Review Copies: The Indie Author’s Best Friend

Review CopiesNote: this piece is geared toward writers interested in self-publishing. Find other pieces on self-publishing here.

For any seasoned indie publishers out there, it’s no secret that getting reviews (which fuel sales) is often a struggle. “Why aren’t people buying my book?” they sigh to themselves. “Why aren’t they leaving reviews?”

More often than not, self published books need more than a great cover and stellar marketing. Sometimes, potential buyers need to hear from someone else that this book was great before they invest their money. That’s why, dear indie authors, you need reviews for your book.

But how do you go about getting reviews? How do you get other people to read your book and then take the time to say nice things about it?

The answer lies in review copies.

What is a review copy?

If you’re not familiar with review copies, they’re essentially copies of your book that you send off to people for free. In exchange for the free copy, those readers give a review of your book once they’ve read it.

Who to send review copies to?

Now, as tempting as it might be to just start chucking your book into the social media void and hope that some stranger picks it up and gives you a five-star rating, you’re going to need to strategize just a bit more. Be discerning with who you select to review your book. I recommend giving complimentary review copies to people you know and trust: try your beta-readers, a critique group you belong to, or die-hard fans that have been following your writing (or subscribing to your site)  for a long time. Try close friends and family.

Remember that reviewers are doing you a favor.

Give your reviewers time to complete the review. They need time to read, process, and then review. Don’t bug them incessantly to get the review done. Be respectful of their time. And it’s worth noting that it is possible that your reviewers might only think your book merits 3 or 4 stars. You might not get all five-star reviews. Remember that the goal here is not to coerce people who like you into giving you false, five-star reviews. Their reviews should be honest (because if you have a bunch of phony reviews, customers down the road will figure it out for themselves and feel cheated). But by picking people you think will like your work, you’re stacking the deck in your favor.

How to get reviewers their free copies.

Be as accommodating as possible. Ask which format would be best for your reviewer. Be ready to send them a .mobi, .epub, or .pdf file at the very least.

What if I’m worried about the file getting pirated?

When I first started sending out PDFs of my work to reviewers, I had a fair amount of anxiety.

“What if someone shares it with their friend, who then shares it with their friends? What if no one buys my book because it’s out there for free?”

This is a reasonable thing to worry about. But my advice to you is: don’t worry. I’ve found that if someone really wants to pirate your book, they will (no matter how many precautions you take). But not everyone will take advantage of this. People will buy your work if they really want it or like it or want to support you as an author.

If you still have reservations about sending out free files to your reviewers, try shifting your perspective on pirating: it’s better to lose out on a few sales and get attention and reviews for your book than to waste away in review-less obscurity. Not to say that you shouldn’t take action if you find out someone is giving your property away for free – but it’s just a way to look at it to ease your worries about putting your work out into the boundary-less internet.

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Have any other questions, comments, or tips about review copies (or self-publishing in general)? Leave a comment below!

Tips For Marketing Your Self-Published Book

Marketing SelfPubed BookNote: this piece is geared toward writers interested in self-publishing. Find other pieces on self-publishing here.

When it comes to self-publishing, writing and publishing your book is only half the battle. The other half is an arduous, never-ending process of self-promotion. Many indie authors would prefer to write than to spend time networking and marketing. And many writers don’t even know where to start marketing. But being an indie author means that you are the only person responsible for the success of your book. You choose how it’s marketed and where. And to tell the truth, I’ve often found this to be simultaneously freeing and terrifying. So let’s take some of the mystery out of marketing and start selling your book.

Why Marketing is SO Important
As an indie author (especially while your fan-base is still new), gaining exposure is the hardest thing to do. Making money with your writing is typically not as simple as putting your book up on a website and then watching the dollars roll in. In most cases, people won’t even know your book exists. That’s where marketing comes in. You need to put your book in front of potential readers and grab them with your awesome cover and product description in order for them to buy it, read it, love it, and then tell all their friends about it.

When to Start Marketing Your Book
As soon as possible! You can start marketing before you’re even done writing your book. This way you can create buzz about your book and get readers waiting to buy it. But I’d advise that you only do so once you’ve decided on the final title. Nothing’s more confusing to a reader than ever-changing titles.

And before you start spreading the word, make sure that you know – without a doubt – that you will deliver your book by the date you’ve set. Don’t let your readers down, or they might not come back when you actually do release your book.

When to Stop Marketing Your Book
Never! If your book sales dip one month, who’s to say that they won’t spike the next? Keep making your book known. You never know when you’ll reach a new reader that will become a life-long fan.

Where to Market Your Book
The key is to reach as many potential readers as possible – and it’s even better if you can target people who you think will actually like your book. You’ll want to research where your ideal readers are (what sites are they on?) and cater to them. Here are just a few examples of the most popular methods of self-marketing:

  • Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, etc.
  • Your blog/website
  • Your mailing list of people who have subscribed to your site
  • Other people’s blogs/sites (by doing a guest post or blog tour)
  • Book advertising sites (this one takes some research, but you can find sites that will advertise your book for you – this usually requires a fee or that your book meets certain criteria)

How Much Will It Cost?
Basically, marketing a book will cost as much as you want it to. Some people swear by advertising on sites like BookBub (which can get pricey), others like to spend a couple bucks on paid Facebook or Twitter ads. And then there are people who like to advertise without spending any money whatsoever (social media, your own site, etc.).

I can’t say that any method is any better than others. But this is how I approach my marketing:

  • I market anywhere that I can for free
  • I make sure any sites that I choose to advertise on are legitimate
  • I’m not afraid to spend money to make money (provided my budget allows for it)

Sticking to the Guidelines
If you’re marketing on any sites that are not your own (this includes social media), make sure you are adhering to the guidelines set forth by that site. Don’t lie about the genre of your book just to get advertising space and don’t spam your audience (see below). This sort of behavior will only alienate potential readers. Be respectful of platforms that are willing to market your book for you – read their guidelines and follow them as though your writing career depends on it.

A Word About Spamming
Please, self-published authors, do not spam your audience or followers with incessant tweets or posts or pop-ups pertaining to your new book. Yes, keep it on their radar, but do not send out 100 messages a day telling the same people the same thing over and over and over. Make sure you are professional and that you’re representing yourself in a way that you’re proud of.

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Any questions or thoughts on marketing your self-published book? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

 

Writing Stellar Product Descriptions: How To Write Back Cover Copy That Sells

product descriptionsNote: this piece is geared toward writers interested in self-publishing. Find other pieces on self-publishing here.

Product description, blurb, back cover copy. It doesn’t matter what you call the text that goes on the back of your book, inside the dust jacket, or on your website – that text is one of the most important things you’ll need to successfully sell your book.

Why is that? Think about what happens when you come across a book you’ve never heard of before. Sure the cover might draw you in, but what’s going to sell you on actually buying that book? The description.

In order to help you write the best possible product description, I want you to ask yourself this question: If you were at a bookstore and picked up your book, what would need to be on the back cover that would entice you to open up the book, flip through the pages, and buy it?

Here’s my list of elements for a successful blurb/product description:

  • Mention any pertinent awards or prestigious publications you’ve achieved as a writer.
  • Got any great reviews or accolades for the book that you can pull from? Stick the best possible quote or tagline on there.
  • The feel of the book should be conveyed through both the description AND cover.
  • For fiction: give a few sentences that describe the main plot points. Introduce your main character(s), your general storyline and the challenge/consequences that the character(s) is facing.
  • For non-fiction: note what the book is about and what it intends to do (answer a question, teach someone something, etc.).
  • The summary should make the genre evident. If the book is a sci-fi book, make sure the summary reads that way!
  • Engaging, vivid language.
  • Tone that is consistent with the book and the marketing language you’ve used so far (like in your launch).
  • Include a call-out to your ideal reader. Is this the perfect book for fantasy lovers? Great for people who enjoy a quick, lighthearted read?
  • Keep it relatively short and very digestible. Potential readers will often skim over this section. Make it skim-friendly with bold terms, italic quotes, headings, paragraph breaks, etc.

If you’re looking for some examples of great product descriptions for self-published books (particularly fiction), I’d recommend checking out books from David Wright, Sean Platt, and Johnny B. Truant. For example, check out their product descriptions for Yesterday’s Gone and The Beam. When in doubt, browse through Amazon or Nook and see what you think works and what doesn’t for different books.

Keep in mind that you’ll want to do a couple different drafts/rewrites of your product description. Give it the time and attention it deserves. If you throw something together last minute, it will show – and your sales will likely reflect it.

You can always hire someone to write your copy, but unless one of your beta-readers or editors is a great copy writer, I’d suggest you write it yourself. After all, you know your book best!

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Any thoughts, suggestions, or questions about writing product descriptions? Let me know in the comments below!

To Print or Not to Print: Digital and Print Self-Publishing

To print or notNote: this piece is geared toward writers interested in self-publishing. Find other pieces on self-publishing here.

Your book is edited and done, you’ve got a cover and you’re ready to get your masterpiece out into the world. Well hold on a second, my friend. There are still a few matters you need to attend to before you can launch your book into the world. And first of all is the matter of format. To print or not to print? That is the question.

Are you going digital?

If you ask me, there’s no reason not to produce your book in e-format. Sure, it’s most writers’ dream to hold a print copy of their book in their hands, but you know what more and more readers enjoy? Ebooks. Ebooks are great because they’re typically cheaper than print books and can all be stored in one lightweight reader. You can literally take 100 books with you wherever you go without collapsing under that staggering weight of print copies.

You may have a good reason not to produce your book digitally, and that’s fine. But I am a huge believer in the power of ebooks. So do yourself a favor and put your book out there as an ebook, at least in ADDITION to a print book.

So why should you do print?

When you sell a print version of your book, it helps boost ebook sales. Think about it – whenever you look at a book on Amazon and see that it’s $13.99 (plus shipping) for a print version, but then underneath it is an ebook version for just $2.99, you’re inclined to go for the better (cheaper) deal.

But aside from helping to sell your ebook, some of your true fans might like a hard copy of your book. And maybe you would too? For your bookshelf? To show off to friends?

Ultimately, the perk of selling hard copies of your book is because – since they’re priced higher – you make more money off of each sale.

Why shouldn’t you do print?

Before you dive into getting your book into print, make sure you evaluate whether it would really behove you to do so.

For instance, Is your book short? Is it worth it to print? For example, I do not print my flash fiction collections. They’re short things (only 20 or so pages and priced at just $0.99 per ebook), so charging any more than that for readers to buy a print version would not bring in much revenue for me. Nor would it be doing a service to my readers.

Also keep in mind that it takes time to format the book for printing. You’ll need to be meticulous about doing this if you’re taking the task on yourself. Otherwise you may want to look into hiring someone to take care of this process for you.

You’ll also need to make sure that when you have a cover made, you also get a spine and back cover made along with it. This can get costly, but you will want to keep your book looking professional, and all print books have a cohesive feel from the front cover to the back.

And lastly, it’ll take time. You’ll need to review the sample copies and make sure everything looks right.

How should I approach printing?

There are plenty of options for creating print copies of your book, but I think that the best approach to this for new self-publishers in the Print-on-Demand (PoD) approach. Rather than having to print and bulk and keep stock in your home or office, you can produce your book with a PoD company that can print a copy of your book and ship it whenever an order for it comes through. There are various PoD companies, but the biggest ones are CreateSpace (owned by Amazon) and Lightning Source.

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So that’s the quick and dirty rundown of producing your book in ebook and print formats. Got questions? Or have any tips? Add them in the comments below!

We’ve Got You Covered: A Guide to Book Covers for Indie Authors

coveredNote: this piece is geared toward writers interested in self-publishing. Find other pieces on self-publishing here.

So you’ve writing your book (or maybe you’ve already finished writing it). You’ve set a launch date and are working your way through revisions. Now comes the fun part – at least in my opinion – THE COVER!

Why You Should Care About Your Cover

I have news for you: people actually DO judge a book by its cover – especially when deciding whether they want to buy it. As an indie writer, you get to be the one who calls the shots at every step of your book’s development. This includes cover design. And I will warn you: the cover is not something to take lightly. Your cover is the aesthetic realization of your creative labor – you want it to be stunning and accurately reflect the content of your book.

What a Great Book Cover Can Do For You

An exceptional cover works to do multiple things for you. It attracts new readers, boosts sales, and breaks the indie stereotype of unprofessionalism. Ultimately, a good cover means your book can (visually) compete with the thousands of other books out there. If other self-published authors and traditional publishing houses are using breathtaking covers, you better be too.

Why You Should Probably Hire A Designer

I don’t care how much you like the cover you created yourself. Or how talented of a photographer you are. Unless you have a lot of experience in graphic design, I would strongly recommend you hire a designer to do your book cover. Don’t jeopardize your success with a sub-par cover.

Components of a Great Cover

Your book cover should be many things. But, in particular, it should be:

  • Eye-catching. This will help you stand out from the crowd and attract new readers.
  • Professional. As mentioned above, you need to have a professional cover. Make sure you’re presenting your work and yourself as professionally as possible.
  • Accurate. There should be no typos in your book title. And further more, it should accurately reflect the content of your book. Look at other books in your genre. If you’re writing a romance, make sure the cover LOOKS and FEELS like a romance cover. The same goes for if you’re writing fantasy, science fiction, literary fiction, non-fiction, etc. You want your reader to know what kind of book they’re getting into just by looking at the cover (this way you head off bad reviews from people who were expecting a fantasy epic but instead got historical fiction).
  • Formatted Correctly. Make sure that the digital file of your cover meets the correct requirements/specifications for each platform you upload it to. The same goes for submitting your cover for Print On Demand services.

Where to Find Designers

So where do you go to find a great cover design? I have a few recommendations (based on personal experience and word-of-mouth suggestions):

  • Fiverr. I personally get most of my designs from Fiverr. There are tons of highly rated and talented artists there that will make you a custom cover starting from $5. The rates vary, depending on the kind of cover you want, but it is usually one of the most affordable options.
  • 99 Designs. I hear a lot of indie authors using this site where graphic designers compete to design this cover, meaning you end up with a good amount of options to pick from. This is a more pricey option. They have various packages that give you more services, but your looking at spending a few hundred dollars here.
  • Freelancing Sites. You can often find freelance graphic designers on sites like Elance, oDesk, etc. I only warn that you do not pay upfront – make sure to receive your cover (or at least a sample of it) first before paying. You want to make sure you like your cover and that it’s good quality. Pricing here varies.
  • Social Media. If you can’t seem to find a great designer, head to Twitter or other social media platforms to start your search. Send out a post saying you’re looking for a designer. Or do some digging around with keyword searches. Who knows what you might find. Again, pricing varies.

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So there you have it. Making sure you have a great cover is one of the most crucial steps in self-publishing. Do you have any tips for covers? Any designers you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

Blast Off! Why You Need A Launch Date

BLAST OFF!Note: this piece is geared toward writers interested in self-publishing. Find other pieces on self-publishing here.

So you’ve got an idea for a book. Maybe you’ve started writing it already. Maybe you’ve already polished the final draft! But what do you do after the writing is done? What do you need to plan for before you’ve even finished your manuscript?

The answer: your book launch.

Indie authors are not JUST authors. We’re also marketers. As a self-published author, you’re responsible for the success of your book. And the first step to success is setting a launch date.

So let’s delve into the basics and discuss why you need a launch date.

Launch Date Basics

What is a launch date?

A launch date is the date that your book is first available for purchase. It’s the publication/release date. It’s the start of your book’s life!

When should I set my launch date?

I like to select a launch date as soon as I’ve started writing the first few chapters/pieces in a book. I suggest you figure out when you PLAN on having your book done, then set your launch date about a month AFTER that date. This extra month allows you time to play around with formatting and marketing – just to make sure everything is perfect. Plus, it gives you a couple weeks leeway in case of any hiccups while the book is being written (maybe you get some serious writers block for a week, or maybe your beta readers take FOREVER to get your manuscript, or maybe you find a plot hole and need to spend an extra two weeks rewriting half the book).

When should I announce my launch date?

This is tricky, and there are a lot of factors to consider, but it basically boils down to how long you’ve been writing.

If you’ve been writing and self-publishing for a while, you know how long something is going to take you to complete. If this is the case – announce your book and the launch date as soon as you start writing the thing! If you’re especially good at marketing and have your method in place, find ways to get pre-orders for your book before it launches!

If you’re relatively new to self-publishing, announce your book a couple months before the launch date – at least after your editors/beta-readers have had a go at the manuscript and you’ve made a round or two of revisions. Writing a book is hard work, filled with a lot of unforeseen pit falls. So make sure you don’t back yourself into a corner by setting a date without knowing that you’ll be able to have the book ready by then.

Where should I announce my book/launch date?

Everywhere!

Really, tell everyone about it. Tell your mailing list and social media followers. Post it on your blog/website. Arrange to have it put up on other people’s blogs or sites. Tell your family and friends and sort-of friends. Tell everyone!

Why You Need a Launch Date

Launch dates create buzz

Just like I mentioned in the basics section, building up to your release with announcements about your upcoming launch gets people wanting to buy the book NOW. Having a launch date gives your fans (and potentially new readers) a concrete date to get excited about and tell others about.

You can start lining up marketing/advertising for your book ahead of time

If you have a launch date, you can schedule posts and ads to go out on other sites on your launch date. It’s much better to have a fellow blogger say that your book will be out on “February 2nd” than “some time in February”. Plus, some sites that run ads require you to submit the date that you want the ad to run – and what better day than your launch date?

You’re accountable

When you announce to the world that you’re going to write a book and that it’s going to come out on a certain day, you’re much more likely to actually have the book ready to go on that date than if you hadn’t announced anything at all. It’s much easier to let yourself down than to let other people down. Having an official launch date keeps you on track.

It keeps you motivated

This is similar to the last point, but having a date that you book NEEDS to be finished by is incredibly helpful. It keeps you writing when you don’t want to. And it forces you to push through any writer’s block in order to get things done on time.

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So what are you waiting for? Go set a launch date for your next project. Then get to work!

Be Professional, Dammit!

be professional dammitNote: This is a post meant for writers who are interested in self-publishing. You can find more articles on self-publishing here.

In this series of self-publishing posts I’m doing, I wanted to make sure to touch on an important topic for indie writers: professionalism.

While self-publishing has grown into a legitimate and respectable market, there still remains a stigma among many writers and readers. Often, people shy away from self-published works, saying that they’re garbage. To be fair, there IS a lot of self-published garbage out there (that’s inevitable since ANYONE can self-publish).

But don’t forget, there’s also plenty of professionally published works that stink. Just because a book is published by a professional publisher does not guarantee that it’s good. To dismiss all indie works is extremely short sighted.

For those of us that take self-publishing seriously and take every measure to make sure we’re putting quality work out there, it can be frustrating to have our work stereotyped as garbage just because SOMEONE ELSE wrote something horrible and vomited it up onto the internet.

So today I’m issuing a call-to-action for all you indie writers out there: be professional!

I mean it. Sure, you might be doing all the formatting and editing and cover designing on a minuscule budget, but make sure you write a QUALITY piece (this means having others look at it objectively before you publish), have a gorgeous cover, and do everything in your power to make your readers (these are your CUSTOMERS) happy.

I’ll let you in on a not-so-secret secret: Being unprofessional makes you and your product look bad. And it makes all us self-published writers look bad. Would you want to buy a book that looks like the cover was designed in MS word in 5 minutes? Would you leave a good review for a book riddled with typos? Probably not. Take your time and make sure you’re putting out a great product.

Another not-really-a-secret is this: If you put out a professional-level book, you will get more sales and more positive reviews. This keeps your readers happy, loyal, and willing to invest their time in more of your stuff. That’s the point of self-publishing, right? To get your work out there? You want to do everything you can to stack the deck in your favor.

So what do you need to do to be professional about your publishing? My friends, it means you have to go the extra mile. Yes, get a designer to do your cover (you can get professional-looking covers done at Fiverr for $5!) if you’re not an amazing graphic artist. Definitely have people you trust tell you if your work is worth publishing or if it needs edits. Eliminate ALL typos or grammatical errors. Format your book nicely, market it appropriately, and always go out of your way to make your readers happy.

So be professional. I don’t know how else to say it. Be. Professional. Do it for yourself, for your fellow indie writers, for your sales, your reputation, and – most importantly – your readers. Present something you’re proud of. Hold yourself to the same standards that a traditional publishing house would hold you to. Then go even further than that.

The Importance of Editors, Beta-Readers, and Proofreaders

The Importance ofNote: this piece is geared toward writers interested in self-publishing. Find other pieces on self-publishing here.

So you have a manuscript and dream of making some money off it. Or at least you’re hoping to put your work out there for the world to enjoy. There’s a whole checklist of things you’ll need to tackle in your self-publishing adventure, but today I’m going to give you a brief overview on editors, beta-readers, and proofreaders. So let’s jump right in.

Editors
Who they are: The term “editors” is a very broad term. But for the sake of simplicity here, let’s just discuss developmental/substantive/continuity editors. These are professional, experienced editors that take your manuscript and help shape the voice, tone, storyline, etc. They’ll get deep into your story and help you to re-work it.

Where to find them: You can find these sorts of editors all over the place – there are professional editing companies, as well as freelance editors. Do your research (Google!) and find yourself someone good.

Cost: There is a wide range, but unless you’re friends with an editor who is willing to do you a favor, you’re most likely going to end up paying something. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, check out freelancing sites such as Elance or oDesk.

Beta-Readers
Who they are: Beta-readers are people who read your work and tell you what works, what doesn’t work, what’s confusing, and where that comma really should go. Ultimately, beta-readers are editors, but with less professional experience. Typically they’re well-read people with a good grasp on language and story-telling.

Where to find them: Anywhere! Usually beta-readers are friends, family, members of your writing critique group, fellow authors, etc. Whomever you ask, make sure they’re going to give you honest feedback. It may be great to hear your sister say she loves your book, but the whole point of beta-reading is to get feedback so that you can make your manuscript stronger.

Cost: Free! At least, beta-readers are usually free. More than likely, you know someone who would be willing to read over your manuscript and give you some feedback.

Proofreaders
Who they are: Proof-readers (sometimes also known as line-editors) are usually going to be the last stage of your editing process. Their job is to correct any grammatical/spelling errors. They’re there polishing things up.

Where to find them: Just like with editors, you can find them all over the internet. There’s a wide array of proofreading services and freelancers (again, check Elance, oDesk, Fiverr, or any similar sites for freelancers). However, if you have a friend who knows language and grammar thoroughly, give them a call. They might be able to do the proofreading for you.

Cost: Free (if you have a friend do this), affordable (if you go with freelancers), or a little pricey (if you go with professionals/services).

So why do you need Editors, Beta-Readers, and Proofreaders?

As much as we writers like to think we know how to best write our books, that’s not always the case. Sometimes we need a fresh set of eyes to look at our work objectively. By the time we finish a manuscript, we’re so involved with the story line and attached to the characters that we don’t want to change a thing. Or sometimes we know the story needs improvement, but can’t figure out how to do that.

You might not need beta-readers AND an editor. Maybe you’re really good at proofreading your own work. But you should always, ALWAYS have someone else look over your story before you publish it. It’s all about making your story as good as it can be and presenting a professional-quality product.

But always keep in mind that you, as the author, have the last word. You get to decide what goes and what stays in your manuscript. That’s the whole point of self-publishing: at the end of the day it’s YOUR story and YOU get to make the calls.

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Any questions about today’s post? Thoughts? Leave them in the comments below!

Self-Publishing Checklist: 12 Steps to Success

Self-Publishing

You’ve put in the hours. You’ve bled and cried. You’ve driven yourself crazy trying to iron out that nasty plot hole. And now you’ve done it – you’ve finished your manuscript! Huzzah! Congratulations!

But now what? If you want to get your work out there and are considering self-publishing, you’ll want to make sure you cover the basics before attempting to put your words out there for the world to read.

I published my first ebook back in April 2014 – nearly a year ago. And now, with four more books slated for release this year, I’ve put together a checklist to help myself stay on track and would like to share them with you to aid you in your own self-publishing adventure!

Note: This is meant to be a very basic checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything. But not to fear! I’ll be posting more about these checkpoints in detail over the next few months.

Self-Publishing Checklist: 12 Steps to Success

  • Beta-Readers, Editors, Proofreaders
    • Have you had a second (or third or fourth) set of eyes look at your manuscript?
  • Revisions
    • Have you edited, revised, and polished your work?
  • Launch Date
    • Have you selected/announced a launch date?
  • Cover
    • Do you have a professional-looking cover for your manuscript? Is it eye-catching? Does it look good as a thumbnail (this is how it will show up on most websites!)? Have you done a cover-reveal?
  • Print vs. eBook
    • Are you producing this book as an eBook? Are you doing Print on Demand (PoD)? Find the vendors/sites you want to sell through and adhere to their guidelines (formatting, marketing, ISBNs, etc.).
  • Formatting
    • Has your book (whether print or eBook) been formatted to the appropriate formats for your vendors (or wherever you’re selling?).
  • Uploading
    • Give yourself a couple extra days to upload your book with to your vendors’ sites so that you don’t miss your release date.
  • Price
    • Have you selected an appropriate/competitive price for your book?
  • Blurb/Product Description
    • Have you written a stellar (and accurate) blurb to put on the back of your book or on your book’s page?
  • Selecting Key Terms
    • Have you selected succinct categories and key-terms for your book on your vendors’ websites?
  • Marketing Platforms
    • Where are you marketing your book? Follow any guidelines for those platforms.
  • Review Copies
    • Have you sent complimentary copies of your book to any reviewers you have lined up?

I hope this checklist helps you get a good handle on your self-publishing journey. Keep an eye out for more posts on self-publishing in the coming months!

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Have any steps that you find crucial to the self-publishing process? Have something you think should be added to the checklist? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below!