Self-publishing is an incredibly exciting endeavor. After all, in today’s world, there’s no more waiting for some elitist publishing house to bestow its authorial crown on your head in order to become an official author. But hold your horses (or should we say keyboard taps??). Let’s get serious about this whole author thing. While we can’t wait to be a part of your debut as a published wordsmith, as your future self-published book printer, we’re rooting for your long-term success. And that kind of victory takes way more than just printing your book and distributing copies.
In our book, self-publishing success begins way before you even go to print. You know…the writing itself and all the other preparations you should consider before penning your future best seller. We’ve worked with enough writers over the years to know that you all are a highly humble bunch. In fact, often times, you’re way, way, way better than you think. But even so, there’s a distinct set of writing tips that we want to pass along to help you be even that much better. So grab your coffee, pull up a chair, and let’s get to it!
Writing Tip #1: Be an Expert
It’s time to get honest with yourself. How much of an expert are you on your book topic? This is particularly important if you plan on writing nonfiction. Because of the high chance that your potential book topic has already been written on (and written on and written on and written on), it’s time to be realistic about what you can really bring to your readers. New information? A different spin? This is where being an expert truly matters. Sure, you can crank out a book. But do you have the wisdom it will take to sell yourself as an expert? Because that know-how will surely be an integral part of marketing your self-published book. How will you handle reporters, social media, and guest blogging? It’s safe to say that readers are a fairly smart bunch, to say the least. If you’re not truly an expert but only have minor experience in your topic, they’ll sniff it out quickly and move on. Just like you do as a reader.
If you still feel like you’ve really got something, but you’re not at expert level yet, don’t give up. But realize that unless you can find an expert to co-author your book, it’s going to take more time to build your knowledge and experience base. As you do so, you’re likely to gain a lot more potential material for your book, so patience is a good thing!
Writing Tip #2: Market Your Expertise Before You Write Your Book
Once you do feel pretty comfortable writing for your audience, consider blogging, social media (such as instagram or Twitter), or even posting videos to sites like YouTube before or during your book-writing process. First, these tools are a great test trial to see how well your ideas are received and shared. In the meantime, you’re building a solid fan base for when you do go to publish your book, making the marketing process a heck of a lot easier and doable. Otherwise, it will be difficult to stay afloat as you compete with all the other experts and so-called experts who are also publishing their own books in your chosen topic. Hugh Howey, best-selling, self-published author of Wool says that your existing readers are the ones who will help sell your book. The more interaction and credibility you establish with them now, the better your chances that they’ll buy and read your book and then tell everyone they know to do the same. Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most powerful ways to ignite your book sales. You’ll want to get the people who’ve been following you all along talking…and continuing to talk.
Writing Tip #3: It’s a Matter of Time…And Preparation
Finally, plan on taking several months to a year to work on your actual book. Sorry—there’s no long-weekend solution if you truly want to write something worth reading, while building a fan base via blogging and social media as you do so. Squeeze in a marketing course or two if time allows, since you’ll need plenty of expertise there. And if you expect a few bumps in the road—writer’s block, organizational problems, indecision, etc.—they won’t be as difficult to overcome when you run into them.
Writing Tip #4: Put Your Draft Out There
Once you do finish your book, remember that your perspective is a bit biased, so don’t hesitate in asking others for their opinions on your content, book title, book cover, and even marketing plan. Not only will this give you multiple perspectives and quite possibly steer you in a more successful direction, but you’ll also learn how to accept criticism without letting emotions get in the way. Remember: you want to become an expert, and this expertise shouldn’t just be limited to your book topic. It’s important to get yourself to the point where you can take a not-so-positive remark like a pro.
Self-publishing. Of all the things to accomplish in your lifetime, self-publishing it’s sure to be one of the most valuable, rewarding journeys you’ll embark on. We hope to be of service when you’re ready to print your book. Our expertise will help you navigate the book-printing process that much easier (and cost-effectively, might we add).