Month: May 2019

5 Steps to Self-Publishing a Book

5 Steps to Self-Publication

If you are thinking about self-publishing, then you might be interested to know exactly what the steps are that you will be taking to publish your book. The specific steps can differ a little from one publishing platform to another, but for the most part, the general process remains the same. Let’s look at five steps that will take you from where you currently are to actually publishing your book and getting the word out there about it.

Write Your Book

Obviously, the first thing that you need to do is write your book. If you do not have your book completely written, then there is no reason to worry about self-publishing. Good authors know that when you finish writing your book you should put it on the shelf for a while and come back to it a few weeks later to the revisions with a fresh mind. It is during this period that you can look into self-publishing and take the steps needed to prepare for your releasing your book this way.

Make Your Book as Good as Possible

Before you self-publish, you’re going to want to make your book as good as possible. That means that you want it to look as good as possible as well as have the content be extremely high-quality. The best ways to do that is to first get a graphic designer to create a professional cover. You want someone that has actually had experience creating book covers and knows what a good book cover looks like. You should also hire an editor to go through your book with a fine-tooth comb, not only to fix typos and grammatical errors, but also to make sure that the narrative runs smoothly and that it maintains the reader’s attention throughout.

Decide Upon a Publishing Platform

Next, you’re going to have to decide upon a publishing platform. Some of the most popular platforms include KDP from Amazon, Nook Publishing from Barnes & Noble and SmashWords. Amazon is definitely the most popular publishing platform out there, but you should consider the other ones as well.

Release Your Book

Next, you are going to release your book. If you have a social media following, a blog with lots of readers or any other way that you can promote the release of your book on a certain day, then this is often the best way to get people excited about it and have lots of sales right away. The more sales that you can get for yourself at one time, the higher you will rank in the search results on Amazon and the more sales you will have from people that were not on your mailing lists or social media followings.

Optimize & Promote Your Book

Finally, you’re going to optimize and promote your book. Optimizing your book means identifying the right keywords that it should be listed for, making sure that your description get you into the search results on Amazon properly; and promoting your book simply means advertising using whatever methods you can find.

Why Young Writers Should Write Fanfiction And Poetry

In a world where many authors frown upon fanfiction or casual poetry, these can actually be a really strong tool for budding writers to improve their skills and put them on a track to become a successful writer. Both these forms of writing provide basic training wheels for budding writers to improve and eventually write their own novels.

Fanfiction teaches basic writing skills

Fanfiction is one of the easiest ways to get into writing because it allows young people to do what they do best: daydream. Because the TV show, movie, or situation that serves as the topic for a fan piece already has backstories, character motivations, character traits, and more, the writer can just jump in and put pen to paper. Planning isn’t as necessary and the story flows a lot more naturally.

Let your imagination run wild and you’ll often end up with an entertaining story with wildly interesting scenarios and characters. We all have daydreamed before and fanfiction is a really interesting and fun way to turn that into a piece of writing.

From there, writers can learn the basics and nuances of how plots evolve as well as the techniques of actually writing and formulating ideas. Many people can form the idea, but actually executing it into a readable story is a different story. Stories are difficult to write from choosing the right words to forming the right sentences.

Because we can now abstract away the characters and ideas, writers can focus on the actual craft of writing.

With a plethora of writing sites and apps out there, anybody can get started writing and building an audience for their works. Some can even be for very short stories or flash fiction so that it’s a less intimidating way to get into writing.

Poetry teaches you to think carefully about your words

Poetry forces writers to examine the structure, meaning, emotions, and metaphors more closely. Because poetry has to be so much more precise than prose, poetry helps to build wonderful habits specifically around diction, story structure, and more. Many literary devices that show up in poetry, while not used in prose, can be used to make prose sound more lyrical.

Many of the most elegant novelists wrote poetry as a way to train and express ideas.

Many writers are pushed to write faster and faster because novels can be lengthy and most aren’t patient enough to spend years writing. With things like NaNoWriMo, writers are under more pressure than ever to crunch work out faster.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. Writers often need that extra push, but poetry is a great change of pace. In poetry, writers need to examine every word and make sure that the word fits. Even training the writer’s eye to identify opportunities and potential is important. If you need help getting started, reading classic poetry is a great way to learn the ropes and learn from the best.

There are also many poetry websites out there to get you into writing and practicing. Many writers there give feedback as well so not only will you get an outlet to share, you can also improve your craft. Many poets have built huge audiences through these platforms and even gotten book deals for their poetry and even their novels because of the audience they built.

How to be Creative with Your Author Bio

There are some great techniques out there for getting creative with your author bio. You don’t have to use the same author bio that everyone else is using. Of course, that depends upon the types of books that you are writing. Those that write non-fiction and have to show a more somber persona in order to lend legitimacy to their books might have to avoid putting humorous or creative things in their author bio. With others, such as someone writing a comedy book, an author bio that is creative can actually help you. If you decide that you want to get creative, here are some ways to do exactly that.

Brag about Your Greatest Achievement

One of the ways that you can be creative is to brag about your greatest achievement. This could be a writing achievement, but it could just as well be about the time that you ate the most hot dogs at a state-wide hot dog eating content. The point is to make your achievement into something fun and creative that is different than what other people put into their bio.

Turn Clichéd Author Bio Info into Opportunities for Humor

Everyone has read author profiles and most are familiar with the standard stuff that goes in there. But what if you took that standard stuff and turned it into something funny. For example, if you were to write something like: “John Author was born in 1984. It was quite an achievement. Even his mother and father thought so.” You might also write something like: “John Author went to the University of Chicago. When he got there, he saw how much they charged for tuition and went to Illinois State University instead.”

Lampshade the Fact That You Are Referring to Yourself in the Third Person

You can also poke fun at the fact that you are talking about yourself in the third person, but you should probably leave this until the end of your bio. There are a few reasons that author bios are written in the third person, but the main one is that it lends credibility because it sounds as if it were written by someone else. However, if you’re writing a humorous third person bio, including something at the end that lampshades that fact can be funny.

List Real Awards and a Few Fake Ones (Humorously)

A great way to get creative when you are creating your author bio is to list the real awards that you have received and then a few ridiculous and fake ones for the sake of humor. You can create awards about anything, and list one or two of them after you list your real awards. Just make sure the people know which of the fake ones.

Pick One or Two Techniques

Make sure that you only pick one or two of these techniques. You do not want your author bio to be too lighthearted and funny, because you still want people to take you seriously as an author.