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Whenever I tell people that I self-published my book, this is the usual response I receive:

"Really? But how?"

I have a literal notebook filled with things I want you to know at some point during your own writing journey, but I think this post is one of the most important. Why? Because writing a book is hard work. And I hate to say this, but...writing the book is the easy part.

It's okay. You can tell that pillar of fear that just popped up to step back down because no matter which way you decide to publish (traditionally or self), I'm going to help you out. Besides, you're a freaking rockstar for even thinking about writing and publishing a book!

So, are you ready to hear the top eight things I think you need to know before you self-publish? Then keep scrolling!

1) The marketing is all up to you. Again, tell the fear to back off. Yes, the marketing of your self-published book is 100% on your shoulders. When you avoid the traditional publishing route, for one reason or another, you miss out on the help of an agent/publisher guiding you throughout the marketing process. With that being said, it's nothing you can't handle! Especially with how effective social media is right now. Trust me when I say that you got this!

2) You might feel like you're not a "true" published author. I'm just going to put it out there right now: In the eyes of most traditional publishers, self-published authors are not viewed as successful published authors. Why? Because anyone can self-publish a book, and some books that are published within the self-publishing realm aren’t at their best potential. But! Some of us (ahem, like me and you!) work really, really hard to get our books at their highest potential before putting them on the market. With all of the work I spent getting my book at its best, there’s no way I’m going to let someone tell me I’m not a “real” published author, and you shouldn’t either!

3) It's more popular than you think. And it’s growing! Did you know that in 2016 there was 786,935 self-published books hit the market? That’s more than the entire population of Washington! As that number rises, so do the outlets of marketing for self-published books. There’s specific contests and awards, marketing hubs and groups, and places that will allow you to sell your book (Amazon, Kindle, iBooks, Nook - just to name a few!). They're even allowed in libraries now!

4) There are a ton of resources. Search “how to self-publish a book” and I guarantee you your mind will blow with the amount of information and resources available for self-published authors. If you’re looking for specific help, there’s books like Successful Self-Publishing, How to Self-Publish a Book on Amazon, and How to Self-Publish a Children’s Book. I’m being serious when I say you aren’t without help!

5) It's cheaper than you think. The only two things I spent money on from the time I wrote Chapter One of my book to the time I clicked “Publish” on Amazon was on my editor and the copyright to my book. I think both things are highly important, so I dished out the cash to do them. The only other thing you may considering hiring help for is your book cover, i.e. a graphic designer.

6) Your book is 100% real. Aside from the copyright of your work (which means you have exclusive rights to your book and no one can use any part of your work without your permission), your self-published book comes with a free ISBN when you publish through Amazon. You know what an ISBN is, right? ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number that uniquely identifies and validates your book (the number above bar codes on books). If that doesn't make a book "real", I don't know what does.

7) You can make money. You’ve heard of the series “Fifty Shades of Grey”, right? If you haven’t, do a quick Google search. Did you know E.L. James originally self-published “Fifty Shades of Grey”? Mhm. We may not all be E.L. James, but there’s definite money to be made in self-publishing. You just gotta work for it. ;)

8) It's hard work, but it's not as hard as it sounds. I’ll be the first to raise my hand if someone asks, “Do you ever fear you’re doing all this work and your book will never be successful?” Me me me! But you know what, I know with such certainty that this is what I’m meant to do. God gave me (and you) the gift of words for a reason! Sure, it’s hard work, but what isn’t? I’ll also be the first to raise my hand if someone asks, “Do you really, I mean really, love your job?” Me. Me. Me. Do you?

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1 comment

James Franklin said...

A few days ago I started to write my book based on a adventure story. I always like to read and write adventure books very much. Grace Point Publishing already offered me a contract to publish my book.