Self-publishing is more accessible than ever before. The non-traditional route to publishing hands you control. You are in charge of how your novel is published, what the cover looks like, and what the layout of the novel is. You get to make the decisions and are in the driving seat of everything surrounding your novel. However, it isn’t all plain sailing. Self-publishing takes a lot of time and effort. Because you are in control, you are in charge of everything: editing, marketing, sales, promoting. In a publishing house, these jobs are undertaken by several people/ departments. This is of course time that could be spent writing. If you are thinking of going down the self-publishing route, there are plenty of things to consider. I have put together some articles and podcasts that I hope will help you in making your mind up.
Self-publishing can be a hugely rewarding experience but to do it well involves a lot of hard work. Words Ireland gives a brief overview to help point you in the right direction: is self-publishing right for you? Preparing to self-publish, self-publishing your eBook, selling your book, royalty payments, taxes, and artists’ exemptions.
This article explains that to self-publish well is to become an entrepreneur. ‘This is a start-up business, and your book is your first product. Consider how much time and money would you anticipate having to sacrifice in order to get a restaurant up and running, for example. Add a few more hours in there, because the self-publisher has to write a book as well. You will also have to learn new skills, embrace social media, and find the confidence to promote your book. Although you may get to decide on your cover and title, you will have no control over the most important factor of all: whether or not people will buy your book.’
The Irish Writer’s Union details the step-by-step basics of self-publishing a novel. From the first draft to formatting for publication, guidelines on how and where to publish, and who to turn to for help, this is well worth a read. It also lists helpful websites in its resource section.
Ingram Spark discusses 8 steps to self-publishing including the different types of book editing, book design, book metadata, publishing, distribution, and marketing. She identifies 6 common areas in which you may spend money to successfully publish a book including editing, design, publishing, printing and shipping, and marketing. She emphasises the importance of being realistic when considering self-publishing and doing your research.
How do you publish a book on Amazon? What is the process of taking your book, turning it into something publishable, and then getting it out into the world? This article covers what you need to publish a book on Amazon, how to publish an eBook, a hardback, or paperback through Amazon, and how to set up a series page,
There are three articles here by AJ Wells on the business of self-publishing. Indies authors give feedback about self-publishing as a way to claim power over your novel as opposed to being a last resort. The authors offer tips and advice on how to find and engage with their audience, and in the third article, what self-published authors should do about the business of self-publishing.
Reedsy shares 7 simple steps to self-publish your book. Having a launch plan, marketing your book effectively, and tips to master the Kindle store and other retailers. This article also provides the reader with resources that can help you determine your costs and find alternate ways to cover them. It explains how royalties differ from traditionally published books.
Jane Friedman breaks down the three general categories of self-publishing: assisted, hybrid, and DIY/Indie, before expanding on how to self-publish on your own. Jane recommends the DIY approach as you are in complete and total control of all artistic and business decisions; you keep all profits and rights. She explains how eBook self-publishing services work and how to maximise your sales. The pros and cons of whether to invest in a print run and print-on-demand recommendations are also discussed.
Mark Dawson is a best-selling self-published author on multiple platforms including Amazon and Kobo. Mark has become a leading voice in the self-publishing industry and he advocates and teaches a strategy based around offering books for free, mailing list development, and social media advertising.
- The Self-Publishing Advice Podcast — Self-Publishing Advice Center from the Alliance of Independent Authors (selfpublishingadvice.org)
The Alliance of Independent Authors’ Self-Publishing Advice podcast covers every aspect, from beginners to advanced. In this fast-changing industry, the latest news and trends are discussed.
You can read or listen to this podcast. Kristen breaks down the three P’s of successful self-publishing: production, presentation, and promotion.
- Self Publishing Authors Podcast | Popular weekly podcast all about self-publishing from four successful indie authors.
Each week the SPA Girls bring listeners a new episode covering all things self-publishing, writing craft, marketing advice, advertising strategies, and expert guest interviews.
If you are going to dip your toes into self-publishing, then prepare yourself with as much knowledge and resources to help you as you can. Take on board all the advice before jumping into the deep end. It may not be the easiest road, but it can certainly be a very fulfilling one to take. I hope that this week’s column has been helpful for you. As always, please get in touch if there are any topics you would like me to cover.
(c) Lucy O’Callaghan