I read two brilliant blogs today that really solidified this truth, Anne R. Allen's, "Are you Ignoring This Simple Platform-Building Too? How to Comment on a Blog" and YA Author, Elan Johnson's "Secrets of a Self-Publisher."
I've got a list two pages long on how to launch a self-published book and how to build your platform. The past few weeks, I've been plugging away, making dents here and there on this absurd list, and along the way I'm still learning more. The truth is, there's not enough time in the day to do all that we wish to do. But for what we can do, we should do smartly. To publish independently means one must do all the work a traditional publisher would. I personally want a piece of work to be completed and presentable in a way that my readers would not have guessed it was independently published.
I'd be happy to share my full list of lessons learned post-launch, but so far, here's what stands out:
- Edit. Edit. Edit. Think your novel is ready to upload on Amazon for sale? Not just yet, get your novel professionally edited and then get it proof-read. Yep...
- Beta Readers: Get your book in the hands of beta readers for early reviews
- Book Cover: Hire a cover artist and a designer to do your typography (unless your artist can do both)
- Book Description: Get your book description right! (Hire someone or keep revising it until it's perfect)
- Other Tasks: Create your author bio, copyright verbiage, and future novel info (dedication, acknowledgement, and others things) prepped to include in the book
- ISBN's: Purchase ISBN's and barcodes. It took me a while to figure it out, but you need an ISBN for different formats of your work (ebook & paperback). You will also need to purchase barcode for your paperback.
- Network: All the while you're getting the above done, work on building your network, your platform, and generating buzz for your upcoming release
- Tax: Consider a tax planning strategy
- If you work full-time doing something else other than writing (like me), you'll want to consider the best ways to file your taxes so that you don't end up with a nice surprise from the IRS. I suggest talking with your tax adviser and know what financial records you'll need to keep track of
I am so giddy I feel nauseous. Thanks again to everyone for all of your support.
Fellow authors, let me know if there is anything you would add to the list above!