When I first decided to write a book and really commit to the project I never realized how much it all entailed.
There is one question I had to answer for myself before deciding what type of path I was going to chose.
What is the goal for writing this book?
a.) To create something and just have it out in the world and be satisfied knowing I did it and it's there.
b.) To create something that people I don't even know are going to read and enjoy and to hopefully bring in a little extra money for my family.
c.) To become a world famous Author and write full time.
If your answer is (a) then write away without worry and self publish on sites like Amazon's Self Publishing or Barnes and Nobles Nook Press
If your answer is (c) you are going to have to go the long haul traditional route and try and get a publishing company to pick up your work and market it for you.
If you are like me however, and choose (b) this is the path I have decided to take (though many others may have chosen a different path).
If you want to bring your stories to the masses and actually be read there is a lot more to it than typing up the story and pushing publish. I am still early in the process but wanted to share what I have learned so far:
Step 1: Start Writing! You have to be excited about what you are writing so that you don't loose steam and let it fall off your "to-do" list. This is your time to express yourself and have fun, don't let it become work.
Step 2: Have someone to keep in the loop during your writing process. If someone else is excited about what you have written it is a huge motivation to create more to share with them and build the story line together.
Step 3: While you are writing do research on all the self publishing sites you intend on using. Amazon has their own template for how the word document, if that is what you are using to write with, should be formatted so that it appears correctly on the tablets. If you set up your book properly in the beginning, it will save you a lot of time and you can upload your story before it is finished and see how it is going to look. Another motivational push to keep going.
Step 4: Start a website, Facebook page, and set up a domain so that you have somewhere to promote yourself and your book. At this stage no one has heard of you and the more you get your name out there the better your book will do (or so they say, I will let you know after my first release). If you try blogging, like me, you can even make some additional money off of ad's if you choose. This will help with some upfront costs, like the domain name or the hosting cost associated with this type of marketing route.
Step 5: Set a goal in mind for when you would like to release your book and set a goal when you would like to start pre-orders. Pre-orders will help boost your first day sales numbers and can potentially boost your ratings on Amazon or Nook.
Step 6: Think about how you can capture a readers attention to purchase the book. You will need to write a description that will be read before a customer decides to buy it. This is your chance to hook them and get them excited for the story you are about to read.
Step 7: Edit, Edit, Edit. You can either pay and editor or have multiple people you know edit your book. Check it as many times as you can. The last thing you want to notice when you get your final copy is a typo.
Step 8: Finish your book and have a few printed to beta test it to make sure there are no tweaks needed before you officially release your book. Barns and Nobles self publishing has an option to print a book for just yourself and is the route I plan on going for this step.
Step 9: Release your book and continue to promote. Ask people to put rating out there and comments about your book. Doesn't matter if they are good or bad just get the buzz going on your book and keep the word spreading.
Step 10: Enjoy what you have done. This is a major accomplishment no matter what route you choose to go and you should be proud to have completed it.
Please know this is not the only path to choose, but that path I have chosen. I hope this is helpful to some. If you have already published, please provide some advice in the comments.