You want to publish a book…
First of all, “Awesome!”
Seriously. Writing a book is an incredible accomplishment. Celebrate that. Soak it in. Look at what you’ve done that so many around you want to do, many will even start to do, but very few will ever finish.
Now, for the reality check.
As hard as finishing a book is, that may be the easiest part of the process. Now you are an author, a small business. And you need to act like one. That means learning about publishing, marketing, and all the legal requirements now placed upon you.
Don’t back down now! It’s overwhelming, I know. But you can do this!
How did I get to where I am today? Here are my top tips for every writer getting started:
Small, consistent steps.
Baby steps forward, consistent progress each week, will take you far. Trust me, it’s how I have gotten to where I am, and how I continue to move forward to where I want to be. Just take the next step. And commit to taking one more after that. And then one more. You’ll be amazed at where you will be and what you will be doing a year from now.
Breathe. And pace yourself.
Yes, you have an amazing amount of work staring at you and an incredible number of things to learn. But you’ll get there if you follow my first tip. Don’t expect to get it all done today or even this week. This is a lifetime-long journey, and each year, as you focus and learn, you’ll get a little better. For today, just focus on what you can do today, and let the rest sit.
Research, make the best decision you can, and move on.
Some of what you will want to do will be financially out of reach. Some will be outside of your skill set or your understanding of technology. Let it go and focus on what you can do right now with the tools available to you. But don’t get bogged down in the analysis of everything out there. The key to becoming a successful author is continual progress and persistence, not perfection.
What's most important to readers?
Your writing. Get your book edited by someone intimately familiar with the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.
Your cover. We all judge a book by its front cover. Poor covers chase away more potential readers than anything else. And make sure it looks good in thumbnail size as well as book cover size.
Your title. Yes, it matters. Don’t just throw the first thing that comes to mind on there. Do a little research: Is it trademarked? How many other books already include it? Does it encourage someone who doesn’t know you to read more?
Your description. Readers want to know why they should invest hours reading your book when so many others are available to them. If its fiction, the description should draw them in, create questions in their mind that they want answered. If it’s nonfiction, you should tell them the problem you can solve and why they should trust you.