If you read my previous post (see November 6th), you realize there are certain steps that need to be taken before you think about signing up with a self-publishing company. And, you know it will cost you money that you may not recoup. This is not to say, you will not, but you need to work diligently to ensure a return on your investment.
So, now we’ll look at steps 3 through 6 of Before You Publish…
3. Learn the craft of writing
Along with a critique group, it’s important to join one or two writing groups. This will be a tool to begin your networking and it will also be a learning experience. Just in the messages alone, you’ll pick up valuable tidbits of information. And, you can always ask questions.
Read and read and read. Read in the genre you are writing and read books on writing. This is where asking questions in your writing group will come in handy. Ask members for recommendations on books you should read to hone your craft.
If possible, take some writing classes or ecourses. There are some authors who occasionally offer free instruction.
Attend writing conferences. If you can’t afford one, there are a couple of great online ones. Check out the free Muse Online Writers Conference. It’s held each October and is a week long.
4. Research self-publishing companies
Whether you’re looking at print-on-demand, subsidy, or co-publishing companies, research a number of them before signing a contract. Along with finding out what services they offer and the cost, check into their reputation.
5. Learn about marketing
If you have a polished product to offer, and you should if you’ve taken your time, joined a critique and writing group, and worked toward learning the craft of writing, you will need to focus on the marketing element of writing.
You can join a couple of marketing groups, study blogs specializing in marketing, read marketing books, and so on. This is the ONGOING element of writing to sell. Unless you have the money to hire a publicist or marketer, you will need to roll up your sleeves and sell your book.
6. Don’t be in a rush
Take your time and the steps necessary to ensure your book has every opportunity for success. Don’t just jump in…it can be a very expensive splash!
Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter/ rewriter. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.
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