A lot of authors choose self-publishing because it is the DIY of the book publishing world. You can – technically – do it all yourself. From writing the book to uploading it to Amazon KDP to handling your own grassroots book marketing– self-publishing is definitely a more hands-on process than traditional publishing.
While we also love a good DIY project, we have found that if what you really want is for your book to be successful, there are certain aspects of self-publishing that may be worth outsourcing to an expert. Below is a list of 5 aspects of the self-publishing process you may want to consider hiring someone to help with.
(Note:If you still want to go the DIY route that is awesome, and we have some resources for you over on our courses page.)
5 Ways to Make Your Self-Published Book More Successful
Hire a professional book editor
We cannot stress this one enough. Some of the best time and money you can spend on your self-published book is hiring a professional editor. This isn’t your friend who has an English degree. Seek out someone who copy-edits books for a living and arrange a time to talk with them about your project.
Editors often charge by the word or page and can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to edit a manuscript depending on its length. Usually there will be some back-and-forth between you and the editor and ultimately you will have the final say on what edits make it into the book.
The number of things an editor can catch and fix before your book is published will make for a more seamless reading experience for your readers. Readers want to know you took your work seriously enough to not publish it unedited.
Get a Professional Formatter
It’s true there are plenty of software options out there that can format your book from a word document into a PDF that Amazon KDP will accept. Or maybe you have a bit of experience in programs like Adobe Indesign and want to try formatting your book yourself. Either way, it is really hard to create a professionally-looking interior unless you have done it dozens of times before. It will take you significantly more time to do it yourself, and your final product won’t look as nice.
Professional book formatters know all the industry best practices. They know what fonts compliment one another, and can deliver a high-quality interior that doesn’t look cheap. They can also take your formatted book and convert it into an ebook optimized for Kindle readers and other ebook programs.
Hire a Talented Cover Designer
Your book cover is arguably the most important piece of a self-published book. Creating a compelling book cover takes time and persistence and unless you have designed book covers in the past its best left to the professionals. Don’t skimp by finding a free book cover service you can download off the internet.
Instead, research freelance artists and find one that has a similar style to what you envision- and who ideally has designed book covers before.
Fivr and 99Designs are good places to start looking for freelance designers, and you can usually find someone who will work within your budget. Just be expected to shell out a few hundred dollars for a quality cover, and likely more.
Find an Amazon Professional to Help with Ads
The world of Amazon ads is complex, but it can be a great tool for keeping your book in front of new and potential customers. Ads wake up the Amazon algorithm, help your sales rankings and can lead to more things like customer reviews and ratings.
Amazon Ads are based on categories, keywords and even other books in your genre. Basically anytime you see a suggested book on Amazon, that is an ad.
While you could try to navigate Amazon ads yourself, likely you will end up spending more than you are making. When you hire a professional to do the work for you, they can build the foundation of successful ads and then scale them over time so that you are always bringing in more in sales than you are spending.
Develop an Author Website
You may not think of your author website as part of the self publishing process, but if you want to make your book more successful then having a strong author platform is par for the course.
Starting with a professional author website will give your readers a place to learn more about you, your mission, and your brand. It’s also a place where you can start a blog and continue to create content for your audience. Whatever you decide to do, your website should incorporate a comprehensive SEO strategy to help build your audience and a strong call to action to buy your book.