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 YouSo you want to be an author, you’ve let the words tumble out of your head and onto paper but you have no idea what to do next? You are in the right place!

Self-publishing offers a cost-effective way to share your writing with the masses. In 2007, the Kindle was born along with the self-publishing innovation of Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Creatives that were being held back by the book world’s gatekeepers, finally saw an opportunity. By 2011, self-publishing and e-books were in full swing. Many books that corporate publishers dismissed went on to be highly successful self-published books.

Self-publishing is the fastest growing segment within the global print sales market, which is anticipated to grow with a compound annual growth rate of 17% during 2018-2024. Whether you are looking to publish a print book, e-book or audiobook, all markets are healthy and growing in this segment.

Your self-publishing journey can be a stressful and lonely when you’re doing everything yourself. So I thought I would share five top tips on how to make that journey less stressful and more joyful.

1. Purchase an ISBN

An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) provides important data about your book to booksellers and also labels you as the publisher. Think of it as the barcode for your book, just as the food you purchase from a supermarket. An ISBN provides you with protection from copyright violations as it can only be used once, therefore is unique to your book. You also need an ISBN to be able to sell your book through traditional retailers and purchasing this yourself ensures you have full control. 

*Note – each format of your book will need its own unique ISBN. You don’t need an ISBN for an eBook.

2. A Professional Book Cover is a MUST 

You want your book to stand out, you want it to attract your customers eyes when its sitting on the bookshop shelf. Your book cover is one of the most important tool when marketing your book to your readers. It should give the reader an idea of what the book is about without giving too much away. So, if you are not a designer by trade, I suggest researching what makes a good book cover and hiring a professional to help you. If you create a book with great print quality and a good cover design, no one will be able to tell your self-published book from one that’s published by a major traditional publisher. Always have in the back of your mind, a successful book cover needs to make a reader ‘feel’ the manuscript rather than ‘tell’ about it

3. Use Reputable Services

Before you jump into outsourcing parts of your publishing journey, be sure to research and ask fellow self-publishing authors for recommendations. The last thing you want is to hand over your hard work to someone for you to then be ghosted. More money to be demanded of you. Or not get access to the source files once the work is completed. I know this can sound a bit extreme, but it can happen, and I don’t want it to happen to you.

4. Edit Your Masterpiece

Your writing is never going to be perfect in the beginning and that is completely normal. Professional editing is a must to get your manuscript ready for design and layout. But first you need to determine what type of editing your book requires, developmental/structural or copyediting. Developmental editors check for flow and consistency in the language used. Copyeditors correct spelling, adjust grammar and punctuation. The focus is on a technical level.

Going without professional book editing altogether can be a mistake. You can always catch others’ mistakes, but rarely your own. But the real secret about professional editing is that it makes it look as if you got all of these things right, yourself. So be sure to credit your editors by name whenever you have the chance.  

5. Find a Book Mentor 

There are many advantages to working with a book mentor. As I mentioned earlier, do your research if you are choosing someone to work with. You want to be sure you will receive the guidance you need and have someone who is working with you to achieve YOUR goals, not their own. A book mentor will guide you through the steps you need to take to get your manuscript from your first draft to a final published book in your hands. 

All of the information available to you on Google can be conflicting and confusing, especially if it is your first book. Having an experienced mentor by your side will save you time, hassle and stress. Some book mentors (including myself) also provide aftercare support to help you get the most out of your journey. 

I am deeply passionate about helping authors get their books out there in the big wide world. I’m 100% ALL IN when I commit to a book. With over 30 years of experience in print design and publishing, I’ll do everything that I can to support you from the very beginning until after your book is published. There’s a good reason that they call me “The Book Angel.”

If you are still unsure what step to take first, reach out to me for a no-obligation chat.

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I look forward to serving you!

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