The Do’s & Don’ts of Self-Publishing by CP Patrick
In Her Shoes Guest Blogger: CP Patrick
Do you have a book that you’ve self-published? Are you ready to share your masterpiece with the world but don’t know where to start? CP Patrick, the founder of Field Order Press LLC and the author of one of Amazon’s Best Sellers in African American Historical Fiction, The Truth About Awiti joins us today to share her top three do’s and don’ts of self-publishing.
- Do Have A Social Media Presence
If you want to write and successfully publish your novel you need to hang out with your fellow authors and potential readers. That doesn’t mean you need to be active on every social media platform that’s available, but you should have a strong following on more than one. Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and having a personal blog are all great platforms to developing a strong social media presence. You should start marketing and getting readers excited about your work before it’s published. (This is also your virtual support system… and you will need support!)
- Do Understand Being An Indie Author Is A Business
One social media maven that I follow is Awesomely Luvvie. And not just because she’s hilarious. She also gives great advice on the importance of your web presence being a part of your business and brand. You should have a website and you should own it. Know how to market yourself, engage your customers, and work your connections. There’s a reason why traditional publishing houses take a chunk of their authors’ royalties – there’s a lot of work involved in publishing and marketing a book. And when you self-publish all of those costs are your responsibility. Who pays for the ISBN? You. Who pays the editor? You. Book formatting? You. Marketing? You. You get the idea. But it’s your business, which means you’ll reap the rewards for all of your hard work!
2A. If you can manage it financially, I would recommend developing your own indie press. Yes, it’s another business to run but your personal and press websites should work seamlessly. Self-publishing under your own press imprint legitimizes your work and helps build your business and brand. I developed my own indie press, Field Order Press LLC, and I recently signed my first author.
- Do Hire A Professional Copyeditor
I wish I had known from the start that I would need to hire a professional copyeditor. Sounds crazy right? But I honestly feel like most indie writers don’t think they will need to hire a professional (or beg a dear friend who is a professional copyeditor). I spent many unnecessary hours editing until my eyes bled. Towards the end of the writing process I read an article on the importance of indie authors hiring a professional editor (often we hear the cover is the most important thing). Hands down, hiring a professional copy editor was the best decision I ever made.
- Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Social Media
My social media family is amazing. It consists of immediate and extended family, childhood and adult friends, present and former colleagues, and strangers. These are social media relationships I’ve developed over time. These are people I included in my writing journey struggles and triumphs through status updates and tweets. And these are the people who have helped me remain on Amazon’s Best Sellers List for AA Historical Fiction. Your social media network is one of your biggest assets and marketing tools. However…
- Don’t Expect Your Friends To Purchase Your Book
But they’re my friends! If they really care about me they will buy my book. Wrong! No one (except maybe your mother) is obligated to purchase your novel. Yes, your friends love you. And their love doesn’t change just because they don’t purchase your book. Maybe it’s not their favorite genre. My novel centers around the idea of restless spirits and a few of my friends were afraid they would get spooked. And I completely understand and appreciate their support of my journey regardless. That’s what friends are for!
- Don’t Expect to Become Rich Overnight
On your ebook sales, you’ll likely earn 70% of the list price. And on your print book sales far less. You’ll have to sell a lot of books before you become a millionaire! Write because you love writing. Self-publish because you want to share your story and leave your small footprint in the vast world of publishing. Self-publishing affords writers control of their destinies. And even for writers who hope to enter the traditional publishing market, self-publishing can be used as a vehicle to get their work into the hands of readers and gain a following. One of the biggest rewards of being an indie author is joining the writing community. There are so many writers, editors, and artists invested in each other’s successes. Come join us! Happy Writing!
About The Truth About Awiti
The Truth About Awiti is a historical fantasy that focuses on a common theory in the African diaspora – the spirits of slaves are not at peace. They seek restitution and revenge in the wind and rain of hurricanes. Through the story of the protagonist, Awiti, and the voices of those who have encountered her love and wrath, readers will experience a non-traditional approach to the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It’s a tragic tale but Awiti is a relatable character – she desires love, makes poor choices at times, and struggles with reconciling her past. The novel begins in 15th century Africa and ends with the onset of Hurricane Katrina.
To learn more about CP Patrick and pick up your copy of The Truth About Awiti click here!