5 Things to Consider When Self-Publishing
When self-publishing your book, you are responsible for just about every aspect of the publication process. You’re given complete freedom to write the book you want – but, you won’t have a publishing house behind you to guide you through the publication process. There are plenty of decisions you’ll have to consider on your own, and we’re here to offer some advice.
Is Self-Publishing Right For Your Book?
The first major consideration is whether or not self-publishing is the right way for you to go about things. Romance, science fiction, fantastic, mystery and thrillers are among the most successful genres for self-published authors. About 40 percent of e-book sales on Amazon are made up of romance books, while 11 percent of the Top 100 Mystery and Thriller books are self-published. If you’re working on a literary fiction book, then self-publishing may not be your best bet.
How Will You Price Your Book?
Many self-published authors run into an issue when decided how much to charge for their book. If they charge too much, they may turn potential readers away. If they charge too little, they run the risk of failing to break even.
To decide how much you should charge, take a look at the prices of self-published books in the same genre. Then, cross-reference those numbers with your printing costs. When pricing an e-book, try to keep the price under $10. Many retailers will pay authors higher royalties for books that cost between $2.99 and $9.99, and you can expect upwards of 70 percent.
Are You Taking the Necessary Steps to Protect Your Content?
Although you have copyright protection from the creation of your book, it is important that you can be able to sue just in case someone infringes on your work. In order to do this, you will need to register your book in a timely manner. Copyrighting with the United States government is a quick and easy process to complete online, and costs just $35.
Throughout the creation of your book, you should also ensure that you are protected at all times. It’s likely that you’re backing your content up. If you’re doing so online, ensure that you practice strict online safety measures to prevent anyone from gaining unauthorized access.
- Use strong passwords with a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols and numbers.
- When uploading any work, ensure that you are connected to the internet using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which will encrypt any information being sent.
- Use two-step authorization for any online accounts you have. This will require you to log in using your browser along with your smartphone. This is vital for any accounts that are related to your self-publishing efforts.
How Will You Market Your Book?
Self-published books are generally only as effective as their marketing campaigns. So, it is important that you have a comprehensive plan to get your book noticed by as many people as possible.
The key to successfully marketing your book is to getting in touch with your readers. Find out more about them by learning about the blogs and magazines they read, along with the influencers that they follow. Keep a list of publications and names and start pitching to them when you are nearing the last corner of writing your book. Ask to be a guest on a podcast or being interviewed for a blog. Find out if book bloggers would be interested in reviewing your title. Ensure that your pitch really sells them the idea and convinces them how featuring your book will benefit their audiences.
Giving away freebies is a great way for you to spread the word about your new book. Publishing tools like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing allow you to offer your books for free over a few days and you can offer giveaways via Facebook and other social networks. It is also worth considering uploading the first few chapters as a separate title and offering them as a free download.
How Will You Distribute Your Book?
From the get-go, you should have a plan for how you plan to distribute your book to your readers. There are plenty of different ways to go about getting your book read, and these are the top choices of self-published authors:
- Sell it on your website: there are plenty of e-commerce solutions like Shopify and WooCommerce that make it easy for you to sell and ship items using your website. This option allows you to keep nearly 100 percent of your profits, paying just a few dollars for shipping.
- Amazon: Kindle Direct Publishing is a great tool for users who want to distribute their e-books and CreateSpace is a tool that offers up a wide range of tools for distributing in-print books, which includes royalty management, in-house design, and editing and marketing.
- Lulu: With over 1000 new titles every day, Lulu is a powerhouse when it comes to self-publishing books. This service will help you with all aspects of your creation and distribution, including formatting, packaging and marketing.
- Smashwords: As the world’s biggest distributor of independent books, this service will distribute your work through a wide range of channels, including Kobo, Scribd, Barnes & Noble and Apple. There are plenty of great tools, such as marketing assistance and sales reporting, and contracts are non-exclusive.
When you take these aspects into consideration, you should have a much better idea of which steps you need to take to make the self-publishing process for your book a success. Create a detailed plan and follow it closely, and you can look forward to a thriving career as a self-published author.
Author Bio: Cassie is a technology blogger with a passion for reading. She is currently working on her own book and is exploring her self-publishing options, and wants to share her knowledge with other aspiring authors.