You’ve written your book. What next?
More writers are choosing to self-publish; we applaud those who do. However, before you abandon traditional or independent publishing, please consider a few essential points.
1. Write – publish – repeat
Unless you are in the 0.1% of authors whose debut novel is a bestseller, you won’t retire on the proceeds of your first book. Therefore, forget about that villa in Tuscany, new car or celebrity lifestyle. In fact, forget about marketing, sales figures, and royalties.
A valuable piece of advice for any aspiring author. Once you have finished your first novel, start writing your second. The more books you have, the more you will sell.
2. The best things in life are free
A favourite platitude, but untrue when it comes to self-publishing. Nobody wants to buy a book displaying a cover created with Microsoft Paint, and your mate who’s ‘pretty good’ on Photoshop won’t cut it either.
Friends and family will be happy to read your manuscript and maybe point out your mistakes. However, they are not professional editors and don’t have the knowledge or ability to give your work a polished finish.
Skill costs. You will need to invest if you want an accomplished creation.
3. The power of social media – truth or myth?
Today, every author is expected to have a social media presence. While Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook can help build a fan base, such platforms do little to increase sales for new authors.
Your book could be a bestseller but, if you don’t tell the world, it will remain obscure. Promotion and marketing are vital. To make social media work, you must harness the power of advertising. Spend your hours wisely. Writing the day’s best tweet or posting your latest selfie is engaging, however, learning about keywords, optimisation, and algorithms is crucial. Mould your ads into shape and use them to your benefit.
4. You need to be the town crier
To sell 1,000 copies of your book, you need to reach over 10,000 readers who are interested in your genre. That’s the easy part. The hard part is converting interest to buyers. Achieving this requires:
- A brilliant summary or description
- A standout book cover
- Reviews and more reviews
5. Who wants to be a millionaire?
Research indicates that the typical self-published novel sells fewer than 100 copies. Using £2.99 as the average price on Amazon (UK), earnings for an author from a self-published book – assuming a 70% royalty rate – would be approximately £210. Consequently, a 100,000-word novel will make less than half a penny per word.
Taking these figures into account, you have more chance of being struck by lightning than becoming a millionaire self-published author.
6. The great divide
The line between traditional, independent, and indie publishing can be blurred. Do your research. There are many vanity publishers operating who seek payment from an author before publishing their book.
Remember, traditional or independent publishing offers many benefits including editing, proofreading, promotion/marketing assistance, and cover design. Traditional publishing can also provide the author with an advance.
7. The choice is yours
Self-publishing can be quick, affordable, and satisfying. However, promotion and marketing are time-consuming and may prove difficult. Many authors jump in without understanding what challenges lie ahead. With a result of limited sales, the prospect can be daunting … the outlook, demoralising.
One final whisper
In today’s literary climate, authors must be entrepreneurs. As an independent publisher, we don’t pay advances, but we do offer a variety of aids to bring a manuscript to publishing standard. We also help to keep an author’s expectations realistic. We look for new talent and, unlike many publishers, accept unsolicited submissions.
For those choosing the self-publishing route, we offer a comprehensive range of services. Our professional editing and proofreading ensures a flowing manuscript and polished finish. We also champion promotion and marketing support. From cover design to blog tours through to book trailers, our solutions may assist.
(The choices shown below apply to writers who require help with self-publishing. Accepted authors receive a broad range of complimentary benefits as standard).