If you’ve been considering the idea of how to publish a book by becoming an indie publisher, here's a brief overview of core publishing topics, from crafting your creation to bursting onto markets across the globe, and why they're so important to achieving publishing success.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but writing is important. Good writing sells books, bad writing doesn’t. There are tons of writing tips out there for you to follow and it's important to avoid common writing mistakes by adhering to structure, but you also need to trust your own writer intuition. These are important elements of crafting a sellable book, however, a large portion of success in writing comes down to time management, knowing when to take a step back from your writing and when to tell writer's block to take a hike—you have to establish a good write-life balance. Spend some time finding out what writing methods work best for you and then chase your muse to a finished manuscript. Nothing can happen until your book is written, so give this stept the focus it deserves.
Boom! First draft is in the books. Now it’s time to pull out that fine-tooth comb and rip it all to shreds. No. We don’t want that. You're welcome to self-edit to get your manuscript to what you feel is its best, but at some point you need to step away and let a fresh pair of eyes take a look at what you’ve created.
There's an array of editing service options available to you, so it's important to understand the different types of edits and decide on which one you think your manuscript will need before you approach an editor. Be sure you know what questions to ask when hiring an editor for your manuscript. Knowing exactly what an editor can do for you and how to decide on one takes a bit of effort, but we recommend starting with an editor with experience editing books in your genre, who you feel comfortable with, and who fits within your price range.
Book Design & Formatting
If your proclivities extend beyond writing to also include computers, design, and the like, then this stage can be a breeze. If not, you're going to need to consider your options before diving headfirst into something that may drive you bonkers and leave you with a less than stellar final product. Nothing identifies a self-published book quite like novice design skills. Regardless of how great your story may be, no one will give your book a chance if your book cover doesn't shine and your interior design distracts from the text.
It's easy to gloss over things like cover design and formatting, but these are intrinsic parts of producing a book that is sellable. There are specific file requirements for print books and file requirements for ebooks that, if not adhered to, can keep your book from reaching readers. And while your creativity drives your content, it also needs to come across in your book cover design.
If you want to DIY design your book, then take the time to learn how to do it well and in a way that works for your genre. If you don’t have the necessary skillset, it's essential that you reach out to someone who does.
Book Production & Book Distribution
Arguably, once you have made it this far, the hardest parts of self-publishing are almost behind you. The book is written. Editing has done its job. Design and format are on point. Now what?
After all the creative work is complete, you need to get your book to market. When considering print and digital your chosen means of production and distribution play a large role in your ability to reach the right audience and ultimately, sell a whole lot of books.
It may seem like connecting with readers worldwide is overreaching, but with self-publishing platforms like IngramSpark, the possibility has never been more real. IngramSpark helps ensure you don't limit your distribution by sharing your book with our over 39,000 retail partners like Barnes & Noble, your local independent bookstore, and libraries, and over 70 major online retailers like Amazon, Apple iBooks, and Kobo.
Joining the Indie Publishing Community
By now we're certain this review of publishing for beginners has made it so that you can barely contain your excitement. You're ready to publish a book! If you haven’t noticed already, the indie community is a pretty tight knit, but accessible group. We're all in it for the betterment of books worldwide and there are plenty of like-minded people out there ready to help you publish like a pro. There's plenty to learn, but also plenty of free resources to help you do so. And always know that you have a self-publishing partner in IngramSpark.