All of November you were on the clock to complete your book for NaNoWriMo. If you succeeded (WOW!) you're basically a superstar. Congrats! And after you spent an entire month lovingly crafting the perfect manuscript we know you’re eager to get it published.
Before you jump into the next stage of your journey, take time to make certain you’re giving readers the best possible version of your masterpiece. To help you along, here are 6 vital steps to take before you publish your book.
1. Proof your book
Self-edit, revise, and then get it professionally edited. We know, you thought the writing was done, but being meticulous about the content of your book is the best way to make sure readers appreciate your story.
2. Determine your audience
Who’s going to read your book? Even though you may think your book is for everyone, it isn’t. Be honest with yourself about your audience and you’ll find much more success and be able to be much more targeted in your approach. A big part of generating successful book sales is knowing who your readers are. When finding your target audience consider things such as:
- Regional appeal
- Social and cultural groups
- Age and gender demographics
3. Choose an appropriate trim size and a reasonable price
A smart tactic here is to compare your book to other books in the same category and genre. Take a trip to your local bookstore and visit the section you’d envision your book being shelved. What trim sizes do you see? How much should your book cost based on the ones like yours? Are they mostly paperbacks or hardcovers? Pick an affordable trim size and format that offers a good return on your investment. Seek out a mid-range price comparable to what’s already there. Not too high, not too low.
4. Book Metadata
This is what helps potential customers find your book and quickly explain to them what it’s about. Metadata matters and is very important to book discoverability. Things to consider when preparing your metadata are:
- A quick synopsis of your book—create a hook
- Search terms your target audience will use to find your book
- Questions your book may answer for potential buyers
As with book pricing and trim size, searching for books similar to yours online can help you create effective metadata. Scan results for books that you think are most similar to yours to get a glimpse of how successful authors/publishers in your category describe their books and the terms and phrases they use that produce results. The more specific and honest your metadata is, the better. When potential customers know exactly what your book has to offer, they’re more likely to buy.
5. Get involved
Spend time building an author platform. This goes back to knowing your audience’s habits. Where do they hang out online? Are there forums dedicated to your book’s subject matter? Blogs? News outlets? Other author and/or book communities? Make your author platform easily accessible.
What are some elements that make an author platform? Glad you asked!
- Social media
- Author website
- Online book groups
- A local bookstore presence
- Visibility at your community library
6. Define success and commit
If you want to print your NaNoWriMo book just to have a copy to call your own and share with friends and family, just enjoy the ride. If you have targeted goals, like spreading an important message, you may want to focus more on promotion and less on potential revenue. On the other hand, if this is your launch pad into a career as a budding author, refine that author platform to optimize engagement and sales. Success doesn’t happen overnight. Self-publishing a book takes serious commitment. But if you go about it with smarts and patience your efforts will surely pay off.
Save on the Cost of Self-Publishing
When you’re ready to publish your book, we’re here for you. IngramSpark is designed to level the playing field for self-published authors like you. We give you all the advantages of big-house publishing at prices self-publishers can afford.To help you get started how does FREE title setup sound? With code NANO2016 (ends March 21, 2017), you can upload your NaNoWriMo book for free in your IngramSpark account.