Over the past year I’ve come to realize there’s a million and three things you need to do before you can actually publish your first book. I had an idea this might be the case but what I didn’t know is there’s a certain order they should be done in to make the process more smooth and less stressful. Over the next seven weeks, I’m going to share my advice on how to go about these steps in the correct order, because when I went through the process… I did not. Hey, this is my first book, I was bound to make mistakes. Live and learn, right?
Anyway, to give you an idea what to expect, and which weeks to skip if you want, here’s the plan:
Feb 7: Write the dang book. Nothing can happen until you have a complete book. This may seem obvious but trust me, when you’re all excited about the possibilities it’s easy to get carried away and run that cart right out in front of the horse before your book is really done. I’ll tell you about how this simple first step went so horribly wrong for me and tips to avoid making the same mistake yourself.
Feb 14: Spread the love, feel the love. It’s Valentine’s day so get out there and make some friends, in other words, build your Author platform: Twitter, Facebook, Blog, etc. There’s lots of ways to spread the love. I’ll show you how sending out love to your fellow writers not only helps them but you too.
Feb 21: Critique partners and Beta readers. The unsung heroes of the writer’s world. Sure, you don’t need them, but you don’t need great tasting food either. You could just eat nutritious cardboard and survive, but you wouldn’t be your best. Critique partners and beta readers help you make your novel be it’s best. Use them! I’ll show you how.
Feb 28: What’s in a name? Trade name, imprint name, or publishing house. They’re called different things in different places, but if you want to publish yourself and you don’t want to just use your own name, you’re gonna have to call your business something.
Mar 7: Keep your money where it belongs, a business bank account. Because when tax time comes around you don’t want to explain why you paid for your business expenses and Starbucks from the same account. They’re not both write-offs, trust me.
Mar 14: Hiring the professionals: editors and designers. If you think you can do it yourself, you’re wrong. Well, you can but it will probably end up looking like a kindergartner did it. I’ll give you the straight, painful truth about why you need a professional and tips to keep it from costing you a fortune. You can thank me later.
Mar 21: ISBN… what? Every book you make needs its own number. I’ll explain what is and how to get one. That is; one for the eBook version, one for the hard copy version, one for the paperback… Yeah, there’s a few.
By the time we hit the end of March I hope to bring more content by having figured out Marketing, Promotion, Advertising, and the various publishing platforms (like Amazon, Draft2Digital, etc.) as well as dipping my toes into brick and mortars like Barnes and Noble and even Libraries. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, what parts of the self-publishing process would you like me to blog about? what parts did you go through that surprised you? let me know in the comments and maybe I’ll blog about it in a future post.
Happy reading/writing. 🙂