Traditionally, publishers like HarperCollins and Penguin have always reigned supreme in the domain of publishing books. Thanks to the power of the internet, though, self-publishing your fiction novel is now easier than ever before. Who needs publishers, anyway? They’re middlemen who will take royalties from your book.
Before you get too optimistic, remember that self-publishing is no walk in the park either. If you’re about to begin your journey to self-publish your novel, you likely have no idea where to begin. You’ll learn what you need to self-publish your fiction novel in this blog. Let’s get down to brass tacks, then!
Be Patient and Have No Ego
Self-publishing is like freelancing; you have to do everything yourself. Publishing a book requires an excruciating amount of effort, and that’s why publishers charge you exorbitant prices. When self-publishing, expect a lot of obstacles along the way. Just don’t be disheartened at every turn.
It’s not all gloom and doom, though. You can hire freelancers who can design your book cover, provide editorial services, and help you advertise your book on social media. Although this will reduce your workload, you must continuously supervise their work, like a manager. More importantly, freelancers are human beings at the end of the day, so expect that there will be some mistakes.
Riding this learning curve is challenging, and you need to be patient with how things work in this business. You’ll be surprised how far this resilience will take you. Another thing to steer clear of is your ego – be willing to listen to good and bad feedback and learn from it.
Have a Clear Goal in Mind
Before you do anything else, ask yourself: “What is my goal?” It would help if you had a clear idea of what you want from this process. Do you want the freedom and independence that comes with self-publishing, or do you want your book to be read by as many people as possible regardless? Once you’ve figured this out, everything becomes much more manageable.
As a rule of thumb, you should have at least ten valid reasons why you want to self-publish your novel. These reasons will help you build a concrete plan of action that aligns with what you want to accomplish. Not only that, but this brainstorming process helps you discover whether you’re 100% committed to this arduous journey.
Look for critical feedback
Here’s a bitter pill to swallow – every success story starts with troubles and pain. If you want your self-published novel to be a grand success, actively seek critical feedback. Just make sure the feedback is constructive and will help you perfect the novel.
First, you will need some beta readers who can read through your manuscript and provide feedback before it goes live. It’s best to build a list of folks of different age groups, professions, and reading levels. Doing this will give you a good cross-section of feedback that can help you improve your manuscript.
Apart from that, you can join an online writer’s group where you’ll get specific and directed support, feedback, and advice as you work on your self-published novel. Plus, it’s also an excellent opportunity to meet other authors and learn from their experiences. You can also attend writing conferences, where you’ll find tons of agents, editors, and publishers that can help you jumpstart your career as an author!
Time for some action
Getting professional editing services is a must if you want to self-publish your novel. This will ensure it’s free of typos and grammatical errors, and two heads are always better than one. Consider hiring an editor with experience working on fiction novels so they can help you polish your work to perfection.
It would also help if you had a fantastic book description and author bio, and these would go on to your website, social media pages, and other marketing channels. It’s a brief introduction of who you are and what your book is all about. Make sure to keep it short but intriguing – something that makes your audience immediately want to read your novel!
Next up – the book cover. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is! It’s the first thing your readers will see when they come across your work. If the cover is bland, no one would want to pick up your book in the first place. Therefore, creating an eye-catching book cover is crucial. Consider getting help from a professional book cover maker with relevant experience. Alternatively, you can also scroll through and try these awesome customizable book cover templates.
Choose the Right Platform
There are several different self-publishing platforms to choose from, but not all are created equal. You’ll need to research and find the best one for you. For example, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is an excellent choice if your goal is to sell books on Amazon.com and make money from royalties. You can also look into other platforms like Smashwords or Lulu Press if KDP doesn’t work for you.
Some self-publishing platforms will allow you to create both an e-book and paperback version of your novel, and I recommend having both because it will enable you to reach a wider audience. Needless to say, it gives readers the option of choosing the format they prefer. Even if you think a paperback isn’t necessary, it’s still advisable to have it for book signings and other events.
Fine-tune the details
Having a website is essential for any self-published author. This is where you’ll showcase your work, provide information about yourself and your books, and connect with readers. It’s also a great way to get your name out there and establish yourself as an authority in the writing community.
Apart from that, a professional email address is a must-have too. This is where your audience will reach you. Your readers will have confidence when buying your book if your email sounds professional. It also helps you appear serious about what you do.
The next step is to harness the power of social media. Without it, your book can’t be a grand success. The best platforms to advertise your book are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. If you think it’s worth it, you can also run paid promotional campaigns, which will help in expanding your reach.
When creating posts on social media advertising your book, engage your audience. Instead of writing walls of text that the audience won’t read, consider posting colorful flyers about your book launch. Every social media platform works differently, and I think Instagram is an excellent platform for aspiring authors. Check out these Instagram post templates you can use to make your promotion stand out!
Self-publishing a novel can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s not without challenges. Every author’s journey is different, so there’s no one correct answer to what you should or should not do. But with the proper planning and execution, your dream of becoming a published author can come true.
At the end of the day, self-publishing is a mixture of perfecting your craft as a novelist, getting the right people on board, choosing the right platform for your fiction novel, and using social media and other marketing channels to advertise your book. Each aspect needs to be tailored to your specific needs.