Ask Me, Do It: A Self-Publishing Start

Writing and publishing a book is a great way to build credibility in your field or realize a life-long dream. It’s also just plain fun. But starting off is tricky. Not because there isn’t enough information out there but because there is way too much.

Some of it will help you.

Some of it, most definitely, will not.

This post is not a start-to-finish guide on how to self-publish your book (that would be a very long post). But it is a guide to starting.

If you know me you’ll know that I am going to say that as with anything in life, self-publishing needs to start with a plan. A vision. A “where the heck you’re going” idea that you can compare against your decision. Of course, knowing where you want to go is just the first step. Then you need legs and work. But without a plan you just have legs and work. Oh, and one big circle that you’ll walk around and around.

So, start by describing your vision for publishing. And DO NOT write that you “want to make a million dollars.” That is not a vision. That is a symptom of a very, very good plan. Write about things you can actually control. Write about what it will look like to have a published book. Think about things like:

  • Timing – Consider when you’ll be done writing but also when you’ll have time to promote it.
  • Up-front costs – What do you have? What do you need?
  • Known assets – relationships, skills, money, marketing opportunities, access to your target audience
  • Your expectations for quality, price, exposure, etc.
  • Where you think it will sell

Be honest with yourself. But also answer in a way that represents how you’d like it to be. Then, and only then, should you start to explore the options available to you. Because holy cow. You’ll be eyeball deep in details and you’ll realize you have no idea what to do. You’ll need to come up for air and compromise and to look at the vision that got you into this mess in the first place.

From consulting to ghostwriting to editing to marketing, I offer a full line of services to help publish and sell YOUR book. More info here.