More and more writers are turning to self-publishing as a way to get their creative projects into the marketplace. Say what you want about self-publishing, if your book project is done right and held to the same standards as traditionally published work, there’s an enormous amount of potential available to you.
Of course, writing your book is the first step. After that, though, you move into the business of publishing. And it’s not as simple as slapping together a cover in PowerPoint and uploading the files to Amazon. Nope. There are details within details to learn about and put to work. I’ve been doing this for a long while, and even I have things to learn.
To help myself accelerate my development as a self-published author, I have been soaking up the lessons of others. Specifically, there are four great books available that teach a lot of what you need to know about the entire process of self-publishing:
This book is my top recommendation. If you don’t buy anything else, be sure to grab this one. It covers the basics such as the writing process and the methodology behind writing many books, very fast, to fill your virtual book shelf. But it also covers software tools, where to sell your books, cover design, editing, reviews and mailing lists. I can’t say it loud enough; if you want to have the best chance at success in the self-publishing world, you need to buy and read this book.
This pair of books from David Gaughran work as a series that helps readers understand the value of digital self-publishing and how to make sure they are as visible as possible. Get Digital is a great read if you are on the fence. It covers the basics for people who need to learn why they should self-pub, and how to go about doing it. It’s a bit dated (tech moves fast these days), but I’d say it’s still about 80% on-target and helpful.
Get Visible is about the “game” of best-seller lists, sales rankings and free-book give-aways. It’s much more of a business and marketing book, but after you’ve written your book, nothing will happen with it unless you get serious about selling it. So, read this one as a guidebook to marketing your ebook as well as you can.
This is a very specific book that covers the answer to everyone’s question: how can I sell the first thousand copies of my book? It’s a marketing book through and through, but it’s an eye-opener if you missed some important details from Write. Publish. Repeat. and Get Visible. Mainly, this book is about creating and growing an email list for past and future book customers, and then putting that machine to work for you. You aren’t going to learn about ebook formatting here, but you will learn about auto-responders, sidebar widgets, pop-ups and call-to-actions in your back-matter. If that’s all ancient Hebrew to you, then you need to read Your First 1,000 Copies.
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