Have you written a manuscript that is currently collecting dust (including ‘electronic dust’)? If you’ve submitted your manuscript to mainstream publishers countless times or if your writing is likely to only appeal to a niche market then self publishing your book may be the best course of action. However, before you take the plunge and opt for the self publishing route there are some key points you should consider:
- Good written expression: Is your book error-free and ready to be read by the general public? Nobody wants to read a poor-quality book, but without help from a professional editor or proofreader, it can be very challenging for you to identify all the possible mistakes in your own work. At the very least ask other family members or friends to read through your manuscript. It is so important to make a good impression on your target audience. If your readers start finding spelling and grammatical errors it can seriously injure your reputation and the potential of your book to be taken seriously.
- Copyright and defamation of character: Before you publish a book it is imperative that you own or have permission to publish all the content (including images) within your manuscript. As the author you need to make sure your book does not contain anything libellous that someone might take offence to. Remember when you are self publishing in most cases it is up to you as the author to make sure your book does not break any copyright laws or contain anything that may be considered to be defamatory against an individual or group.
- High quality cover design: While we’ve all heard the old saying, ‘Never judge a book by its cover,’ the truth is that people do it all the time. Good covers sell books, bad covers don’t. The cover of your book is the public face of your written work. If it looks bland, boring and unprofessional, regardless of how good the contents may be, chances are no one will pick it up to find out. It may cost be a bit more, but getting a professional graphic designer to create a high-quality book cover will give your book the best opportunity of gaining an audience.
- Select a suitable book title: It is important to choose the right title for your book. It might seem simplistic but even if you have written the best book ever (self) published, if you call it something dull and uninspiring, it is very likely that are no one will make the effort to read it. The title of your book needs to be snappy, to the point and interesting – without being overly obscure.
- Distribution: It is a good idea to get an idea well before you are ready to publish your book what type of market availability is appropriate. Do you only want to sell your own copies or do you want your book to be available for sale on online book retailing websites such as Amazon and Book Depository? You need to research the market for your potential book and then work out how exactly you are going to target them. Deciding this from the outset will help you to find the right publishing service that is suitable for your needs.