Self-Publish Your Book for Profit

Tips To Writing, Publishing and Profiting with your Book

Self-Pubilshing for Profits
Get Your Book in the Hands of Readers!. Leslie Truex

You'd have to be living under a rock to not know about the turmoil of traditional publishing and the success of some highly talented self-publishers. Just as it has done to music, the digital age is changing how people read and providing opportunities for authors to make money self-publishing their books. Programs through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Smashwords and others are allowing writers to reach their readers directly.

No longer do they need to convince a publisher that there is a market for their book.

Like many new work-at-home opportunities, some people have developed programs that make it seem like you can find a profitable idea, write, publish and get rich in a day. However, a successful self-publisher like any home business owner, must focus on quality not on a quick buck. Here are tips on how you can profit from indie book publishing.

1) Decide what to write about. Do you have a paranormal story or the great American novel rattling around in your brain? Is there a topic you know a lot about or skill you excel at that you can teach to others? Many suggest writing what you know, which is a good idea. However, you can write about what interests you or what you'd like to know about as well.

2) Start writing. Many people want to write a book, but never actually start writing. Getting from page one to the last line in a manuscript is harder than you might expect.

A lack of time, creativity and motivation can get in the way. The best way to finish a book is to make time everyday to write. If you write 1,000 words a day, in 30 days you'll have 30,000 words. You can write 1,000 words in an hour if you know what you want to say.

3) Start building your writer's platform. Don't wait until your book is done and published to start telling people about it.

Now is the time to create interest and buzz about your book so that when it is published, there are people ready to buy it. Blogs or websites and social media are two great ways to start building your writer's platform. If you're writing non-fiction, you can blog about your topic. If you're writing fiction, talk about issues and ideas in your book. For example, if your book takes place in ancient Rome, blog about ancient Rome. Resist the urge to blog about writing. Your goal is to attract people who want to read about your topic, not other writers.

4) Hire an editor. Self-publishing doesn't cost a lot, but there are a few tasks that you should be willing to spend money on. One is an editor. No matter how many times you read your manuscript, you won't find all the errors. Neither will your friends and family. Because you want to make money, you can't afford to publish anything that isn't professionally put together. Typos and errors will result in bad reviews, which will in turn hurt your sales. The best way to find a good editor is by asking other self-published authors for a referral.

5) Decide what format(s) you'll publish in. Ebooks are very popular and easy to publish. But even in the case of ebooks you have to decide if you will publish to Kindle alone or to the other readers as well.

Print publishing through print-on-demand is affordable and there's nothing quite like holding your book in your hands. From there you need to decide what companies you want to work with to publish your book. Many are  free and some charge for additional services, such as editing and marketing help.

6) Get professional cover design. Covers play a crucial role in sales. It's the first thing readers see when deciding if they want to buy the book. Readers shy away from covers that don't look professional. There is a psychology to fonts, graphics and other aspects of cover design. You can hire a designer or buy and edit cover templates. Print covers are a little more difficult to design because their design depends on the size of the book, number of pages (spine width) and paper type.

7) Develop a marketing plan. You should already be building your platform, but you'll want to create a launch plan and ongoing marketing to make sales.

Like all marketing, you need to know who your target reader is, where he can be found, and the best way to entice him to check out your book.  Ideas include blog and podcast tours, sending press releases to local media, and continuing to blog and engage in social media.

8) Write your book description. This is the second thing readers look at to decide if they'll buy your book, so you need to make your description compelling. In non-fiction, you should let readers know what they'll get and how it will help them. In fiction, you need to write a blurb that is exciting and leaves the reader wanting to know what happens.

9) Publish your book. Format your book to the publisher's specifications. Each publisher provides information on what is required to use their system. There is no standard, so if you want your book in multiple places, you'll need to format for each publisher.

10) Market your book. In the traditional publishing world, your book has about a 6 month lifespan. But in the self-publishing world, your book lasts as long as you can reach and stay relevant to readers. So you should market every day following the plan you created in #7

11) Write your next book. Not very many authors make it on one book. So as soon as your first book is launched, get started on the next book. You can write a series, stick to a theme or do something completely different. Keeping close to your current book project, though will make it easy for readers to know about and buy your next book.

Self-publishing is no longer the ugly step-child of traditional publishing. If you can write a great story or quality content and find people to buy your book, you can make a livable income from writing. In fact, many self-published authors have gone on to get traditional book deals based on the success of their self-published books.