Copyright Vicki Tyley (c)
Quote of the day:
"Laugh and the world laughs with you,
cry and you cry alone."
A lot has been said on this blog about self-publishing. Why, because it seems to be the way many authors are going, even those who have previously been published with a mainstream publisher - for many reasons. In fact, many writers like the independence of doing it themselves. However, trust me, it's a lot of work. And, marketing your own books takes you away from your writing. That's the biggest pain. Anyway, here area few tips that might help.
1. Publishing a book is easy. An e-Book is even easier. Everything can be done on a computer. Then, when it is print-ready, send it to a printer. However, I said 'print-ready'. Do your homework. Also, go for a POD (Print on demand) printer. It is much quicker.
2. I'd probably produce an e-Book first and test the waters. They sell much cheaper than paperbacks - 99 cents to whatever price you want. Then, when you are confident, go for both paperback and e-Book. Why not? E-Books have not taken over the world yet so have a foot in both camps. Don't forget. You cannot afford to miss out on the biggest market place in the world - WWW is gateway to the world.
3. Ask for a proof copy from the printer and go through it with a fine tooth comb to ensure that all looks fine - spelling, grammar, layout, formatting etc.
4. Marketing. Mm ... brace yourself. You must commit yourself. It takes lots of work and you must think laterally. You will be facing fierce competition from millions of others who also want their books to be a raving success. As a matter of interest, the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' trilogy was initially self-published, as were swags of authors who are now famous.
5. As you are well aware from many posts on this blog, many folks despise self-published authors. So, toughen up kids! Life's tough.
6. If you utilise the services of a marketing company or publicist, again do your homework. There are heaps of folks out there dying to take money from aspiring writers. So, it's your book. Take some pride in your work. Never, ever give it away to anyone who is about to rip you off.
7. Plan the entire project: cover, title, ISBN number, illustrations, the blurb etc. I'm a photographer, so I use my own photos. One advantage for me is that I can have a cover that actually relates to the story. Many covers do not. Trust me. I've spent many hours in a library checking exactly that and found the front cover illustrations were vaguely related to that which was written in the blurb.
8. What name will you be published under? Suggestion: keep it simple. Do not use a double-barrel name. Why? The easier the title and author's name, the easier perspective readers will remember you.
9. SEO - Search Engine Optimization. Making your name and titles easily picked up by search engines. Unfortunately, many authors make the mistake of using a title that has too many other products associated it with it. As a result, it gets buried in search results. What I do is invent titles and do a Google search. If you find nothing, or very little, go for it!
10. Don't be self-centred. Hook up with other writers and share ideas and information. I've done that with this blog and made some great friends.
11. Join a worthy organisation that promotes self-published authors and become involved - Indies. There are a few mentioned on this blog under the heading - 'My Favourite Sites'. One I recommend is IndiePENdents.org It's a proactive organisation that peer-reviews their own books and issues a seal. One of my books has just been awarded the seal of approval.
12. Start praying, do relaxation exercises, go for a walk, have a glass of wine and take time to chill out. You will need it.
13. Good luck.
Now, here are some other tips and comments from Goldie Alexander about her experiences ...
PUBLISHING “DESSI’S ROMANCE”
AS AN eBOOK AND NOT IN HARDCOPY.
Using only the ebook format for my latest YA novel: ‘DESSI’S ROMANCE’ was suggested by the publisher of www.indrabooks.com. He had already published “Body and Soul: Lilbet’s Romance” in 2003. I originally wrote both Lilbet’s and Dessi’s story as one novel, each section reflecting similar issues, each using the word ‘romance’ ironically. Lilbet’s story is set in 1938 and Dessi’s in present day ‘Schoolies Week’. Back then I took Lilbet’s story and fleshed it out to become one novel. Dessi’s story was left to idle for nearly ten years. But when Lilbet’s story was about to be republished under its new title as an ebook, it seemed an excellent idea to publish both.
The market for eBooks is not only thriving, it’s exploding. Electronic publishing has taken the power out of the hands of traditional publishers, though in my case www.indrabooks.com is very aware of current trends. Many authors are having more success with the electronic format than they could have ever imagined with traditional print. But there still remains the question of how to promote this new technology without prospective buyers being able to browse a shop’s bookshelves. How are we to convince youngsters with Apples and PC’s –many schools now make this technology obligatory – that they might like to pick up this YA novel on screen? Hence, here are some ideas we are currently using to promote ‘DESSI’S ROMANCE’:
1. Providing a brand new author website.
2. Providing easy links to my blog, facebook and twitter.
3. Creating re-usable talks to connect with all forms of social media.
4. Providing links to where the book can be bought in eBook formats
5. Ensuring that the eBook is available internationally
6. Utilising user friendly eFormatting and links
7. Being aware if the speed of YA blogger-reviewers and guest blog interviews
8. Placing the book on strategic reviews and recommended reading lists
9. Using curriculum links and teacher discussion notes
10. But best of all is to promote myself as the author of the title. This involves making guest appearances on related blogs, and submitting quality articles to ezines and directories, and providing advice on popular Q&A sites that include a link back to where my eBook can be purchased or downloaded.