Writing book you have had in mind for long and then sending the manuscript to publishers for traditional publishing, waiting months for their response, and finally getting rejected, not only takes time, it drains out a lot of your energy and enthusiasm. So, before one has made a name for oneself as an author, and as long as the enthusiasm is at the peak, self-publishing the first book is a great idea.
Whether or not to self-publish your book, the pros and cons of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing etc. are some of the topics that have been widely discussed already and at the click of a button several pages open up on the internet for your reading in this regard. So I am not going into the details of any of that. All I want to say is that for a first time author, self-publishing is a great idea. Writing book you have had in mind for long and then sending the manuscript to publishers for traditional publishing, waiting months for their response, and finally getting rejected, not only takes time, it drains out a lot of your energy and enthusiasm. So, before one has made a name for oneself as an author, and as long as the enthusiasm is at the peak, self-publishing the first book is a great idea. Today there are so much of technical help available for self-publishing your book. So, go, grab the opportunity.
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The 10 steps to self-publish
The following are 10 suggestive steps that one might follow for self-publishing a book:
Step 1: Develop the idea. The first step is to decide a topic and genre and how one wants to go about it. This is when the author should ideally decide the mode of publication also, i.e. whether to self-publish, or go for traditional publishing.
Step 2: Write the book. This step is always the most difficult step. Once you have decided to write a book and selected the topic, the most important step is to write it down. Depending upon the subject, this step may take a long time, months or even years.
Step 3: Edit the manuscript. A book full of typos, grammatical errors, spelling mistakes etc. is received very poorly by readers. Hence editing the book is an important step. A thorough editing of the manuscript is crucial to the success of a book and must never be done in a hurry. An important thing to remember while editing is to do it through the eyes of a third person. Spell-check, correcting grammatical errors and paraphrasing are some of the important things to do during editing. Many times authors also feel like introducing new text and even chapters during this editing phase. Hence, take it very seriously. Read out the text loud when in doubt. A good idea is to hire a professional editor to do the job.
Step 4: Get feedback from others. When the author is editing the book himself/herself, the feedback of a third-party becomes all the more invaluable. So, starting from the later stages of development of the manuscript an author may share the same with trusted friends/advisers whose inputs he/she thinks may be beneficial.
Step 5: Choose an appropriate title. The importance of a catchy title in enhancing the appeal of a book can n ever be exaggerated. The title should ideally be kept short, simple and yet intriguing. A title too similar with an already existing book must be avoided. One may also try an online title generator.
Step 6: Format the book. Formatting a book professionally is of utmost importance. This stage ideally involves assigning chapter headings, aligning text, paragraphing and inserting page numbers. Formatting is crucial as it gives the book its look and poor formatting may result in bad impression amongst readers. Writing and formatting skills are two entirely different skills and hence an author may consider using an online book editor or hire a professional typesetter to do the formatting.
Step 7: Design an attractive cover. The cover provides the first impression about the book to readers and hence it must be designed with much care. The cover should be capable of drawing attention of the target audience and make them know instantly that the book is for them. The cover must be ideally professionally done as it is an important marketing tool for the book and hence, must not be taken lightly.
Step 8: Write an appropriate book description. The book description is crucial for getting readers to buy and read the book. The idea is to introduce the main idea of the book, not the whole thing, and leave them wanting more. The type of description an author must write depends on the genre one is writing. One may start by looking at the descriptions of some bestsellers in the particular genre.
Step 9: Publish the book finally. This step would ideally involve uploading the final manuscript. Platforms like Amazon (CreateSpace for print books and Kindle Direct Publishing for e-books), Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Press, Kobo, IngramSpark, Smashwords and Lulu are some of the popular online self-publish options. These platforms guide the first time authors through their step-by-step uploading process, which is user friendly.
Step 10: Launch and market the book. Once the book has been published, sitting idle will not help it sell. An author must take active steps to market the title and this ideally starts with a launch event, but then it also depends on what one’s budget is. A proper physical launch event may be expensive, hence a digital launch followed by active marketing on the social media (including nook reviews from contacts with followers) during the first few days is a good way to let the world know about the book.