A Step-by-Step Guide for Self-Publishers
If you’ve always wanted to write a book, the self-publishing revolution makes it possible. Today, it’s easier than ever to release a successful book when working outside the traditional publishing industry.
Books become profitable when they spark peoples’ attention – readers, reviewers, bloggers, and the media – and go on to sell well. By following a few simple steps and making sure you cover all the bases, you can become a published, profit-making author.
In this article:
- What to Decide Before You Start Writing
- Why Professional Content Preparation Matters
- When to Plan and Implement Your Marketing Program
- How to Print Your Book and Fulfill Orders
- Where to Sell Your Book
Each part of the self-publishing process has a reason and is important. When you do them all, you’ll put yourself on the best path to creating a profitable self-published book.
#1: What to Decide Before You Start Writing
Much of your book’s success relies on laying the proper groundwork. It’s why what you do before you start writing is so important. You need to decide the readers you’re going after and what your book will offer them. To simplify the process, you can ask yourself these questions.
- Who are the target readers of my book?
- What genre will it fit (i.e., fiction, self-help, etc.)?
- What am I offering that’s useful or entertaining?
- Is my topic something unique that has yet to be said?
Every profitable book needs an audience. That’s why determining your target readers before you start to write is so important. People will buy and read your book when you meet their needs and interests.
Being clear about a genre from the start is also crucial. With your topic or story in mind, find other similar titles and look at their genre. Which ones are selling well, and what made them popular?
Ensuring that what you write goes beyond what others have written is vital. It needs to be clear to target readers why your book is better – people will shy away from a rehash of things they already know.
Answering and taking the pre-writing questions seriously will get you off on the right foot.
#2: Why Professional Content Preparation Matters
Your self-published book will compete against titles from big-time publishers, so you must match their quality. Once you’ve finalized your topic or story and written your book, it’s time to work with the pros.
“Content preparation” covers book editing, cover design, formatting, proofreading, etc. They’re all services that publishing houses provide for their authors. When you publish independently, you need to be proactive and arrange them for your book.
Editing is required for every profitable book. As the author, you’re close to your work and need the benefit of a trained, experienced outside editor. There are many types of editing, including structural, developmental, and copy editing. You may select one or more depending on your book.
Cover Design is just what the name implies; you want to work with a pro. Even though you may have a friend or relative with graphic design skills, they may not be enough. Ensuring your book looks professional, fits its genre, and has a polished appearance will help with sales.
Formatting is crucial when someone reads your book. It refers to the inside text layout, typeface selection, and other design details. Making your text easily readable and flowing nicely is a must.
Proofreading is essential because your book must be mistake-free to appear professionally produced. Proofreaders help you prevent avoidable blunders that can cost you credibility with readers.
When you take content preparation seriously and follow all the steps, you’ll publish your work more professionally.
#3: When Marketing is Direct, You’ll Do Better
Virtually all profitable books today require marketing support. Reaching your target readers directly online is the safest bet.
- Influencer marketing
- Paid clicks
- Book funnels
Online influencers hold sway with their audiences and can get them to buy your book. Whether you go after social media stars, famous bloggers, or the hottest podcasts, there is a significant opportunity. Do your homework in advance and ensure their audience matches your target readers.
Paid clicks and using search engines to market your book can work well. You’ll need the expertise to set up the campaign. You can learn it yourself or work with an agency with a proven track record of success.
Book funnels are increasingly popular when you want to sell more than your book. It’s a digital marketing technique that has made many people rich. Funnels can work well for you when you set them up nicely.
#4: How to Print Your Book and Fulfill Orders
These days, we hear a lot about the digital revolution and how it has transformed the media – it’s all true, but guess what? About eight in ten books are still read in physical copy form. So, going to press and producing a top-quality book is essential.
Print-on-demand has made an enormous splash in the self-publishing world for the past decade, and it remains valid. But there are many other options you can consider.
You’re on the right track when you find a professional printer that also provides book order fulfillment. They can offer digital and offset printing and all the binding options – hardcover, softcover book printing, spiral, and more. You’ll also benefit from flexible trim sizes and stock choices for the inside pages and cover.
Even though it’s popular, think twice about book printing on demand and weigh your other options.
#5: Where to Sell Your Book
Ringing up profitable sales of your book depends on selling it where your target readers are shopping. Another reason to skip on-demand book printing and publish yourself is because it allows you to trade in all channels.
- Online booksellers
- Mass merchants/big-box stores
- Your website, eCommerce. marketplaces
A considerable percentage of books today are sold online. To maximize your profits, complete the book and author pages they offer. It will help you turn up in people’s searches. Also, ask friends and family to get the ball rolling with reviews – they can add them as soon as they finish reading your book.
Brick-and-mortar bookstores, especially local independent ones, hold a dear place in the hearts of many authors. They’re also places to reach some of the most passionate and interested readers. If you work with a book distributor, ask them for help getting into your favorite stores.
Many mass merchants and big box stores have book sections that, because of their store traffic, have the potential to sell a lot. It’s another area where working with a book distributor with the right connections can help.
One of the big advantages of handling your book printing and fulfillment outside the print-on-demand system is the ability to sell books on your website, eCommerce, or marketplace. Selling directly to your readers makes an excellent impression and maximizes your profits.
Conclusion: Maximizing the Profitability of Your Self-Published Book
It requires organizing your methods when you want to make the most money on your self-published book. It begins with writing about things your target readers will find exciting and getting into the right genre.
Then, it would be best to have professional content preparation support (editing, cover design, etc.) as you ready your work for publication. At the same time, you’ll be planning your marketing campaign and ensuring it reaches target readers where they are in the audience.