Happy Wednesday Lovelies,
Here is a play-by-play on my journey of writing and self-publishing my first novel Claiming Jeremiah. Looking back on my journey there are plenty of things I would have done differently, however, I am so proud of myself. I set out to write a book and even though it was tough, I cried, thought about quitting, had several panic attacks, I can say I finished. And the best part is I have the product to show for it. Do you have your copy of Claiming Jeremiah?
- I wrote my first draft within six months and had it professionally edited.
- After learning a few tips and feeling as though something was missing, I walked away for about a year.
- The next year I picked it up again with fresh eyes and instantly knew what was missing. As I begun writing, the characters took a life of its own and within three months I had a brand new manuscript.
- The next editing phase took about three to six months. (The manuscript was complete, but it was time to dive in and do the dirty work of editing).
- In between the editing phase I worked on the book design.
- Once the editing phase and book design was complete, it was time for the interior design for Kindle, Smashwords and Print (format) (typography, body text, decorative accents and more).
- Since words can shift during the design phase, the next step was to hire a proofreader.
- While my baby was getting proofread, I begun creating lists for who to send my advance copies too; creating a social media plan and marketing strategy; setting up my publishing company (i.e., business account, logo, name, ISBN, etc).
- Compare and research setting a price for your book.
- The proofread was complete it was time to upload to online retailers such as: Amazon, Smashwords, B&N and Google.
If only that was the last step. When you decide to self-publish online and in print, the work has just begun for you.
- Next step was to find a printer that wouldn’t charge me $12.00 per book to print. I finally found one within my budget and sent them my files. Within 3 days I received my baby. She weighed eight pounds, even (there were about ten books per box). Never had my hard work paid off and meant so much to me.
- After spending countless hours looking at her I snapped back into reality and the separation anxiety quickly shifted to – it is time to sale you now! *That my dear’s are a whole new blog post within itself. :)*
Know your target market prior to marketing your book.
Most people will judge the book cover without ever reading the back jacket. Make sure it is professionally designed and captures your story.
Even though you are self-publishing always act professional and as if you are a big time publisher. The product you put out is a reflection of you and your company.
Self-publishing is easy and you are the boss. Relax. Breathe. Never set impossible deadlines for yourself.
Question of the day:
How far in advance should I begin marketing my book?
You should begin marketing your book three to six months prior to your release date. Most well-known book reviewers such as: New York Times, L.A. Times, etc., won’t even look at it if they don’t receive it within four months prior to your release date. Also, it takes at least three to four months to create a strong online presence and set up a marketing campaign.
I love hearing from you! Continue to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions you have and I will be happy to answer them.
P.S. I will create a more detailed blog post about the editing phase next week and then another one on self-publishing business set-up.
Missy B. Salick