Saturday, March 31, 2007

Dos and Donts of Self-Publishing

Article by: Noel Brinkerhoff

Copyright 2006

It used to be where people who self-published were considered neophytes who werent good enough to be published by more traditional publishers. They clung like barnacles to the edges of the book world, trying but not gaining access to the inner sanctum -- a place on the shelves of Barnes & Noble and a trip to Oprahs couch.

These days, however, self-published authors can make themselves lots of money, build platforms for the launch of further projects, and even sell their books at Barnes & Noble. Some have landed deals with larger publishers after selling a few thousand books with their own blood, sweat & tears, and even found themselves face to face with the Queen of the book clubs herself.

The first Do of self-publishing is to grant yourself the power to see your words in print. No one is going to come down from on high and give you permission to be published, so you might as well start with a hearty pat on the back for finishing a book. After all, its almost a national joke about how many people are writing or planing to write the great American novel at some nebulous time in the future. You are the only one who can truly decide to empower or dis-empower yourself at this juncture.

The second major Do of self-publishing is to do your research. Most people are in such a hurry to see their words in print that they neglect what will happen after the printer delivers 40 or 50 heavy boxes of books to their doorstep. Enterpreneur publishes a great step-by-step start-up guide for Self-Publishing Businesses that teaches you how to market your book, get repeat business, manage your business finances, and more.

The third major Do of self-publishing is to hone your writing until it shines. New Novelist, from Write Express, is software that can help, whether youre writing fiction or narrative non-fiction. The software takes your idea and builds it intuitively into a full-fledged story, and comes with testimonials from no less than Will Self, a novelist published many times over. Your writing will sparkle, and youll be a lot less frustrated if you use this important tool.

The first major Dont of self-publishing is dont expect someone to sell your book for you. If youre self-publishing, youre taking on the roles of author, publisher, publicist and distributor, so you will need to think up clever ways to connect with your potential readers. One way I find extremely helpful is to hook up with Verizon Super Pages. They can help you get a web site up and running, if you plan to sell your book this way, or even help you bring some money in, through Pay-Per Click Advertising, while youre waiting for people to purchase your wares. Its a great place to place ads and start getting your name out there.

And the last major Do of self-publishing is be as loud and proud about your book as you want to be. Yahoo Search Marketing has one of the best and fastest ways to get noticed in the crowded world of books. Sponsored Search puts your book in front of millions of eyes, alongside relevant articles and product reviews. Fast-tracking your listing will widen your reach, including your listing on,, and some of the other largest sites currently in business. Doing it this way not only ensures you traffic to your site, it cements your reputation as an expert and an author.

That leads us to the last really important Do of self-publishing, which is to celebrate your achievement. Writing a book is not easy -- thats why we lionize (some of) our writers. Take pleasure in the fact that you have successfully put your thoughts into print, and are well on your way to publishing success!

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