Self-Publication is the Way
Self-publication is a practice that has been taken up by writers from all walks of life for many years. Even in the early years of publication, when the printing press had just been invented, there were many writers who published at their own expense. This was and is one of the best methods to get your work published.
The Beginnings of the Endeavor
Getting a book published is no easy task. It requires a strong combination of patience and perseverance, and anyone, who is not serious enough in his endeavors, may end up quitting halfway through. If you’ve ever thought about self-publication, then this is the article for you.
P.O.Ds to the Rescue
However, with the emergence of websites that promote P.O.D. or publish-on-demand services, the end product of all their efforts is no longer just a dream for aspiring writers. The internet has indeed made a lot of things easier and because of sites like Lulu, Cafepress, and Createspace, publishing a book is within the means of most unpublished or indeed published writers.
Don’t Forget to Write Well
Of course, before a book can be published it has to be written. So the first and most crucial step on how to self-publish a book is to find time to write it. Choose a topic that is of most interest to you and set a time each day to pour out your thoughts on paper or on screen, depending on which method you prefer.
Then comes the planning on just how to present your book, which is almost as important as writing it. First impressions do play a major role in attracting readers to your book. The cover and the dust jacket may make or break your career as a writer. However, it pays to keep it simple so that your potential readers are encouraged to open the front cover and maybe cast an interested eye over the first paragraph or two. This holds true in choosing a title for your book. Take care not to get too creative or verbose and thereby scaring readers off.
The interior of the book is also important, and again simplicity is the key. You wouldn’t want your readers to end up with a headache because there’s too much color or unnecessary graphics on your pages, or that your font is too small for the naked eye.
After writing and designing your book, comes the very important part of pricing it right. You wouldn’t want to overprice or underprice your work of much toil. Check out the competition and see just how much a potential reader would be willing to pay to read your book. This step is just as important as all the rest. You need to keep in mind what would be most profitable for both you and the reader.
Choosing a P.O.D.
Next comes the easy part of choosing a P.O.D. site. As mentioned above, there’s Lulu, Cafepress, and Createspace that offer free services to guide you through uploading, designing and finally publishing your book for free. They also offer ample tips on how to go about the entire process effectively. Unlike traditional publications, with P.O.D. sites you are in control of everything. It takes less time for your book to be published, and you can earn more when a publisher isn’t taking their extremely large cut.
Publishing a book on your own is not a piece of cake since you are responsible for all aspects of the process and are obliged to thoroughly research each step.
Here are five essentials that are vital for your success in this venture. When you make simple mistakes or leave simple things out, the result will often reduce your chances of success.
Here are five serious mistakes you must avoid.
- Poor writing and Unprofessionalism
Whenever you write, it is easy to make mistakes in your use of English, punctuation, spelling or typographical errors. For example, the initial pages of your book must have specific information such as the title, author, copyright, dates of publication, ISBN, and other material. The format of these pages can be found in any book. Getting this right shows professionalism, which is essential in the cut throat world of publication.
Your readers will expect your book to be organized into chapters, regardless of the content. If your book is either a technical book or an instruction book, then your readers will expect a more detailed breakdown into sub-chapters and maybe sections. Providing a recognized structure helps make your book a better read because people like structure. They also like reasonably large print and adequate space between lines. Studies have shown that books with small print and 50 lines to a page make reading a chore.
Continuity is the hallmark of good writing. In a piece of fiction consistency is a must; characteristics and qualities of people and places must develop seamlessly and be consistent from start to finish. Likewise, if your book is more technical, the information must be presented in an orderly and contextual manner: a consistent use of fonts is helpful.
The design of your book is useful in establishing its position in the market as well as helping the reader in his pursuit of a good read. Most books will be standard paperbacks – 7.8″ by 5.1″/ 197mm x 130mm in size, and yours should be too. Book buyers have shelves for books of that size, and so yours should fit the pattern – unless there’s a special reason why it can’t.
The front cover design is important too, especially in the paperback market. If you are producing a series, then there should be consistency in design. Otherwise, the design should reflect some aspect of the subject matter or genre.
- Planning your Marketing and Sales Strategy
By following the preceding guidelines explicitly you are well on the way to producing your masterpiece: congratulations. You now need to make your potential buyers aware that it is available. The online publisher you use will list it on their sales site, but how do you get the message to the right people? This is where your marketing and promotional plan comes into play. You need a well-executed plan. If this is foreign territory for you, do not hesitate to get some professional assistance.
Following these notes on ‘How do I Self-Publish my Book?’ you will improve the quality of your publication no end and your chances of reaching a larger audience will increase significantly. Success is only a click or two of the mouse away.
Everyone, it’s said, has a book in them. We all have friends who’ve talked, mostly late at night and drunk, but they have talked, they’ve expressed a desire to publish a book. Share this article on social media and you can take some credit, albeit a tiny bit, as your friend realizes his dream to become a published author.
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