It’s our first guest post, folks, brought to us by Cassie Phillips from Secure Thoughts! Enjoy!
Self-publishing is a great way for new and up-and-coming authors to get their work seen and bought. It’s given the power back to the hands of the writer and negated the need to deal with big-name publishing houses and other middlemen.
However, just because you’ve chosen to self-publish doesn’t guarantee you’ll have automatic success. These tips will help aspiring authors get the most out of their online book releases.
Don’t Trust Your Editor
Editing is an essential part of any writing. No matter how sure you are that you’ve spell-checked everything, it’s easy to overlook typos and difficult-to-understand sections in your own writing. Similarly, having a fresh pair of eyes to read your book before it goes out to the public is a fantastic way to flag stale or confusing parts.
However, it’s important to remember your editor is still only human and just as liable to make mistakes as you are. Plus, he or she doesn’t have as comprehensive an understanding of your aim as you do. Because of this, it’s essential to reread your work once it’s come back from editing. It’s your name that will be going out with it, after all.
Represent Your Brand
We live in an age of the personality, where people want to know as much about the person behind the words as the book itself. All authors, but self-publishers especially, need to embrace being the face of their brand. This can be done by setting up blogs, websites and social media accounts to allow you fans to get to know you.
However, this pursuit requires a bit of maintenance. Sloppy online practices can harm business more than help it. Falling victim to a security breach or having hackers post spam links or advertisements under you name is a sure way to lose many followers.
To avoid this, it’s important to be stringent about links you click when browsing the internet, and exercise caution when opening suspicious emails. Another common culprit for this problem is using unsecure public WiFi networks. To overcome this issue, you can use a good quality Virtual Private Network, which will encrypt all your data and allow you to secure yourself when working on the go. See this Secure Thoughts review for more information.
Choose Your Distributor
There are many platforms to help you distribute your work, and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. In this case, knowing your A from B is going to be essential to ensure your success. In terms of commission, Lulu reigns supreme; however, it doesn’t provide as much visibility as publishing on Amazon, for example.
Affiliate programs—such as Createspace for Amazon—are an excellent way to get your work onto some of the most popular book distribution platforms but are often more expensive. They have the added annoyance of price matching for customers, making it difficult for you choose to list your books for cheaper elsewhere.
Apple Books is a great option for Mac users, as you can create formatted e-books from scratch in the iBooks Author app before publishing straight onto the platform. However, a recent change in e-book formats that Apple will host has created an exclusivity problem, making it harder for up-and-coming writers to sell their work via the company. While claiming to maintain the industry standard by supporting EPUB and PDF files, iBooks 2.0 adds extra CSS extensions to the equation, creating a unique MIME type file.
Fortunately, there are specialists out there who understand these intricacies and can help you overcome the problem. For example, Bookbiz offers specialty conversion services to almost any format imaginable.
There are also many e-book aggregate organizations available, such as Smashwords, which are a fantastic choice for new writers. Once registered, you can submit your manuscript, and they’ll change it into the correct format and support your publication on a broad range of well-known book distribution platforms.
Know Your End Goal
Sometimes the best place to start is at the end. There are countless reasons why people choose to publish their work, and deciding on your motive drastically affects the publishing path you may choose to take. If it’s purely for profit, factual guides and how-to books are always a hit. Similarly, creating work that can be used as a classroom resource is an excellent way to encourage bulk investment in your book.
If you’re writing to spread a message, you’ll want to focus on your visibility on the web. Creating your own online marketing campaign, as well as staying active on social media, is paramount for success in this goal. However, if you’re just writing for a personal project or to progress your career, it might be worth looking into the online publishing community. Many blogs and websites offer reviews or guest post options that are an excellent way to get your name out there.
Self-publishing is one of the greatest tools at your disposal! With these four points, you are well on your way to finding success with your work, so there’s no excuse not to start that novel now!
About the Author: Cassie is an entertainment and technology blogger and a lifelong bookworm. She loves hunting down new, exciting authors on the internet and sharing all she finds with fellow book lovers.