Your first time publishing a book is uniquely exciting. It’s also scary.
There are just so many moving pieces to keep track of.
Stop and think about it for a second. Even writing a book is a massive undertaking that many dream of but few finish. Going the extra mile and actually publishing it? That’s a whole new level of difficult!
None of that is to say that you should give up.
But you absolutely should be aware of a few important things.
So what are they?
Here’s what you can’t afford to overlook as a brand new publisher.
Get familiar with the basics
Like everything else, in the world of publishing, you need to learn to crawl before you walk.
Too many new publishers try and learn about advanced elements of self-publishing without taking the time to truly cover and understand the fundamental basics.
Never think you’re too good to go over the basics again!
For example, you could revise:
- Exactly what an eBook is. Do you know the different formats and how they work?
- The different parts of a book. Remember you’re not just an author now, you’re about to be a publisher? You should know all the different components that make up a complete book.
- Self-publishing. As a first-time author, you’ll probably be pursuing the self-publishing path. Learn all about that way of releasing a book before committing to it yourself.
Going over the basics is never a bad use of your time as a publisher, so don’t neglect it!
Understand what a finished book looks like
Although ebooks are popular among many self-published authors as they are easy to create, there are still plenty of readers and writers alike who prefer the tactical sensation of a print copy they can leaf through.
If you’re going to be making print copies of your book, it’s a great idea to get a solid grasp of everything that goes into making a solid book.
- The physical components. Do you know about book spines? How about margins? Front matter? Brush up on all these terms before placing an order to buy print copies of your book.
- Your writing habit. Don’t underestimate the commitment needed to successfully plan, draft, and rewrite a whole book. If you are on the path to being a prolific writer, make sure that continues, but strike a balance between output and burnout.
- Your genre. Of course, you don’t have to write within the conventions of the well-known novel genres. But when you’re starting out, you may well want to. It can be easier than trying to invent an entirely new genre!
As a new publisher, you make the process a lot easier on yourself if you know everything it takes to get a book over the finishing line. It’s better tp understand this in advance rather than learning it as you go along.
Familiarize yourself with the practicalities of publishing
The idea of publishing might seem kind of glamorous from the outside.
But, like everything, the reality is often more mundane and practical than people expect.
No matter what, you can’t afford to overlook the practical side of publishing. It’s the quickest way to completely fail, wasting your time, energy, and hope in the process.
So what are some things you should think about?
- Demand. Do people actually want to buy the kind of book you want to write? How do you know this? What will your book bring to the table that others don’t? You could use a tool like Publisher Rocket or just your own Amazon research to help figure this out.
- Cost. Have you thought about the financial side of publishing? You need to take into account factors like how much you need to invest to get your book out there, how many copies you will need to sell to break even, and what your goal is in terms of your book’s financial performance.
- Future. Is your aim just to release a single book and be done? If not, you need to have a plan in place to make sure the choices you take today move you toward the tomorrow you want to have.
No matter what you do, don’t get swept up in the glamorous image of publishing.
It’s the practical, day-to-day aspects you should focus on. These are the things that will bring you success.
Have a plan in place to go live
Too many authors relegate their book launch to the status of afterthought at best.
It’s kind of easy to see why. Finishing the marathon effort of actually writing the book depletes many people of all their energy and enthusiasm.
But, no matter how you do it, you need to find some gas left in the tank for your book launch.
That’s because Amazon puts a lot of weight on how a book performs close to its time of launch in determining its future success.
That’s just part and parcel of the Kindle Direct Publishing platform and how it works. So you may as well learn how to make it work in your favor.
One of the keys to self-publishing on Amazon is to get a good number of reviews right around the time you launch. Eventually, Amazon will see the attention your book is getting and start throwing its own promotional might behind it.
Experience is the best teacher
Ultimately, you can prepare as a first-time publisher as much as possible, but experience itself is the best teacher.
Get your first book launch done and dusted. No matter how it turns out, you will have invaluable experience moving forward.