Self Publish Your Book This 2018
Of those who do write a book and attempt to publish through traditional channels (i.e.: big publishing companies), about 98% get a rejection letter. That statistic alone is enough to turn away the vast majority of would-be authors.
Which is a shame, really.
Because there are so many people who have important things to write about, things that could help and inspire other people.
YOU are one of those people, even if you’ve never considered writing a book before. You have a wealth of experience, interests, and ideas accumulated through a lifetime that other people could benefit from. Think about it for a minute. Think about what you know through your career, relationships, hobbies, and life challenges.
You probably take these things for granted, assuming no one would find them useful or interesting. But you’re wrong. There are people all over the world searching for the knowledge you could share with them.
So back to that super-high 98% rejection statistic. You might wonder why you’d want to go to the effort of writing a book if the odds of getting it published are so low. Good news future author: you can publish your own book without facing the prospect of a rejection letter.
Self-publishing has changed the entire playing field, and now anyone who has a book inside of them can get it out, publish it, and sell it. However, just because you can self-publish doesn’t mean you should throw out a crappy book and expect it to sell. But you wouldn’t want to do that anyway. Self-publishing gives you the opportunity to present your book to the world, but you have to seize the opportunity by producing a quality book that people will want to buy.
Can you do that?
Yes, you can.
Whatever self-doubts you have at the moment about writing and publishing a book, set them aside as you read through this post, and challenge yourself to make writing and publishing a book one of your goals for the year.
Here’s how to publish your own book in 10 simple steps:
1. Select a topic.
This is one of the hardest part for writers — “What the heck do I write about?”
Let’s talk about non-fiction writing for a moment. Grab a pen and paper and start writing down all of your skills (personal and professional), your interests, your hobbies, any significant life challenges you’ve faced, and any other knowledge you’ve gained as part of living.
Write down every possible thing you can think of until you’ve exhausted your brain. Now go back through that list and pick 3-4 topics that you would actually enjoy writing about. If you hate the topic, writing will be really difficult.
Once you have a few possible topics, break those down into possible sub-topics. For example, if you have an interest in thriller, sub-topics might include how to solve crimes or escaping from the antagonists.
You want your topic to be broad enough that you could write a series of books about various elements of it. It’s better to go deep into one aspect of a subject than to try to cover everything in one book.
This gives you the opportunity to build a catalog of books, and it gives your reader more satisfaction with each book you write.
After you’ve selected a few topics, you’ll need to do some research to see if the topic is viable and has enough interested readers to make it profitable for you. We explain exactly how to do that research in the free video series I mentioned earlier, so be sure to watch, so you understand this critical part of the process. This research can make or break the success of your book.
2. Write your book.
Let me tell you upfront — you don’t have to be an extraordinary writer to write a good book. You just need to be good enough to communicate what you have to say in a clear, concise, and interesting way.
Write a “crappy first draft.” In other words, just get it down on paper and then go back and refine it. So with complete permission to write a crappy first draft, you can get started with these steps:
Decide how much time you can devote to writing each day. Even if it’s just 5 minutes, carve that time out as sacred writing time. Don’t allow anything or anyone to disturb or distract you.
Write an outline first. Break your topic down into possible chapters or sections, and then bullet point the info that will fit into each of them.
Sit down and write for your allotted time. Just write even if you aren’t happy with it. Write in a conversational way, so your authentic voice comes through.
Increase your writing time or word count over time. If you want to get more done, set increasingly more significant goals for yourself.
3. Edit your book.
We strongly recommend you get an editor to go through your book before you publish. Even if you’re the most amazing writer in the world, you still need an editor. You need someone to polish your work, make sure it flows, and catch any mistakes. Please don’t skip this step. It’s that important.
Of course, you’ll want to edit your book several times before you send it to an editor. Go through it with a fine-tooth comb and re-write and edit carefully. You might even ask someone who’s your ideal reader to look at your manuscript before you send it to an editor.
For example, if you’re writing a book on parenting teenagers, find someone you know who is the parent of a teenager and ask them to read your draft. Ask for honest feedback so you can make sure the book appeals to the audience you’re trying to reach.
Try to have a thick skin when getting this feedback and see it as an opportunity to make your book the best it can be.
Once you feel the book is ready for the editor’s finishing touches, start looking for a good editor. Usually, self-publishing companies can provide you their in-house professional editor.
4. Decide on a title.
There’s real art and science to choosing a good title for your book. You want a title that has a “hook” — something short and pithy that grabs the reader’s attention. The subtitle can be longer with more explanation about how the book benefits the reader.
Go to Amazon and look at some of the bestsellers in your niche. Examine the titles and pay attention to those that jump out at you.
I like to write several title ideas and then run them by my blog readers and social media followers. Try to get a lot of feedback from potential readers to see what resonates with them before you settle on a title that you like. We talk more about how to select your book title in our free video series.
5. Design your book cover.
This is another area of self-publishing where you should hire a pro. Please . . . don’t choose a cheesy stock photo and slap up your title just because it’s the cheapest way to go. Find someone who regularly designs book covers and pay to have your cover well-designed.
Look at their past work, ask about deadlines, and find out how many revisions are included in the price estimate.
You will need to write copy for the back cover of a print version of your book. This copy should focus on the benefits of your book for the reader. Give them a compelling reason why they must have your book.
You only have a little space on the back cover, so be concise and use language that invites the reader to learn more. You can also include a very brief bio and a photo of yourself, as well as a testimonial or review praising your book if you want.
6. Publish your book for printing.
Once your book is formatted for print, and your cover designs (front, back, and spine) are completed, you can give the signal to your publishing company to print and deliver your book to you. Or ask them to have your books available in online stores like Amazon.
7. Promote your book.
So now that your book is published, you’ll be waiting for the cash to start rolling in, right? Well, don’t rely on Amazon alone to promote your book. You will need to spread the word and do everything you can to market and promote your book.
If you have a blog, be sure to write about your book and how it will help your readers. If you have an email list, be sure you send out an email announcing your new book. Use social media as well to spread the word.
Keep marketing your book regularly so it doesn’t get lost in obscurity.
8. Start writing your next book.
The best way to become a better writer and to sell more books is by writing more books. Think about creating a catalog of books around your topic, so people interested in your topic will be more inclined to buy from you.
The more books you write, the more income your books will bring you monthly.
Always have a book in process, and you’ll discover with a regular writing habit, you can publish several books a year.