Now that I’m officially a self – publishing guru author and Amazon best-seller it’s only a matter of time before I turn the dream of that being my full-time job into a reality. The more books I write, the more I’ll improve as a writer, the better I’ll get at marketing, self-publishing and all the many hats I’ve had to wear during 2020. I’m already making massive progress on my second book, growing my social media following and have met some extraordinary and talented individuals (who I couldn’t have got this far without) along my journey so far. Now people are messaging me asking me how I did it and wondering how they can be successful like me. Well success is relative and for me I haven’t even scratched the surface of success with my writing career.
One thing I am is always willing to do is to help others. So if you’re reading this and want to know how you can write and publish your very own book then I can’t give you all the answers, I’m still learning myself. What I can do though is tell you what I’ve learnt so far on self-publishing through Amazon which will give you a fantastic head start. If you have any questions I’ll do everything I can to answer them and if I can’t then I know plenty of fantastic Authors who can. So let’s dive straight into it…
The 6 steps to publishing success
- Write, write and write some more. In order to publish a book you need to establish a habit of writing. This may sound slightly obvious to you. But what I mean here is consistently. 1000 words down on the page every single day is much more effective than battering out 10,000 words one day. Then none for three weeks after. Make it part of your routine, whether that’s first thing in the morning like me (5:00am) or late at night. Find a time that suits you, when you’re at your creative best and make sure you write every day. 1000 words a day is 365,000 a year, the equivalent of 3 or 4 books!
- Editing is time consuming but essential. Just as you finish writing your fantastic novel, breathe a sigh of relief, type the words THE END. It’s anything but the end. This is when the real work begins, editing is a long and time consuming process. Get yourself on Reedsy find a professional editor. In fact find three who specialise in your genre and contact them all. Send them all an extract of your book (they’ll let you know what they require) and await their magical edit. Your extracts will all come back beautifully edited and from here you can choose who you feel is best suited to edit your book. Be aware as well there are various levels of editing; copy editing, proof reading and more. So your manuscript could be going back to the editor multiple times dependent on the level of work required here, and each time it’ll cost money. This however is money well spent as it will ensure your book is as professional as possible.
- Formatting is hellish. If I could do this part again, I wouldn’t do it at all. You can either spend hours and hours bouncing your laptop off a wall, grey hairs forming before your eyes, that’s if they don’t drop out, or pay someone to do it for you. Don’t get me wrong that’s not cheap but for me I would have saved myself a whole lot of stress. Word files need converting into PDF’s, EPUB’s and MOBI’s for uploads on to the various different selling sites. Pictures potentially need to be inserted into text without destroying the flow of the text and don’t get me started on orphans (these are paragraphs that get split and end up on a different pages at the end of a chapter). If you’re gifted with computers and editing and can afford Adobe Acrobat fill your boots. For me next time I’m paying a pro to do it for me. If you are a pro please form an orderly queue to do my second book.
- Uploading to Amazon is stressful. You’ve got your cover, your perfectly formatted text (in every file type required) and now to upload it. Firstly, you fill in all your bank details, set-up your account and you’re ready for the moment of truth. Then you attach the Interior text and the cover and now you get what can only be described as ‘the spinning wheel of death.’ A little message pops up saying this may take a few minutes, so you wait……. and wait….. and wait. You go and make a cup of tea, you clean the living room, you pace the floor, you decide to empty the bins (bin day isn’t for another 4 days) and still the wheel spins. You head out and do the weekly big shop, put it all away and head back to your laptop. There has been 21 errors on your manuscript, “nooooooooooooo..” This is normal, well it was for me. Be patient, breathe and prepare yourself. You will get there with it, it may take a while but have faith and re-read point number 4.
- Start learning about marketing now. If you want to self-publish and produce a book that actually sells copies then marketing is everything. Be under no illusions that you could do marketing full time as a job and still not have enough time for it. I’m fortunate that the more marketing I’ve done and the more I’ve learnt about it, the more I’ve enjoyed it. I recommend a couple of books that will set you on your way. Start with why by Simon Sinek and This is Marketing by Seth Godin were invaluable to me. Just make sure you dedicate time every single day to marketing and you’ll do well. This starts before your book is even written, there is no time like the present. If you want more info on marketing drop me an e-mail as I could talk for hours on the subject. firstname.lastname@example.org. Also have a look at another article I’ve written. How to write compelling copy.
- The writing community is incredible. I have never been a part of a community with such a helpful, kind, caring bunch of people in my life. If you need support, if you need cheering on, if you feel like this isn’t for you and you want to throw in the towel, someone is always there to help and pick you back up. The support I have gained through social media from the self-publishing community has been nothing short of amazing. I wish I could list all the many people who have helped me so far but I’d be here all day. If you decide to go ahead with writing your book, just know that you’ll have a massive amount of support from like-minded people and me of course!
I’ve got about another 20 points I could add to this list and I could massively expand on the 6 that are here but first I want to put it to you guys and ask the audience. Would you like to hear more? I could make this a regular part of my blog if it helps you guys. I am here to help you with self-publishing on Amazon.