Nearly anyone with a writing dream can become an author in an increasingly self-published book world. Books are all about the journey your words take readers on, not so much on how a book came to be. Most readers don’t care about a book’s publisher. For a reader, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Forging your own book path is increasingly within affordable reach as self-publishing companies compete to help writers succeed. However, the challenges of DIY publishing can cause detours in your book’s path before it even begins if you don’t know where to start. Before sharing your book with the reading world, ask yourself these important questions and get started on the right page of self-publishing.
#1. Why did you write your book?
As an editor who also loves to write, I empathize with a writer’s journey to publishing. It doesn’t just take hard work and hours of pouring words onto pages to write a book. It takes passion, drive, and a special kind of courage to share your vision with the world. Every writer has something to say with their book, something they want to give their readers.
So what’s your book’s gift to readers? Maybe you wrote to inspire action by raising awareness about a critical social or economic issue. Perhaps you intended to provide readers with an escape into a fictional world of fantasy and magic. Whatever the source of your inspiration, your book’s goals should reach beyond best-selling success and financial gain. Of course you want your book to sell, but self-publishing authors often place too much emphasis on profit, losing sight of why they wrote in the first place. Remaining focused on your book’s intent is vital to understanding a reader’s interest in purchasing it. When you keep your writing mission in mind, you can develop a marketing strategy geared at reaching your desired readers.
#2. Who do you picture reading your book? Who will be buying your book?
This question is twofold, since a book’s pages speak not only to its readers, but also to its consumers. And these are not always one and the same. For example, a children’s book is written for young readers, but it’s often a parent, an aunt or uncle, or a grandparent who is actually buying the book. Likewise, a cookbook can be a gift from an experienced chef to an aspiring cook. It’s not just readers who discover your book, it’s also their loved ones as well. Writers need to ensure that their book is at their readers’ level of comprehension in terms of vocabulary, sentence structure and length, and also what sparks their readers’ interests. And you can bet a customer buying your book as a gift is also looking at these very same factors.
Thus, when you picture your reader, you must also picture your customer. What’s your intended age range of readers? What are their hobbies and interests? What avenues do they take to purchase your book? Self-publishing involves an analysis of your intended readers and consumers to better understand how they will discover your book, what their buying habits might be, and how they might share your book with other readers. Study your book’s readers and buyers so that you learn more than how to speak their language and get your book in their hands.
#3. What’s your self-publishing dream worth to you?
Self-publishing writers are often on a tight budget. You can make your budget stretch if you put your resources where they matter most. Knowing your book’s needs will help you find fitting resources, but choosing the right professional services can be challenging with a growing and competitive market of self-publishing companies and service providers. Of course you want to find the best publishing deals, but there are certain things you can’t afford to cut corners on such as cover design and editing. Books are absolutely judged by their covers and also by the words written on their pages. If you don’t invest in an eye-catching cover or in professional editing, your book might get passed by on bookshelves or overlooked in online bookstores.
Shopping around for the lowest priced services won’t ensure the best quality. You worked hard to write this book, pouring your creative energy into its pages. What’s your hard work worth to you and how much are you willing to invest in its success? Setting your own budget is a great aspect of self-publishing, but you’ll need to do some research to find the best service for your book’s needs and get the most out of your investment. If the price of a service seems a little high in your budget range, dig deeper and learn why it might be more expensive than others. What does that service provider offer that others don’t? And what you are willing to spend for a great quality book, inside and out? The great thing about self-publishing is that you get to decide, but make sure you do your book budgeting homework to make an informed choice. Talk with publishing professionals when you have questions—our passion is helping authors along their self-publishing journeys!
#4. Do you know what you don’t know?
What you don’t know can and will hurt your book’s success. This last question will most likely leave you with more questions than answers. However, it’s the first of many steps to really understanding what it takes to be a self-published author. You need to know what you don’t know and seek out the answers on your own in self-publishing. But that’s what self-publishing companies and service providers like eBooks2go are here for: to help you find the answers and teach you all you need to know to help your book grow.
So start with a few basics to learn what you need to know. You’ve taken the first step in even having the courage to write a book. Now you need to learn the rest of the steps to take your book from a rough draft manuscript and turn it into a shiny new book or eBook. Do you know all the steps toward publication? What are the stages in publishing and what is your author role in each of them? Understand the basic processes and stages of self-publishing in eBooks2go’s 10-minute guide to self-publishing.
Finding the Answers …
When you’re a self-published author, you are in control of your book’s journey to shelves. And this means you need to know what it takes to get it there and also be ready to put in the effort. Asking yourself these pressing questions is one step further along on your self-publishing path.
But you might be left with more questions than answers. Our Self-Publishing Guide has the answers to some of your most important questions and ones you may not have even thought of yet! A few of several topics included in the guide are:
The Self-Publishing Process
The processes and stages of self-publishing are highlighted step-by-step, with each aspect explained for the beginning self-published author.
Assessing Your Marketing Goals
Determine your book’s marketing goals to drive sustainable book sales. Learn the importance of choosing the appropriate marketing outlets and tactics for your book’s success.
Importance of Polishing Up Your Book
Put your book’s best foot forward by enticing readers with an attractive cover and error-free pages. Editing and cover design are just some of many services that can help polish up your book.
Visit our website today and check out eBooks2go’s resources that can help you on your self-publishing journey!