Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Give Your Self-Published Book Its Best Shot

By Laurisa Reyes, @lwreyes

Part of the Indie Authors Series 

JH: Laurisa Reyes is back this month on the other side of the publishing desk, sharing tips on how to give your self-published books its best chance.

Publishing today is easier than ever. Once a book is written, it is pretty simple to format and upload it to KDP and present it to the world, but the ease of the process can be deceptive. Just like it is easy to publish your own book, it is even easier to fail. What I mean by fail is this…

You’ve spent months, maybe years, writing your book. You’ve poured your heart and soul into it. You want people to read it. You want people to buy it. But here is where too many authors sell themselves, and their books, short. The fact is they often don’t want to spend the time or the money to “do it right.” The result is a poorly crafted book that fails to attract readers.

If you want to create a book that sells, you must put as much care into the finished product as you did the story. This means that you need to invest in your book, with both time and money.

Here are the five most important ways to give your book its best shot:

1. Edit Your Manuscript

Get your book edited by a professional. Asking your friend who happens to teach high school English to give it a read-through isn’t good enough. There are thousands of top notch editors out there. Your book should go through several edits, including a developmental edit, line edit, and proofread.

(Here's more on Tricks & Tips for Catching All Those Little Typos in Your Own Work)

2. Create a “Wow!” Cover

I’ve seen way too many books whose covers scream “Self-published!” That’s because the authors have either designed the covers themselves or, even worse, asked an “artist” friend to do it. Your cover is your book’s first impression. Many readers will buy a book based solely on its cover. You can’t afford a crappy one.

(Here's more on 5 Tips to Improve Your Next Novel Cover)

3. Design a Snazzy Interior

While the cover is the first impression, the book’s interior is the second. I’ve seen plenty of knockout covers only to be let down by a sloppy or boring layout. Font size and style, margins, page numbers, graphics should all contribute to a striking interior, which makes the reading experience all the better. This applies equally to print and digital.

(Here's more on Understanding Your Book Formatting Options)

4. Draft a Marketing Plan

Maybe up to this point you’ve done everything right. You’ve hired a terrific editor, have an explosive cover, and the interior is amazing! But if you don’t tell people about your book, how will they know to buy it? Putting a solid marketing plan together months before your book is ready to be published is essential. This can be time consuming and costly. Again, hiring someone who knows marketing will not only assure a strong launch but can also free up more time for you to write your next book.

(Here's more on Do You Know Who You Are? Building and Sharing Your Author Brand)

5. Hire a Team

You are a writer. That’s what you’re good at. Unless you have thousands of hours of experience in graphic design or editing, work with others who are good at what they do. If you’re ready to invest in your book, Skyrocket Press offers competitive rates on editing and design services for authors, but we aren’t the only ones out there. It is vital to assemble a team of editors and designers who are the right fit for your book. Take as much time as necessary to research their previous projects, check out their references, and compare prices. Yes, doing it right does cost time and money, but remember, you are investing in your book. And your story deserves to be the very best it can be.

Laurisa White Reyes is the Senior Editor of Skyrocket Press & Author Services. She has published sixteen books, including 8 Secrets to Successful Self-Publishing and the SCBWI Spark Award winner The Storytellers. Laurisa also provides personal coaching for writers. To connect with her, visit Skyrocket Press.

About The Storytellers

12-year-old Elena Barrios' father has AIDS, a new disease in 1991 with a 100% fatality rate. Rather than face certain ridicule and ostracism, Elena tells her friends anything but the truth, fabricating stories about her father being a writer and researcher. But the reality is that Elena resents her father’s illness and can’t face the fact that he is dying. When she is befriended by a woman named Ang who tells stories about her own father, Elena is transported into these stories, allowing her to experience them first hand. With Ang's help, Elena gains the courage to stand up to the bully at her school, mend her relationship with her father, and finally say goodbye.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Indie Bound


  1. This is all such great advice, Larissa. And your five things-to-do makes it feel more manageable.