Four Essential Steps to Publishing a Book
Authors don’t write in hopes of getting rich or becoming famous. Those are usually side-effects that go hand-in-hand with providing value to readers. In the past, it was difficult for writers to get their books published. Today, it’s actually easy. The challenge comes with actually getting readers to actually pick up your book and read it.
Publishing is an intimidating word for many people. There are so many platforms available today that the choice can become a cluttered, confusing mess. With that said, here are a few steps to get you started.
#1: Write a Book that Sells
The first step is to obviously write about an engaging topic that targets a specific type of reader. That target reader must be defined if you want your book to be successful. If you’re not sure what to write about, then you should start with your blog. Find a topic within your own blog to write about.
If you have already written a book, then you have to make sure that it’s of the highest quality. Hiring an editor is the first step to creating a book that sells. An editor transforms a good book into a potential bestseller.
#2: Understand the Basics of Publishing
Do your homework on the requirements of publishing a book before you make the attempt. One area where most beginners have trouble is setting up an ISBN. While many publishers offer a free ISBN option (which is fine for beginners), purchasing your own ISBN makes it much easier to switch publishers in the future. There are a lot of different other considerations like where you’re going to publishing your book and what types of book formats you want available – Kindle, Nook, Print, etc.
Actually, you can publish your book without spending a penny, but that’s not always a good idea. You should plan for editing and marketing of your book. Some publishing companies (usually print) will charge a small fee for publishing your book. Again, you can always publish without spending any money.
I highly recommend that you hire an expert editor and formatter to help create the highest quality book possible. Remember that the way a book is presented to a reader is just as important as its content. If your book has glaring editorial mistakes and is presented poorly, then it will actually hurt your credibility.
#4: Develop a Marketing Plan
Even if your plan doesn’t involve generating a lot of royalties from your book, you still need to have a marketing plan in place. How do you plan to promote it? Will you use Facebook, Twitter or some form of paid advertisement? What is your overall goal? Do you plan on earning most of your income through royalties or is the book going to be used as a tool to get people to sign up to an email list?
Write this stuff down. It’s important that you know exactly what you plan to do with your book so that you can market it accordingly. I could write a whole book on marketing so the entire process is well outside the scope of this book. With that said, here are some basic tips to help get you started.
1. Start Early: It’s never too soon to start making your audience aware of your book. If this is your first book and you haven’t built a following, then you should do that while you’re writing. It takes time to gain traction so start as soon as you can.
2. Build a Website: In today’s world, you must have a website. If you own a business, then you probably already have a website so you can just create a page based on your book. If not, then create a website based around you as an author as opposed to one about your book. So many beginners depend on Facebook to serve as their website. That’s a mistake. Your Facebook page should complement your website, not replace it.
3. Build an Email List: Email is still one of the most effective forms of marketing on the planet. If you’re really serious about getting your book out there, then you have to build an email list. Again, if you own a business then you probably already have an email list. Offer an incentive for people to sign up to an email list. One of the most common incentives is to offer a free eBook.
4. Make Good Use of Social Media: First of all, when dealing with social media, quality is much more important than quality. Posts should be entertaining. The easiest approach is to post as if you were speaking directly to your followers. Don’t overthink it. Social media is more about connecting with people rather than pitching your book. Once you get used to posting regularly, you can put a plan in place that mixes in some direct sales pitches.
5. Get Your Book Reviewed: This is the most important aspect of publishing on Amazon. You need to get reviews on your book within the first few weeks of it being released. Message reviewers and ask if they mind leaving reviews in exchange for a free copy of your book.
Setting goals before you publish your book is essential to its success. If you don’t have a plan in place, then the entire process will be confusing.