I often times get asked about how I was able to self-publish a book back in 2014 and how it completely changed my business overnight. The reality is, self-publishing a book probably isn’t as difficult as many people make it seem.
Granted, self-publishing a book isn’t easy, per say. Writing a book is one of the hardest things I’ve done. However, it also wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. Additionally, the internet has made it easier than ever before to self-publish.
Step 1: Build your audience.
Since you’re reading this blog, I’m going to assume that your interest in self-publishing a book stems from an interest to use your book as a marketing tool for your business. First off, that’s incredibly smart and it does work.
However, many people often times come to me asking me about self-publishing when they haven’t even built an audience yet. I would venture to say that there’s not much point in going through the trouble of self-publishing a book if you’ve got no one to sell it too. In my book (no pun intended), you need to at least recoup the cost of putting it out there to begin with.
That’s why the first step in self-publishing a book is to build your audience. Build it via email lists, blogs, social media and anything else you can use to create a tribe that will buy your book once it’s out there. Trust me, it will make your life easier.
Step 2: Write it while you do market research.
The next step in self-publishing a book is to actually write it. Again, assuming you’re doing this for business purposes, it makes a lot of sense to write the draft while you do market research. For instance, my book is a culmination of about 100 interviews I did with my target market where I asked them what their fears were about money. My book simply addresses those fears one by one.
Rather than trying to come up with the next great literary masterpiece, just ask your market what they want and then write it. Chances are that will help you create a better masterpiece anyway.
Step 3: Outsource the tedious stuff.
The next step in self-publishing a book is to outsource the tedious stuff. In this case, you’ll need to hire an editor to edit your draft and you’ll need to hire someone to format your book for places like CreateSpace and Kindle. From there it’s as easy as uploading the files to your desired printing and digital e-book platform.
Take it from someone who learned the hard way, I did all the formatting myself and it was a nightmare. Next time I’m just going to hire someone off of Upwork.
Step 4: Create your marketing plan.
This is the real bread and butter when it comes to self-publishing a book. You need to market your book if you plan to sell it. That’s why it’s so important to come up with a marketing plan. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get started:
- Who are you going to email letting them know about your book?
- Will you be doing free online events?
- What is your social media strategy?
I would actually argue that creating a marketing plan is the hardest part of self-publishing a book. Reason being that you must continue to market even after the book is launched in order to keep making sales.
If you’re thinking of self-publishing a book, don’t overcomplicate it. Instead, stick to these steps to help you get through it with as much ease as possible.