How to Self-Publish Your Book

Self-Publish Your Book

As an author who chose to go the indie route and Self-Publish my books, I have found the path is a long uphill climb. Gaining recognition and readership is difficult. Why? It’s simple. It has become incredibly easy and inexpensive to publish one’s own work, and thousands are doing so without regard to quality or knowledge of the craft of writing.

Although “vanity” publishing has morphed into a more acceptable choice for authors, many new writers remain clueless as to the requirements of producing quality work. They simply put it out there before readers, confident in their skills-skills that are often severely lacking. Conservatively, 80% of the works published in this manner should never have been printed, and many others are in need of some serious professional help. Most new writers are clueless as to what makes a good story. Their books are poorly written. Vetted only to the rave reviews of mothers, spouses, and friends, these books have never had the scrutiny of a professional editor.

Your friend who teaches high school English is not a “professional” editor. No offense intended toward English teachers. Matter of fact, I have several close friends who teach, and they will tell you, professional editing is a craft that requires more than an expertise with grammar. Your friend who is also a writer is also not necessarily a “professional” editor. I have many friends who are writers, and most will tell you that they would never self-publish a work without having it professionally edited.

With that said, here’s my advice to any would-be indie author on how to self-publish your work: 1. Read constantly. Read a variety of good authors who are well known. You will learn what good writing looks like. 2. Join a writers group and have your work continuously vetted by fellow writers. Don’t argue with them. You don’t have to agree, disagree or explain. Simply listen. 3. Attend some writers’ conferences and workshops. Fill your schedule with the various classes offered at these conferences. 4. Recruit total strangers as Beta-readers and again, listen to what they say. 5. When you believe your book is absolutely perfect, put it before a professional editor (If this doesn’t cost you substantially, the person is probably not a professional editor.) Professional editing is expensive, but it will be the best money you ever spend.

Don’t be the writer who can’t write, spell, plot, create believable characters, avoid deus ex machina, write believable dialogue, maintain POV, avoid clichés, etc. ad nauseam. Take time to learn the craft.

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