The beginning of the year is here and with it comes the drive to make positive changes in our lives. New Year’s resolutions can sometimes be a bit vague or lofty, but this list of specific action items offers simple ways for you to achieve more with your writing, planning, and overall approach to self-publishing a book in 2018. Check out our 15 New Year’s Resolutions for writers.
1. Commit to Starting/Finishing a Book This Year by Setting Realistic Writing Goals
Whether an idea is just starting to brew or has been in the works, 2018 is the year you publish a book. How? By creating a plan for completion. Maybe you aren’t writing a chapter per week, but per month. Establish a time frame that works for you and stick to it.
2. Read at Least Five New Books in Your Genre
It's important to keep up-to-date on new trends in your genre. There is a lot to be learned from your fellow authors: good and bad. Read, read, and read some more.
3. Visit Your Local Bookstore and Library at Least Once a Month
Since reading more is already one of your New Year’s resolutions, this one should be easy! And we don’t mean just walk in the door and browse. Attend special events, buy/check out books, volunteer when the opportunity arises. A monthly visit to your local bookstore or public library is a simple action that will help you build useful self-publishing connections.
4. Always Carry a Notebook
Inspiration can strike during the most unlikely of times. Whether on the train or out to lunch, make sure you have a way to document your moments of brilliance.
5. Research Books Like Yours Every Month
Take note of price, format, and trim size. What elements, outside of the content, are readers in your genre looking for? What types of book covers do they have? What back cover copy is being used or keywords are you seeing in their book descriptions online? How are these books being shelved?
6. Spend Time Researching Your Subject Matter
Even if you are writing fiction, research into the subject matter you are writing about will help keep ideas fresh, genuine, and most likely spark some new ones.
7. Eliminate Distractions
Find a spot to write that allows you to focus. An easy solution to this roadblock is setting defined work periods for research and writing.
8. Determine a Realistic Audience
9. Create a Marketing Plan for Engaging with Your Ideal Audience
10. Build Your Following
Regardless of whether you do this via social media or through email marketing or at author events, the best way to build your audience is by engaging. That means blogging, replying to comments, sharing others’ content, and keeping them in the loop with emails, newsletters, etc.
11. Define Specific, Quantifiable Publishing Goals
Make a list of measurable achievements. These can be personal author goals or actions you want readers to take. When you know why you want to self-publish a book, your focus will become easier and success will follow.
12. Get Help From Professionals
If you're not a professional editor or book designer, your book is going to need those things. Do your research so that when you're ready to publish your book you aren’t delayed with any logistical or production details.
13. Educate Yourself About the Publishing Business
Keeping up with your publisher education can only help build on your publishing success. If you’re unsure where to start, IngramSpark offers a self-publishing IQ quiz that can help point you in the right direction. Depending on your results you will be directed to resources, like articles and guides, that can help inform your publishing success.
14. Join a Community and Be Active on a Weekly Basis
Most book communities provide public forums—conferences, online boards, social media profiles—that allow you to participate in a wider capacity. Follow influencers, post original content, share others’ content, ask for feedback, volunteer. There’s a lot of value in surrounding yourself with people who can point you in the right direction.
15. Self-Publish a Book in 2018
Do it; publish your book. Use IngramSpark for a quality book combined with book distribution that allows you global reach, reputation, and value. You're more than capable of turning these New Year’s resolutions into a self-published book. This is the year!