My top ten tips for successful self-publishing

It’s time to upgrade my desktop computer; it’s getting on for eight years old now and I think it’s coped well. Whilst sorting through my documentation, and deleting anything that’s no longer relevant, I came across this. I think it’s useful so I’m posting here.

Here is a list of my top ten tips for a successful route to self-publishing.

  1. Shop around
    Take the time to find a good editor. Remember: “Good service, cheap, won’t be fast. Good service, fast, won’t be cheap. Fast service, cheap, won’t be good!”
  2. It’s never too late to learn
    Make sure you understand the different stages of professional editing (structural, copy-editing, proofreading) and where they fit in to the overall publishing process. Never assume that your manuscript is error-free; you’ll soon be eating humble pie!
  3. Patience is a virtue
    As with traditional publishing, self-publishing takes time. Do not rush it! Allow months rather than weeks, and do not impose too strict a deadline on yourself or your editor. Rushed work means sloppy work.
  4. Make your voice heard
    Be prepared to put some work in during the editing process. Be wary of editors who suggest rewriting large chunks of your text. The story belongs to you – not to the editor – and should be presented in your voice.
  5. Give the people what they want
    Publish your novel in both e-book and paperback formats, to appeal to both markets, but bear in mind that they do require two separate preparation processes.
  6. Look after the pennies…
    Do not expect to make a living, or retire, from the royalties you receive from self-published book sales. The reality is that you are likely to receive pence, rather than pounds, every time you sell a book, but these will add up over time.
  7. Don’t let ’em get to you
    Try to develop a thick(er) skin. Friends and family may have been kind about your creation, but the general public will be different, and there are always people who will give negative reviews, however good the story and whoever you are.
  8. Sell, sell, sell!
    Market your work as much as possible. Create a website and/or blog page, use social media, contact local newspapers/radio, relevant magazines, and give talks. Order a small stock of books to sell privately.
  9. Make sure the price is right
    Don’t price yourself out of the market; there is far too much competition. Work to the suggested retail price advised by your self-publishing provider.
  10. Reap the rewards
    Finally, sit back, relax, and reap the rewards from all your hard work. Ensure that your editor is on hand to update your source documents, or to make any amendments, if required.

Good luck! 🙂

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