prices and offer various payment options and distribution channels for your book. While KDP is beneficial for Amazon, IngramSpark expands the availability of your book to additional places.

There are also other POD services available. Certain services require payment, while many others are offered free of charge. Comparing them is a wise choice to determine the best option for you and your book. To find additional information, search for comparisons of POD services on the internet.

1. Try Out Amazon's KDP

ISBN is an International Standard Book Number that is crucial for writers who want to publish their work privately. Having your own means, you’re listed as the publisher everywhere. You’ll need more than one if you plan to release your book in different formats (like an ebook or audiobook). Buying one ISBN costs $125, but you can get ten for $295.

2. Secure your unique ISBN

Although you might not think about it when you start writing, your story usually has some big ideas or themes. These are the more profound messages or truths you share through your story.

For instance, if your story is about someone afraid of getting older, you might include a character who’s a plastic surgeon or describe things in a way that reminds readers of time passing. These details help highlight your story’s big ideas.

When editing, ask yourself these questions to make sure your story’s challenges and big ideas are clear:

  • Do the challenges in the story help show the big ideas I want to discuss?
  • Is the main challenge exciting and easy to understand? Will it be solved by the end of the story?
  • Do the challenges get bigger and more intense as the story continues?
  • What big questions does my story ask, and are they answered by the end?
  • What essential decisions or sacrifices do my characters have to make?

Focusing on these questions can ensure your story has a strong foundation and is interesting to read. Now that you’ve set up the significant parts of your story, you can start looking at the more minor details to make your story even better.

3. Other Places to Publish

If Amazon doesn’t meet your needs, there are other platforms where you can publish like Apple Books, Kobo, and Google Play. Some services, called aggregators, can help you publish your book on many platforms at once. Each has its benefits, so pick the one that best suits your goals before setting your book’s price.

6. Strategically Determine The Price of Your Book to Increase Sales.

Selecting the correct price for your book is crucial. If you keep the price too high, you could earn more money per book sold but potentially sell fewer books. Selling more at a lower price could result in lower overall earnings. What is the most effective method to use?

1. Know your target audience

The initial step is to fully understand your market. What is the typical cost for books similar to yours? Research the top-selling books in your genre and analyze their sales prices.

2. Play With Prices Initially.

Think about using pricing as a tactic to draw in readers. Although it may be tempting to match the prices of popular indie authors in your genre, beginning with a slightly lower price can assist in establishing a loyal group of supporters.

As your audience expands, they will probably be more willing to invest in your upcoming books. After you have a variety of books to choose from, you can become more innovative in how you set your prices.

3. Utilize a Stair-Step Pricing Strategy for Product Lines

Suppose you are creating a series, consider using a staircase pricing approach for it. This entails primarily promoting the initial book and making it available for a reduced price or possibly at no cost. 

If readers are amazed by your book’s first part then they are more likely to spend an asked amount on the next part. So, ensuring that you understand your readers and how to gain their loyalty can be very useful to your pricing strategy.

7. Promote and Advertise Your Self-Published Book

Well done! You have finally completed your book! All that’s left is deciding where to sell it, and after setting a price you are prepared for publication. Pressing the “publish” button is a significant moment, but additional effort is required to ensure your book’s success on Amazon and other platforms.

A successful launch of a book can have a significant impact. Your book must have a strong beginning with high sales and reviews right from the start.

Begin preparing for your book release and promotional activities several weeks in advance of the actual date. Some of your time would be required to schedule reviews, interviews, live readings, and podcast appearances. Below are a few guidelines to help you begin easily:

1. Gather Reviews for Your Book

Reviews are crucial for sales. They provide social proof that your book is worth reading. You can reach out to book bloggers, send advance reader copies (ARCs) to fans and potential readers, or use services like Reedsy Discovery to get a high-quality review for a fee.

For more strategies on getting Amazon reviews before your book launches, check out guides on book promotion.

2. Create an Author Media Kit

An effective author media kit includes your bio, book summary, interview tips, and promotional materials. It can be a PDF, an online folder, or a page on your website. This makes it easier to share information with the press and event organizers. Look for online resources for tips on creating a great media kit.

8. Plan An Effective Marketing Strategy

Keep utilizing a variety of marketing tactics to advertise your book. This might involve maximizing social media usage, running Amazon advertisements, and other strategies. 

If you are seeking motivation, there are numerous marketing strategies available. Consider hiring a book marketer if you’re not skilled in marketing or short on time. They are able to assist in enhancing your book’s listing, handling ad campaigns, and expanding your mailing list. 

Although, if you are not looking for paid marketing strategies then you can consider performing various organic marketing tactics.

Concluding

As the journey comes to an end, it is vital for the writers to know that being a self-publisher, sometimes you have to multi-task. Having skills of designing, developing, marketing, and researching can really come in handy.

If your first release doesn’t go as planned then it doesn’t mean you have failed. You can retry with better techniques and opportunities. So, keep your goals straight and never stop experiencing.

Planning to publish your book?

Hancock Publishers can help with outline, writing, editing, design and publishing!

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