Self-publishing has changed things for writers, nowadays indie writers take in 40% of the revenue in the e-book industry.
When you’ve got a book sitting hot on your desk you may wish to go forward by learning how to self-publish instead of seeking traditional channels.
The stigma in the industry has largely faded with even authors who originally preferred different channels beginning to get behind it.
Read on and we’ll give you the information you need in order to learn how to publish a book, step-by-step.
Writing the Book
Naturally, the first thing to start a self-publishing, you’ll want to make sure that you have your book written.
After all, it’s hard to publish your own book if you don’t have one already written.
While it’s only natural to want to get it out there as soon as possible you’ll want to give some consideration to the following:
- Find a test audience to see how viable the book is.
- Hiring an editor is a great idea. While most writers can do it themselves, we’re often blind to the flaws in our own work which can hurt the book once it gets out.
- If you’re writing a genre fiction book then you’ll find that covers matter more than most care to admit. Purchasing a professionally made cover, even for an e-book, can drive sales.
Once the book is written and the above finishing touches have been applied you’re ready to move forward with the self-publishing.
Formatting can also be a major concern depending on the type of book you’re intent on publishing. For those with more pictures or who want a little bit of “flourish” programs like Scrivener can make all the difference.
Books are usually made with a team of people. Just be sure that you spend some time vetting any freelancers that work with you in order to make sure you’ve got a great end product instead of merely a passable one.
Finding a Self-Publishing Platform
There are a ton of self-publishing platforms out there. Most self-published authors begin with the use of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Since Amazon is a retail titan it makes sense to begin there.
However, KDP isn’t a perfect platform. While they’ll get your book in front of an audience and it’s easy to format for them since they take Word files, you’re left on your own when it comes to marketing and there are a lot of books published on the site.
For a beginner, the easiest way to do things is to set up on Amazon’s KDP and then from there branch out to a distributor such as Draft2Digital which will automatically put your books on other stores.
This strategy gives you more time to write and allows you to keep all of your royalties from Amazon KDP while the distributor takes a percentage of the retail price from other shops.
Since Amazon is still the biggest name around it’s a good way to go. They have 83% of the market share for e-books in the US market at this point.
Other writers may further develop their strategies but we’re pretty sure that it’s the best way to go for those who are just starting out.
The key is to adopt things which work for you.
Learning how to price your books to maximize both sales and profits is a pretty steep curve.
Most people choose to sell their e-books in the $2.99 to $3.99 mark on Amazon. This will give you a 70% royalty and seems to be the current sweet spot between profit and sales.
Other platforms will vary but with most of them you’ll be able to change your prices on the fly.
Whether you’re new to the scene or not, promotional offers are always a good way to keep people buying more of your books.
Free books are often used by new offers. For some people they can even be a lead generator for their own services, trading valuable information for the opportunity to get your name in front of people.
Fiction can be operated in many different forms. You can break books down into installments and offer the beginning for free or offer the first book in a series free when a new book releases to draw in new viewers.
They’re a vital part of online self-publishing so keep them in mind.
Unfortunately, unless you go with Amazon KDP Select you’ll have to adjust things yourself on their site. Many authors skip Select since it makes your book exclusive to Amazon.
Publishing your book isn’t everything. Just knowing how to publish your own book isn’t going to be enough if you also want to make money off of it.
You’re also going to need to market your book.
It’s an unfortunate fact but your book isn’t going to stand on it’s own even if it’s Nobel Prize material.
The amount of material out there these days is simply too much.
Many authors opt to hire a digital marketer to handle this for them. It leaves you with more time to write, after all.
If you’re going to do it yourself then you’ll need to be prepared to learn about PPC advertising, search engine optimization techniques, and tracking conversion so that you can get the most out of the experience.
Even if you have a marketer on your side never underestimate the power of social media. Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms can help to push the sales of your book.
Even if you have a reader base already never underestimate the power of marketing in driving more sales in both the short and long term.
Bring Your Work to Light
Self-publishing is changing the face of the game for writers everywhere. From small, simple e-books to sweeping fictional epics there’s a lot of stuff out there which has been produced by independent authors.
It’s a fairly easy gig to get into once you have the manuscript finished.
Are you looking for more tips on how to self-publish? Check out our blog for more vital information.