DIY or do it yourself options are big in interiors, home renovations, craft projects and more. And now a whole new DIY world has opened up for emerging writers as well. Gone are the days when the only way you would have your words out there is by sending multiple applications to dozens of publishing companies and waiting for them to deem your work worthy of lining the bookshelves. Self publishing has become an increasingly popular option that many writers today turn to.
With publishing becoming a super competitive industry and firms or agents being given tons of manuscripts every single day, some of us may not have the patience to wait till our work is picked up. This is where self publishing comes in. If you are wondering ‘how do I self publish a book?’ know that are are many, many options out there and making an informed and educated decision can be the difference between a commercially successful or failed attempt. Once thought of as an easy way out, self publishing has gained respectability in recent years and has become one of the biggest sectors in the literary circuits.
A few basic tips for beginners –
- Build a peer group – If you are thinking of self publishing your own works, it is always a good idea to build a network of like minded peers who are in the same or similar boat as you are. Find local writers groups, online forums or websites and literary chapters that exist to give writers like yourself guidance and exposure. Besides, feeding off new and vital energy, will help keep the creative wheels turning. Try and build a network where you could support their work and them yours. Such groups are also a great way to find out more about what is happening in the literary circles and publishing biz and may even help you zone in on publishers you want to work with.
- Research the right publishers for you – Self publishing isn’t just about giving your manuscript to a person and having a bound book of the same returned to you at the end. You might as well just go to a printer for that. Publishing a book has so many nuances to it, even if you go the do it yourself route. Now days you will find companies that provide a range of services that cover everything from book cover design to editing services to marketting and book distribution. And boy will you need them! Having a quality book at the right places should be the end result not just a book that you get out there for the sake of it. Find the right kinds of companies that offer the right kinds of services not just those who pander to your vanity once you fork over the cash. Ask for references, talk to other writers and look at the books the said company has published before. Compare price quotes and benefits.
- Get some feedback – While a publishing company will offer you varied services, it can only do so much for you. The responsibility of churning out a book that has great quality standards, a strong story line and is a tight read is all yours. Get people to read your manuscript and give you feedback, hire an editor to go over your work or find a fellow writer to help you proof read – find the ways to make sure your book is worth printing even if you are doing it yourself. Then only will it be worth the readers’ time and attention.
The next time you wonder why or how do I self publish a book, remember that it has been a successful venture for many a writer, but only if you take the steps to ensure a quality product. You could also consider first trying to get your work out there in a digital or e-book format which may be more economical in the beginning.
Steve Barns is a publishing agent and has a decade of experience under his belt. He is also the author of 2 e-books and runs a blog for writers that tackles everything from writing tips to publishing advice. “How do I self publish a book?” is one of the most popular questions nowadays, he notes. Steve also loves exploring the great outdoors to clear his head and inspire.