Monday, March 10, 2014

Self-Publishing Tidbits That Pack a Punch

If there's one thing I've learned in the last two months of preparation for the upcoming release of VIOLET STORM, it's that self-publishing done right is no easy endeavor. But it sure is fun... :) 

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:
  1. 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...
  2. Beta Readers: Get your book in the hands of beta readers for early reviews
  3. Book Cover: Hire a cover artist and a designer to do your typography (unless your artist can do both)
  4. Book Description: Get your book description right! (Hire someone or keep revising it until it's perfect) 
  5. Other Tasks: Create your author bio, copyright verbiage, and future novel info (dedication, acknowledgement, and others things) prepped to include in the book
  6. 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.  
  7. Network: All the while you're getting the above done, work on building your network, your platform, and generating buzz for your upcoming release
  8. 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
Only three weeks until VIOLET STORM is available for purchase in digital format and paperback!

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!

xo,


    10 comments:

    1. I just read a post from Natalie Whipple about this today too! Here it is, if you'd like to check it out as well: http://betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com/2014/03/indie-publishing-numbers-to-get-you.html

      I had no idea that much work was involved, such as the formatting for each different retailer. I thought you'd just upload it or something and they'd do the rest. Scary! At least for me anyway, b/c me and technology are quite often on rocky terms. =) But you got this, girl!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Thanks for the link referral, Leandra! Sounds like Natalie Whipple has a lot of great tidbits to add to the list. :) And from what you mentioned, it sounds like you have been through the trenches yourself! I'll have to check out your work.

        I think you make a great point about formatting. I too am worried about how everything will translate across the various platforms :/ Do you use Scrivener? That's what I'm currently using and it does take some finesse to get it to spit out the formatting just right. Thanks again for the encouragement!

        Delete
    2. You have a great list here! I'm trying to think of what else to add--probably start a list of emails for people blogs you can reach out to when you have information you want to spread (cover reveals, haha! Or releases). That list is utterly invaluable to me at this point :)

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Thanks Meradeth! I will certainly add that to my list. Thanks for stopping by! Congrats again with the new book release of Surrender the Sky! :)

        Delete
    3. I've never self-published, but that's a great check list. Cover art is so important, because there are people like me who do still judge a book by its cover.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Thanks for stopping by Alex! I agree, I too judge a book by it's cover. With so little time to peruse the long list of titles out there, a cover is vital to catching a reader's eye.

        Delete
    4. Oh good Lord, what a list!! This is one of the reasons I'm working on getting published traditionally, instead of self-publishing: I want to minimize my to-do list! I really admire you for going for it, and doing all of this work. I know it'll pay off.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Hi Liz! Thanks for the stopping by. I tried going the traditional route with my first book, but it hadn't panned out. A part of me feels unable to move on to focus entirely on my next book until this one is completely off my plate. :) Thanks for the encouragement, and it's nice to "meet" you!

        Delete
    5. Anna, what a great list and very generous of you to share with us not-there-yet types. I feel like the whole idea of self-pub is just daunting but I read it all anyway, knowing someday this may be the path I choose. I can't wait to see the finished product!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. It is quite daunting! It still shocks me, and I try really hard not to look at the full project, but rather each tiny step. Makes it so much easier to swallow, and calm the nerves. :) Thanks for the continued support, Julie! :)

        Delete

    I love comments! Shoot me a message below!

    ShareThis