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Taking the leap from writer to published author is the end goal majority of writers have for their work. We all write for different reasons, are motivated by alternate factors, experiences, and characters, and pursue various genres and plotlines, but once the writing part is finished, we generally all want the same thing: to share our work with others. So if you’re considering publication for your writing, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. You Have Options
Gone are the days when traditional publishing was the only way that “real” authors could publish their work. With advancements in experience, technology, industry acceptance, and reader enthusiasm, independent publishing has become an increasingly viable option. With the right printing and distribution, your book can look the same as any produced by traditional publishers with the same availability (and you can skip the gatekeepers, maintain creative control, and collect a higher royalty rate). Independent publishing will require you to seek help from a professional editor, book designer, and be willing to dive into your own book marketing, all of which are easily accessible to indie authors, but keep in mind that options for more than one publishing model are available to you.
2. A Good Book Cover Is Essential
Although the quality of your story is what keeps readers coming back for more, what’s on the cover is what’s going to attract them initially. Your book cover is a promise of what’s to come, representing your writing and your professionalism in visual form before anyone even has a chance to read the actual words on the pages. It’s your book’s outward creative expression and first impression. The title, review quotes, book description, author bio, and price on your book jacket are what will sell the book. All of these have to pass muster before readers will even get to your story, so make sure your book cover is as polished as it can be.
3. Never Limit Your Reach
If a reader wants to read your book, your book should be available. You don’t know how readers will want to consume your content, so be sure it’s offered in print and e-book formats. Why exclude those who ONLY read print books or ONLY read e-books. Your reader may shop exclusively at their local independent bookstore, they may only shop for books online, or they might even leave their book discovery to libraries. Make sure your distribution doesn’t exclude certain outlets. Your book may end up being highly popular to those in a country other than your own. Make sure whoever you publish with has global reach so as not to exclude any potential readers.
These are just a couple of tips to help you begin to consider your publishing journey. If you’d like 97 more on topics such as editing, the production process, and marketing, be sure to check out the Pocket Guide to Publishing: 100 Things Authors Should Know. You can download it free here.