Before doing anything, you will need to create an author platform, a quality product, begin networking with authors in your genre (following them and interaction and supporting them), and then all you need to do is get your product in front of a few readers to start with. This can be as easy, or as hard, as you make it…so make it easy! There is a lot to learn in the beginning!
2/ Write a great story.
No matter what type of publishing you choose to do, this hold true. If you write a great story, it will sell no matter what. This is what a reader wants more than anything else.
3/ Write four-five books before you release your first, so you can release them in quick succession and use the momentum to your advantage when building your media presence as an author.
There is something massive to be said for quick releases. I did not do this in the beginning and wish I had. Just take a look at those authors releasing every couple of months!
4/ Begin networking with other authors as soon as you can.
You don’t need a book out to do this! We love aspiring authors because we were aspiring authors once.
5/ Begin building your platforms before you publish.
You can do as much or as little of this as you like. A landing website page with an email collection is a great idea as a minimum. Sending out newsletters is considered the gold standard of your author platform. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a good idea to have. You don’t need to do all of these at once, but can create them months apart (or not at all). Most authors gravitate towards a certain platform in time.
6/ Look at other authors in your genre. What are they doing?
What are their covers like, what’s the structure of their blurbs? And what are their books priced at? Look at their websites, what information do they have there? Follow a few of your favorites and see what their process is. When are they posting about releases, and what are they posting?
7/ Join author communities, sign up to author forums and self-publishing blogs.
In the early days this makes up for not having the support of a publisher. Go and find the answers yourself. The great thing about authors is they love to blog what they have learned (like me), and these resources can be super helpful.
Outsource to a developmental editor, one or two rounds with beta readers, a copy editor, one or two proofreaders, a formatter, a cover designer, and group of people who can go through the final manuscript before release and pick up any last typos.
9/ Your goal is to cultivate a loyal readership over time. Do not forget this!
In order to do this, and though you will be sorely tempted, you must not spam people. Provide meaningful content that will hold readers in the long term.
10/ Decide whether you want to go wide or with KDP select (kindle unlimited).
KDP select is currently where the money is at, and my personal feel is: if you do not have a large back list of books to sustain going wide, you are better to go KDP. Also, having five+ platforms to look after and tend to and do adverts for is a MUCH greater task than tending to one platform. However, there are many other reasons you may wish to go wide.
I hope these 10 tips help you on your self-publishing journey.
Kelly St. Clare
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