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Basic tips for self publishing

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by Startacus Admin

As the title of this piece suggests these are basic tips.  If you are  a self publishing millionaire then you may find them a little beneath your current experience level (just a tad) however if you are a beginner, then hopefull they will help to get you started!

Choosing a subjectself publishing
It stands to reason that you can’t write a book if you do not have a subject in mind! It’s not rocket science, but it’s essential to work out first and foremost what type of book you are looking to write. Is it a fictional story? A How to Guide? A biography?

“I love it when a plan comes together!” Put it simply, there is little chance of you writing an amazing book if you simply sit down one day and start to write. Firstly try to work out sections or chapters of your book. Plan the story / plot / layout / structure of your book first. If you are aiming to write an informative or “How to Guide”, make sure firstly that you answer the subject of the book, and secondly that you cover all the basis that would mean that this is both a readable and informative guide.

Every book needs to go into pre-production. You either need to already be an expert in the subject that you are writing about, or else become one! Yes - this will also apply to fictional stories as well - as every location, character, and situation you write about, will need to be researched and visualised.

Choose a Title
It’s important to remember that unless you are a millionaire with unlimited funds available who is simply writing for a hobby, the likelihood is that you will have a pretty small budget for publishing but with high aspirations for sales. It’s essential then to ensure that your book can be found - after all, the reality is that your book will be one of perhaps thousands of books self published each week across the world. This is where the book’s title can really help or hinder you standing out. If your book is factual - make sure that it does what it says on the tin! For example if you book is about how to train a dog, perhaps just call it “How to Train your Dog”, rather than perhaps “Woof, talking to your Dog” or something similarly abstract. In terms of being ‘found’, by giving your book a rather dull but to the point name, you will increase the chances of someone searching online finding your book.

However, if you are writing a fictional book - coming up with an original and interesting title will possibly help in making your book stand out. If you book is about the tale of a dog and its owner, a title “A Story about a Dog and it’s Owner” is unlikely to stand out and shift millions of copies!

Designself publishing
Again, as we are assuming you have a small budget for the design and production of your book or ebook, you somehow need to make the production of your book, look both appealing and professional. Copying and pasting an image into Image is probably not going to cut it! However, consider how and who can help you produce a professional and appealing cover that will make your book stand out. Perhaps you have a friend who is a designer, or you could hunt around locally to find someone that could design your book for a low fee, or you could even advertise your requirement on a freelancer site to see who (potentially globally) could create a good over and at what cost.

Understanding the formatting options
Without going into massive detail at this point, it’s crucial to decide if you are planning to create and sell a physical book, or a book in an E-book format. Perhaps both! Either way, you need to work out the overall costs of publishing and selling a physical copy of your book and also the various ebook formats and platforms where you can sell your ebook. You can spend hours considering what are the best formats to publish your book in so we thought it only fair to highlight this pretty good article on understanding your self publishing options that might help you along the way. It proves that Amazon is not necessarily your only option.

Work out a Market Strategy
Again, surmising that you have little to no budget, you need to plan a marketing strategy that will firstly promote the book and then help you shift numbers. Bearing in mind, that the majority of self publishers will also be creating a ‘marketing strategy’, you really need to do more than the minimum to sell your book (unless you are really lucky and for some reason your book sales take off and you’re on the bestseller’s list before you know it!). Again this is a whole topic in itself, so this is a rather handy self publishing marketing resource that might help you along the way.

We hope these basic pointers on self publishing will at least point you in the right direction..and while we are on the case, if you are a writter then you might like to check out some of these recent posts:

Top Tips to overcome Writers Block
Becoming a self publisher- science fantasy novelist Ross Harrison shares his story

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Published on: 7th March 2013

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