Self-publishing your book is just the coolest thing. Self-publishing has been around for years but more along the lines of vanity presses. Now self-publishing actually means you are the publisher and you are in control. For me, this new era of self-publishing means print-on-demand through sites like KDP/Amazon.com or Lulu.com or e-books through Kindle/Amazon or devices like the Kobo or Nook. We produce our books and we control them. We decide how much money we want to make, the rights, and pretty much how they sell.
1. The Type of Book You Are Making One of the first decision you will need to make is what kind of book are your releasing. Is it a text only fiction book, a picture book, a non-fiction how to book, a children’s book, a paperback, an e-book, or both the list is pretty big. Depending on what you decide will determine where you publish and the process you will go through to make the book. With all of the options today you can very often pick several, and I recommend you do make different kinds of books. I often start with the print version and then move to e-book, but the other way around works fine also.
2. Deciding on the Publishing Platform At the top of everyone’s list is Amazon.com. Pretty much the largest distributor of books on the planet. Amazon has two options. You can go with print-on-demand paperback through their KDP/Amazon division or e-book with KDP/Kindle. Some books work great on both platforms and some a little better on one. Kindle works great on books that are pretty much mostly text. But more and more picture books are going that way also. Generally, most people recommend setting up your own book accounts on Amazon and for all of the other platforms using a service like BookBaby.com or Smashwords.com
3. Book Design and Production Book design and production involves the look and feel of your book. If you are going with a printed book you have tons of layout and design options to choose from. Depending on which platforms you choose you can really have a lot of fun with the design and layout. If you go with KDP you are producing a black/white or color paperback. If you select a site like Lulu.com or Blurb.com you have many different binding, printing, and cover options.
Going electronic you have the e-book or pdf routes or both. E-book usually means a Mobi file on Kindle with Amazon.com or e-pub on sites like Kobo, Nook or iTunes. Instead of Mobi I would recommend using the new Kindle Create software for creating your ebook. It is fantastic. There are actually about 80 different platforms but most people focus on about 10. The e-book route can also be a little more limiting in terms of design but in terms of distribution, it is global. It is amazing, one little text file and you can sell all over the planet.
Book design and production includes designing and laying out all your book parts. Cover, title page, table of contents, chapters, references, resources, bios, all the parts. It also means setting up all of your publishing and marketing accounts.
4. Developing Your Title, Your title is one of the most important tasks you will undertake in finishing your book. Your title asks a question and should then answer it for the reader. If you are producing a non-fiction book we should know what your book is about from the title. Using Google, Amazon and YouTube search we should be able to narrow down your title ideas to a key phrase. Your book needs to stand on its own when you are not there to explain it.
5. Cover Designs Selling your books on-line these days usually means your readers will never pick it up. They won’t discover it in a bookstore or sitting on a shelf. It may never exist in paper. Very often all we get to see is a thumbnail of the cover. Making that cover work at a small size is super important. Your title is one of the most important tasks you will undertake in finishing your book. Your title asks a question and should then answer it for the reader. If you are producing a non-fiction book we should know what your book is about from the title. Using Google, Amazon, and YouTube search we should be able to narrow down your title ideas to a key phrase. Your book needs to stand on its own when you are not there to explain it.
6. Working with the Print-on-Demand Publishers and Amazon.com There are some technical aspects to book publishing and loading them up to the distribution sites is one of them. We work with you to produce your book in the correct formats for each site. Is it the right size, are the pictures set up correctly, are all the links for all your connections set up correctly. Is the cover graphic correct, are all the internal graphics linked right, do you have a good book and author bio description, how about your keywords. Each site is similar but different.
7. Developing a Web-Based Marketing Plan Your book marketing starts almost the day before you need it. You start writing, you start marketing. Set up a blog, get your FaceBook group going, your Pinterest, your Twitter account, how about building your mailing list so that you have some fans ready to buy when you are done.
8. Using Social Media, YouTube and Traditional Marketing Traditional advertising for self-published books is almost non-existing. It is all about Social Media, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. But some of the traditional marketing still exists and should be looked at when marketing your book. It is kind of the wild west out there in terms of what platforms to use and how to use them. And to make it more fun it changes every day. A great way to market your book is using Facebook Live and on-line live streaming. With tools like Facebook live and Steamyard you can reach the world through live video. Take your message to the world and sell your books at the same time.
9. Developing Your Book Blog One of the most powerful platforms for marketing your book is having a book blog. On a blog, you can talk about the characters, build an e-mail list, have your media kit and bio. Many people now write their books right in their blog, using all of their new content to attract Google, readers, and fans. Your blog becomes the center of everything about your book. It is the hub for all your social media and other marketing efforts. It is key and I guide you through the process of setting one up.
10. Re-purposing Your Content This is last but one of my favorites. You have written your book, you have all this cool new text, what else can you do with it. If you are making a non-fiction book about your business how about a workbook to go along with it. Take your book, record it and you have an audiobook. Make a PowerPoint presentation, record it and you have a video, you have a course. Are there images that can be turned into products on sites like CafePress.com and Zazzel.com? Could you turn the book into a course, our use it to attract consulting clients. The list goes on and on.
To learn more about creating and publishing your book check out my newest book Self-Publishing SECRETS, Create, Publish and Launch Your Book. Available in PD