Finding a publisher at publisher’s expenses is the holy Grail but that’s also the most elusive step for a writer, so, sometimes, you need to get your hands dirty and make your own luck to reach your goal: being published. Self publishing is, in this case, an attractive process but, while it’s wiser than being publish at author’s expenses (avoid this ab-so-lu-te-ly), it requires a good amount of patience, of skills or budget, and a meticulous preparation.
Since I experimented the process (out of curiosity for it), I’m sharing this experience with you! I published my collection of short stories Bang Bang, 6 Shots at Love this way (I admit that since it was only out of curiosity, I didn’t throw a full novel in the mix 😇 ).
I’ll tell you now the things you should know before self publishing.
KNOW HOW TO DO THINGS, OR HAVE A BUDGET
That’s the starting point (other than writing your book, obviously!): you need to have the skills, apart from editing your novel to make it perfect and proofread it to avoid selling a text filled with typos, to lay it out and create a decent cover for it. And if you can’t? You’ll have to pay someone to do it…
Being an editor and a proofreader, I could do that for myself, but, to give you an example, my cover cost me 200€. I wanted a specific illustration, and since I can’t draw to save my life, I had to pay for it.
It’s, as you can see, a substantial budget to plan, because even if self publishing on platforms like Amazon or Kobo is free, the rest have to be professional. You’re self publishing, yes, but you can’t sell something that’s not accomplished.
And if you decide to print it, the budget can rise pretty quickly!
But if you have to have it done for you, whichever step it is, hire a professional, don’t be cheap.
HAVE A FAN BASE
Selling your self published book will be hard if you don’t have a fan base. I personally tried this process because I knew I’d sell what I’d print or put online, I already had a big fan base following me. Without that, you’ll have to promote hard, and so let’s go to the next point!
DON’t WAIT FOR SALES TO HAPPEN BY THEMSELVES
Whether it’s before or after publishing, promoting yourself is necessary.
You can, for example, use writers platforms to offer free content to attract readers, which will allow you to have that fan base I was talking about above (I wrote for more than 9 years on a platform that allowed me to share my world and earned me a lot of readers, so as you can see, it’s good not to publish point-blank).
Once your book is published, you need to talk about it, on Facebook groups, websites, you can also try writer cons (but a spot is usually expensive).
You can also check with local bookstores to see if they would like to sell you book.
In short, you’ll have to work as much to promote as to write, sales won’t magically happen.
REPORT YOUR EARNINGS
The last step, from the moment you make one sale, is to report your earnings.
Make sure you are informed on how to do it in your country, according to your status (freelance or not), but don’t neglect that part.
READY TO GIVE IT A TRY?