IWSG: 5 things you need to do before self-publishing

This is a monthly event started by the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh and organized by the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Click here to find out more about the group and sign up for the next event.

Huge apologies to the group, as I have taken one long hiatus. I took the summer off on purpose, as summers are always busy, but I confess that the past two first Wednesdays of the month slipped right by me unnoticed. Ugh, where did time go?

Anyway, I’m back and I do have something to post today. Lately, I’ve had many emails in the form of: “Hey, I see you’re an indie writer. There’s this book I’ve been meaning to publish, what’s your advice?”

And while my response would be, “Let’s meet for lunch because this is going to be a loooooong conversation,” I did manage to put together 5 Extremely Important (yes, capitalized) things every new writer should take the time to do. Here they are:

1) Shop for a really nice cover: the only books with awful covers that sell have a lot of sex; so either put steamy hot scenes in your book, or invest in a nice cover.

2) Be smart about categories and key words: these are important to make sure your book gets the maximum visibility in the Amazon categories.

3) Tell people about your book: Use all platforms to advertise the book launch. Start a little earlier with cover reveals etc. to generate some anticipation. Don’t just say, “Hey, I wrote a book.” Tell people why they should read it. What’s new about it? Why is it compelling?

4) Start building a mailing list: the best way to do that is by offering a free story and then advertise the “offering” on FB groups and book blogs. You can see what I did here.

5) Offer free review copies of your book to book review bloggers and readers who are willing to post a review on Amazon on launch day or shortly after. This last point is of utter importance. The sooner the book starts garnering reviews, the better.

So those are my 5 “essentials” so to speak. Truth is, there’s no “winning” formula. But until you get out there and try it, you’ll never know what works and what doesn’t. Speaking of which … I have a new book coming out next week. 😉


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