Self-publishing, should you choose the mode, is a complete project in itself. The high is that the author is in full control of all the aspects of the book; story, content, cover, release date, marketing etc. But self-publishing can become confusing and overwhelming if one doesn’t understand the step by step picture of the process.
Let’s dive straight down into the subject.
Understanding the writing goals:
Setting both short-term and long-term goals is of utmost importance in any kind of project. The first step is to zero on the target audience; age, gender, background etc. The next step is to establish the genres one enjoys writing. With these two areas frozen one can safely proceed forward and plan for the next steps.
Ensure the book’s quality:
There is only one rule for ensuring this part of the step and that is editing, editing and editing.
Editing can be broadly divided into four parts;
- The first type of editing is done while writing the story, which focuses on the story to streamline the continuation of the plot.
- Once the story is complete, the author should set the story aside for two to three weeks and come back again to look at it with fresh eyes.
- The next phase in editing is to read the story out loud and edit. This brings out the awkward sentences which might hinder the reading session.
- The fourth and final editing phase is hiring an editor for the copy editing or line-editing. Here the manuscript is edited for grammar, punctuation, and usage of words.
The quality process is not finished here. After doing all the editing changes the manuscript needs at least two pair of eyes for proof-reading, which looks at punctuation, wrong word usage or spelling mistakes, and extra spaces which might have crept in during the editing process.
Seeking help, where needed:
I take lots of external help of fellow writers and other professionals to ensure, that whatever I am putting out for readers to shell out their money, is THE best.
- Engage with other writers for beta reading the book and look out for plot holes, inconsistent characterization and other problems.
- Hire an editor: Importance of editing and a professional editor can’t be emphasized enough.
- Hire a cover designer or learn to use a tool like photoshop for professional looking book cover.
- Engage with professional bloggers and reviewers for review of your book, and to get constructive feedback for improvement on your next project.
Promotion and Marketing:
Whether you are publishing through a publisher or self-publishing you have to promote your book. There is no escaping from marketing your book.
With the onset of online media, it is imperative to know both online as well as offline marketing. Social Media presence is very important in the age of the Internet; have a website/ blog, and Facebook page to showcase your work. Use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to interact with your readers and build your brand.
Successful self-publishing requires an entrepreneurial mindset. Each and every phase from inception to revenue and taxes is the responsibility of the author. There are various resources in the market, online as well as offline, which help one gain the knowledge. Make use of the same and enjoy the process.
All the very best!
Winner of TOI WriteIndia Season 1, Ruchi Singh is a novelist, and writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. A voracious reader, she loves everything—from classics to memoirs to editorials to chick-lit, but her favourite genre is ‘romantic thriller’. Besides writing and reading, her other interests include dabbling with Indian classical dance forms.