Lunch with Socamom®: 10 Tips for Self Publishing Your Next Book

Every Thursday, I host a Lunch and Learn chat on Twitter with the hashtag #LunchWithSocamom. During one chat, I shared my best tips for self publishing your book. Here they are… Feel free to share!

I self published my book, Anancy’s Family Reunion, and I am happy to share my tips for self publishing your book. Here are my top ten. 

  1. Before you decide to self publish, know WHY you are doing it. If it is to be famous, stop. Do something else. Self publishing is not a get rich quick scheme. You are taking on a role that traditionally belonged to large companies with a staff.
  2. Start saving for your book before you even begin writing. You will need the money. When you self publish, there is no big advance, so you’ll have to give the big advance to yourself. Come up with a savings plan.
  3. Put together a budget for printing, promotion, book launches, signings, booths, airfare, hotel, transportation, and an EDITOR. You may also need a publicist to help you get the word out about your book, that won’t be free.
  4. Have a team of smart friends who believe in your project, but aren’t afraid to read and give constructive criticism. Get as many eyes on your book before you go to print. Self published books can be a hard sell. Worse with typos.
  5. Document your progress on social media, on a blog, and/or in an email newsletter to fans, friends, and family. We live in an age of sharing. People want to know your process. Your why and how are important. Be open without giving spoilers.
  6. Take a writing class at a local community college or university. Take your writing seriously. Great writers are always learning. Also get Elements of Style by Strunk and White. Best $5 you’ll spend.
  7. Even if your book is a freebie, a giveaway, an ebook for your blog – make sure it is well written and COULD be sold. You never know where your first book could lead. Paid speaking engagements, job opportunities… you never know. Make it good.
  8. Get a self publishing mentor. There are people out there who are doing it right and who have a passion for helping others. Make it a point to network with other writers in your genre. Find opportunities to promote your work together.
  9. Don’t count entirely on friends and family to sell your books. Even if it is only a 99 cent download. Reading a book is an investment that goes beyond the cost of the book. Even though it would be nice, your friends and family aren’t obligated to invest.
  10. Make sure EVERYBODY knows that you wrote a book. Put it in your bio. Add it to LinkedIn.  Writing a book is a big deal. A huge undertaking. Everyone should be aware of your accomplishment.

This is not all that you need to know, but hopefully these tips will help you when you decide to write and publish your own book. Check out the hashtag #LunchWithSocamom to see what we are chatting about over on Twitter. We chat every Thursday at 12:30 pm EST.

Have you self published before? What tips and tools were helpful to you? We’d love to hear your story in the comments.