6 Keys to Self-Publishing Success


Authors who decide to publish their own books can set themselves up to succeed. If you've decided you want to try your hand at self-publishing, here are six of the best ways to get on the right track to self-publishing success.

Treat it like a business For most authors, writing is an avocation, something you fit into the rest of your life. It may be a private refuge of creativity, a space that's outside the storms of day-to-day life. But book publishing is a business, and a self-publisher has a responsibility to run her business efficiently, and at a profit. You should expect the same.

Keep accurate records You are about to become a content provider, perhaps even an information entrepreneur. Your ability to make informed choices as your business matures is dependent on how good your information is. Keeping track of your business, understanding profit and loss and how to prepare rational budgets and projections about your publishing project are all necessities of business.

Seek out your peers Networking with other self-publishers multiplies your own resources by the resources of your publishing community. Social media make people easier to approach, and local independent publishing groups are a wonderful supply of expertise, community and cooperative marketing opportunities. Join one!

Have an opinion Most self-publishers are deeply connected to their subject matter. Otherwise they might not have written the book in the first place. Some of the most effective self-publishers are activists and opinion leaders with fierce loyalties and firm stands on lots of issues. Opinions help you define yourself for your target audience, clarifying for others exactly who you are.

Discover the marketing mindset When you were only an author, you just worried about the development of your manuscript. Now that you're the publisher, you begin to see the world differently. The local bookstore becomes a potential signing and community outreach. The subject of your book will influence how you see the opportunities the world presents you. Marketing your book becomes a new way to interpret the world.

Become a broadcaster You're an author, one of your skills might well be an ease at communicating. With the emphasis on developing an author "platform" well before publication date, reach out to your audience through a blog or an email newsletter or whatever way feels appropriate to your readership. Begin a dialogue or at least create a space in the world where fans and media will be able to get information on your book, your marketing appearances, and your press materials.

And here's a bonus way to jump-start your self-publishing career:

Start working on your next book All the work you put into establishing your publishing company, learning how to produce and market your book, all the work you've put into your initial communication channels and peer networking can be used for your next book. Planning your next book will establish your publishing company as different than most other self-publishers. You will be able to combine two different careers, by being both an author and a publisher.