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Get it Write: 10 Tips for Self-Publishing

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Dawn Michelle Hardy

With approximately 1,000+ books published a day, there are a variety of ways for self-publishers to see their book dreams come true including e-books and print-on-demand (POD). That dream can quickly become a nightmare if you aren’t educated on the process. Today I’m excited to have PR & literary consultant, Dawn Michelle Hardy, on deck to provide top 10 tips for finding success in the rapidly rising business of self-publishing. Here’s what she had to say:

1.Why are you writing this book? As a publicist I have asked self-published clients this question: Do you want to be prosperous or popular from your book? You must be clear on why you are really doing this. It will determine the direction you go to promote and distribute your title.

2.Who do you want to read your book? Every person that reads books will not buy/read yours. Define your audience so that your message and outreach can be clearly understood.

3. Check out the competition. Take a moment to shop the current books in the market that have been written on your topic or targeted toward your audience. Is your book unique? Is your book priced competitively based on page count and format?

4. Image matters. Books are judged by their covers. How you design your cover and the finish of the book are considerable factors to customers when they buy. Invest in hiring an experienced cover designer.

5. Punctuation, Grammar and Syntax. The editing of your book is not something you should take lightly. The book reflects you and it will surely have negative impact on the quality of your work if there are typos on every page.

6. Projected Spending. Producing a book can be done on monetary levels as long as a budget is put in place. I’ve witness many self-published authors overspend because they didn’t create and adhere to a budget. Start small and build. No need to print 5,000 books out the gate, even if you can afford to.

7. Distribution Options. Where will you sell your book? Reach out to independent bookstores, galleries, local boutiques, salons, flea markets, festivals and other outlets were the audiences for your book gather. The days of bookstores being the sole distribution source have expired.

8. Publicity. Book Trailers are an increasingly popular and cost effective way to publicize your book. Similar to movie trailers, book trailers can be done using still shots only or action shots. These can be distributed to social media sites, blogs and online lifestyle sites coupled with a blurb about your book and a selling link.

9. Marketing. Having a blog or website to promote and sell your book are a must. Postcards too. I tell authors to change their social media profile pictures to their book cover image. Be creative in your marketing tools.

10. Helping Hand. Put a team together. You can not do it alone. Who will help promote, accompany to events, help with mailers and e-blasts? Consider creating a LRT( living room tour) intimate gatherings hosted in the home of friends, family or colleagues in which author reads excerpts, sells and discusses their book to invited guest. My experience shows folks come to intimate affairs to meet new authors more than bookstores these days.

Dawn Michelle Hardy is an award-winning publicist who founded Dream Relations, PR & Literary Consulting in 2004. Prior she oversaw the day-to-day production and sales operations for self-published author turned New York Times best-selling author Teri Woods (True to the Game, Dutch, Alibi). Dawn Michelle has created PR campaigns for authors signed with Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster and Kensington/Dafina in addition to launching the careers of endless self-published authors in African American fiction and self-help. She recently joined the team at Serendipity Literary Agency as a book agent looking to acquire non-fiction, self-help, chick-lit, relationship, leadership and faith-based empowerment titles. Dawn Michelle is currently writing her first book, “Stop the Press: 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Self Publish”.

To learn more about Dawn visit, “like” Dream Relations on Facebook or follow her on Twitter by clicking here!



As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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