10 Steps To Self-Publishing Your First Book
These ten steps will help you painlessly jump-start your new self-publishing business. Although most of these steps are not difficult to accomplish, I believe that they’ll help you quickly lay the foundation for a successful first book. I wrote this as a simple way to show how to overcome the most common objections I hear from would-be authors who fear taking that first step.
What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn how to overcome your fears and objections about self-publishing a book.
2. You will learn how and why self-publishing must be treated like a business.
3. You will learn how and why building a strong business foundation will help you sell many more books.
These ten steps will help you painlessly jump-start your new self-publishing business. Although most of these steps aren’t difficult to accomplish, I believe that they’ll help you quickly lay the foundation for a successful first book.
Step 1. Realize that this is a business
Self-publishing is a business. It can be your side-business, main business, used to help find new clients for your current business, or even be your hobby. But you still must run it like a business.
That means you will need to learn the basics of management, marketing, sales, public relations, accounting, negotiation, etc. You can look at your new book like it’s a product that you market and sell. You can also look at your new book simply as part of your current business’s overall marketing plan.
Step 2. Start your due-diligence
You must research what will be involved in self-publishing. Buy several of the most popular books about self-publishing, such as those by Dan Pointer. Visit the most popular self-publishing blogs, such as Joel Friedlander’s TheBookDesigner.com. Visit the biggest websites that can sell your books, such as Amazon, SmashWords, and Scribd.
Step 3. Keep your current job
Don’t be so quick to believe all of the hype about self-publishing as a way to make a lot of quick easy money. The reality is that 99% of self-publishers don’t make a full-time living from self-publishing alone.
So, with that said, keeping your job will ensure that you will have a regular paycheck and insurance. It’s also very important to keep building your resume. A good resume will help build your credentials and be proof of your accomplishments. This will give you more credibility with your readers.
Step 4. Discover your niche
In today’s terms, this means “micro-niche”. As a self-publisher, you’ll most likely find the biggest success by narrowly defining your market niche. It’s much easier to become an expert in a very specific market where it’s much less crowded with big well-established writers and publishers. If you’re already self-employed, your book’s subject matter should be aligned with the niche that your business is already involved with.
Step 5. Start with an ebook
This is the smartest way to get started. It’s fast and inexpensive. It’s the perfect way to dip your toes into the water and see how comfortable it is for you. Starting with an ebook allows you to feel out your market.
It also allows you to quickly and easily make any changes or corrections well before sending your book to a print-on-demand printer and distributor – such as Lightning Source
Step 6. Set-up your blog
Once you figure out what your niche is, start your free WordPress blog right away. This will get your creative juices flowing. It will also establish an internet home for you where you’ll show the world your expertise in your niche.
Step 7. Get your spouse/partner on board
It’s important to keep your family involved with a decision like this. Keeping your family informed and involved will help keep all of you happy. And your spouse and kids can typically be the best ones to go to for an honest assessment of your work and your books.
Step 8. Join professional groups
This will help keep you informed of what is going on inside your market niche. These group members might also become the market for your new book. Professional affiliations also give you more credibility with your readers.
Step 9. Advocate for your target market/audience
Nowadays, especially because of the internet, you can immediately start to show the world that you are an expert. Start writing for industry publications and websites. Find websites that will publish and share your writing – such as EzineArticles.com.
Step 10. Start your next book
Now that you have accomplished the previous steps, keep the momentum that you have built up going. Keep improving your business model. Never stop learning about marketing and promotion. Keep enhancing your blog. Keep improving your first book. Start your next book in a related niche.
These ten steps are really just the beginning of your journey. Unfortunately, it’s a journey too many are afraid to attempt. I continually hear from my readers, my friends, and my clients, that self-publishing seems to be too complicated and time-consuming for a busy person to get involved with.
So, I wrote this list for them as a simple way to show how to overcome those initial objections and fears and at least get them started in self-publishing. I hope that you find them helpful and that they can also help you get on the path to becoming a self-published author.
Questions For Us To Think About And Discuss
1. If you haven’t written your first book yet, what are the fears that are holding you back from trying to self-publish?
2. If you have already self-published, what fears did you initially have? Are those fears gone, or have they changed?
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