Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Self Publishing -- A How-To Guide

So you've heard about the self-publishing thing. You've maybe even given it some thought. It sounds kinda  good. It also sounds like a lot of work. And there isn't exactly a cohesive "Successful Self-Publishing for Dummies: How to get a Book Contract, Movie Contract, and Souvenir Tin Lunchbox Deal" available at Barnes & Noble. Though maybe there should be. If you write it, it'd better be dedicated to me. And I want a free lunchbox.

Now, though, Michael Hyatt has put together a step-by-step TO-DO list for self-publishing. It's less a "you need to do this at 8:08 am on Thursday the 19th or you'll fail" list and more a check list for the avid self-publisher starting off. Interested in self-publishing? Here are some things to get you going and help you along the way!

And believe me, having a succinct check list to go off of is better than gold. Though maybe not better than lunchboxes.

Hyatt calls it his "How to Successfully Self-Publish a Kindle eBook," but the advice is also good for any self-publishing form. Whether you do it through or a more close-to-the-chest way, you'll need to know some of these pitfalls to avoid and steps to take.
First Hyatt draws attention to (remember them, again?). Here are just a few of the reasons he suggests using Amazon as your publishing platform:

  • Amazon is largest paid search engine in the world. People don’t Google things with their credit cards out, ready to buy, like they do with Amazon.
  • Amazon is a marketing machine. Once you start selling a certain number of copies, it refers your book to others who have never heard of you.
  • Amazon makes it easy. You can publish elsewhere, but few places get your book online and ready in a matter of hours.
And, ultimately,
  • Amazon dominates the book market.
Seems pretty self-explanatory.'s means of reviews and suggestions do allow for a greater exposure if you can get people to write reviews about you. There's also the potential scare of the 'used' eBook which would essentially slash author profits to pieces, but we're not to that point yet. So don't panic. The Terminator of the writer world is at bay for now.
Yeah Amazon. I'm looking at you.
From there Hyatt goes through the whole process in five easy steps, succinctly broken down into numbered lists that will guide you from concept to publication. It really couldn't be easier. Unless someone did it for you. But then, that's what we call traditional publishing. And getting into traditional publishing makes up for the difficulty of self-publishing on your own. It evens out.

Step one. Write your book. Duh.

Step two. Make it look good. And professional. Get it formatted for eBooks. This may very well take some money, which if you don't have could be potentially a problem. But there are ways around all of that. You can run a personal kick starter. You can ask your grandmother for an early Christmas present. You can cry in the streets. You can try to do it yourself (but don't sacrifice quality for "personal-ity". Just don't.)

Step three. Publish your book. This is a bit more complicated, but Hyatt goes through it step by single step just like everything else. He even gives you a guide of what your computer will look like when uploading to, complete with "Save & Continue" steps and what pop-ups you may deal with.

Step four. Promote, Promote, Promote. Promote via Amazon. Promote via Facebook. Promote via email and Twitter and Blog and Friends and Friends of Friends and Family members. Get reviews written about your book. The more reviews you have, the more your book will sell. Kind of like how on Twitter the more people you follow, the more people follow you. It's a weird cycle.

And lastly, Step five. Launch your book. This is basically a combination of Steps three and four. Get your book to spread by offering deals, gifts, discounts, by spreading the word that is You. Hyatt offers various different tips and websites that can help you with this. Take advantage of them.

And that's it. Steps four and five bear continual upkeep, hence the time-consume that self-publishing can have, and every time you come up with a book, you have to repeat the whole scenario. You are the publishing company in one, and that includes writing, editing, art, publishing, and marketing. It takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of time. It may, to start with, take some money.

You can do it. And this guide will make it all the easier.

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