Self-Publishing A Book? See This First!!!


If you’ve ever thought about self-publishing a book, you’re welcome to this blog post.

There was a time when to become an author, you had to have an agent, who would then sell your book to a traditional publisher, who would eventually release your book.

The process would typically take up to three years; a year and a half for your book to be published after it had been from the agent. And that’s after you’d have spent about the same amount of time trying to get an agent.

Then, self-publishing came along and people began to release books virtually overnight.

The problem with this is that some authors end up publishing a book that nobody wants.

The purpose of this blog post is to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.

So, you’ll find out in four steps what you need to sort out if you’re serious about self-publishing a book.

1) Reasons

Why do you really want out of self-publishing a book? Why this route?

Some people choose this because they’re unable to land a traditional publishing deal, or they don’t know about co-publishing deals where an author collaborates with a publisher to produce and market the book.

Some authors take this option of self-publishing a book because they want full control and profits.

Some go down this route cos they believe self-publishing a book will be cheaper.

Whatever the case, you need to be honest with yourself about the reason you’re going down the route of self-publishing a book.

But even before then, why have you written the book you’ll be self-publishing?

Cos the truth is that some books have no business being written just as there are some that really should not be published.

2) Processes

When you’re clear about why you’ll be self-publishing a book, you also need to be clear on the processes involved.

When you’re done with the actual writing of the book, it needs to be ruthlessly edited by a professional – unless you want to end up struggling to sell your book after publishing.

You also need to bear in mind, when you’re self-publishing a book, that there are different kinds of editing.

And your book needs them all – preview (some call this manuscript critiquing), line editing, copy editing, and proofreading – before you can honestly say you’re ready for it to be seen by a paying audience.

The day after you finish your first draft or complete NaNoWriMo is not the day to publish it.

Then, depending on the format(s) in which you’ve decided to make your book available, you may need to format it or typset it.

So if you’re self-publishing a book in print, there’s an industry standard you absolutely have to adopt for your book.

You also need to choose the appropriate print size when self-publishing a book.

If you’re self-publishing a book in eBook format, there are standards to ensure the appearance is uniform whether it’ll be read on a Kindle or a EPUB reader.

And best believe that if it appears wonky, readers will complain. Bitterly, too.

Cover design
Even if you’re trying to save money when you’re self-publishing a book, please resist the temptation to knock out something from Canva.

Or Photoshop.

It will not end in praise for you.

Your book cover is one of the first things your target audience will see.

And if it doesn’t look like it belongs on the same shelf as other traditionally or co-published books in that genre, yet stand out enough to draw attention, that’s a lost sale.

Nobody will care that you may not have had the same funds as traditional publishers or co-publishers before self-publishing a book; if anything, they’ll see your book cover as an indicator of what your book looks like inside.

So, it’s imperative that your book cover is done by a professional cover designer who has actually designed book covers before.

Book Titling & Description
Your book title and your book description (the blurb at the back that tells a reader what the book is about), both need to be strong, descriptive and enticing enough to grab the attention of your target audience and make them want to read it.

ISBN Acquisition
If you’re self-publishing a book that you plan will be sold online and in physical stores, or will be held at libraries, it has to have ISBN.

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number and how many you need, depends on how many different formats your book is to be made available in.

So, ISBN for a paperback is different from that for a hardback, is different from that for an EPUB, is different from one for Kindle.

Because they’re technically not the same product, even if they have the same title.

How and where you actually acquire ISBNs when self-publishing a book, will depend on the laws of the country where you reside.

When you’re self-publishing a book, you do have to actually publish it – whether it’s in print, online, audiobook format or all three.

3) Platforms

When self-publishing a book, you need to be aware and take advantage of platforms.

On what platforms will your book be made available for your audience to buy?

Who will be your partners and collaborators when you’re marketing? Cos if you’re thinking of self-publishing a book without a definitive marketing plan, it won’t sell.

Marketing isn’t putting your book on Amazon or Okadabooks; that’s distribution.

Marketing is showing your target audience why they need what you’re selling, then how and where to get theirs.

Which you absolutely have to do if you’re self-publishing a book.

Have you figured out what your author brand is and what platforms enhance that brand?

It was after my second book was released, that I realised what the author brand (statement) for Chioma Nnani is.

And that’s she writes multicultural fiction for women aged 18+ who want to be strong, independent and fulfilled.

If you’re planning on self-publishing a book but are yet to figure out your author brand, complete the form below, before you check out the last point.

4) Cost

When self-publishing a book, you’re likely funding it all yourself.

And contrary to misconceptions in certain quarters, you cannot do it for free – unless you want to be the author of a poorly-produced book that nobody wants.

So, you need to be aware of the costs you’ll definitely incur when self-publishing a book.

Editors, cover designers and marketing cost money. While they don’t have to cost an arm, a leg and a rib, good ones will not normally be dirt-cheap.

If they cost cheap to nothing, double-check that they’re not amateurs who will make you regret (hiring them when) self-publishing a book.

Another cost you need to be aware of is the one your readers will pay for your book.

Some authors who have gone down the route of self-publishing a book have succumbed to the pressure of pricing their book lower than others in their genre, or even making it free.

But I’m doing it for cheap isn’t always a good strategy to get the right customers.

And if you’ve done all the groundwork you were supposed to with self-publishing a book, why wouldn’t you try to at least recoup your expenses?

If you haven’t done so already, make sure you register on the free training below to find out the five things you should know before you write and publish a book.

Now that you’ve come to the end of the post, did you find out anything new or surprising about self-publishing a book? Let us know in the comment section below.

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