Sergey Zolkin (Unsplash)
Writing a book is something many people dream of, but only a small portion get formally published, and of those, very few are ever a major success. The advent of e-books and self-publishing has certainly served to democratize the publishing process. With online options such as Amazon’s CreateSpace, Kindle and Smashwords, self-publishing your work is easier than ever before. However, even with the tools at our disposal, there are some roadblocks to overcome. The following tips will ease the process of self-publishing and ensure that your book has a chance of being a real success in what is now a highly saturated literary market.
Know Your Audience
Some would say to write whatever your heart desires, but it is also useful to know who your target audience is. Spend some time doing your market research. For example, if you plan to write a children’s book, spend some time at a bookstore to learn what is popular amongst your target market at the moment.
Once you’ve narrowed down your audience and researched what works for them, the next step is to get writing. It’s important to set aside a little time each day to jot down some thoughts on your topic. It won’t take long for you to have some great content. Remember that publishing these days isn’t that difficult, but creating good content will always be the basis for a book’s success.
It’s easy to think the job is done once you’ve got around to putting pen to paper. However, getting a product ready for public consumption requires a bit more work. You’ll have to tweak your idea and spend some time editing. The next step would be to hire a professional editor. It is always good to have an external, unbiased actor to take a look at your manuscript. A strong editor will help find holes in your content, devise better ways to get your message across, and even help with formatting a book.
Manage Your Expectations
As a first-time author, it is important to manage your expectations. As much as you may be proud of your work, don’t just assume your book will be the next bestseller. The literary market is saturated these days, and without having built a name for yourself, you’ll likely struggle to get traction for your first book. Be patient with this process.
This Is Just the Start
Think of publishing your first book as part of building your brand. Use the book as a platform to show off your skills and establish your expertise in a particular niche. Be sure to engage with your audience, and don’t be afraid to use this venture as a launching pad for other opportunities.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of writing a book for some time, don’t let anyone put you off your dream. However, you also need to be realistic and understand that the literary world can be quite difficult to succeed in. Take your time, and get your work right.