The Write Stuff: Next Steps

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Well, we have come to the final installment of the Write Stuff: Self-Publishing Tools. Thanks for all who have followed this journey and for those who are about to begin theirs! We are also wrapping up NaNoWriMo in a few days. I can’t wait to see what has been created – I know I will be spending winter break digging deeper into my plot and character development as well as massive edits! Today I am recapping what we have covered, listing a few tidbits of info to help you move forward, and offering a few additional electronic resources to provide support as you continue on this path. Time to finish strong!

Recap Of Self-Publishing Tools

  1. Decide whether traditional or self-publishing is the best avenue for you. Remember, it is possible that self-publishing can lead to publishing companies coming to YOU!
  2. Cater to the readers. They tell us what they want, so let’s listen to them!
  3. Invest in formatting and design. Nothing says professional and quality like a pristine, error-free copy of a print or electronic book.
  4. Develop a strong marketing plan. Readers won’t know your book is out there unless you give it a place to exist.

Some Next Steps

You’ve done all the work, your book is out in the “real world”. Now what….?

I believe that the tools so far are leading you in the right direction for whatever your goals are in publishing your own book. Speaking of goals, I would definitely spend time determining your goals and expectations for your book

  • What are you hoping for?
  • What are you willing to sacrifice?
  • What will you be content with? What’s realistic?
  • How are you keeping yourself accountable?
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

A couple of other things to keep (or start) the momentum as well as your excitement for what you recently accomplished. Reviews are a risky business since you are putting your beloved work in another’s hands to provide critiques. As a book reviewer myself, it is an amazing process and honor to receive work but I must also provide honest reviews – both positive and constructive. As you launch, make a book review plan that includes a masterlist of all the reviewers you are sending your work to that also includes their response (if any) as well as details about their platform of sharing (Sargent). When sending out your submissions, consider where you are directing the reviewers to find more information about you – Amazon, Goodreads, blog, social media? You should “create a professional website and a basic social media presence through which to connect with fans and post updates and information about their e-book and the progress they are making” (“What Every Indie Author Needs to Know About E-Books”). If you put in the effort to showcase your work professionally, reviewers will be more likely to take a look and ask for an ARC.

In any case, make sure when you send out the call to review, you have varying formats of the book available to send: print or MOBI, ePub, PDF for e-books (Sargent). Depending on your budget, you might have one version available. If that’s the case, make that known and look for reviewers who cater to that medium. Another way to engage with reviewers and bloggers is to collaborate on a blog tour. Maybe writing a guest post or offer interviews for a site, potentially including a giveaway through Goodreads, BookBub, or the individual blogs themselves (“What Every Indie Author Needs to Know About E-Books”). Think win-win. Just like in marketing, you can’t expect to create a facebook page and post ‘buy this book’. Sending the piece along may not be enough for reviewers and bloggers. What creative ways can you engage their audience further? How can you help promote their site/service? 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Additional Resources

Here are some other sites and programs I feel are useful for more technical support as well as templates and guides throughout the self-publishing process:

IBPA {Independent Book Publishers Association}

  • The largest publishing trade association in the U.S.

The Book Designer

  • Online training course The Self-Publishing Roadmap

Jane Friedman

  • Business side of publishing as well as ‘how the digital age is affecting and transforming writers’

The Creative Penn

  • Easy to follow resources to help with writing, publishing, and marketing self-published books

PressBooks, Leanpub, Sigil, Calibre 

  • Sites and software programs for creating/producing print and e-books
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Thank you for taking the time to engage in this series! I learned so much in my research and am looking forward to implementing these ideas in my own work (whenever that may be!).

If you would like more information on any of the topics I covered, I encourage you to check out the resources I cited throughout this series. Of course, you can always do your own research and leverage any networks you have in the book community!

What other advice do you have for self-publishing OR additional next steps? 

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