Self-Publishing Tips, Advice, Warnings

Part 5

Shall we narrow down self-publishing advice to a bullet list of does and don’ts?
I find bullet lists to feel so unfinished, and yet they can provide just enough information to get you over the rough parts. By that, I mean STUCK. Your feet mired in quicksand, and all your best intentions are quickly sinking with you.

This is when you Google the top five tips to help pull you free and on your way.

You may have already tried them, but just reading through again may inspire new action. Today there are many moonlighting editors, publishers, and writers on the web looking for work, and their tip sheet is the lure.

Is this a good thing?
Of course! You have to remember that the self-publishing industry is a big business now. It has put a dent in the publishing industry, and rightly so. I heard an introduction to a self-publishing podcast articulating there is now no middle man between author and audience.

However, you still need the experience and knowledge of experts who know how to put a book together and bring it to readers.

That said, I have been lured into many websites and have folders of tip sheets to show for it. Most are very useful at different stages of the writing, publishing, and marketing process, so I continue to use them for reference.

What 5 tips can you give for first-time book publishers?
1. Read other people’s books for insight and how-to’s. These are essential to inspire the creative through the dark mind of doubt, resistance, and fear. Consider The Artists Way by Julia Cameron to begin.
2. Take online courses in writing, web design, and self-publishing. I joined Sebastian Michaels’ Photoshop Artistry course, and it continues to give me the knowledge, education, and support to create the photo art for my books. I also took both web design and self-publishing courses at a local community college. I learned how to write by writing every day.
3. Read online blogs, to learn from others who are doing what you want to achieve.
4. Check out Joel Friedlander’s website, The Book Designer. Not only is he an expert in the field of publishing, but he is also very generous with free content. He loves to give bullet lists of what you need for all areas of publishing and was a huge help in taking me from text on my computer to an actual book in my hands.
5. Another expert to follow is Sandra Beckwith at Build Book Buzz. A book marketing expert, the knowledge she shares is invaluable for self-published authors. She’s accessible to readers and replies promptly to emails. I’ve learned a lot from watching the way she promotes her own work. Sandra successfully walks her talk, and you can’t get much better than that.

What is your #1 piece of advice for someone ready to write a book?
Let your stream of conscious put 500-1000 words on the paper (or computer). Then get up and take a walk, make a cup of tea or call it a day. Come back to the text later and clean up those run-on sentences, grammar issues, and spelling. Edit, edit, and edit again. I have a subscription to Grammarly that has made a positive difference in my writing. I don’t rely on it for the final edit of my manuscript, but it works as a house cleaner who comes in and cleans up the mess I’ve made.

Are you receiving any compensation for referring the people in this blog?
Heavens no! They may know of me from pestering them with emails on occasion, but I recommend their work because they are good at what they do. They each helped me to create, write, publish, and market four books in three years. If I can do it, believe me, so can you — just my way of saying thanks and passing it forward.

NEXT: So You Want To Be A Photographer