I’m constantly learning and revising everything I do. Sometimes it’s to strengthen existing knowledge and skills, and other times it’s because new things come out.
When I decided to self publish, I didn’t know where to start. I wrote this blog series reflecting on what I did. I hope my process provides others with an outline to get started.
With self publishing you do it your way, so if you want to do it different to me then you can. That’s the beauty of self publishing, you are in control of it all. Equally as empowering as that is, it can also be very daunting when you’re starting out.
Step 1 – Write Your Novel
My process starts right at the beginning with a blank page! I’ve included links to useful guides to help you writing the first draft.
Once you have the cover, start marketing your book. Don’t wait until it’s published to start marketing.
Fun things to do, are a cover reveal to drum up interest. Here’s a post going into more detail on how I did my cover reveal including tips on creating digital bookstagram pics for promoting your book.
You can also have a preorder period so people don’t have to wait until the release date to buy and can order it right away! These purchases won’t be counted until release day, boosting your release day sales.
I learnt a lot about marketing my book from author Pagan Malcolm and did the Storyseller Academy course that covers a lot of ways to promote your book and how to change your mindset.
If you want to do it yourself, you might find it useful to check out Brittany Wang’s YouTube video showing where to get a free template and how to edit it.
Alternatively, you can use the tools provided by your chosen distributor to turn your manuscript into a book. I believe Amazon, D2D, and Ingram Sparks offer these tools for free.
Big mistake I made was skipping this step. I uploaded my files to Ingram and then one of my ARC readers (author Cassidy Reyne) let me know where I’d missed some typos. 😱
My formatter was happy to amend my files for free but Ingram charged me for changing the files. 😢
Don’t skip this step. The last pair of eyes on your book are necessary. No matter all the edits already, and how perfect you believe it is, get a proof reader to do a final quality check.
If your proof reader spots any issues, you will need to make the changes and inform your formatter exactly what you needs changing!
And you thought you’d finished editing. 😂
If you are happy with everything, upload it to the distributor site you are using. Popular choices are:
Draft 2 Digital
Barnes & Noble
Send your ARC readers a final copy. Between now and publishing you could make changes but we’d hope that by this point it is done.
The ARC readers need enough time to read it before you publish. This enables you to gather reviews for marketing and gives readers an idea of what others thought.
ARC readers will leave an honest review. Your book cover & blurb should attract the right readers. If your ARC readers are surprised by your book (and not in a good way) you might want to change the cover or blurb to ensure you attract the correct readers.
You may have caught my last post of 2019 where I reflected on how last year went. As I welcome in the new year it’s time to set new goals. Oh my, some of these are big!
I’m always looking for ways to improve myself and to start the year I am changing up how I set goals.
Publishing – Jewel of the Sea
This is the big project of 2020. I have no idea how long things will take me as I have no benchmark to compare it to. I’ve set these deadlines to help keep my on track but I will need to check progress often to adjust deadlines as I figure out what is realistic.
Here is my rough outline of all the different things that need to happen if I want to release my book by June. I have a feeling that these goals are rather ambitious but there is no harm in trying.
General Writing Goals
Here are my everyday writing goals.
Blog (Word Press): Aim to post once or twice a week.
Instagram: Aim to post to feed every other day.
Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr: Continue to share links to my content on these platforms.
News letter: Aim to send out my newsletter at least once every other month.
Jewel of the Sea: Aim to publish my novel by June. See info graphic that breaks down activities required to achieve this.
Diamond in the Sky: Finish writing first draft in full. Start editing.
Festivals: Attend festivals:
London Book Fair
Felixstowe Book Festival
Bradford UK Indie Lit Fest
MK Lit Fest
World Indie Warriors: Continue to be part of this awesome group. I loved making their brochure and if they’d allow me to do this again, I would love to do this.
Crafts: Make time at least once a week:
Planner: try different methods of managing my time and goals to find a method that works for me
Pocket letter: write another pocket letter
Scrapbook: Do at least one page
Crochet: Finish Aria’s blanket… I know, I feel awful that I haven’t finished it yet. I just need to tuck in the loose ends.
Read more: Last year I set the bar low at only 6 books. This year, I am going to double it and aim for 12 books. I know that isn’t many to some people but with everything else I have planned… I have got to be realistic.
Editing course: Complete the Self Editing course provided by Willow Editing
Resource book: Buy and read a book to develop my writing craft.
What are your goals?
I shall review these throughout the year. I will likely need to check in on my big goal every month but the general goals I’ll do once every three months.