3 Self-Publishing Tips

By Karen Cioffi

With today’s over saturated and tight publishing market, it’s difficult to find even a small publisher for the manuscript you’ve slaved over. Many authors have taken the matter into their own hands and are going the self-publishing route. But, have vision! This can be a worthwhile venture…if you first know a couple of things:

  1. Self-publishing will usually cost you money

The-True-Cost-of-Self-Publishing-300x225If you choose a company that will print the book for you, such as print-on-demand, subsidy, or co-publishing companies, it will cost money. How much money will depend on the company you choose and which of the various services they offer that you buy into. And, there will be many services offered aside from printing your book: editing, cover design, copyright, distribution, press releases, promotion, and so on. Each of these additional services will cost you more money, although most of these companies do offer package deals. I know writers who have spent under a thousand dollars and others who have spent over five thousand dollars to publish their book.

While digital mediums, such as Smashwords, Lulu, and Amazon’s Kindle can cost next to nothing to publish, you need to know or learn marketing and work at it endlessly to sell through these avenues.

Selling books in general is a TOUGH business, but it’s tougher if you don’t have the support of a traditional publishing company behind you. So, be sure to hone your marketing skills.

  1. Join a critique group before actually publishing

You’ve decided you want your book published no matter what. Well, that’ fine, but before you start thinking about which company to use to self-publish, JOIN A CRITIQUE GROUP; it is essential. I do reviews, editing, and critiques, which requires reading a number of self-published books and manuscripts. What is evident in these stories is that many authors are unaware they need to have an edited, polished manuscript before they think of going the self-publishing route.Book-Publishing-Services-300x199

When choosing a critique group, be sure there are new and experienced (preferably published) writers as members, and it needs to focus on the genre you write in. In a critique group, you’ll quickly begin to see, through critiques of your work and that of the other members, how writing should be done. You’ll begin to spot grammatical and punctuation and storyline errors – you will begin to hone your craft. The group will help you polish your manuscript and you’ll be amazed at the difference.

  1. Self-Publishing Tools You’ll Need to Use

The above is just the tip of the self-publishing iceberg. Along with a critique group, you should:

  • Belong to a couple of writing groups
  • Work toward honing your craft (this includes reading books in the genre you write)
  • Take advantage of writing blogs, books, and conferences
  • Have your manuscript edited as a final insurance
  • Make sure the entire package, from cover, to interior design, to illustrations, is also up to standard.

Having your manuscript edited is always advisable as a final insurance. Often, the company you go with to self-publish will offer editing services. Just price it compared to hiring your own freelance editor.

All this will help you create a better quality book… one that you’ll be proud of.

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