Last week I elaborated on some general points to consider when releasing your own title. Naturally, if you read through the list, you are aware of the possibility [that] there are more steps vital to successful publication than originally noted on my previous article.
However, in order for me to cover everything you should know it would take a book length manuscript not a weekly column to cover everything. So, I noted some key points to consider and offered some insight into approaching those steps. This week we will cover the second part to this particular article: the Post-Publication concepts.
One of the things many writers do when working to promote their present project is discuss the topic of that project with as many people as possible. Remember, unless you have a substantial amount of available income, you will be working on a limited budget, trying to at the very least break even.
In most cases, in the beginning (first year at least) you won’t. This is the trade-off for pursuing your dream. Being this is tax season it is apparent how much you actually spend towards promotional work in comparison to actual dollars made as a profit. But remember, you made this choice to self-release (hopefully) in spite of any riches but instead to see your dream become a reality.
As a recap, I mentioned some Pre-Publication concepts that must be considered and put into action when attempting to self-release your own title, things such as creating a business name, opening a business checking/savings account, etc.
The last step I mentioned—Begin or revamp your blog—actually flows into this Post-Publication plan. This portion of your self-publication process is the part that will continue on for the duration of your project. This is the marketing, research, follow-up, networking and promotional aspect of being a writer.
Some might say this is the actual process of being a writer. Many times people outside our little world view the promotional aspect of being a writer as the actual writing part. Naturally Hollywood plays a big part in creating this perspective and opinion of our career choice. But that isn’t true.
Getting to this phase is as big an accomplishment as the day you typed The End on your manuscript. But the work isn’t over. You will need to break down the barriers and walls that accompany the fear of speaking to others as willingly and as confidently as you did when you ignored the voices that said you can’t do this—and finished your book.
They say more people are scared to speak in front of a group of strangers than they are of anything else in the world. As a self-released author you will not have the convenience of hiding being that statement. You will have to find it within yourself to break the bonds of fear and learn each day, as you did when you wrote your novel, to overcome those mounds of adversity if you ever wish to see your dream become a reality. Here is a quick list of steps you can take once your novel is completed and ready for the mass market of readers.
Post weekly updates to your blog
Continuing with what you started in the Pre-Publication Phase now is the time to stop rambling and start targeting. Try to post an update to your progress on a weekly basis, sharing personal conquests and tips to help others. I have always been an advocate for giving back what is yours.
If you have a gift to write, research, network, then share that information with anyone you can. Don’t get caught up in the concept that if I help others they will surpass me. This is not a competition but collaboration. We are all artist trying to find our place in this literary world and in order to truly be successful you should help someone else and in turn others will help you. That has been the nature of my success thus far.
Submit review copies to professional readers
Being a self-published author it is sometimes hard to get national media exposure in the beginning. Remember, they are busy utilizing their contacts with major publishing houses to guarantee a readership and return.
This is not to say you can’t but you may wish to start smaller (for lack of a better word) in the beginning to help jump-start an interest in your book. One of the things I have done is contact people who post ritual blogs and articles based on book reviews. A simple query will go a long way, that plus a complimentary signed copy of your book.
Pitch them, ask them if they are interested and tell them how important their review is to you. Once they agree, mail them a copy immediately with a thank-you letter asking them (politely) to share their thoughts with their readership and possibly post that review on Amazon.com or whichever online storefront you will utilize to publicize your book.
Check back next Thursday for 5 more tips on marketing your self-published book.