Self-publishing skills: Learning and getting better!

Welcome to the final post in this series, dedicated to self-publishing. Keep an eye out for a free e-book of these posts. But do make sure you subscribe to this blog and get more insight from the editor’s desk!

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So that’s it! You’ve written your book. Designed it, inside and out. Publicised it, sold it, and managed your finances and time effectively.

That’s it then. Well, yes and no.

While it’s tempting to bask in the glory of your success there are a few things you could be reflecting on before you start your next book or writing project.

First, and let’s get it out of the way, let’s reflect on what didn’t go so well this time round. Maybe you couldn’t pay for an editor and a proofreader (what’s the difference?). Maybe you tried designing the cover yourself and it didn’t quite look right. Maybe you haven’t had the sales you wanted because you haven’t been able to tap into the right channels for marketing.

It’s okay to not get everything right, especially if this is your first time. Publishing houses, including some big name ones, still get things wrong – even releasing books ironically called Word Perfect with typos! If the major players in the publishing industry can make a few mistakes, so can you and you can relax about that.

If it helps, make a list of all the things you weren’t happy with and make a plan for getting them better next time. For example:

My cover design looked amateur.Research cover designers.
Budget for cover design.
Readers found too many typos.Find proofreaders that are trained and experienced, belonging to a professional organisation.
Budget for proofreading.
It was hard to get sales.Spend time building a social media following.
Explore book blogs.
Send out more copies to reviewers before release.

But it’s important to not just focus on the negative. It’s easy to dwell on those but remember: you’ve just written a book! It takes a special person to do that. But not only have you written a book, you’ve also self-published a book! That’s a determined person. And you need to be commended.

And, just like your action plan for next time, think about what went well and how you can replicate that for your next book. If the story was well edited, make sure you book the same editor again. If the sales were good because of your Facebook profile, keep it going. If you have a good relationship with a book blogger, be sure to send them a copy of your next release.

It’s just as important to keep a list of the things you are doing well, making sure you do them next time and maybe even doing them better. More readers, more sales, more books, more learning.

Each new project, whether it takes you five years or five months, is a chance to learn and improve.

Writing is important: it’s your opportunity to tell your story. It should be fun. It should be fulfilling. It should show the world what you are capable of. Self-publishing has opened up this world to may more people that traditional publishing ever could.

It’s tough to self-publish. You become a publisher and have to take on so many roles that you can easily forget you are a writer first. But getting back to the blank page for the second, third, fifteenth or fiftieth time, there’s going to be something new to learn, something new to discover and new ways to tell your story to the world.

Good luck with it all!

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Published by Nick Taylor | Editor & Proofreader

Fiction editor and proofreader.

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