1. Consider offering the option for customers to pre-order your book before it is released. You can do pre-sales orders on your website or on Amazon.com. Pre-orders can assist with reducing your upfront cost to produce your book. Make sure to give valuable incentives to encourage customers to pre-order.
2. Print on Demand (POD) publishing companies are in the business of selling services, not your book. Find the POD publisher that meets your needs. Not all of them are the same. So it is highly important to do price comparisons and current customer reviews if you plan on using a POD publisher to print or publish your book. To obtain current customer reviews try googling the name of the POD company, “reviews” and the current year. For example, if you want to know the latest reviews for Lulu, Google, “Lulu reviews 2012.”
3. Finish your book. Many people stress about the publication and printing process before they have completed the book.
4. Writing the book is only the first part. After production you have to spend a great deal of time marketing your book.
5. Self-publishing is a lot like running a small business. When you “self” publish, you are responsible for every aspect of creating your book, which will include marketing, investment capital, design, fulfillment, retail distribution and project management just to name a few.
6. Bookstores and libraries don’t like POD books. So it may be a challenge to get your book into bookstores or libraries if you use a POD publisher.
7. If you use an ISBN provided by a POD publisher, they will be the publisher on record not you or your company.
8. Marketing is what will make or break your sales. If you think you can publish your book and simply wait for your friends and family to make you a best seller, you are sadly mistaken.
9. Being present in social media is a must as an author. This involves more than sending a couple tweets or facebook messages to people you already know to encourage them to purchase your book. Be prepared to make new friends in cyber space. A new social media site seems to pop up every day. Don’t feel obligated to use all of them. Stick with maybe 2 or 3 and be present on them.
10. Go to a bookstore and look at what big publishing companies are doing as it relates to cover design in books in your field. What colors stand out to you? What fonts do you like? What does the book spine look like? This will make the conversation you’ll have with your book cover designer much easier. You will be able to give a clear description as to what you would like your book cover to convey.
11. Although it is good to have your book in bookstores and online retailers, don’t forget about the “untraditional” retail locations. This includes places such as coffee shops, hair salons, doctor offices, clothing boutiques, etc. Also consider stores or retail locations that are in your book’s niche or topic? These locations are easier to negotiate book placement and you will rarely have other books in the location to compete with your book.
12. Always be clear on the cost to print your book. Printing cost is going to be one of the largest cost so be sure that your printing cost per book is competitive.
13. Put all of your expectations and agreements in writing when working with graphic design artist, typesetters, editors and other book publishing professionals.
14. Purchase your design files when someone makes a cover and internal book design for you. Typically if you work with a POD publisher you own the book file, but they own the design files. Purchase design files when possible.
15. Your books have to get to your customers and you have to determine how that will happen. Are you going to ship the books to your customers? Are you going to hire a company to handle book fulfillments? Are you going to let Amazon ship all of your orders?
16. Public speaking is a great way to promote you and your book
17. Marketing your book will be an ongoing and constant thing.
18. If your book is a topic that is always changing, consider writing an ebook or epublishing instead of a physical book.
19. Find other writer friends to get support, stay on schedule and find out about new resources. Try websites like meetup.com or bigtent.com
21. You should start your online presence before your book is out. This can include a blog, twitter and facebook account. This will help you build an audience so that when your book is ready for release, you already have a group to market to.
22. If you plan on publishing more than two books, you may want to consider starting a publishing company.
23. Be sure to do your research on publishing and get instruction from people that have self-published successfully.
24. If your book is listed on Amazon.com, be sure to add the Search Inside the Book feature to your book.
25. Self-publishing will truly test your discipline. You have to be discipline to write your book until competition. You have to be disciplined to complete the book production process. You have to be disciplined to market your book continuously. There are many would-be should-be authors out there. Don’t fall into that category.