How to become a successful self published author

How to become a successful self published author

Salmaan Ahmad

Salmaan Ahmad

August 27, 2015

Are you thinking about becoming a self published author? That’s awesome! It seems like you have chosen the right timing. Self publishing has been around for a while, so thousands of other authors have paved the way to the readers and the public in general.

Not so long ago, if you had told people that you were a self published author, they would have probably started avoiding you and think of you as poor, untalented, and even slightly crazy. But, things have changed a lot.

People have realized that a self published author is a person who doesn’t care about the validation of traditional publishing. It’s someone who is ready to invest in their book, take control of the publishing process, and believes that they are capable of self-promotion. It doesn’t sound bad at all, right?

  • James Redfield – The Celestine Prophecy
  • Michael J. Sullivan – The Riyria Chronicles
  • Lisa Genova – Still Alice
  • Hugh Howey – Wool Trilogy
  • E.L James – 50 Shades of Grey
  • Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl
  • Nicholas Sparks – The Best of Me

Do you know what’s common for these authors and books? Well, all of them are known as bestseller success stories of self published books. And you know what – there are many more self-published books that didn’t reach the headlines, but sold in the thousands or millions of copies.

What does it take to become a self published author?

While traditional publishing has many benefits, it can be a really long route for your book to see the light of day. There’s a huge possibility that you’ll give up halfway through the process.

Self publishing, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to quickly turn your ideas into the novel you have always wanted to write. All you need to do is remember some essentials for becoming a successful self published author.

  1. Make a plan to become a self published author

As soon as you decide that you want to become a self published author, give yourself a day or two for planning. Make plans about your writing, not about the publishing process. It’s the story you want to sell. So, pick a genre that suits you as a person and a writer.

Choose your own writing style. Write about the things you know. Be courageous – say what you have to say. Be yourself. Think about ways to make the entire project comfortable. The more you enjoy writing, the more your readers will enjoy reading the book you’ll publish.

  1. Write! Write all the time to become a self published author!

Write every day, without excuses. Write at least 500 words a day. Generally, typical books are somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 words. Think about the time you want your book to be ready for publishing and do the math.

Pick a comfortable spot, put on comfortable clothes, sit down and start writing. It’s helpful to read some good authors every day. This way, you’ll be improving your writing skills all the time.

  1. Remember that the first draft is only a first draft

Are you finally done writing? Great! But, your book is far from being finished – the hardest part is yet to come. Don’t despair, though. Now is the time when you have the chance to turn a potentially mediocre book into a masterpiece!

Start reading your book from the beginning. Read it out loud. This way, you’ll be able to catch some parts that may not sound as good as you thought. Edit them. Then, give the book to your friends and family. Ask for honest feedback and consider their comments. Edit again.

  1. Get an editor

After all that editing you have done so far, you need to pay someone to edit your work – again? Yes, because editing is much more than just proofreading. You need a professional that will edit your book structurally as well.

This means that you’ll get comments on the chapter order, or even your characters. You may have to do some changes after that. But, that’s the last editing you’ll need to do. Promise.

  1. Craft the perfect title

What’s a perfect title? A title that’s catchy and unique. Do not fall into the trap of using a title similar to a popular bestseller so you can steal some of the SEO cake. Make sure that your title is memorable. When people try to find it online, they shouldn’t get hundreds of similar titles in the search engine results.

  1. Invest in design

The cover of your book is the first and the most powerful marketing tool. Regardless of the quality of your writing, the cover is what draws the readers in. So, if you are experienced at design, invest your time. Otherwise, invest some money in a design professional, so you can visually support the great content you’ve been working on for so long.

When it comes to books, the design process goes beyond the covers. There’s an interior design process that includes fonts, tables, pictures, spine, inside flaps, back cover, and more.

  1. Pick a reliable publishing partner for your self published author book

Your choice of a publishing partner will influence the quality and the price of your book. So basically, your printing partner has a lot to do with the future of your book. Choose a company that is reliable, flexible, and ready to help you with your self publishing project.

At Publishing Xpress, we are aware that self publishing is one tough job. That’s why we’re focused on providing an easy and inexpensive way for your self-published book to see the light of day, exactly as you want it.

  1. Choose the right price for your self published author book

The right price would be somewhere between underestimating and overestimating your work. Check the current prices of self published books and choose an average price. It’s important not to be too cheap, so the readers will respect your work. But, you shouldn’t be too pricey, either, because people won’t be sure if they want to take a risk with an unknown author.

  1. Pave the way for your self published author book

Before you publish your book, you’ll need to create some buzz about it. It’s important to communicate your work before it’s done, so you can attract readers from the start. Announce your book on your website, blog, or social media profiles. Tell your friends and acquaintances that you have a book coming out soon. Just, don’t be cocky or annoying.

  1. Think about marketing and promotion

Talking about your book before you publish it is a good start, but you’ll have to make a marketing plan. Since you are a self published author, you’ll need to do everything by yourself. However, this doesn’t mean rushing into every single opportunity.

Evaluate the tools that you have selfin your arsenal. Check if you have the skills and time to use them. You don’t have to be present on all the social networks out there. Pick a few of them and focus on promotion. Record an audio book. Make it easy for people to get to your story. Moreover, having an audio book will strengthen the credibility of your work.

  1. Engage with readers as a self published author

Talk to people, engage with your readers. Ask them what they think, what they like and dislike about your book. Word of mouth can be a very powerful tool for a self published author, so extend your friend and acquaintance networks. Find your way into the reading and writing communities, and interact with people there.

Be thankful for every compliment and critique. Do not stress about bad reviews. Even the best authors in history have received bad reviews at some point. See if the critiques are objective, and try to use them as lessons. Otherwise, just ignore them. Never let your ego force you into a debate over a bad review.

  1. Don’t set high expectations

Self publishing can make you a millionaire. But, you can also end up with a book that goes unnoticed. That’s okay. It may motivate you to write another book, and another one after that. Set small goals and work towards them. Focus on your writing, and you’ll get noticed. Forget the profit. Do it for yourself. Let the good story attract the money.

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