The State Library of Pennsylvania Lunch And Learn Program invited me to talk about about my experiences self-publishing Special Risk. Since they asked, I compiled the steps of my process and shared it with them today. It was quite a lengthy list!
- Write the best book you can.
- Have it professionally edited.
- Find beta readers and use them. (Offer them a free book – but ask for a review in exchange.)
- Decide on the format (ebook, paperback, hardcover, audio).
- Decide on pricing.
- Set a publication date.
- Create a beautiful, appropriate, eye-catching cover (or have someone design it for you).
- Lay out the interior.
- Develop your marketing plan.
- Create an author website.
- Create an author presence on social media. (Pick one or two, you don’t have to use them all.)
- Print your book.
- Promote your book.
Resources for Self-Publishing
There are lots of places to look for information on self-publishing. Here are a few to get you started:
- Alliance of Independent Authors, or ALLi, is a professional association of self-published writers. Be sure to read “Self Publishing Today: An Overview” by Orna Ross from their Advice section.
- Reedsy.com – offers educational information and connections to professional editors, designers, and marketers. High quality connections with proven track records.
- JaneFriedman.com – lots of good information on nonfiction and fiction, including recommended resources. Sign up for her once-a-week newsletter.
- Pennwriters.org – helps writers at every stage of the writing and publishing process. I especially recommend their yearly conference and their critique groups.
- kdp.com (Kindle Direct Publishing), Amazon’s publishing arm. Their site holds information about publishing books using their services, but it’s worth reviewing their information even if you are going through a different publisher or distributor. If you are publishing an ebook, it’s likely you will need them.
- On Facebook, 20booksto50K – you’ll need a Facebook account to look at this. Because of the group’s size (53,519 members by today’s count), the page is a little like the Wild West at times. This huge group has a resources area (look under “Guides”) that is quite valuable. It may take a while to find what you need there, but the information is well worth it. The administrators and moderators, as well as most members, believe in writers helping writers. A phrase you often see posted is “A rising tide floats all boats.” The idea is that even though we’re in competition, we can be kind and help each other, too.
As a bonus during my talk, I included a sneak peek of the cover art for the next book in the series, Flood Risk. And now you can see it, too! The bridge is one that spans the Cumberland River in Nashville. The instrument below it is a mandolin.