Posted on 05/28/2020 at 03:25 PM by Guest Author
Figuring out how to get your book published can be tough, especially for first-time authors. Fortunately, we’ve put together some helpful tips for publishing a book.
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Once you’ve written (or typed) the last word of your book, you’re ready to embark on another journey as a new writer — figuring out how to get your book published.
This can be intimidating at first, especially when you’re just getting started. That’s why we wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with some guidance.
Not so long ago, there was only one way to get a book out to the masses.
You’d find a literary agent, have them take your manuscript around to various publishing houses, rely on them to negotiate your contract, and then trust that your publisher would help you reach the finish line.
Nowadays, however, this isn’t the case. As an author, you have additional opportunities available to you.
For instance, you can hire a company to help you publish your book, submit your work independently, or opt to self-publish.
With this in mind, one of the most important tips for publishing a book is to determine which route you want to take…
Although many authors still opt for the traditional publishing option, others see the advantages of self-publishing.
Sometimes an author may even self-publish one title and use a publishing house for another. There’s really no wrong way to go about it.
So, how do you choose?
Ultimately, it all depends on your preferences, needs, and situation. If you’re a brand-new author, it may help to learn a little more about traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.
The Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing
As mentioned previously, the traditional method of publishing a book involves partnering with a publishing house (usually through an agent) and allowing them to bring your book to life.
You get access to a team of professional editors, designers, marketers, and more.
In many cases, you receive an advance on your book.
Going through an established publisher frees up your time for writing.
Reputable companies won’t require you to pay anything upfront to publish your book.
You get assistance with events such as tours and readings.
You lose some creative control over your work.
You don’t keep all the royalties from your book sales.
It can take a long time to get your book in front of readers.
It’s not easy to get acceptance from a publishing house.
Complications can arise when you sign away your rights.
The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing
With self-publishing, you complete the entire process — including editing, formatting, and designing the cover — without the help of a publishing house.
You maintain creative control over your work.
You receive all the profits from your book.
You get to set deadlines for yourself.
It’s quicker to get your book in front of readers.
You maintain the rights to your work.
You have to pay outside contractors upfront.
You don’t have the support of an agent.
You have to handle all marketing on your own.
It can be tough to make your book stand out.
The business side of things can get overwhelming.
There’s a definite learning curve when it comes to self-publishing. Given everything that’s involved in the process, it’s not uncommon for new authors to make mistakes along the way.
To help you out during your first go-around, we put together a short list of practical tips for publishing a book on your own.
Let’s take a look…
1. Make sure your book is ready beforehand.
No matter how eager you are, it’s important that you don’t publish your book until it’s ready. Releasing a book too early can result in negative reviews and poor sales.
To avoid having a bad first experience, you need to finalize your story and bring in others to help.
Getting feedback from your writing group
Sending it off to a professional editor
Reading through it until you’re satisfied
Chances are your first book won’t be perfect. And that’s okay.
What matters is that you’ve written a compelling, well-structured story that’s enjoyable to read and free of any glaring errors.
2. Put time and effort into your cover.
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s be honest…we all do it.
That’s because the cover is often the first thing a reader sees. As such, it should reflect the contents of the book and encourage someone to buy it.
There are several factors to consider when creating a cover, including fonts, colors, and images.
Unless you have training in graphic design, it’s worth it to hire a designer. An amateur-looking cover will make it very difficult to sell your book.
3. Write an attention-grabbing blurb.
Like the cover, the blurb you create for your book has the power to bring readers in or push them away. It’s essentially a sales pitch, which is why you need to make it as interesting as possible.
Your blurb should describe…
The tone of the story
The main character(s)
The hopeful possibility
…in just one or two paragraphs.
4. Determine which platform(s) to use.
Part of figuring out how to get your book published is deciding which platform to use when you opt to self-publish.
If your current focus is on the digital space, you’ll be happy to learn there are several options available, including Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Nook, etc.
Many authors find there are advantages to being exclusive to Amazon, while others prefer to have their book available on as many platforms as possible.
5. Perform in-depth keyword research.
When listing your book, you need to think about how potential readers will find it in searches. It’s important that you select keywords that are relevant to your book and likely to be searched.
With that said, you should perform some in-depth research before you list your book. Although it will take some time, it will be worth it in the long run.
Fortunately, there are plenty of free tools to help.
6. Format your book before uploading.
In addition to how your book looks on the outside, you also need to consider how it looks on the inside — specifically, how it’s formatted.
Don’t underestimate the importance of formatting, especially as a first-time author who’s choosing to self-publish!
If your text is inconsistent or just tough to read, many people will abandon your book almost immediately.
Formatting your book can be a time-consuming task, which is why you should look for useful tools or enlist outside help.
7. Use multiple methods of promoting your book.
Marketing is just another part of the publishing process, and it’s one you’ll need to take on if you release your book on your own.
To increase the likelihood of your book becoming a success, you should use multiple methods of promoting it.
Consider donating print copies (if available) to books and libraries
Offer a giveaway to readers
Get active on social media
Create an author website
Run paid ads on Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.
Reach out to book bloggers
Schedule a promotion with a reputable company
Figuring out how to get your book published can be a challenge. However, the information provided here should serve as a helpful guide.
Use these tips for publishing a book and getting your story out to those who want to read it!
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