At every writers conference or self-publishing panel the question that almost always inevitably comes up is:
“I want to self-publish my book, where do I start?”
I’m usually invited to speak on panels because I run Bibliocrunch.com, a platform that connects authors with trusted, vetted professionals. We also have a VIP Service that guides authors through the process of self-publishing. So, I’m familiar with A LOT of the questions that first-time authors have.
Before, I answer the question of “where do I start?” I offer the writer my congrats at finishing their book! It’s no small feat to commit to writing a book and having a finished work product!
The book publishing industry is going through a lot of changes. Because the book publishing industry is one of the last industries to go digital, it’s going through a quick transition. As a result of this shift, authors no longer need to go through the traditional gatekeepers to publish high-quality books, and are instead, moving toward self-publishing.
Launching a book is like launching a startup. Putting together a quality book involves not just writing it, but getting it edited, then formatted, designing a cover, and having a marketing strategy around it.
I usually explain the self-publishing process to folks in person, or over the phone while they are furiously scribbling notes. Writing a ‘How To Self-Publish’ book has been on my list of to-dos for a while. I wanted to have a book that I could give out free copies to people who are about to embark on their publishing journeys. Even the book is titled, The End, Now What: A Self-Publishing Guide For NANOWRIMO Writers. It’s actually for anyone who wants to self-publish. Because my book was going to come out right before National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO), I tailored the book to the month.
In my book I give you a very basic roadmap to follow if you are interested in self-publishing:
- Forward with advice from best-selling authors CJ Lyons and Hugh Howey
- How to get started (goals, vendor research, retailers, print on demand, copyright, ISBNs)
- How to think about marketing (title & book description, beta readers, marketing plan)
- How to approach editing
- What you need to do about design, formatting, and conversion
- I also have a Resources section at the end which has helpful links and resources if the author wants more info or details
There are lots of people who prey on self-published authors. I’ve come across authors who’ve spent … wait for it… $40,000 on editing. I’ve met an author who spent $10,000 *just* to have his book printed. They are now all sitting in his garage in New Jersey. As a self-published author it’s really important to do your research before making any vendor, retail, or editorial services decisions. I wrote the book (which is a short 27 pages) to make sure authors don’t make the big mistakes.
Be sure to check it out!