The World of Self Publishing
I don’t know why you decided to write a book. I don’t know the inspiration or the desire behind your motivation. It may have been a lifelong dream or you have a story to tell. No matter why you decided to write a book the fact that you’re doing it is commendable. So, I say welcome to the world of self-publishing
Everyone should write a book and everyone else should read that book. Then we would all get to know each other a little better and the world would become smaller yet still. I wrote my first book years ago and it was a real eye-opener. If you haven’t discovered it yet, there is a lot more to writing a book than writing.
There are all the other things that you must do even before you write your first word. You need to build your author platform. Think of it like the legs of a table as there are four legs to your author platform.
In the World of Self-Publishing The Author Platform Consists Of:
List of Followers for Email Marketing
Marketing and Advertising Online
Cover Design – For Advertising and Promotions
Personal and Social Media Contacts for Networking
You must get your name out there. That is job number one. For someone to read your book they must know of its existence. With the age of computers, The job of marketing has become easier and more defined. It is easier to get your message out to your target audience than ever before.
When you’re starting out, no one knows who you are or what interests they would have in reading your book. Start by defining yourself. Who are you and why should I read what you write. For fiction writers find out who your genre’s audience is and where to find them. Non-fiction writers have another avenue using public speaking to draw attention to themselves.
The first thing you are going to need to do in the world of self-publishing is to get yourself a website. As an author, you want your name.com for the domain name. Buy it now if it’s available and get yourself a web host. Build a site using WordPress as it’s the easiest and the best I’ve found. This website can have as many pages as you want. All you need is a landing page with an opt-in form for them to sign up to your mailing list.
WordPress began as a blog platform and for authors, it is ‘a natural’. Start your blog and let your home page be your latest post. What you want to post on the sight is anything engaging. Post anything you want as long as it keeps them on the page reading.
With WordPress, you can easily incorporate a blog as the root with a subdomain name for the landing page. Search engines love blogs, which tend to rank easier for keywords specified in blog posts.
Growing your list of followers is imperative to your success. As an author people look to you are something different. To fuel that belief you must entertain them or engage them in some way. Tell them stories or amuse them with videos or educate them with your expertise. You’re a writer, create something worth seeing and they will come.
Common methods used for driving traffic to your website/blog
- Search Engines
- Social Media
- Article Marketing
- Paid Advertising
Celebrities get all the traffic they need. For the rest of us in the world of self-publishing, we have to create our own following. We have to get our name out in front of people interested in what we’re writing about. Your mission is to have a large readership coming to your blog to grow your list.
Advertising is the fastest way to grow your list, but be wary as it can get expensive. Writing sales copy is different than other writing. It’s writing to sell without selling. Test your ads before you invest in an all-out campaign
Traffic in the World of Self-Publishing
Social Media is another way to go and here again you can advertise or you can try to get traffic for free. I like free and so should you, but paying for advertising here will work faster, too. The risks are less than with general ads place on search engines.
Other blogs in your niche are a source for good targeted traffic. If they accept guest bloggers try them that way. Buy a banner ad may be possible on some of them or they may even link back to your site for a fee.
Very similar are FaceBook Group Marketing and Forum Marketing. Here you basically find a site in your niche, join it and lurch for a while as you get to know the other members. You may even find it’s enjoyable as you network. Take part in conversations, answer questions, get advice, start a thread.
To Write or Not to Write
As writers, we want to write the best book we can write. That is how it should be. After all, as a writer who loves to write you would be different if you didn’t. It’s all the other stuff that comes with self-publishing that can blindside you.
Book marketing alone is a daunting task. It needs to have begun before you wrote the first word of your first draft. Nurture it and instigate fanfare. Build your audience little by little. Let them know of the progress your making. Get them involved and anticipating its release. Even presell if you like.
There are certain terms and requirements that you may not be familiar with. Book printing with on-demand printers still have the same rules and regulation. CreateSpace, now it’s all Kindle, made the process as easy as it can be and still it’s confusing.
Book Block – This term refers to the book in its entirety. or a complete cover and all the interior pages. It consists of three parts front matter, core text, and back matter. The book block is submitted in PDF format.
The book interior is submitted to the printer in PDF format and will be printed separately from the book cover. The cover is submitted in a separate PDF file. The book is then printed on 8.5″ x 11″ paper and trimmed to the desired size specified.
A book consists of a minimum of 40 pages and a maximum of 800 pages. The minimum trim size for the finished product is 4.5″ x 5″ with the maximum being 8.25″ x 10.5″. The cover is created from an 11” x 17” sheet and then will be trimmed to the proper size.
Page Length Max trim width x height
40 – 100 pages 8.25” x 10.5”
101 – 200 pages 8.125” x 10.5”
201 – 300 pages 8” x 10.5”
301 – 400 pages 7.875” x 10.5”
401 – 500 pages 7.75” x 10.5”
501 – 600 pages 7.6” x 10.5 “
601 – 700 pages 7.5” x 10.5”
701 – 800 pages 7.4” x 10.5”
The book block PDF page size needs to match the trim size intended for your book. In other words, if your book is to be 6″ x 9″ then the page size in the PDF should be 6″ x 9″ with appropriate margins.
That Was the Way It Was
Now with on-demand printers, much of that has changed. You still submit the book block separately, as PDF files. (the whole cover including spine and the interior pages. There are several places to self-publish your book, I like to use Kindle, formerly CreateSpace. Kindle is now the home of CreateSpace as they merged it all under one roof.
Below are the books I’ve published using CreateSpace, which is now Kindle, for both paperback and Kindle editions. I also created the covers using various programs. The free program called GIMP was instrumental in their creation.