Congratulations on your decision to self-publish your own title! Trust me when I say it was a decision I know that did not come easily and if you are truly standing at this cross-roads in your literary career, then by now (I hope) you have done the homework.
You will need it and every bit of help you can collect along the way. Rule number one to successful self-publication is smart effective research with a good solid networking plan.
Remember, self-publication is one of many means to release your work into the wild world of literary arts. There was a time when many would say [that] should you choose to release your own title you are thereby hindering your ability to become a traditionally published author.
I think that argument is slowly losing its validity as even the more reputable publishing houses are realizing that if they only sit back and let the sharks fight for the scraps of the dying carcass, in the end they can potentially find a true hunter.
Remember, the publishing world is still a business and despite their love of books or readers or all things literary, the end result in any business is to effectively produce a marketable product and make money. So if you take on this project with a business attitude of selling your product whole-heartedly and marketing it in the same fashion as the major publishing houses, in the end you could be sitting back telling your story of how you began with an idea…that stemmed into a story…which ventured into a business plan to become your own marketing agent, salesperson, publicist and lastly—author.
That last bit and order might seem confusing, being that we are authors before publishers, right? Well, yes and no. We are authors who have to learn to tear down the reclusive habits of our literary ancestors if we wish to be effective independent publishers.
If you are an introvert, the process may be difficult. If you are outspoken, easy-going and hungry to meet more people and speak boldly about your project, then you are already ahead of your peers.
If you have reached the point where you are ready to try releasing your own title, then I hope by now you have at least completed your manuscript. It will be hard if not impossible to do anything with a title if you haven’t at least prepared a book-ready manuscript for potential print and release.
The same is true for traditional publishing. An agent will not proceed to work with you until you have what they refer to as the “book ready” manuscript; your book will need to be as polished and as perfect as possible. So without further ado, let’s proceed.
Looking back over the course of my two-year venture towards independently publishing my title Proud Souls, I can say that step number one would be to draw out a business plan towards publication, beginning with a Pre-Release Plan followed by a Post-Publication Plan.
The second phase is where you are actually doing the long-term publishing work—the long-term marketing and promotional aspect of selling and promoting your book.
For the next few weeks, I will focus on the Pre-Publication Plan. Remember, there are more steps critical to becoming successful. I will outline a few concepts I felt were important and critical in my early success and steps I (wish) I had not avoided early on.
To be continued…