Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Steps to self-publishing a novel!


My Six Steps to Self-Publishing



The more I’ve learned about the publishing world, the more excited I’ve become over the prospect of self-publishing. In the past, self-publishing wasn’t as accessible to authors due to the technology and machinery required to create a book. But today, with print-on-demand technology and the prospect of eBooks and Kindle publishing, the world of self-publishing has opened up for the Do-It-Yourself author.

I’m a bit of a control freak. I want to have all the power all the time, and never liked the idea of selling my work to a publishing house and giving away my power and my rights. What if they took years to finally get my book published? What if they decided that my book didn’t fit the popular genre they were trying to sell? What if they slapped a horrible cover on it and called it good? I just couldn’t handle all the What-Ifs. So, I’ve decided to take my book publishing into my own hands.

Self-Publishing, when done right and with the intent of selling to a large audience, is not easy. Not only do you have to write and edit a great book, but you have to handle the formatting, cover design, and marketing of that book as well. While it’s true that you can hire freelancers to help you with many steps of the process, I believe it is imperative for a self-published author to take the time to learn the different aspects of the publishing process and to become as skilled and knowledgeable in each niche as possible.

I’ve self-published in the past, and I’ll admit that I made quite a few mistakes. The cover design was childish, the interior formatting was sloppy, and I didn’t know the first thing about marketing. But now I’m diving headfirst into the self-publishing world, and I’m taking it more seriously than I ever did before. Here are the steps I’m taking to make sure my book is ready for its debut and doesn’t show up sloppy-drunk. Because that’s embarrassing.

 

1)      Write a book.


a.      Writing a book is hella-hard. Not only does it take time to sit down and write, but the emotional roller-coaster of writing a book is even bumpier than actually writing it. I’ve had to battle self-doubt all along the way, but the pride I feel after accomplishing a goal makes all the struggle worth it.

2)      Revise said book to make it a great book.


a.      First drafts suck. The character development falls flat, entire chapters have to be cut, and how did we get from a wild-western to a space-time-continuum-sci-fi? After writing the first draft, I take some time away from it to clear my head. But after that short break, I have to dive right back in to revising/editing. This means taking a serious look at the book as a whole. Is it complete? Are there plot holes? Can it keep a reader awake and intrigued? This takes a lot of serious thought and dedication. After all the book boo-boos have been bandaged up and are healing over, I have to do another run through for line edits, which include grammar, spelling, sentence structure, etc.

3)      Send book to beta readers.


a.      Before the book hits the real world, it needs a test run. These beta readers need to be readers of my genre, and I like to get feedback on a few chapters from them before giving them the entire book. If I like the way they read and review my work, and feel that they can help me make it even stronger, then I’ll continue to work with them. But there’s nothing wrong with parting ways with a beta reader that you just don’t vibe with.

4)      Dress it up.


a.      Even a phenomenal book can strike out if it comes to the game not wearing its cleats. In other words, my book needs to look professional. This means a striking cover design and proper interior formatting. Thankfully I am well-versed in Photoshop, and even spent a few years doing photomanipulation commissions to make a bit of pocket-money. Before creating a design, I like to look through the bookstores and get ideas about other cover designs in my genre. I want the cover to communicate to readers what genre the book is, as well as grab their attention. I also have to make sure that I obey copyright laws if using stock images that I don’t own. Sometimes this means paying the owner for the right to use them commercially.

b.      Once the cover looks good, then I have to focus on the interior. This part is hard for me, and this time around I’m going to use CreateSpace’s interior formatter to make sure that all the pages look the best that they can look. This means formatting the pages so that they don’t get pinched in the center, and making sure all my chapter headings are properly centered on the page. This also means making sure that no random blank pages have found their way into the manuscript, because that was a problem I had with my first book.

5)      Market it!


a.      After all the writing and designing is finished, now it’s time to put on your business-hat. Self-publishers are entrepreneurs, so I have to be able to sell my work. This means planning giveaways, promotions, book trailers, special sales, and more. For my new book, Way of Spears, I have a marketing/promotion plan that I am adding to and using as my guide along the way. I’m also using my first book, High Born, as a means of advertising for my new book. I reformatted the interior to contain an image and advertisement for Way of Spears.

6)      Repeat.


a.      After all this is done and water under the bridge, it’s time to go back to step one and start on the next book. The more books I can write and sell, the better I’ll get at this entire process, and the more readers I’ll snag over time.

 

Overall, I think self-publishing is an exciting new way to get your work into the world, and I have loved learning along the way. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have; I love spreading the knowledge I’ve acquired over the past few years!

4 comments:

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  2. Hey!

    Oh yes! It takes bravery to self-publish your book. All it takes is confidence and courage to push your goal further. ALthough it might seem to be very difficult at the first, it surely seems to get easier as time passes by. Good luck for your books!

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  3. Well first of all i am thanking you for providing us with these steps through which we can publish a novel. There are students who are studying to get Online Life Experience Degree from online colleges and universities. These students do require information like the one that you have shared.

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  4. Hello
    I am also writing a book . Reading your post motivated me to publish it. All the steps are so well explained. Thanks for the information. If you have more information on self publishing books , please update.
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