Self Publishing Guide
These days it isn’t enough to simply be an “author”; if you’re a published writer, you need to be a brand. Curiosity is inbuilt into the human psyche: readers and publishers alike want to know the person behind the writer, the personality behind the words. Fortunately, social media has made interaction the watchword and all of it ridiculously easy.
So what does the new author “platform” mean for you? Website, author profile and bio, newsletter or e-magazine, blog, vlog, podcasts, book trailers on video websites, your articles and articles about you or your work.
In the various components that assemble to make the online “you”, your website is by and large your greatest asset. All of the above can then be tied in to that simple space. Information on your books, their publication dates, where they can be purchased, press releases, critical reviews on your work and a link to your blog or it being in-built into the website. During radio or TV interviews, always ask for a copy that you can then embed onto your website. When interacting with your readers or anyone publicly, always mention your website as that core source of information about you. Your website can serve as the centralized location of everything about you in an electronic medium: set up a various social network identities: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, etc and tie them all into your main website. By launching your information on various social networking websites, it will shoot out your content to multiple sources rapidly.
If you are a self-help expert and have been contemplating writing a book for some time, stop contemplating and start doing. Countless writers “plan” to write a book someday, but the key thing to remember is that sooner rather than later you will need to translate that thought into action. Publication isn’t just a sense of self-worth, it also brings with it admiration from perfect strangers.
Here are ten reasons why you should become an author today, particularly if you are in the self-help or spiritual areas:
1. You gain a sense of recognition by industry experts by having your name on the cover.
2. The media industry loves self-help experts and often uses them every chance it gets.
3. You are upping your chances for speaking engagements through being a published author.
4. Income generation. Sure you might not be a millionaire, but you’ll definitely be generating more income than you were when you were “planning”.
5. High school reunions! That’s right—you can finally flaunt your success over the “lesser mortals”.
Writers tend to avoid wanting to publish their own books with the most common question being how the final manuscript will be distributed without the conventional network? It’s a natural question and results in a lot of wariness and raised eyebrows from writers. It often shocks them to discover that not only is promotion not the mountain they’ve made it out to be, it also pays incredibly well (you manage all your own profits, after all!). It is also one more rung to add to the ladder to success as an ‘expert writer’.
So how does one promote the final book? Guerilla marketing: intense and no-nonsense. Provided you have a market for your book and it’s been thoroughly vetted beforehand [free from spelling and typing errors, fact checked, etc], success is to be had. The best thing about self-publishing is its ease: there aren’t many [if at all] overheads from websites and you won’t be splitting the profits from anyone besides yourself. Besides, if you’ve already been published before, you’ll already have a reputation you can build from. But even if you don’t want to go through the hassle of buying your own domain, blogging tools like Wordpress and Blogger can help you get started write away.
So let’s dig into the how-to’s of getting your eBook out there.
Being a writer might seem like the ideal job: you are your own boss and you, for the most part, keep your own schedule. But there is a common affliction: the dreaded writer’s block. The block might not be in your mind though; rather, it could be the work space you’ve cultivated for writing. To counter that, there are a few techniques to ensure the thing never sets in to begin with.
The first thing you need to do, and this might sound easy, is create a distraction free workspace. If you’re unstructured, undisciplined and prone to a wandering mind, this might prove difficult since anything might set you off on another tangent. To counter that, make sure that you writing room or office is absolutely free of anything that serves as procrastinatory devices: electronic gadgets should be the first things to go. Loud artwork, books not related to your work, TV, non-necessary internet devices, radios, iPods, down to the clock that ticks on your desk should go.
Never be too comfortable when you’re writing or elect for writing on a bed or comfy couch because more often than not, you’re going to end up drifting off into a nap instead of writing. Writing shouldn’t be any different from a regular job: set a schedule and a dedicated work ethic and you’ll notice you’ve stopped wasting as much time as before. You can take breaks but make them constructive: have a snack, stretch out, maybe take a walk to re-energize your gray cells.
Book readings and signings have gained a terrible reputation over the years so when you do score a book event, the feelings of wariness are almost implicit. The thing about book events is that it’s all in the marketing to maximize attendance and exposure. So how do you do it? Read on.
In-store marketing is an oft-ignored aspect of book events which is ironic because it’s one of the most central ways to get people’s attention. There are two things you can do to help drive people to attend: book marks and bag stuffers.
Bookmarks can be cheap [to produce] and personal all at the same time. They may seem like a cliche, but people do love them. It’s something to hold onto, a representation of the event [particularly if you include the date and time] and will serve as a reminder.
Bag stuffers can be done up in your software of choice and bundled in with bookmarks. You might want to ask nearby stores [if the event is taking place at a mall, for instance] if they would mind hosting the fliers and bookmarks. In either case, you will still need to ask the hosting storeowner’s permission on whether if you provide them with marketing materials, will they be able to spread the word on your behalf. On most occasions they won’t mind: good marketing will bring in people which in turn will bring them into the store which means new customers which means more money. It’s one of the core reasons they agreed to host you!