Some thoughts and resources on self-publishing e-books. Tip o' the cap to @torrami for the request!
- •Get Rich...Or Write TryingIf you're doing it for the money---don't. There are much easier ways to make a lot more money faster. ("Just drive this car up from Miami. Don't look in the trunk. Oh, and don't get pulled over....") Good on ya if you hit it big overnight, but that's rare. Instead, better to approach self publishing as what Seth Godin calls "an organized hobby." You'll be happier and more satisfied.
- •Know Why You're Self-PublishingIf you shouldn't do it for money, then why are you doing it? Nonfiction books can show you're an expert in your field and help that biz. I write crime fiction and went the indie route because I wanted to get my stories in the hands of readers and was tired of waiting to be chosen by traditional publishing. You have your reasons, I'm sure.
- •Read the book "Write. Publish. Repeat.: The No-Luck-Required Guide To Self-Publishing Success" by Johnny B. Truant and Shaun PlattThis was the first how-to book I read when I decided to stop waiting around to be chosen. Looking back now I can see it's been an invaluable roadmap.
- •Check out Joanna Penn's site for lots of great advice and inspiration on writing, self publishing and marketing.
- •Make a BudgetAlways helps to know how much you have/want/are willing to spend. Makes some decisions to come that much easier.
- •Get ScrivenerThis writing and publishing software gives you control over the entire process, from writing to formatting your manuscript for every publishing platform, print or digital. Besides, it's always good to know how to actually make your own product.
- •First Impressions CountUnless you're a fantastic graphic designer you need to hire a fantastic graphic designer to create your cover art. Self-publishing starts off with the stigma of suckiness (because a lot of it does) so everything you do must prove that preconception wrong, starting with your book's first impression.
- •Pay for a Professional ProofreaderSee above comment on defying stigmas.
- •Write the Best Book You CanSeems obvious but you would be surprised. Thing is, it's much easier said than done. Writing is hard; writing well is f*#$ ing hard. (Soon I'll do a list of recommended books on writing and storytelling.)
- •You Don't Ask, You Don't Get.Ask for help, advice, feedback, reviews, etc. Oh and learn to take all those things with grace. Learn what feedback to apply & what to ignore. The trick is to be open and to recognize if what you’re hearing says more about your work or about the person saying it. No matter which, always say thank you and don't argue.
- •Print vs E-bookAt some point (the earlier the better) you have to decide what formats (print, ebook, audiobook, a mix of all) to publish in. I chose digital-only for reason of costs (for me and for readers), distribution, connectivity and convenience. Whatever you decide, best of luck!