Book publishing has changed over the years. Earlier, agents had to be hired for approaching publishing companies and get your manuscripts approved for publication. With the advent of the digital era and self-publishing platforms, the problems experienced by you as an author have been alleviated to a great extent.
When you choose to self-publish a book, you no longer need the intervention of the traditional publishing house. Only on Amazon, Google Books or similar account is needed with a popular online publisher.
With all the hassles removed in the process of getting a book published, you now just need to follow a few fundamental steps.
Establish the objective of publishing the book, prepare your manuscript, seek reviews and feedbacks from authoritative literary persons, finalize the book’s title, get your manuscript edited and cover designed by a professional, and you are all set to go.
You need to open an account in Kindle Direct Publishing where your formatted book will be uploaded along with assets. Decide a suitable price for the book and self-publish your work.
When you would become an accomplished self-publishing author, you can confidently turn down offers from traditional publishers. You just need to take right strategic decisions which can land you significant benefits without wasting your precious time.
How Self-Publishing Differs From Traditional Publishing?
Anyone can self-publish on independent online platform without experiencing any obstacle. In traditional publishing, you are required to query different book publishers, get hold of a credible agent, and then have your manuscript published.
Cost of Self-Publishing Book
The production cost would depend on number of factors. These include:
- Book’s length which would matter when printing
- Hiring charges of professional editor and cover designer
- Amount spent on promotional activities
- Other incidental costs
Steps Involved In Self-Publishing
1) Focus on The Objective Of Publishing
You need to brainstorm over it to ensure that your commitment levels would not droop during writing the manuscript.
2) Work on Your Manuscript
Have a concrete writing process in place else you would feel spaced out in the absence of correct flow of ideas. You would start delaying the process and may finally abort.
3) Seek Feedbacks on Your Manuscript
For improving the writing quality and make the content more engaging, you need to collect feedback from others. This would help in polishing the final draft of the manuscript.
Your draft may appear appealing to you but may not make any sense to others. Also, the topic chosen by you may not be relevant to others particularly your targeted audiences. This can spell doom for countless hours you have invested on writing the book.
Independent review can help in detecting typo and grammatical errors. Also, the fresh perspective can help in spicing up your theme. As number of errors in the manuscript would be lesser, you have to pay lesser to the professional editor. You may also use Grammarly or other such online platform for proof-checking the content.
4) Select Appropriate Title
Once your initial draft is complete, choose the book’s title. If you select the title beforehand, you will start creating content in alignment with it which will dwarf your imagination. Keep the title simple. The title should convey what readers should expect after reading the content. This will increase the appetite of readers.
5) Seeks Professional Services of an Editor
When you publish a book, you want it to be a bestselling book which generates more revenue. For this, your content should be impeccable which can be assured by a professional editor. You can seek support of your acquaintances to identify a reliable and talented editor. When choosing an editor, go through his work portfolio and discuss your budget beforehand.
6) Create An Attractive Cover Design
If the cover of your book is engaging, it will facilitate more sales. Just by glancing at the cover design, readers make their mind about reading or discarding the book. The self-published book is judged by the cover. Professional designer should be hired to ensure that your front page cover should attract the target audience.
7) Open a Kindle Direct Self-Publishing Account
KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) is the self-publishing service of Amazon. Managing eBooks, audio books or paperbacks become easier with CreateSpace printing platform also which has been acquired by Amazon recently.
8) Start Formatting The Book
You can start formatting your manuscript freely with online tools. Formatting help is readily available on KDP forums. KDP also provides free resources. Since the process is tedious one, you can consider hiring a professional. Ensure that he is conversant with formatting different book genres.
Formatting differentiates fiction from non-fiction books. In fiction, indents are present for each paragraph whereas spaces are present in non-fiction book’s paragraphs.
9) Self-Publishing the Book
Once you are sure that the manuscript is blemish free, you need to upload the same in your KDP account. ‘Your Bookshelf’ on KDP’s main page will offer access to ‘Kindle eBook Actions’. From here, click ‘Edit eBook Content’ and then ‘Upload eBook Manuscript’ for uploading your content.
You can specify up to 7 relevant keywords to facilitate prospective readers to easily search your book on Amazon. For reaching out to more readers, list your eBook in a minimum of 2 categories on KDP. You can take inspiration for keywords from bestselling authors in your niche.
After file uploading is completed, you will receive a confirmation message from Amazon. You must preview the uploaded manuscript for tracking errors. Once you are satisfied, you need to create an Amazon author central account. Over here, you can put your photo, brief biography, and site link to facilitate readers to explore more about you.
Once you are ready, click on KDP dashboard’s ‘Save & Publish’.
10) Set A Price For Your eBook
You now need to determine the right price for your book. During launching period, keep the price tag at $0.99. Later, you can set it to $2.99. If demand is high, you can go on increasing the price by $1 every week till you reach $5.99. If sales start getting lesser at a particular price, the previous price should be the right price of your book.
Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing
Self-published authors exercise complete control over books’ rights. As book prices are low, authors can enjoy more profits. Authors can reach out to larger audiences by availing of the distribution facilities of Amazon as well as other online stores.
On the flip side, authors need to do all the work by themselves. These include purchasing ISBN, cover designing, text editing, listing with online distributors etc. Start-up expenses can be more if you have to hire the services of professional designers or editors. Revising content of hard copy can be costlier if unsold books are still left.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing
When your book is published by a renowned press, your work gets to enjoy credibility from the start. You get to enjoy a large distribution channel. Your book can feature in shelves of leading bookstores.
On the flip side, if your book doesn’t make it to the list of bestsellers, you may get a royalty of approx. $1 for every sold piece. The advance paid for your book averages in the range of $5000-$10000. Once the publisher earns that, it starts paying you royalty. You will not enjoy complete control over your book and may not be even allowed to sell eBooks by publisher.
Self-publishing definitely has a competitive advantage over traditional publishing. Why should you give up the rights to your book for earning peanuts for every piece that sells? If you invest the same amount of time and energy in self-publishing your book, you can earn rich dividends. Also, by availing support from reputed companies for ebook conversion, ensure that you can prepare your book for distribution through multiple online bookstores. Think judiciously before finalizing your act.