People turn to self-publishing for many different reasons. Some entrepreneurs use self-publishing to promote their business. Aspiring authors consider it as an excellent opportunity to publish their written work and share it with their potential readers. It is easier than ever to publish your own book because there are more self-publishing platforms available.
Although digital publishing is ever increasing and is the more popular method of self-publishing, aspiring authors also have the option to create printed versions of their books. The following are five tips to help you get started with self-publishing:
You can start with your own passions. What are you passionate about? If you love romance, write romance novels. Are you interested in business and finance? You can write about that. You can write about cooking if that is something you enjoy, or about your hobbies. If you are knowledgeable about a particular field, you can write a book about that too. If you’re still trying to come up with an interesting topic, do your research. Go to Amazon and select the Kindle Store tab.
Enter a keyword that best describes the niche you’re interested in. Check out the books that come up in the search results. Look for bestselling titles that have under a 20,000 bestseller ranking. Read “How to Write a Nonfiction Book that Sells” to learn more about finding bestselling topics to write about.
There are some things that you need to familiarize yourself with about publishing. Besides knowing what to write about, you also need an editor to edit and proofread your book, a graphic designer to create a book cover, and you need to format your book to be published. You also need to think about how you’re going to get an ISBN number for your book. You cannot publish a book without an ISBN number. And don’t forget that you need to determine where you are going to distribute your book once it is published.
There are many different online publishing platforms that you can sign up with to get your book published. Some sites require you to pay for their publishing services and others are free. You also have the option to publish your book in digital format or in print. The following are four very popular websites that offer free publishing services:
Kindle Direct Publishing: Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is an independent publishing platform that helps authors to publish and distribute their books to millions of readers around the world. This service allows you to publish your book in digital format which can be read by using a Kindle e-reader. After you have written and saved your book in a Word file, you need to format it and then upload it to KDP. You can upload a Word document or an HTML file.
Your book is available immediately on the Amazon marketplace. Kindle Direct Publishing pays up to 70% in royalties. The only drawback to using KDP is that your book will be distributed to readers only on the Amazon online marketplace.
CreateSpace: Amazon’s CreateSpace is another free publishing platform which you can use to publish your book in print format. There are various free tools you can use to help you publish your book such as a template to set up your book’s interior, a cover creator tool to design your book’s front and back cover, and an online reviewer tool that gives you an idea of what your book will look like when it is published. This publishing platform can also assign an ISBN number to your book for free. Additionally, CreateSpace offers a Print on Demand service which only prints books when customers place an order.
Smashwords: This publishing platform is a little more complicated than Kindle Direct Publishing. It’s not one of my favourites, therefore you would not see any of my books published on this site. Before you can upload your Word file, you need to follow Smashwords’ strict guidelines to format your book. This is because your book will be converted to ePUB, Mobi, and other e-book formats. But the advantage of using this platform is that your book is distributed to various online book retailers such as Barnes and Noble, Scribd, Apple, etc. Unlike Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords allows you to earn up to 85% in royalties.
Draft2Digital: This is a publishing platform that I found recently. I have already begun publishing on this site. It is, in my opinion, the easiest publishing platform that I’ve used so far. All you have to do is upload your Word document to get it published. Just like Smashwords, you earn up to 85% in royalties and it distributes your book to various online marketplaces such as Scribd, Tolino, Kobo, Nook, Apple, 24 Symbols, and Page Foundry.
If you are publishing your first book, you need to determine what you are willing to pay for, and what you can do yourself. Publication costs can get very expensive if you don’t know where to find low cost publishing services. The four publishing platforms mentioned above offer free self-publishing services. However, if you do not feel confident in editing or formatting your book, or designing the book cover, you can hire a Fiverr gig to do that for you. This is something you can include in your budget.
After you have published your book, you need to start thinking about marketing it to your readers. Are you going to promote your book on your website? Are you going to hire a marketing firm to promote your book? If you use Facebook or Twitter, you can promote your book on these social media sites. There are also book submission sites where you can submit your book for free to be promoted by email to the sites’ subscriber list.
There are other things you can include in your marketing campaign such as writing articles, scheduling free book promotion days, setting up an author page on Amazon, writing press releases, and creating book trailers.