Self-Publishing Facts That New Authors Must Know!

Today’s high tech world has made it easy for authors to publish their books. That’s why it’s important for new authors to equip themselves with certain self-publishing facts. The self-publishing industry has provided the unique opportunity to put your book in front of the eyes of millions of people. It’s an amazing opportunity to earn some extra money while sharing your knowledge with the world. The problem is that the self-publishing world is turbulent for those who are new to this journey. It can be downright brutal – so brutal that most people give up without ever getting their foot on the right path.

Here are some self-publishing facts that you need to know if you are planning to successfully navigate these shark-infested waters.

A Book is Only as Good as Its Editor

Professional editing is not optional – it’s a necessity! No writer, no matter how skilled, can write a perfect book. Editors will take your book from mediocre to magnificent! There are several levels of editing so you will need to understand that before you hire an editor. I wrote a detailed post describing these different levels of editing in detail.

In short, most new authors will need to start with a developmental editor. They check for consistency and flow. A mistake that I see far too often is that those who are new to the self-publishing world mistake proofreading for editing but these are two entirely different tasks. Proofreaders focus on technical issues grammar, punctuation, and spelling whereas editors are going to focus more on content.

My point is that hiring a professional editor is a necessary step if you want to successfully navigate the self-publishing world.

Books Are Judged by their Covers, This is a Self-Publishing Fact!

News flash! People do judge a book by its cover! Your book’s cover design is an essential part of its overall success. This is the first thing people will see so you want it to look professional. When done correctly, your book will be indistinguishable from books that are published by a major traditional publishing company. That’s how you achieve the highest level of success.

Don’t get me wrong. Your book’s cover is not the only requirement to publishing a professional quality book, but it is the first thing readers are going to see. So I highly encourage you to educate yourself on what it takes to design a great book cover. You will probably be better off to hire a professional.

Choosing the Right Distributor is Important

Print-on-demand is an important concept to understand. Traditional publishing requires numerous books to be printed and distributed, which is a huge investment. That’s why traditional publishers are so picky about who they sign. However, print-on-demand uses the latest technology to allow your book to be printed only when it’s ordered. This saves from having to invest huge amounts of money up-front.

Distributors are an important part of the decision so you should not just choose the first one you find. Take the time to do your homework. Kindle Direct Publishing is probably the most popular choice and for good reason. Amazon understands the book industry and has a stellar platform in place. Plus it costs you nothing to actually publish your book. IngramSpark is another good choice but keep in mind that it does cost you some money. But you’ll recover those costs on the back end.

Most First-Time Self-Published Authors Set Unrealistic Expectations

The digital revolution has made it possible for anyone to publish their book. The problem is that most people have a very unrealistic outlook on what success as a published author actually means. There are just so many books being published that your chances of landing on the New York Times Bestseller list is low. That should not be your goal as a self-published author. Your goal should be to rank high on Amazon’s list, which is not that unrealistic of a goal.

There are a lot of realistic goals that new self-published authors can set. One of your top goals is to become the bestseller within your book’s category on Amazon. Success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication and planning.

Marketing is a Never-Ending Job

The world is not just going to just magically find your book. You can write the most amazing book ever but that means nothing if no one reads it. Authors spend most of their time marketing. It takes up a huge chunk of our time and budget to effectively market our books. But it’s something that is absolutely necessary.

Book reviews and social media are going to be your two biggest draws. Be absolutely sure that you plan out your book promotions and have a strategy as you move forward. Also, remember that marketing is a never-ending job.

Writing tends to be a very solidary activity but authors are going to have to really push themselves to become socially active. Communicate with other writers and join in conversations. Never become isolated from the world.

Being a self-published author comes with many amazing perks but it can be quite an intimidating endeavor. Knowing these self-publishing facts will make your life so much easier.