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eight things you need to know before you self-publish a book
by Brandi Little
Whenever I tell people that I self-published my book, this is the usual response I receive:
“…Really? But how?”
I have a literal notebook filled with things I want you to know at some point during your own writing journey, but I think this post is one of the most important. Why? Because writing a book is hard work. And I hate to say this, but… writing the book is the easy part.
It’s okay. You can tell that pillar of fear that just popped up to step back down because no matter which way you decide to publish (traditionally or self), I’m going to help you out. Besides, you’re a freaking rockstar for even thinking about writing/publishing a book!
So are you ready to hear the top six things I think you need to know before you self-publish? Here we go!
1) The marketing is all up to you, girl. Again, tell the fear to back off. Yes, the marketing of your self-published book is all on your shoulders. When you avoid the traditional publishing route, you miss out on the help of an agent/publisher guiding you throughout the marketing process. With that being said, it’s nothing you can’t do on your own! Especially with how huge social media is right now. Trust me when I say that you got this!
2) You might feel like you’re not a “true” published author. I’m just going to put it out there right now: In the eyes of most traditional publishers, self-published authors are not viewed as published authors. Why? Because anyone can self-publish a book, and some books that are published within the self-publishing realm aren’t at their best potential. But! Some of us (ahem, like me and you!) work really, really hard to get our books at their highest potential before putting them on the market. With all of the work I spent getting my book at its best, there’s no way I’m going to let someone tell me I’m not a “real” published author, and you shouldn’t either!
3) It’s more popular than you think. And it’s growing! Did you know that in 2016 there was 786,935 self-published books hit the market? That’s more than the entire population of Washington! As that number rises, so do the outlets of marketing for self-published books. There’s specific contests and awards, marketing hubs and groups, and places that will allow you to sell your book (Amazon, Kindle, iBooks - just to name a few!).
4) There’s a ton of resources. Search “how to self-publish a book” and I guarantee you your mind will blow with the amount of information and resources available for self-published authors. If you’re looking for specific help, there’s books like Successful Self-Publishing, How to Self-Publish a Book on Amazon, and How to Self-Publish a Children’s Book. I’m being serious when I say you aren’t without help!
5) It’s cheaper than you may think. The only two things I spent money on from the time I wrote Chapter One of my book to the time I clicked “Publish” on Amazon was on my editor and the copyright to my book. I think both things are highly important, so I dished out the cash to do them (and that’s coming from someone who freelance edits on the side!). That’s it!
6) Your book is considered 100% real. Aside from the copyright of your work (which means you have exclusive rights to your book and no one can use any part of your work without your permission), your self-published book comes with a free ISBN when you publish through Amazon. You know what an ISBN is, right? ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number that uniquely identifies validates your book. That’s straight from the ISBN Agency, yo.
7) You can make money. You’ve heard of the series “Fifty Shades of Grey”, right? If you haven’t, do a quick Google search. Did you know E.L. James self-published “Fifty Shades of Grey”? Mhm. We may not all be E.L. James, but there’s definite money to be made in self-publishing. You just gotta work for it. ;)
8) It’s hard work, but it’s not as hard as it sounds. I’ll be the first to raise my hand if someone asks, “Do you ever fear you’re doing all this work and your book will never be successful?” Me me me! But you know what, I know with such certainty that this is what I’m meant to do. God gave me (and you) the gift of words for a reason! Sure, it’s hard work, but what isn’t? I’ll also be the first to raise my hand if someone asks, “Do you really, I mean really, love your job?” Me. Me. Me. Do you?
“Your only limit is you.”
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