Hi all! Today I welcome Rekha to MFB. She’s truly a talented and interesting writer, so if you haven’t met her before, please head over to her blog and say hi. 🙂
Self publishing – Tips and tricks
Publishing hasn’t gotten so easy and hard at once. While traditional “biggies” in respective countries and small press have their hands full, more writers are seeking myriad opportunities to publish thanks to the eBook revolution.
Purists in the industry may frown upon self publish (now distinct from vanity publishing which incidentally was how some classic authors got their first book out), but it has produced quality works and authors who have later signed publishing deals. Whatever be the reason, writers travelling this route can avoid the “trash” box – the delete button on Ereaders and negative reviews with a few essentials:
1) Good Story: The classification of good differs but here it refers to stories of any length or genre that uses these elements well – characters, setting, plot with good scenes and crisp dialogues. As a self confessed advocate of self published writers, I have read books where these haven’t been explored properly.
2) Proof Read: Self publish doesn’t give the writer licence to upload works with typos and errors with grammatically and syntactically incorrect sentence structures. Don’t rely on spell checks. Get it beta read by test readers and critiqued by other writers.
Editor: Not all those who self publish can afford a top notch editor, but unless you have the qualifications for the said job, make use of a freelance editor especially in the case of single novels and series.
3) Formatting: Use professional e conversion and format services available. They are reasonably priced and save the trouble if one is not tech savvy. One can also use free formatting tutorials available for Kindle or with Smash words, and good ones provided by helpful techies and writers online. Don’t forget to earn a brownie point with the reader by providing a table of contents directly linking to chapters.
4) Book Cover: With thousands of books vying for customer attention, a book cover is the first step to pique reader interest. If you, friend or family are artists who are apt at photo manipulation and design software, good for you, else hire one. Here again, it doesn’t always cost a bomb, there are many artists on DeviantArt who produce exquisite work at economical rates.
5) Network: The book is being written, edited, and dressed to kill with a cover, now – before you hit the hit the publish button, would be a good time to create a author blog/website to attract prospective readers and meet other writers, send ARC’s to reviewers/review sites open to self published works, and get on book sites like Goodreads or Shelfari.
6) Marketing: The book is available for the world to see; it’s time to use various online options. Some are author interviews and blog tours, professional services like book tours and giveaways organised by book publicity websites, use of social media – twitter and facebook pages to spread the word, a book trailer if you have the inclination, free promotion schemes on seller sites and entering the book into breakout novels contests.
7) Other Stuff: Self publishing on established seller sites comes with the benefits of pre assigned ISBN numbers. But, be ready to juggle roles of an accountant, manager, assistant, publicist, and marketeer.
Tackle all of these and more importantly, get back to completing that book first – a successful self publishing career awaits you.
Thanks again for these useful tips, Rekha! Anyone who wants to book a GPF is welcome to contact me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com. I have the 28th of September open if you want to post on the theme of Self-Publishing and Marketing, but there are also dates available in the next few months as well.
Have a great weekend all!