The Challenges of Self-Publication
Taking the time to write a book is an accomplishment in itself. Sadly, it’s only half of the battle. Figuring out what to do next leaves many writers frustrated. We’d all love to get traditionally published. The problem is, the amount of time it takes to shop around your book, and the loss of royalties doesn’t make it worth it. Self-publication is the way to go.
Now, we have Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Together they have revolutionized the publishing industry forever. It will take more work on your part, but self-publishing a book is the way to go for thousands of aspiring authors.
If you’re considering that route for yourself, here are 7 things you have to know about self-publishing your book:
1) Everyone is Doing Self-Publication
The one great thing to consider about pre-Amazon book sales were only the best got selected. Plenty of authors were around, but now with digital technology, anyone can publish a book. You might have the next bestseller on your brain, but the competition is fierce. It’s like the saying goes, ‘a small fish in a big pond.’
2) Focus on Digital
It’s understandable. We all want to hold that freshly printed hardcopy book in our hands. Sadly, Amazon doesn’t produce hardcopy books. Neither do any print-on-demand publishers. It’s generally made out of cheap materials, too. The best bet for self-publication is digital. It’s super easy and it looks great. When it comes to selling copies, it doesn’t matter if it’s digital or print.
3) It’s Going to Be an Investment
With traditional publishing, all the work is done for you. The publishing, binding, editing, graphic design, et cetera. You can do all of these yourself, but if you don’t have the ability, then you’ll have to pay to get it done. It can cost thousands of dollars. Otherwise, your book won’t look professional and it will cost you in the end.
4) Know Your Goals
What do you want to do with this book? Is it only for family and friends? Do you want to tell your life story? Is this book connected to sales or a lesson for others? Determine exactly what you want to do with this book to help plan your next steps.
5) Don’t Focus on Book Stores
Again, the ultimate goal might be for you to hold that shiny hardcover in your hands. While that’s a fantastic dream to have, bookstores are on the outs. It’s nearly impossible to get onto their shelves without a publisher, especially if you’re going the self-publication route. You should keep your focus on digital distribution, as it’s absolutely free and is the most popular option today.
6) Learn the Amazon Tools
Amazon does more than just provide an outlet for you to digitally publish and sell your book. They have other options as well, including paid advertising and incentives. If you want to give your sales a kickstart, opt to list it on Kindle Unlimited. Throw up a 5-day promotion where the book is free or sold at a discount. Learn about their platform before publishing.
7) The Self-Publishing Business is Rapidly Changing
Thanks to the success of Amazon, many new faces are showing up to the game. Self-publishing is a huge business. New companies are popping up all over the landscape, offering new and exciting ideas. Keep this in mind before you decide to go all-in. What is ‘in’ today might be ‘out’ tomorrow. Research all of your options.
Whatever your decision, self-publication is a journey. You’re not going to become successful overnight. The entire process, from pricing to cover design is under your control. Don’t get stressed out and worried, but instead, have fun. And when you’re finished, get busy with the next book!
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