More on self-publishing

Welcome back. As promised, here’s a bit more on self-publishing that I learned through the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA).

As with traditional publishing, the self-publishing process starts with writing and ends, more or less, when your book is sold.* However, what’s different now is the increased complexity, the numerous new options available to you, and the many new players involved.

Essential Steps in Self-Publishing

Note that I’ve numbered the steps below, but as you can imagine, self-publishing is not an exact, linear, step-by-step process. That’s why I’ve grouped together closely related tasks like writing and editing and design and formatting.

  1. Writing and editing. As any good guide to self-publishing will tell you, your book must be well written and well edited—and that, by the way, means more than just proofreading. To learn more about levels of the editing process, see Joel Friedlander’s excellent article, “What Every Self-Publisher Ought to Know About Editing.”
  2. Design and formatting. For insights into book design and formatting for both print and ebooks, two must-see sites are The Book Designer (a great website on self-publishing in general) and Beyond Paper Editing, a great place to get help with editing and formatting your ebook and learn more about e-book publishing.
  3. Cover art. Want your book to sell? Make sure it has a great cover. A great place for beginners to learn about this critical aspect of self-publishing is Cover Design Studio. Browse design templates for both fiction and nonfiction, read about the importance of color, graphics, and other design elements, and much more.
  4. Sales and distribution. Getting your book out to readers through Amazon, Kobo, Apple, and myriad other retailers and distributors can be complicated. For an excellent overview, I recommend Mark Levine’s The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. As the title suggests, the book also addresses publishing contracts, an important issue for self-publishers.

* A key activity that transcends everything above is marketing—creating the right book for the right audience, and then making that audience aware of it over time. So, as you explore the resources above and the websites I featured in my last post on self-publishing, make sure to keep marketing top of mind. And best of luck with your book!

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