Traditional publishing is rapidly giving way to self-publishing, also known as, independent publishing. For the author, independent publishing means total ownership of the entire project, larger royalties, and lots of responsibility for his own success. Guy Kawasaki compares writing, publishing, and marketing a book to beginning a business. If you are considering independently publishing a book, you will need lots of resources.
Here are the several of resources I have used and am using to publish my book.
MS Word: It is an awesome tool for writing and editing using the track changes and comments options. It shows edits by different people, like you and your editor, in different colored fonts and you can leave comment bubbles in the sidebar, also distinct for each person.
CreateSpace: It is the overwhelming choice of independent publishers because it provides additional author services along with basic self-publishing tools and is it highly rated by the Better Business Bureau.
Kindle Direct Publishing: Allows you to publish and market our book on Kindle, the largest e-reader service by far.
Author Central: Manages your information and books on Amazon.
Marketing is, perhaps, the greater task for writers, because writers are not usually motivated and skilled marketers. So, there is a significant learning curve.
The Nonfiction Writers’ Conference provided a wealth of information presented by speakers who specialize in different aspects of marketing. It was very reasonably-priced. I didn’t have to leave home and the presentations are recorded, so you don’t have to sit at your commuter for fifteen hours. It is where I began my serious study of book marketing. The organization that presents the conference, the Nonfiction Authors’ Association has other services, including free webinar presented several times a month.
Ape: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch is the bible for independent publishing. I love it and have referred to it countless times.
The Self-Publishers Guide to Book Marketing by Jamie Cawley is a small, but valuable book that is almost like a checklist or resource guide.
I have read several other valuable books, but these have been the most help so far.
To Do List
I took notes on all the webinars I listened to and on the books I read as I designed my marketing plan. Eventually, all of that resulted in a “To Do List.” Mine is something like this:
The webinar and books will guide you through doing these various marketing actions.
- Employ editor and complete content and copy edits
- Send the book out to a few like-minded writing friends to read over for further editing and comments.
- Employ a cover design artist and complete the design.
- Re-evaluate and focus my on-line presence and on-going writing.
- Decide on a subtitle (a very important piece of your marketing strategy).
- Write an author’s bio.
- Write a press release.
- Write an Amazon book description.
- Provide information for Amazon Author’s Central page.
- Modify website to promote book (landing page, media page, art work, links, etc.)
- Set up a Facebook Fan Page.
- Maximize social media effectiveness.
- Set up an email signature.
- Set up an email newsletter.
- Prepare video trailer(s).
- Set up Goodreads and Shelfari.
- Get business cards.
- Secure reviews and interviews.