A to Z Jobs of Self-Publishing: Suggestions for Success
Creating a successful self-publishing venture requires much more than a manuscript and the desire to publish on your own. A traditional publishing company has a dedicated team to cover a wide range of roles. When self-publishing, you make up most if not all of the team. Although I am still new on this self-publishing journey, here is a list of jobs that I have added to my writing resume.
A is for Author
Write, revise, and edit your manuscript and maintain creative control over the work you have crafted.
B is for Business Owner
Start your own publishing company to publish your book. The steps involve choosing a business structure (usually an LLC), registering the business, obtaining an EIN, and setting up a business account. It can add credibility, protect assets, and provide a means to publish books for others as well.
C is for Copyright Filer
Although authors own the copyright to their work when written, register the copyright to your book in the United States to provide added protection against infringements.
D is for Designer
Before printing, decide what you want for your book: size, look, cover (soft or hard), colors. In a crowded market, you want your book to stand out and flow smoothly from page to page. Each page and spread needs to connect seamlessly to the next and create a sense of coherence.
E is for Editor
In order to ensure clarity and coherence, refine your manuscript before printing. Beta readers can provide valuable feedback and professional editors are a must.
F is for Formatter
Format your book properly before it goes to print and enlist help if needed. Whether making decisions with the page bleeds, covers, or spine, formatting can be one of the most complicated jobs. I was lucky to have an illustrator who worked closely with me.
G is for Graphic Designer
Beyond the cover, you will want to design marketing materials such as banners, business cards, social media graphics, and your website.
H is for Head of Editorial
After all of the edits are done, ensure the quality and integrity of the published book as a whole.
I is for ISBN Purchaser
Purchase an ISBN from the United States ISBN Agency to simplify the distribution of your book to bookstores, online retailers, and libraries.
J is for Juggler
Sharpen your juggling skills. In the realm of your self-publishing journey, you will face multiple tasks and responsibilities while managing time and resources.
K is for Keywords Researcher
Carefully select keywords. Book discoverability can be improved through search engines and algorithms. Someone at Wix helped me to improve my discoverability.
L is for Layout Designer
In addition to the written story, format interior items such as page breaks, copyright page, author/illustrator page, and end sheets. Again, ask for assistance from your illustrator and/or printer if needed.
M is for Marketing Manager
Implement marketing strategies to promote your book to your target audience. In addition to your website, this can be done on social media sites, at events, at bookstores, through local newspapers or television, by entering reputable contests, and by writing online or print articles.
N is for Narrator
If you are venturing into storytelling or audiobooks, turn your story into an engaging listening experience as a dynamic narrator.
O is for Outreach Coordinator
In order to generate buzz and reviews for your book, reach out to book reviewers, bloggers, and influencers. Book reviews prior to publishing can be used on the back cover or dust jacket.
P is for Proofreader
Review and correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors in your manuscript before publication.
Q is for Quality Assurance Inspector
Before the final print, inspect everything. What costs in time saves in the future.
R is for Researcher
Research all printing options before publishing. There are reputable companies but plenty of scammers. Be cautious of publishers or printing companies who may charge large fees in addition to your printing costs. There are many companies who are ready to take advantage of your desire to publish your book. The print-on-demand option (such as Lulu, IngramSpark, and BookBaby) can make it easier to get into larger bookstores but may have quality and customer service issues. The printer-only option may limit you in bookstores to consignment but provides higher quality and more freedom with design. In order to make the best decision, request a sample book (if available), decide what is important to you, keep a spreadsheet of all information for comparison, and always read the fine print.
S is for Sales Representative
Be ready to pitch your book to bookstore owners, librarians, and shop owners to secure distribution and sales agreements.
T is for Trademark Expert
Before publishing your book, make sure that there are no trademark infringements. You can trademark logos or names to prevent future issues.
U is for Underwriter
Assess the financial viability of publishing your book. You don’t want your dream to turn into a nightmare.
W is for Writer
Write. Write. Write.
My alphabet of jobs ends here for now but my work continues, not just with this book but the next. In the world of self-publishing, it takes dedication and hard work. Never hesitate to reach out for help with any job along the way. The true reward is seeing your story in the hands and hearts of the reader.
|Susan Pless and Hannah Smith|