Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Things To Do Before You Self-Publish

Hello fellow authors,

I published my first novel when I was 13 and boy did I regret it. There is so much I have learned now at 17 that would have been incredibly helpful to know back then. So, to save you the trouble of learning this stuff the hard way, I’m going to tell you the five things I’d wish I’d known before publishing the first time.

1. Join a critique site. I spent so much time asking my friends to read and then re-read my book every time I made another draft. Not only was it exhausting for them, but I felt terrible. Later in my years, I joined a site called https://www.authonomy.com. You create a profile, upload your book, and then exchange chapter reviews with other authors. Not only does this provide you with several readers for your book, that will give you honest, objective critiques, it provides exposure and connections to other indie authors.

2. After the content of your book has been edited and re-written, you must professionally edit your book! I know it’s a lot of money, but you want to make sure that the product you put out to the world doesn’t reflect badly on you. Your book is your baby, and you want your baby to look polished. Typos, grammar errors, and odd phrasing are distractions to your readers and make you look unprofessional. Hiring an editor is incredibly important and even after they’ve edited it, have another pair of eyes go over it to make sure they didn’t miss anything. After all, nobody is perfect.



3. Format your book! Whether you’re making an ebook or a printed book, make sure that you have formatted your book correctly. There are some excellent articles on formatting if you plan to do this yourself, but if the thought of it gives you a headache, hire someone to do it for you.

4. Build an audience before you release your novel. If you don’t have a social media presence, who will buy your book when it comes out? Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, ect. are all great ways to connect with your readers. Find your target audience, and decide which social media platform will best market to that group.

5. Hire someone to professionally design your cover photo. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but the reason that phrase exists is because people do. Don’t make a cover by yourself unless you are a professional designer because odds are, it will look tacky and no one will buy it.


Sure, hiring a professional designer/illustrator can be pricey, but you must spend money to make money.

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