Self publishing opens up a world of opportunities and possibilities. It offers writers the chance to try out their abilities and see whether they can make it. But just because you have a book written does not mean that you are ready to self publish an eBook. It takes a lot of work, and if you don’t take it seriously, your eBook will likely join the masses of other unread volumes filling up the listings.
You Think Self Publishing is a Shortcut
The first sign that you might not be ready to self publish an eBook yet is if you think that self publishing is a shortcut. The average time between acceptance and traditional publication ranges from nine months to two years. In some cases, this time span lengthens because some books are put on the back burner, but most of the time the reason that it takes so long is because the book must be edited, polished, prepared, and set up properly. You should not take self publishing as a shortcut. Your eBook should go through almost as many stages as a regular published eBook.
In fact, Writer’s Weekly actually recommends that if you choose to self publish eBooks, you spend just as much time as a traditional publishing house. Most of that time should be spent in editing and fine-tuning the actual content. You should also be using the time to develop your platform and marketing plans. When you self publish, you are in charge of everything, and the final product is your responsibility. You can hire services to assist you with the different aspects of preparation, but at the end of the day, it’s still on your shoulders.
You Have No Marketing Plan or Platform Established
Certain services like Siminars.com combine self publishing with a platform. Most do not. But the fact is that if you have no marketing plan or platform established, you should hold off on publishing your eBook. You can choose from any number of services to self publish eBooks, but you still have to develop a marketing plan and platform.
Many writers turn their noses up at the thought of advertising and marketing. After all, it does not sound like the sort of thing that Charles Dickens or Ernest Hemmingway would have done. It’s hard to say whether they would have avoided giving interviews or promoting their books in today’s busy world, but that doesn’t change the fact that if you want your eBook to be a success, you’re going to have to market it. Over 100,000 eBooks were self published in 2011. That averages out to approximately 273 new eBooks published each day, and that’s on the low end. It doesn’t even taken into account the number of traditionally published books and eBooks. To make your eBook stand out, you have to make sure that you give people a reason to notice it.
The actual marketing practices that you use depend largely on your eBook and the target audience. Blue Ink Review maintains that a social media presence and website are a must for any author, regardless of the audience. Before you decide to self publish an eBook, you should already be considering the ways that you can build hype and buzz. Think beyond just reviews. Consider blog rolls, social media content campaigns, seminars, free courses, giveaways, and contents. Don’t forget to tap into your hometown resources as well. Published authors can still make a bit of a splash in their hometowns. Send out a press release to your local newspaper, and make sure to get your friends and family members involved. Think beyond just the moment though and the initial release and consider what you can do to keep the momentum going and building.
You Do Not Think a Traditional Publisher Would Ever Be Interested in Your Book
If the reason you think you want to self publish eBooks is because you don’t think a traditional publisher would ever be interested in them, then stop right there. Ask yourself why a traditional publisher wouldn’t be interested in your books. Just because you cannot get published through a traditional publisher does not mean that your book is worthless, but you do need to make sure you understand why a traditional publisher is not interested in your book.
If your book is poorly written, poorly researched, or otherwise lacking in quality, then self publishing an eBook is a bad idea. Self publishing opens up an avenue for success, but it does not guarantee it. You need to make sure that you have a quality product. Keep working on it, and only consider yourself publishing options once you have gotten it into good shape.
If your book does not have a target market, then you should hold off on publishing it as well. Marketing forms a crucial component of all successful self publishing endeavors. You have to make sure that your eBook has a specific market in mind so that you can be effective in your marketing efforts. According to Writer’s Digest, one of the main reasons that well written books do not get agents or publishers comes from the fact that the authors cannot articulate a precise target market. You have to know who your book is targeted at so that when you self publish it, you can make sure that you get it to the people who are going to be most interested in it. Self published eBooks require just as narrowly tailored a market as a traditionally published book.
If your book is well written but has a very narrow target audience, then self publishing is a much better idea. Narrow target audiences can spell great success for you but not enough to attract the interest of a traditional publishing house. A narrow target audience is typically an audience that has less than a few million participants worldwide. While that may sound like a lot of potential readers, Writer’s Digest warns that only a fraction of a target audience actually reads, so that actually translates to only a few hundred sales, if that. Regional or locale specific books often fall into this category as well. You can use some of the good tips on promotion which are mentioned here: http://ebookselfpublishingsecrets.net/how-to-self-publish/open-siminar-ebook-guide/. A thorough market research is vital before you plan to self publish your eBook.
You Have Not Gotten Any Feedback
Some writers decide to self publish an eBook because they want to satisfy that dream of being a published author. But when they do this, they send out a book for publication that they have not gotten any feedback on. As frightening as it might seem to subject your eBook for criticism, it will improve because of it.
You can join a number of writing groups and services to get free feedback. Writing.com, Critique Circle, and even local writers’ groups and colleges can give you vital feedback. Take the time to get their input. Just remember that you’ll be expected to help other writers improve their work. The criticism may be harsh, but you can use that criticism to make your eBook stronger and ferret out weaknesses that could otherwise undermine your credibility and your authority with your readers. It may add a few months to the development of your eBook, but it will be significantly stronger because of the feedback and improvements.