To Self-Publish or Not – 5 Important First Steps

Up front there are five important considerations to address when deciding whether you will self-publish.

1. What is the theme of your book either for fiction or nonfiction. The theme isn’t always obvious, sometimes you have to work on a project for a while before you understand and can state what you are writing about. However, you should have a general idea that becomes more and more refined.

2. What category is your book specifically–romance, historical, biography, sci-fi? This is in part determined by your theme and in part determined by your other writing factors. Both in fiction and nonfiction you need to be able to slot your book so that you better know how to promote your book and your reader can better find it.

3. Who is your audience? Although we want everyone in the world to read our work, not everyone will want to read it. By knowing your theme and your category, you can better define who your audience is and the best ways to approach them.

4. How will you distribute your book? If you don’t know who your audience is or how to approach your audience, how will you sell your book? While it’s nice when a book goes viral, that doesn’t generally happen without people knowing that your book exists. How will you make your book stand out from the thousands of other books published this year?

5. Create a “Book Business Plan.” Every successful business starts with a business plan. If you are going to self-publish you are creating a business with a book as its product. You need to have a solid business plan to produce and market it. A “Book Business Plan” will help you to organize. You need to start early, even before and continue while writing your book, so that when your book is ready to publish, you will be ready for a successful launch.

All of this takes planning and design, which takes away from your writing time. Or maybe you want to focus on your writing and then approach the traditional publishing path before you decide to take the leap into self-publishing.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cassandracharles
    Jun 25, 2013 @ 18:09:45

    These are good steps, especially step 5. A plan is very important.


  2. Trackback: To Self-Publish or Not To | The Writer's Compass

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