Congratulation! You are now ready to self-publish your novel.
Take a moment to think back to when you first decided to write.
How does it feel?
Just remember, regardless of what happens next, you can be proud of YOUR novel.
But, if you want to sell it to the reading world, you will need to publish it.
This can be done in many ways: publishing on Amazon, Ingramspark, or any other online platform. Or you could find an indie-press to support you.
Whichever route you take, when you do this, you will be a published author.
Ebook, Paperback, or Hardback
As a self-published author, you won’t have an agent or publishing house deciding which path to take.
It’s all up to you.
In order to give yourself the best possible chance, I recommend doing all three.
I published my novel on Amazon for a several reasons, but below are my three main reasons.
- Amazon are the biggest ebook retailer on the planet. 68% of ebook sales take place on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) according to about.ebooks.com.
- It’s very straight forward to do, and with a slight tweak to the manuscript file, you can upload a paper and hardback version.
- Ebooks priced over £1.99, earns 70% royalties. And 35% for ebooks priced £1.98 or lower.
Other Self-Publishing Platforms
Amazon is not the only place to publish an ebook. However, if your sign up for KDP Select, you do sign up to an exclusivity agreement and cannot publish anywhere else.
That being said, below is a list of other ebook publishers to consider if you don’t publish on Amazon.
- Kobo Writing Life
- Barnes and Noble press
Currently, I have no experience with these publishers and cannot comment on their services with any authority. But there are many sights available online that can give you details.
Paperback and Hardback
Despite some people saying “books are dying,” I have had more paperback sales than ebook sales.
This is simply because people enjoy holding a physical book.
The royalty percentage remains the same as ebooks (70%), but before this figure is calculated, the printing cost will be deducted.
A quick example:
A 300-page paperback with dimensions of 6”x9” will have a minimum listing price of £6.17. This is because the printing cost is around £3.70.
If you choose to sell your paperback for £7.99, you will receive around £1.09 in royalties.
Take a look at Amazon KDP royalty calculator and plug in your details.
Publicity and marketing
The only way people will buy your book is if they know about it.
Several months before this step, you should’ve been creating social media accounts.
In doing so, you will have promoted your book, engaged with readers and reviewers, and got your name out there as an author.
Being active on social media will benefit you in more ways than you realise.
Making friends and relationships within the #writingcommunity will help you create a system of support with like-minded people who will help you succeed.
And now is the time to put all that to work.
Before your novel is available, you should be creating “hype” around the release date. Reach out to ARC reviewers and ask for a review prior to the release day.
If this is done right, your launch date should see some healthy sales that will give your book some momentum.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Writers and bloggers will almost always leave a book review. This is because we appreciate how important they are. However, the average customer will read and move on.
If you personally know someone who bought your book, ask them politely to leave an honest review.
Remind them that they don’t have to write War and Peace, and they don’t have to give an academic dissertation on your work. They simply need to share their opinion.
*A word of warning*
Never, under any circumstances, offer anything is exchange for a review.
If you do, you will be in breach of your platform’s policies. They could remove your book from their platform or remove your account. And it will be very hard to get it back on there.
However, there is nothing wrong with gifting someone a copy for them to read and leave an honest review. This is what you do with ARCs. But anything more than this is unethical and wrong.
Word of Mouth
Talk about your book to those who are interested. How will people know you have a book out there if you never talk about it?
I have had several sales thanks to conversations with people who like to read. One lady at work asked, “Any suggestions for a good Thriller?”
I replied with, “Have a look at August–Lost, on Amazon.”
Well, she did, and she loved it. But it wasn’t until she recommended it to another person in work that she realised it was my book.
Now, I get asked almost every week about when they can expect the next book.
That being said, avoid forcing your book into conversations. It still amazes me how some people can turn any conversation into “football talk.” Or, in our field, “my book.”
Don’t be that person.
You have written a novel. Take a moment and appreciate your accomplishment.
Every now and then, I smile when I remember those first few words going down on the page.
You can and should be proud of what you have done. And never shy away from the fact that you are a self-published author. It is huge.
There is still some stigma in the general public who think you have to be represented by an agent, or published by one of the big 5. But that stigma is dying away.
People are beginning to appreciate how much work, time and effort goes into self-publishing a novel. And you are someone who did it all.
Congratulations, fellow author.
You did it.