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  • Self Publishing Tips: 30 Tips for Success

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    Books - Perfect Bound, Self-publishing

    Looking for some self publishing tips? Putting together a book that your readers will love as a self-published author includes everything from making sure that your manuscript looks great to crafting a marketing plan that ensures potential readers can find your book on the physical or virtual shelf. But with so many details to manage, many self-publishing authors miss out on key steps that give their book a more professional appearance or play a part in a successful marketing strategy.

    So we have brought together a list of self publishing tips that new and even experienced self-publishing authors can use during this busy (and sometimes overwhelming) process. Our list of 30 self publishing tips is the perfect resource to help you check all the boxes during your book’s development, publishing, and marketing.

    1. Self Publishing Tips: Adding a Podcast Can Help

    With the exploding popularity of podcasting, providing an additional channel for readers to learn about their new favorite author, hear behind-the-scenes content about a book, learn about the writing process, or even listen to more in-depth discussion about a genre they love, authors can use podcasting to widen their audience and grow readership.

    2. Ask for Book Reviews

    Reaching out directly to those who do buy your book for an honest review can help you gain more exposure by offering potential readers a glimpse into your writing. Asking other authors to provide a review on a site like Goodreads can increase the odds that a potential reader will try out your book too, since readers love to hear what trusted readers and writers have to say.

    3. Self Publishing Tips: Blog for Your Book

    Building excitement for your book launch by bringing your audience along for the process is easy to do with a book blog. Offer blog readers insight into your writing process, leave a few sneak peeks into the upcoming book, answer reader questions about popular characters, and keep readers updated on your book’s availability on your book blog.

    4. Compete (To Win Readers)

    One way to show off your writing chops is to enter your work into writing competitions like the Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards or the Independent Book Publisher Association’s Ben Franklin Awards. One of our author self publishing tips that many writers don’t think about, entering and placing in writing competitions can provide authors with an exciting blurb to include on a book cover and give writers’ work a chance to be acknowledged by an independent literary organization.

    5. Connect with a Distributor or Wholesaler

    Finding reliable channels for your book’s distribution is important, so reaching out to independent book distributors and wholesalers should be part of your marketing strategy. Independent Publisher’s Group and Baker & Taylor utilize a national database that bookstores, libraries, and other booksellers use to order from, so getting your title on their list will help you get more books into reader’s hands.

    6. Self Publishing Tips: Consider the Importance of a Great Blurb

    The short, one to two-paragraph description of your book is the first introduction potential readers have to your book. Create an impactful, memorable, and engaging blurb that you will use to advertise your book along with a cover thumbnail. Different than a book summary, this blurb should tease a little bit about the book while encouraging readers to pick up your book to see how it all turns out.

    7. Content Knowledge Can Offer New Opportunities

    Many authors do a lot of research while writing their books, so you may be somewhat of an expert on your subject area when your book is ready for print. One way to broaden your impact as a writer is to offer an online course that fans can buy and download from you to learn more while you increase your credibility as an expert in the field.

    8. Create and Use Author Branding

    A comprehensive branding package, often developed with a professional graphic artist, is one of the best self-publishing tips that give even first-time authors credence to potential readers.

    9. Self Publishing Tips: Different Types of Editing Styles Are Needed

    A critical step in bringing a beautifully crafted book to print is editing. Authors who self-publish should clearly understand the main types of editing services available so they can make sure that errors won’t wind up in the final manuscript, leading readers to conclude the book was not professionally made.

    • Copy Editing focuses on the grammatical details in a manuscript like grammar, punctuation, spelling, typographical errors, and sentence structure.
    • Developmental Editing allows an author to receive feedback on an author’s storytelling. A developmental editor can suggest fine-tuning of the plot, character development, theme, or symbolism as well as provide chapter organization feedback on nonfiction works.
    • Line Editing helps writers improve their writing flow, readability, and word choice.
    • Research Editing assists writers in fact-checking and making sure all details included in a book are aligned with current research.

    10. Digital Bookstores Are Your Friend

    Even if your main priority is producing printed books for your readers, the popularity of digital books should not be ignored. Once your book has been sent off to the printer, consider developing an electronic version available for those readers who prefer a digital format.

    11. Self Publishing Tips: Don’t Be Afraid of Email Marketing

    Spam emails get a deserved bad rap, but self-publishing authors can use well-developed marketing emails to stay connected with their readers and to build anticipation about a new book or upcoming author appearance.

    12. Effective Book Marketing Is Key

    Building a comprehensive marketing strategy is something that all self-publishing authors need to do to bring attention to their work. If you pay attention to just one of these self publishing tips, make it this one! Thinking through the different ways that you will get your book in front of potential readers and putting a plan into action is the best way to make sure the right readers see your book, hear engaging messaging that will pique their interest and those readers will know how and where to buy your book.

    13. Expert Book Formatting Makes a Difference

    Even the most talented writers may not be skilled in niche abilities like developing the most effective formatting for their book. Working with a professional book formatter can take the burden off of a self-publishing author and allow someone with deep expertise to make their book look perfect.

    14. Self Publishing Tips: Let Audiobook Formatting Provide a New Audience

    Audiobooks are increasingly popular, so one of our favorite self publishing tips is to look into transforming your book into an audiobook. Many authors choose to read their work, minimizing the financial impact of paying a professional voice artist.

    15. Look for Speaking Engagements for Published Authors

    As a published author, your input and expertise are valued by all kinds of organizations. Seek out opportunities to speak about your content knowledge, genre information, and writing experience with libraries, genre organizations, and other literary groups.

    16. Self Publishing Tips: Make Buying Extra Copies Easy

    Often when an author is a guest speaker, the group buys a book for the meeting attendees. Making your book easy to purchase in quantities will encourage anyone who hires you for a speaking engagement to buy your book as a freebie for their guests.

    17. Networking Works

    Connecting with other authors can help you navigate the world of self-publishing as well as give writers a group of like-minded professionals to learn from and bounce ideas off of during the inevitable challenging stages of being an author.

    18. Newspapers Can Help Self-Published Authors

    Reach out to publications like print or online newspapers to pitch your book for review, as a spotlight in upcoming publications, or even to consider coverage on an up-and-coming author.

    19. Self Publishing Tips: Plan a Book Launch Event

    Don’t let a big event like your book launch pass by without taking advantage of the excitement. Create anticipation on social media channels, communicate with readers how they can find your book, and alert local genre or literary groups so they can join in on the fun of your book’s publication.

    20. Print Advertising Works

    Even with the proliferation of digital marketing, relying on a few trusted print advertising tools is a good idea. Create professional business cards with your author branding to hand out or include with promotional books or a flyer to leave at local booksellers and libraries.

    21. Professional Cover Designing Matters

    A well-designed book cover created by an expert will make your book look professional and help it fit into genre norms, encouraging potential readers to give your book a try.

    22. Self Publishing Tips: Readers Love Book Trailers

    Making an exciting book trailer to upload to BookTok or YouTube is an excellent, low-cost strategy to capture new readers.

    23. Seek Endorsement to Amp Up Sales

    Reach out to other authors or content experts to endorse or recommend your book to potential readers online, on your book jacket or sites like Goodreads.

    24. SEO Knowledge Is Necessary

    Learning the basics of how to employ strong SEO strategies can help authors use online marketing to its potential.

     25. Self Publishing Tips: Think About Alternative Funding Strategies

    To fund printing costs, many self-publishing authors turn to online crowdfunding sites to defray the costs while also creating a buzz about their upcoming book.

    26. Use Social Media Correctly

    Leveraging social media exposure can be one of the best marketing tools a self-publishing author has in their tool belt.

    Instagram is highly visual, while TikTok’s popular “book tok” feed is perfect for authors to read snippets of their books or to speak directly to their audience in short, engaging videos. X (formerly Twitter) and Threads are ideal for interactive discussions, dropping links to websites or booksellers as well as connecting with a literary community through the use of hashtags.

    27. Self Publishing Tips: Work With Locally Owned Booksellers

    Look for smaller, local booksellers to champion their hometown writers to help you sell more books.

    28. Writing Groups Offer Excellent Support

    Literary circles and writer’s groups can provide authors with support and guidance as newly published writers.

    29. Self Publishing Tips: You Need an Author Website

    Even a basic site that provides readers with a little bit of information about you, your books and offers a link for book sales is a necessary tool for all self-publishing authors.

    30. Never Stop Learning!

    Stay on top of the newest, greatest and latest opportunities for authors. Other authors, genre groups and fans are all excellent resources for learning about what it means to be a published author.

    When you’re ready to publish your book, check out Dazzle Printing‘s online pricing calculators.


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