Ready to self-publish? Don’t rush and here’s why

All the advice I’m giving here is based on my own experience in self-publishing. Be warned, it’s a steep learning curve! You’ll find that you can quickly master the technical aspects of uploading a file on KDP, Amazon’s platform for self-publishing, or on Smashwords to get your book on other e-platforms like Sony, Kobo, the Apple Store, Barnes and Noble etc. But the rest — everything else that is entailed in publishing a book — is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be.

But it can be done. And I hope I can help you by sharing my experience with you here.

With the digital revolution, we are into a brave new world. The field is now level for the first time in History and writers no longer need traditional publishers to get their books produced and distributed.

No need to wait forever for literary agents to answer your queries or, if you’ve already got an agent, there’s no need to wait for a hypothetical publisher to offer you a contract.

This is very exciting…and liberating!

You have finally finished your book, you can go straight to publishing it without further ado.

Well, yes and no. It doesn’t work that way. I know, you’ve read and re-read your book, you’ve edited it to death and there’s nothing more you can think of adding (or subtracting) to make it any better. You’ve shown it to a few trusted friends — family doesn’t count, you know that. You are savvy enough not to trust your Mum or hubby. But your friends have told you they love it, you’ve made a home run. And you’re so tired of looking at your book that you’re ready to believe them.

Does that mean your book is ready for publication?

Not really. There is a list of essential things-to-do before publishing. And you need to be able to check them and put a ‘done’ mark against each item. Here’s the list:

1.     Has the book been read by a professional editor? There are two kinds of editors that you cannot do without: one to catch the typos and spelling/grammatical errors, the other to verify the structure of your novel, the development of your characters, the pace of the story;

2.     Has it gone through the cycle of “beta” readers? The best beta readers are professional writers who know what a book in the genre you write should look like. If you haven’t got any, you are going to have to find some; it’s essential to have total strangers read your book and give you feedback;

There are 3 more points! TO READ THE REST, GOT TO: WORDHORSE, where this article was first published, click here.  I’m sure there are tips you’d like to add! Please comment over there or here, wherever you prefer, all comments welcome!

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