Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig
Digital self-publishing has been an exciting development for writers. We’re able to connect with readers without worrying about the cost or logistics of distribution. We have complete control over our pricing and product. This is an industry that’s changing quickly, but the best practices for self-publishers remain the same:
Take our time. Strong writing will be our book’s best advertisement. Beta readers can help us determine any weak spots. If you need more information on a writing-craft topic, the free Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine can help you learn more about plotting, characterization, pacing, and more.
Have our book professionally edited. Beta readers are helpful, but nothing beats a good editor.
Consider getting a professional cover designer. Unless we have talent, time, and a good image manipulation software, a designer is worth the money and will help attract readers to our books. The free Ebook Services Directory is a good place to start, if you’re looking for a professional to help you with your book.
Upload the ebook to every format available (and, later, print and audio, if the book enjoys good sales). Although Amazon’s Kindle remains the most popular, don’t forget to upload your files to Barnes & Noble. Uploading a file to Smashwords ensures that your ebook is distributed to multiple types of e-readers. If your book connects with readers and shows strong sales, consider moving into print, using a service like CreateSpace. Now audio is also available to self-publishers, through the distributor ACX.
Find a social media platform that we enjoy most and build a community there. It’s important not to spam potential readers…instead, we should develop relationships online and support others.
Play with pricing. Opinions on the “right” price for ebooks changes frequently, but running our own
experiments can help us sell books and increase our visibility on online retailer sites.
Write the next book. Ultimately, moving on to our next book is the most helpful thing to do. Not only does having more books ensure more visibility and help promote discoverability by readers, but it helps us improve.
What tips for self-publishers can you add to the list?
Elizabeth S. Craig writes two mystery series for Penguin Random House and self-publishes another. She shares writing links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig.