As an authorpreneur in Kenya, you might decide that you would like to self-publish your book. A few years ago the thought would have seemed impossible but these days, international self-published authors such as E.L.James of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ or Guy Kawasaki who self-published ‘APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur’, have books that have gained popularity and sold millions. After hearing that, a fiction writer might think that it’s very easy to publish a book and make a lot of money online; however, it is not that easy. Self-published authors still work very hard to not only write, but create their product (the book they’ve authored) and sell it to the market in an effective way in order to achieve success. It’s not an easy road since unlike signed authors who have a publishing house backing them up, you might have to do a lot of work yourself instead. However if you are an author who is ready to take on the challenge of being an entrepreneur, you can achieve success.
There are three important aspects of self-publishing your book that you should never take lightly and should tackle in the most professional of ways. These three aspects are imperative to the success of your book.
1. Getting a professional editor to edit your book
You might be a very good and talented writer, however; even the best make mistakes. You need to get someone to read your book and edit for any grammatical errors or to check for good writing. It is therefore important to find at least one editor who is skilled and seasoned in editing books professionally for writers. You can have 2 to 5 other people read your draft in order to assist with editing, such as your friends or family who are well versed in editing; but it’s always important to make sure one of the people who is editing your book before you publish it has some professional experience or background. You can decide to find an editor and hire them for their services. If you are a new authorpreneur and do not have a large budget; there are ways you can look for editing services for very low costs or for free. Websites such as Writer.ly or Writing.com have people who offer editing services for authors looking to self-publish. They have their rules on how they go about it, but you can check two or three sites to see which one’s the best fit for you.
2. Getting a professional and well-designed cover page for your book
It’s very important to get a well-designed cover page for your book before you self-publish. The cover page should be able to attract the correct target audience for your book as well as portray the ‘face’ of your book effectively. In business, presentation is very important, therefore; you book is no different. If you are not talented or well-versed at graphic design or cover page design, you need to get someone who is. If you have a family member or friend who has such skills, then approach them and have them do a professional cover page for your book. If you do not know anyone near you who does graphic design, you can choose to look for a professional graphic designer or photographer (if you require a professional photograph done for your book cover) and hire their services. If you have a small budget; you can look for sites that have artists who offer cover page design services at a lower cost or for free to get referrals or gain experience and exposure. Try out sites such as Deviant art or Writer.ly, they also offer design services; where you can network with these individuals and find out how they offer their services. You can also inquire on fiction writing sites since they may also have or know of individuals who offer those services as well.
3. Writing a descriptive and stellar ‘blurb’ for your book
A ‘blurb’ is the little paragraph that is at the back of every book which describes the story in short and lets the potential reader know what the book is about. It’s very important since it’s what helps you ‘close’ the sale on your potential reader. It has to be engaging and compelling enough to leave the potential reader wanting more – enough to buy your book. This is similar in business to a product description. You have to ensure you entice the target reader with just enough information to pique his/her interest. This requires the writer’s talent in writing and summarizing a story in a few sentences, so make sure you are up to the challenge. Have one or two people read the blurb, especially those who haven’t read your book yet and get their reaction on whether it piques their interest.
I hope those three pointers have helped any of you authorpreneurs out there, now get to work and get that book of yours ready for selling!
If you have any other pointers on how to get your book ready for the market before selling it, feel free to share below ^_^.
This post appeared originally on the Storymoja Hay Festival Blog