Here are six important things you need to know before self-publishing your novel:
You need a proofreader
By the time you get to the proofreading stage, you’ve read your manuscript so many times that your eyes will gloss over, no matter how much attention you think you’re paying. You will read portions of text the way you know they should be, not the way they actually are. Save yourself the hassle: get someone to proofread for you before you hit publish.
There’s more to cover design than personal taste
Your novel cover has to meet market expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you need to conform to whatever everyone else is doing and just follow the crowd. Your novel cover should be what you want it to be. But you have to keep in mind that readers will often decide to even click on your link based off of your cover image. Readers have expectations, and no matter how in love you are with your cover image, if it doesn’t attract readers, it won’t be capitalizing on its potential.
Amazon publication date does not equal novel release date
You want to let your novel have some time on Amazon before you make the big launch. Give your book to a few people (friends do just fine) you can count on to leave an honest review. Get a blog or two to review a free copy of your book as well. Make a few sales just through word-of-mouth. These pre-launch preparations will boost the efficiency of your announcement when you’re ready to let the whole world know about your novel.
Marketing starts before the book is even out
The marketing process shouldn’t wait until your book is live on Amazon. Even when it’s still in preparation phase, you can take advantage of that time to get your audience revved up about your new product. Spread the word, share snippets, offer the first few chapters for free…get creative. At the end of the day you may have gained a larger initial audience than if you just waited to start marketing after the book goes live. Be proactive.
Examine the paperback carefully
If you’re going to offer a print copy of your novel as well as an ebook, make sure you order a physical copy and look through it in person before making the paperback available to the general public. While print-on-demand services offer digital review chances to make sure your novel is the way you want it, go the extra mile and review a physical copy as well.
Your next project should take priority
Once your novel is live, it’s very tempting to spend hours a day promoting, marketing, and advertising to get as much traffic to your book as possible. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, keep in mind that you (hopefully) have more books to write, and those won’t finish themselves. Keep writing good stories, and in the long run, those will market you on their own.
I hope it helps you prepare to self-publish your novel! It’s a hard road, but definitely worth it. Keep working hard, and you’ll make it!
As always, feel free to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.