Essential Checklist for First-Time Self-Publishing Authors

Self-Publishing Authors

It doesn’t matter whether you have a few traditionally-published books or whether you are looking for the best self publishing companies to get your first book out in the world – you need a roadmap to know where you are going and what you are doing.

In the case of self-publishing, you can immensely benefit from the following checklist, which is in no particular order:

Establish a Budget

The very first thing that you will need to decide on is a budget. Undoubtedly, budgeting is kind of the foundation for everything – so, if you are self-publishing your book – you are basically putting all the costs, including the costs for editing, cover design, marketing strategies, and so on.

On the contrary, your publisher will pay for all these expenses with traditional publishing.

Now, if you are self-publishing, you will want to decide your budget before anything else.

Finalize Your Book Title

Once you have completed your first manuscript and you have proofread everything, you will have to invest serious time in finalizing your book title. You will also have to finalize your tagline, which is like a one-sentence hook.

The tagline is also your pitch – think of it the following way; if a person were to ask you what your book is about, you should be able to tell them through your tagline – in one sentence.

Finalize Your Book Blurb

In case you haven’t heard about this term before – the book blurb is the copy that goes on the back of your book cover. The tagline is also displayed at the back of a book.

You might think of the book blurb as a form of copy that is meant to entice the readers to get deeper into the book. It is important to mention here that the book blurb is not a synopsis which is a document of one or two pages where the author summarizes everything that happens in the book.

The book blurb serves as an intro and tells the author about who the protagonist is and what the conflict is about. It doesn’t reveal the ending of the book but only contains the hook and kind of entices the readers to want to know more.

Select a Book Release Date

The second step is to select a book-release date – if you are self-publishing your very first novel, you will want to give yourself plenty of time to create your manuscript, edit, copy-edit, proofread (ten times at least), and mess things up.

If you are working on your first book, you will need plenty of time to figure out how things work as there will be tons of things that you won’t know how to do – and those things need time.

Hire a Professional Cover Designer

Even if you know graphic design and are capable of designing your book cover – you would still want to hire a professional to help you design the book cover. The underlying reason for this is that, as an author, you cannot be completely objective about your art piece.

Also, you might not want to hire a family member or a friend for this job – just hire a professional who knows what they are doing. So, when hiring a professional, you might want to opt for all things, including the e-book cover, the paperback, hardback, and even the audiobook.

You should aim to make the book cover look and feel very professional. Many people think self-published books are of lower quality, so you should aim at having a high-quality book with a beautiful cover on top.

The cover design of your book is nothing less than a marketing piece as it entices potential readers to open your book and read it – from beginning to end.

Hire Editors

You might as well not want to skimp on hiring editors. Always think of book editing in three aspects – developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading, and hire professionals accordingly.  

Establish an LLC

If you aren’t working with a publishing company, you might need to establish your LLC to publish your book(s) under. This is particularly crucial if you want to go about publishing your books in a very respectable way.

Naturally, as an aspiring author, your intent will never be to plagiarize anything, but you must also be prepared for the worst – in which case, you wouldn’t want to be sued for one reason or another. In that case, publishing your book under an LLC would make more sense.

This way, if someone decides to sue you for plagiarism – they will end up suing the LLC and not you personally.

Select a Size for the Book

You will also need to choose the book’s size – the physical size of it, such as the potential width of the book (how many inches wide and tall). If you have no idea about the different book sizes, you might want to compare the different book sizes of different genres and age categories.

Just measure the books of the age category and genre that you want to write for and use it as a roadmap. If your book is longer, you might want to opt for a bigger size as there will be fewer pages, so you can save on printing the book.

Recruit Book Bloggers

In simple words, you should hire a group of people who will help you spread the hype about your book and your launch page and get excited with you. Perhaps, the group of bloggers will post teasers on a pre-planned date.

You might as well ask them to share the book cover on the same day on their social media platforms and get excited while spreading the word about your work. It is always nice to have an inner circle – a group of people to be excited with you about your book release.

Announce Giveaways

Who doesn’t love giveaways? Giveaways are amazing to create a certain hype around your book – so you can use different social media platforms for this purpose. For instance, you might want to use Instagram and Twitter to host giveaways.