Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Self-Publishing Part 3 (For Self-Publishers)

Tips and Tricks of Publishing from Start to Finish

Read Self-Publishing Part 1 (For Readers)
Read Self-Publishing Part 2 (For Writers)

Self-publishing Marketing Procedure


Okay, here it is, from start to finish, an easy list of the steps that I think are most effective to publishing your book. When I started writing Into the Deep, I searched all over for a “how to list” or anything to give me some idea of how this process went from writing a book to publishing it. I found nothing, so I thought I’d share my own “how to list” with everyone. This model is specific for my Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, and may not fit for every book. But, I hope it will be something that new writers can take and adapt to work for them. This is also not exactly how I published Into the Deep, but follows closely with changes made to record what I think I should have done.


Daniel Kulinski

1.       Write and start blogging.
                -Getting a blog going will give you an outlet for when you have writers block and set up a stand from which you can start to gain followers from and promote your book. Also look into getting a Twitter account, Facebook, Goodreads, and Google+.

 
2.       Find Beta readers.
                -After you’ve finished writing, you need other eyes on your work to help you see the problems that you can’t. Read The Beauty of Beta Readers for more info.

3.       Review, re-write, review.
               
-Listen to the comments your Beta Readers have left you and improve your novel. This process can take months depending on how fast your Betas read and how much time you have for re-writes. Read To Kill a Cliche to help you improve your novel.

4.       Find an Editor.
                -When you feel like your book is “finished” you will need to then send it to someone who can correct all your grammatical and style mistakes. No author can professionally edit their own work; it’s too easy to gloss over our own mistakes. Read The Price of Hiringan Editor to help you find one at an affordable price.

5.       Review your edited manuscript.
                -There are two reasons to read your manuscript after it’s been edited. The first is to become aware of the mistakes you make so you can avoid them in the future and give your editor an easier time the next time around. Second, it’s always good to read your novel after some time has passed so you can get a fresh look at it and make and last minute changes that you feel necessary.

6.       Have cover art made, or make it yourself.
                -This can also be something you work on while your book is being edited.

7.       Get your book a Goodreads page.
                -You want to get the word out that there’s a new book coming out, so you’ll need to put information out where people can find it and learn more about it. Also get involved in the Goodreads community if you aren’t already. Then look into other sites like Shelfari, YABC, ect…

8.       Find reviewers in advance.
                -Look for reviewers and bloggers who’ve given 5 stars to other books with similar content to your own. Contact them and see if you can send them an ARC copy in return for a review. Set it up so when you books go live that you have reviews ready to be written.

9.       Convert files to mobi and pdf.
                -Remove deep indents, don’t forget headers and page numbers for the pdf file, and change your font to something like Century or Georgia. See this web page, or this web page for tips for Kindle. See this web page for tips for Createspace. Make sure you upload the mobi file to your own Kindle to see if the formatting looks the way you want it to.

10.      Put your book together on Createspace.
                -Createspace offers many different options for your book, and you will have to choose which is best for you. For Into the Deep I went with 5x8 dimensions and cream paper, as I felt this was most akin to how other books in its genre are printed.

11.      Put your book together on Kindle. Go with KDP.
               
-Being exclusive with Amazon may sound like a negative in many ways, but your KDP Free days are worth the three months that you can’t sell your book through other outlets. Check out The Pros and Cons of Amazon and KDP for more information.

12.      Set up a Goodreads giveaway.
                -You only need to do this for one or a few copies of your book, and set it to start about a week before your book is released, having it end on or around your release date. This will let hundreds of people know about your book, and you’ll see interest in it on Goodreads increase. When you’re contacted about whom won make sure to send them a book promptly.

13.      Write a Book Release.
                -Get the word out about your book being available for purchase. Let everyone know through your blog, Facebook, Twitter, ect… when your release date is.

14.      Release your book.
                -Keep in mind that it takes Amazon a few days to set up a page for your paperback book so make sure you hit ‘publish’ a few days before your release date. Also it will take Amazon 12-24 hours to get your page ready for your Kindle edition.

15.      Set up your Author’s page on Amazon.
               
-Go to Amazon’sAuthor’s Central.

16.      Set up KDP Free days.
                -A few weeks or a month or so after your release date when sales start to decline pick a time to use your KDP Free days. Break them up; you have 5 so maybe use 2 of them. Then, make sure to promote your free days on your blog, Goodreads, twitter, facebook, ect… The second half of my post on The Pros and Cons of Amazon and KDP talks about my first experience with my free days.

17.      Keep Promoting.
                -Continue to find bloggers who you can do interviews for, maybe run a .99cent sale, and keep track of your results so you can change your plan as you go and find what works best for your book.

18.      Start Book #2
                -You may be working on this on the side all along, but if not then at some point you need to think about it and start this process all over. The more books you have the more readers you can reach and ultimately the more money you can make.
There are no guarantees in the publishing world, and this is certainly not a guarantee of how to get a best-seller. Like I said before what works for one book may not work for another and authors will have to make changes to their publishing plan as they go. But, I hope this provides a good place to start for new authors. Good luck to all of you.

I would also like to add that if anyone has any tips on what worked in your experiences self-publishing that you would like to share, please do so in a comment below.