Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming A Self-published Author.

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More and more writers are venturing into self-publishing. Many don’t initially appreciate or understand just how confusing the self-publishing process is. Not understanding the process can end up being injurious to your wallet.

Here are ten issues that many newbie authors may not realize.

1) Uploading the manuscript is the easiest part of the entire publishing process. There is a lot of work that has to be done prior to uploading. This work is necessary to prepare the manuscript for publication. These tasks begin after you finish the manuscript and before you upload it. The tasks include getting the book critiqued, have a unique cover, have the manuscript edited, design the book interior and format the book, among other chores.

2) No matter how great the content in your book is, no one will buy it if the packaging screams “Amateur.” You have to invest time and money to produce a quality book package. Otherwise, why bother writing the quality content? And finally, remember the book has your name on it. Do you really want your name on an amateurish-looking book package?

3) Since you are self-publishing, you are responsible for all the tasks a publishing company would do. That is the meaning of ‘self’ in self-publishing.

4) Once you publish the book, you own a business and the mission of your business is to sell your book. If you’re serious about being an author, you have to accept the fact that you own this business and you have to make decisions based upon business issues, not ego driven issues.

5) You are the Chief Executive Officer, Marketing Manager and Sales Manager for that company. Doesn’t that sound impressive? Please note that none of these positions pays very well. The day your book was published thousands of other books were published. No one knows about your book and no one cares. It’s the job of your book company’s superhero — the Marketing Manager — to tell people about the book and to change people’s minds so they buy a copy. Here is an organization chart of your new company.

6) The web is filled with scammers who look to prey on newbie authors. They offer ‘services’ to market your book. Mostly the ‘services’ will only empty your wallet, not sell books.

7) If you don’t market and sell the book, no one will. That is the brutal reality of the publishing industry and is especially true if the book is self-published.

8) If you intend to market your book, you need a marketing plan. An occasional tweet or blog post isn’t going to cut it. You need a detailed plan on how you will go about marketing the book. Many of the marketing activities will cost money so don’t forget to come up with a budget for all these activities.

9) The first step in a marketing plan is to identify your customers. Who will buy your book? If the book is about making plumbing repairs, your customers are folks who live in old houses among others. If your book is about performing surgery on the kitchen table, your customers could be people without health insurance. The customers for a children’s picture book are not the kids.

10) Don’t expect to sit back in a recliner and wait for the royalty checks to come rolling it. Ain’t gonna happen unless you make it happen and you have to get off the recliner to do that. No one can buy a book that they don’t know exists.

While this list many sound discouraging, it doesn’t have to be. If you as a self-publishing author understand the business you’re much less likely to fall for a scam.