To start with, here are some facts for you:
• Just in America, there are more than 50,000 new copyrights every year.
• Even some years back, less than 5% of all books written were ever published.
• In the year 2003, there was 1, 75,000 new releases and a record number of these books were self-published
As Calvin Reid, an editor at Publishers Weekly says.”…Self-publishing is much easier now. Before, you had to spend thousands of dollars. Now you can have your book wonderfully published for several hundred dollars and print on demand.” Add to that, “conscientious, relentless marketing,” Mr. Reid said, “and you have a recipe for success.”
If you look at the present scenario, you will find that authors who prefer self publication bypass the conventional channels to promote their books and sell directly to readers. They make use of the professional services offered by leading organizations like www.writer4me.com or www.power-publishers.com through live events, internet and other lucrative outlets. These are the areas that are often ignored by the conventional publishing industry. Let me tell you here that these “non-traditional” channels are ten times more effective than mainstream book trade outlets.
Even today there are experts in the publishing industry who tend to look down on self-published books, for repeated writing slip-ups, clumsy layouts and cover designs. But believe me, today there is absolutely no reason why a self-published book can’t meet professional standards.
For you here are just a handful of bestsellers that were originally self-published:
• What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson
• In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters
• Real Peace by Richard M. Nixon.
• The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
This book was a bestseller in 1996. Till now it has sold more than 5.5 million copies.
• The One-Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
Since 1982 it has sold more than 12 million copies and been translated in 25 languages.
• A Time to Kill by John Grisham.
• The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer
This classic was self-published in 1931 .Today it sells more than 100,000 copies each year.
So you can see here..self publishing is very much a don’t tell me that self-publishing isn’t a way to get in print! You basically need four traits within yourself to get it done. Yes, I am talking about your zeal, talents, self-belief and grit.
Are you sure you have that? Okay, fine..let’s now go over the some of the most important things you must do to see your self published edition in the list of best-sellers:-
• Do your homework!
Usually what most writers do is, they write a book first, and then search readers for it. Just reverse this convention. Remember, it’s the market that drives a product. So, delve into your readership before you begin to write. You can do your research by studying other books on your subject at libraries, bookstores and even in the internet. The subject you choose should either fill a need that isn’t met so far or you can even write on a popular topic if you can keep the quality better than other writers. Make sure that your book has a clearly-identifiable audience.
Normally, it’s easier to identify readers for a specific, practical topic.
• Study your competitors
Now with the topic ready, you know you must make your publication competitive. So, you need to make a study about the similar books. The study you do may feature whether comparable books are paperbacks or hardbacks, number of pages they contain, the pricing, and yes..this is very important..the packaging.
Remember, even your first novel or book can do a super-duper business, if you really work smart with clinical precision.
• Read works by experts
This is one of your keys to make your publication successful. Even before you start writing, make it a point to read books by renowned experts of this field. You must know that experts write from their experience. So, their books provide you an insight into it which you can absorb in a week or two. It goes without saying that a single good tip from an expert can save you from many disasters.
• Join trade associations
To gain expertise, you can also link yourself to associations like Publishers Marketing Association, Small Press Action Network, Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network and Small Publishers Association of North America. From these groups you can get wonderful opportunities for education. And, most important… they are exceptionally warm to newcomers. As a member, you can attend highly useful workshops and seminars which would be ideal for a new publisher.
• Your book designer and printer
To prepare your script in the best possible way, you need to talk to a book designer and a printer. Only a qualified designer can explain you why each chapter should start on a right-hand page, or size of faces in a photo. He can even tip you to save money by telling you to fill your book with a particular number of pages in a particular trim size, or suggesting you to avoid color printing inside a book. Remember, such information can steer you in preparing your copy for superior results.
• Get professional help
Though you call it self-publishing, but that doesn’t mean that you need to do everything yourself. There can be areas which are beyond your knowledge and grip. Like do you know that today, you can produce a quality book at a cost which is fraction of your budget, if you compare to traditional publishing. So, never hesitate in availing professional assistance from a specialist site like www.writer4me.com which would take as little as $3.5 for one book of 64 pages (A5 B&W, Saddle Stitch). You must bear it in your mind that you should never throw away your time and money by refusing to pay for qualified help in key areas, and end up with a shoddy book. Like if you’re the general contractor in charge of building a house, you’ll always hire an electrician to do the wiring, instead of trying to do it by yourself. So, it’s imperative for you to hire out specialists in editorial work, typesetting and printing.
• Begin with the finished product in mind.
Make sure that you know and enjoy your subject well. Be sure that this will make your experience not only pleasant but also profitable. So, start writing with a specific plan which should be based on your homework you did, a study of the comparable books and getting professional input from a designer and printer. Keep your goal specific and focused, as for example: your objective can be to write a paperback book about floriculture that you’ll sell for $20.99 at various flower shows and horticulture clubs, from your website and direct mail. It will be about 20,000 words (or 150 pages) in length, 5.5×8.5″ with a full color cover and black-and-white interior with a few illustrations. Clear?
• Your style manual
Pick up a style manual and follow the guidelines. Your manual can be anything from the AP Stylebook to Chicago Manual of Style. But ensure that your manuscript is 100% consistent throughout.
• Economy of your style
This plays a big part of your writing well. The points you express must be clear, simple and crispy. You can use as many words as needed, but not a single word more. It’s very important for you to remember that your “economy of style” will later transform to “economy of budget” by affecting a slash in your typesetting, layout, printing and even shipping costs. For instance, writing 10 extra pages will not only add to your publication costs but also make your readers yawn.
• Your editor or proofreader
Even when you are a gifted author, you need to hire an experienced editor or at least a qualified proofreader and work with him. This is to keep your work free from spelling and grammatical errors.
• Close before typesetting
Remember to finish the entire writing and editing before even a single word is typeset. Do you know why? Making changes after typesetting starts is much more expensive and lengthy than polishing the manuscript beforehand.
• Take your time
Last but not the least…do take your time to write. You need not have to rush your copy to typesetting as that can almost always result in slips and lapses that you as an author might regret later.