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Self-publishing Checklist: Things to consider before self-publishing

Anyone can self-publish a book. It takes a few days/weeks of writing the actual book, depending on the length; a few hours of research, some formatting, click upload and then away you go.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Yes, if that’s the way you want to do it. But to succeed in self-publishing you need to have a plan in place of how you are going to promote and market your book.

One book uploaded to Amazon with no kind of marketing plan of action will soon become obsolete. This is where a self-published author needs to become a marketer, designer, and a salesperson.

To succeed in self-publishing, you need to treat it as if you’re a small business owner. If you are an editor, copywriter or freelance writer like me, self-publishing can easily be incorporated into your business.

Before you publish your book, think about the kind of market you want to reach, your target market.

Who are they? This will depend entirely on genre, and the age range of your book. For example, if you write a children’s book it would be for children from 4 – 10 years old. A young adult book would be for teenagers and other children.

What else do your target readers read? Examine other books in your intended genre, look at the blurbs, covers, and prices.

Don’t assume that because you love your cover that other people will. Examine the covers of bestsellers in your chosen genre to get an idea of what yours should look like.

Is your blurb enticing enough? Is it priced correctly?

Just you think because you think your book is worth £9.99 doesn’t mean others will. Look at the prices of other books in your genre and price it accordingly.

This process means you need to detach yourself from your work and look at it objectively.

Being able to study your target market and package your book in the right way is only half of the challenge. Not every author can do this, that’s why traditional publishers have sales teams to do it for them.

The other half of the challenge is writing a great book!

What’s your book is ready for publication; the next thing you have to consider is how to turn a profit. Unless you’re a breakthrough success (which is about as likely as winning the lottery), one novel is extremely difficult to make a profit from.

After you’ve paid for editing, cover design and possibly formatting you might wonder if you’ll ever and that money back.

The best solution is to write more, whether it be novel or a novella, write another book.

The best things to do are:

  • Make your book the best it can be
  • Package your book for the right genre
  • Identify your target audience
  • Build your mailing list/author brand
  • Publish more work.

If you can do all those things, you can build up your brand and establish yourself as an independent author.

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