Secrets to Self-Publishing

Self-Publishing. The supposed last resort of authors. Guess what? It’s not. Would you rather pay twenty bucks at a time sending pounds of paper to an agent and only get back a few ounces of rejection? Why not publish your work free?

I found Smashwords online publishing tools to be super easy…and super free. You create the book, format it to their specs, create a cover page, and upload everything to the site. Once published, the books are distributed to big bookstores like Barnes and Noble and Apple iTunes store.

But there are some self-published books that are poorly written. How to make yours stand out?

1) Well-written prose
Apparently this is emphasized on every site concerning writing and publishing. To avoid reinventing the wheel, get your manuscript to an editor. If you can’t afford one, I suggest going to your local community college and asking for a writing tutor. They’ll give you some good advice and you’re supporting their services at the same time.

2) Short, snappy sentences
Avoid long sentences like the plague. Long sentences, run-ons, and the like are turnoffs to readers. They want short. They want snappy. Give them that.

3) Match the cover to your subject and genre
It goes without saying. Are you going to put a cover image of a rhino on your cover when your book is about dragons? Thought not. How about a gazelle when your book is about vampires? Same thing. Match the image to the subject and genre of your book.

4) Write it however long it needs to be
But don’t write a monster that can be broken down into a series. Series make more money than single behemoths. Plus, readers will want more of the series once you hook them with the first one.

5) Don’t think of writing as a chore you have to complete
Think of writing as a hobby. If you’re intent on making money, by all means go through the process of submitting to a publisher. Some self-published authors never make money. Others do. It all depends on the readers. They are your audience. They are your constituents. Give them something to enjoy.

6) Combine single books into an anthology
I combined three books of the same genre into one book and priced it lower than the three single ebooks combined. Why did I do that? So that readers got a good deal with a three-in-one ebook. I recommend it when you have lots of books in various genres and you have a few to put together in a book.

7) Research and make absolutely sure your facts are right
Readers are smart. If something feels fishy to them, they’ll get turned off. They will double-check facts. Make sure you have their confidence that you know what you’re talking about.

8) Just enjoy yourself!
The old axiom, “write what you know” applies if you want it to. Follow these secrets, and your books will stand out.

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