Considerations for Authors Ready to Self-Publish - Guest Post


The self-publishing revolution has made it possible for anyone with the desire to publish to do so. Whether you’re interested in publishing a non-fiction how-to manual or a three hundred page epic fantasy novel, the considerations before doing so are the same.
What do you need to know before you publish?

1.     Are you really ready to publish? The first thing that any author should have before preparing to publish is a manuscript that is ready for the next step. The manuscript should be complete, and you should have self-edited it to the best of your ability. Does it make sense? Does it have a beginning, a middle, and an end? Does it convey the information or story that you intended it to?

2.     Find a beta reader. This is a person(s) who is NOT a family member or a friend, who regularly reads in the genre or works in the area you are writing about. This person should return your manuscript with constructive, useful criticisms that can make your story/information better. They do not edit for grammar, spelling, and syntax generally, but good ones can point out issues in these areas as well.

3.     Once you’ve collected your manuscript from the betas and have revised according to the feedback you feel is appropriate, the next step is to hire a professional editor to edit it. There are many different types of editors. Content editors will edit for story structure, character and world development, and plot holes, as well as story consistency. A copy editor will edit for spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and passive voice. A proofreader will edit for typos, grammar, and spelling. It is possible to hire an editor to do all three steps, or you can hire one or all of the steps separately. When searching for an editor, remember to research their work, talk to previous clients and work within your budget. Finding a student at the local university who is studying in these areas can also be a good way to get copy and proofreading services. Content edits should be performed by someone familiar with the process, and with the genre you write in.

4.     Once you have an edited manuscript, it’s time to do my favorite part! Hire a professional, affordable cover artist. If a custom cover is outside your budge there are hundreds of premade cover sales sites where the artists post general covers and will make standard changes to add your title, author name etc. Remember to research covers on the bestselling books in your genre to get an idea of what style of cover is selling best right now. You don’t always have to follow suit, but the research is good.

5.     Hire a formatter, or take a class to learn to format your own manuscripts. Easy to read formatting is a must for reading on digital devices.

6.     Join groups and start reading books that give you ideas how to market your book within your budget.

7.     Begin building a platform on social media. Interact with potential readers and get them excited about your upcoming release.

8.     Publish. You may choose to publish through Amazon exclusively or to publish on all the platforms like Google Play, Kobo and Barnes, and Noble. There are many arguments for and against each choice, so doing your research is the best way to make an informed decision.

As with any entrepreneurial enterprise, publishing will require time, effort and energy to make it successful. There is a significant amount of luck involved with publishing a book that becomes instantly popular, and it requires things like hitting the market at the right time, having exactly what readers and looking for, and getting word of mouth quickly. For most authors, the publishing game is a long and tireless effort. It takes decades, and many books, to build a readership that can propel you to financial success. However, by following the general steps above, you can be ahead of the game and make your book shine.

Author Bio:
Wife. Mother. Reading ninja. Food assassin. All-around goofball. Self-proclaimed nerd.
AR DeClerck writes romance novels from the comfort of her couch in her little house on the Mighty Mississippi. She spends her days wrangling kids and pets and her nights dreaming up plots for romance novels. She believes that love is the greatest adventure of them all.
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