Hiring an editor isn’t enough if you self-publish – you need to market yourself. It may sound obvious, but you need to give your self-published book the best chance of success and writing a great book is just part of the process. Once your book is written you need to set aside time and money to make it the success you want it to be. This doesn’t only apply to self-published authors, but traditionally published authors too – long gone are the days when a publishing house will go all out to market your work.
Once a book is written, most people realise that having your offering read by beta-readers, edited and proofread is the way to go. Set aside time for a few people to read it, get their opinions and listen to them – it’s hard, they don’t see the work that’s gone into it, not really, but their thoughts are important. Don’t mistake beta-readers for editors though. Publishing professionals will pick up on problems and strengths that others won’t.
And for goodness sake, don’t think that because you are publishing digitally it will be easier to upload a book and alter mistakes when readers tell you what they’ve found. I’ve seen a few blog posts telling authors to do this instead of hiring an editor, and to be quite frank it fills me with horror. Sure, editors cost money, but bad reviews caused by mistakes in your book will cost you too. For every kind person bothering to contact you about an error there will be more who won’t bother and will just ditch the book (and not buy any subsequent offerings you may publish) or, and this is worse, put up a bad review that will stop others from buying your books. Don’t give up anything to the world that is less than your absolute best.
But I digress – let’s get back on track.
Once your book is as perfect as it can be, once it has been written, edited, proofread and designed, you can self-publish with confidence. But it doesn’t all end once you have navigated the publishing process and set yourself up on Amazon or Smashwords or wherever you choose to make your work available. In reality this is when the hard work begins.
No book is going to be a success unless readers know it exists. If you don’t have the marketing team of a traditional publishing house behind you, you have to do it all yourself. I upsets me when I see a great book I’ve worked on disappear into cyberspace because no-one realises how great it is.
In a world where anyone can self-publish you need to set yourself apart from the crowd. Here are a 10 tips to help you market your book:
Publishing is now tougher than ever; give yourself the best chance and hopefully your book will be a success.
Are you an author? Have you had successes and failures you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments below.
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© Sara-Jayne Donaldson, 2013-2022.