Martin Luther King Jr. had many dreams that seemed lofty in the climate of his day. Step by step, many of them have come to pass. So, in honor of MLK’s dream, Outskirts Press would like to help self-publishing authors realize their own dreams.
When you’re at the beginning of the self-publishing process, having an actual book in hand can seem unattainable. That’s because we all tend to view the finished project — which is a big deal — and fail to see all the little, completely doable tasks that make up the finished project. So, we’re here to tell you this: Dream small!
You’ve heard the expression, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Don’t think of the publishing journey as a single, thousand-mile trip. Think of the easy steps you can take to make that self-publishing journey:
- Write on schedule. Whether your goal is a daily one or a Sunday marathon while everyone else in the house is watching football, regularity is your best friend. You don’t have to shoot for a massive page count, either; every small step you take gets you closer to the finish.
- Envision a finish line. Know what you’re working toward. Do you know how your book will progress and how it will end? If you don’t, write an outline, first and foremost. It doesn’t matter if you end up straying from your original vision. Just knowing there’s a path to follow will help you take that next step.
- Get your other “ducks” in a row. Start thinking about, and making arrangements for, elements of a published book besides the writing: cover art, formatting, interior illustrations, publicity, etc. Line up someone to create the book cover art, or draft a few ideas to give to your publisher; put your manuscript in the proper format; start pre-publicizing your book on your Facebook page and Twitter feed. All these things will need to be done sooner or later, but if you get a jump on them early, your book just seems more “real.” That visualization will motivate you to follow through on the writing and all the steps to self-publishing that follow.
- Publish/market on schedule. “Then End” isn’t really the end when it comes to self-publishing; it’s the beginning of a new phase of authorship — selling your book. Just as writing requires planning and discipline, so does the publishing and marketing processes. Set up a schedule of things you need to accomplish to get your book sold: contact the publisher, send in your manuscript, choose a cover, order hardcopies and electronic versions, send out custom press releases, put together a press kit, and contact the media (TV, radio, newspaper, book reviewers, etc.). Resolve to take one or more of these steps each week to get visibility (and added sales) for your book.
- Ask for help. Despite the name, self-publishing doesn’t have to be done in solitude — there’s assistance for just about anything that stumps or overwhelms you. There are specialized artists who can create an eye-catching book cover, marketing experts with dozens of tricks up their sleeves to boost book sales, publishing insiders who can help you snag high-profile interviews — even professional ghostwriters to take your compelling plot and bring it to life!
Yes, publishing a book is a big dream, but the small steps you take to achieve that dream are very much in your power!
Do you have a self-publishing dream? Make your dreams come true — we’ll show you how!