I’m baking a cake tonight.
Last night I made a list of the ingredients I’ll need, checked I had the right baking tins and got my piping bags ready.
I wouldn’t start cracking the eggs in the bowl tonight without having done the preparation. If I did, I’d end up with a cake that’s flat, dry, and disappointing.
Self-publishing is a bit like this.
There are a few things you need to have in order before you start. Get your ducks in a row before you take the plunge into self-publishing, and you’ll find the whole process much easier to navigate.
Keep reading to find out 5 essential things you should have thought about before self-publishing your book.
Imagine if Krispy Kreme introduced a new and amazingly flavoured donut.
But didn’t tell anyone about it.
You went into the shop, browsed the menu, and went ahead and ordered your favourite flavour, the one you always buy. You had no idea that triple-chocolate-pecan-caramel-with-sprinkles flavour even existed. It’s not that you didn’t want to try it…
….you just didn’t know it was there.
It’s the same with your book.
You may make the mistake of thinking it’s enough just to have your book listed and for sale on Amazon. But unless you put in some effort to promote it, no one will know it’s there.
So how do you go about marketing your book?
Author Q&A with Peter Dudgeon
At Bespoke, we work with lots of amazing self-published authors. Have you ever wondered what inspires other authors like you to dedicate their time and energy to writing great fiction?
Peter Dudgeon is a part-time consultant, part-time writer, and full-time Stephen King fan. He has just published ‘Chance’, and has his next novel waiting in the wings. He talked to us about stopping writing fiction as a teenager, how his father’s death years later motivated him to start again, and how he often writes with his eyes closed…
Q. Peter, tell us about how you got into writing
As a teenager I had a ferocious reading appetite, devouring mainly Stephen King books; loving them. I dreamt of being able to write that well, of having an imagination strong enough to grip readers. So I wrote short stories, some weird, some ghoulish.
I recall writing a story about a man trapped in a disused amusement park with a homicidal maniac. I remember clearly a scene where the protagonist managed to get to his car. He had only a few moments before the maniac was upon him. His hands shook as he ‘fought the key into the lock.’ I remember the line clearly because I nervously shared my work, looking for feedback and was told that, “you don’t fight a key into a lock.”
I have a vision of an elegant lady, her dark hair styled in a vintage bob. She’s wearing cream pearls around her neck, and is perched at a mahogany desk with a silver fountain pen in her hand, a notepad balanced on her knee.
The desk lives in the Oval Office of the White House, and the lady is Jacqueline Kennedy – yes, before she was First Lady, Jackie O had a career as a book editor.
In this modern age of self-publishing, you may think you don’t need to use a book editor like Jacqueline, but what are the pros and cons of using one? Is an editor something you can do without, or is it a crucial step to publishing success?
Tap, tap, tap on the keyboard.
Last paragraph dissected, pen down, gulp of cold tea….
So, your book is finally finished. And now you have the not insignificant task of commissioning a cover to do all your hard work justice.
So where do you start?
We all know the saying ‘you should never judge a book by its cover’, but your cover is the first impression your prospective readers will get of your book. So how can you make it stand out and connect with your audience?
Here are 7 top tips to help your cover stand out from the crowd:
1. Employ a professional cover designer
Designing the cover yourself can look amateurish, and give a poor overall impression of the quality of your writing. It’s worth using a professional book cover designer to get a great final product and do your writing justice.
1. Set up a blog
These days you can start a blog for free with WordPress.com.
Commit some time each day to write posts on your blog. People who find your blog can interact with you and others through your blog comments system and you can quickly build a following this way.
set up an author blog with WordPress
Alternatively you can start a blog on a domain name (your name or a book name of yours) and host it on a web hosting service like Godaddy, Bluehost or any reliable hosting service. This option is preferable as you own the domain and site, and are not just using somebody else’s platform, as you would if you used WordPress.com