Wednesday, October 31, 2018



In part one of this series, I posed this question: Should I Self-publish? In part two, I shared the pros and cons of self-publishing. Assuming you have made the decision to self-publish your next book, now it’s time to talk about how to do it right.

Publishing today is easier than ever. Once a book is written, it is pretty simple to format and upload it to CreateSpace and present it to the world, but the ease of the process can be deceptive. Just like it is easy to publish your own book, it is even easier to fail. What I mean by fail is this…

You’ve spent months, maybe years, writing your book. You’ve poured your heart and soul into it. You want people to read it. You want people to buy it. But here is where too many authors sell themselves, and their books, short. The fact is they often don’t want to spend the time or the money to “do it right.” The result is a poorly crafted book that no one wants. And these authors wonder why they can’t sell any books.

If you want to create a book that sells, you must put as much care into the finished product as you did the story. This means that you need to invest in your book, both with time and money.

Here are the five most important ways to give your book its best shot…

1.     EDIT YOUR MANUSCRIPT – Get your book edited by a professional. Asking your friend who happens to teach high school English to give it a read-through isn’t good enough. There are thousands of top notch editors out there. Your book should go through several edits, including a developmental edit, line edit, and proofread.

2.     CREATE A “WOW!” COVER – I’ve seen way too many books whose covers scream “Self-published!” That’s because the authors have either designed the covers themselves or, even worse, asked a friend who they think is an artist to do it. Your cover is your book’s first impression. Many readers will buy a book based solely on its cover. You can’t afford a crappy one.

3.     DESIGN A SNAZZY INTERIOR – While the cover is the first impression, the book’s interior is the second. I’ve seen plenty of knockout covers only to be let down by a sloppy or boring layout. Font size and style, margins, page numbers, graphics should all contribute to a striking interior, which makes the reading experience all the better. This applies equally to print and digital.

4.      DRAFT A MARKETING PLAN – Maybe up to this point you’ve done everything right. You’ve hired a terrific editor, have an explosive cover, and the interior is amazing! But if you don’t tell people about your book, how will they know to buy it? Putting a solid marketing plan together, months before your book is ready to be published, is essential. This can be time consuming and costly. Again, hiring someone who knows marketing can not only assure a strong launch but can also free up more time for you to write your next book.

5.     HIRE A TEAM – You are a writer. That’s what you’re good at. Unless you have thousands of hours of experience in graphic design or editing, work with others who are good at what they do. Yes, doing it right does cost time and money, but remember, you are investing in your book. And your story deserves to become the very best it can be.

If you’re ready to invest in your book, Skyrocket Press offers competitive rates on editing and design services for authors, but we aren’t the only ones out there. It is vital to assemble a team of editors and designers who are the right fit for your book. Take as much time as necessary to research their previous projects, check out their references, and compare prices. Fees vary enormously. I suggest avoiding the very expensive and the very cheap. The very expensive may not be able to deliver on their promises and might be out to take your money. The very cheap…well, you get what you pay for.
Of course, I hope you’ll consider Skyrocket Press for your next project. But we can also recommend some amazing professionals if we are not the right fit for you. In the meantime, check out The Book Designer blog and download Joel Frielander’s guide, 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING.

Next week, I’ll begin delving a little deeper into each of the tips mentioned into today’s post. We’ll start with editing.

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