The Writing & Self-Publishing Life
Writing a book is rewarding. I love the time spent alone coming up with the idea, creating an outline, and letting the content flow. During my morning meditation, I enjoy imaging the finished product–the color of the cover, the type face, the back cover copy, who will be reading it, and how they will feel afterwards. What I love most is seeing the finished product. I also love the idea of being an Indie author, figuring out the self-publishing process and knowing that the fate of my book is entirely in my hands.
Being an independent author is an enormous challenge.
There is so much information available on how to self-publish your book that it’s easy to become overwhelmed and do nothing. How do I know this? When I self-published my first book, Searching for Jane, Finding Myself (An Adoption Memoir) in 2010., I read everything about self-publishing that I could get my hands on. As a result, I drove myself crazy thinking I had to do it all.
Choose marketing options that suite your personality
What I didn’t realize was the importance of choosing marketing options that suite your personality. For example, if you don’t like public speaking, don’t do it. No, you don’t have to have a presence on all social media or any for that matter. Blogging isn’t for everyone and neither is becoming an Amazon bestselling author, or running a contest, or starting a podcast.
Going the Indie route also isn’t for everyone. It requires creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit, or the funds to hire professionals who can do it for you. A word of caution: be sure to carefully research options and find a reputable publishing company (more about that in another post).
Don’t Stop Now: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life
I’ve spent the past year co-authoring a book, Don’t Stop Now: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life. It’s for women 50+ who want to see how far they’ve come and determine where else they want to go. It’s finished and uploaded to Amazon. My co-author, Elle Gianforte, and I decided to independently publish the book. Why? We have all the skills required to get the word out to our target marketing. And, we’ve gotten really clear about what we are willing to do to publish the book. And, it’s not all that complicated.
Here’s our plan:
PRIOR TO PUBLICATION:
- Create a great website: www.dontstopnow.us Done!
- Create a DontStopNow Facebook page. Done!
- Write and post several blogs on topics related to our book. Invite guest bloggers. Done!
- Order ISBN number and Bar Code: Done!
- Hire a professional book designer: Patty Arnold, Menagerie Design and Publishing. Done!
- Hire a professional proof reader (There is no way you can do this yourself): Kit Bailey.Done!
- Find a company offering Print On Demand. We worked with Create Space. Done!
- Upload book to Amazon. Done!
- Revise Author Page. Done!
- Go back to book designer and get a Kindle version of the book. Almost done!
- Pick a date for a book launch: October 21 — coming soon!
- Host a publication launch party — with wine, food, and a discount price on books.
- Use Facebook, personal email, and handouts to invite local people to the party.
- After the party, send emails to everyone we know with a link to buy the book.
- Send follow-up emails to anyone who buys the book asking for a review.
- Send a press release to our local newspaper.
- Offer to speak at meetings and events where we can sell books.
- Promote the book to appropriate podcasters and radio producers.
- Contact independent book stores in surrounding areas.
- Beginning in January 2019, host a monthly Zoom call on topics covered in the book.
- Conduct 3 month, 6 month, and 9 month reviews and adjust our marketing strategy as needed.
If you have a book inside you — stop talking about it and just write it! If you’ve written a book and have the desire to publish it independently, stick with marketing strategies that you’ll enjoy.