It’s not the first time I’ve been asked, and it won’t be the last. Just last week, a woman emailed me with the same request. She wanted to hire me, but I’m already busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. So I figured a blog post on the subject would be a smart idea.
First of all, I put together a lot of helpful downloads here: Follow-Ups. Some I composed and some are links to the works of others.
Second, you can publish in any of the following ways (this is a simplified summary of what’s available):
- Traditional: find an agent who will then sell your book to a traditional or indie publishing house. Then do what those guys tell you.
- Modified traditional: look for an indie publishing house that serves your niche (e.g. romance, fantasy, westerns, crime novels, etc.) and submit your query according to their guidelines. If they decide they want to work with you, you’ll sign a contract and they’ll help you get published. Instead of having to do everything yourself, they’ll perform some expert services for you, usually for no upfront cost (e.g. formatting, cover design, etc.) In exchange, they’ll want a cut of every book sold. You’ll lose some decision-making power (like pricing, maybe). Read the fine print. Before you sign anything, check this out.
- Independent: You know what this is. My recommendation is to sign on with CreateSpace and have them do the manuscript formatting, cover design, and Kindle conversion. You pay them a fee up front, and then you have total control over your book. If you sell your books through Amazon.com, they take a cut. Here’s an idea of the prices you might pay to publish with CreateSpace.
- As soon as your book is for sale on Amazon.com, take advantage of your author page there, and also on Goodreads. These are explained on the Follow-Ups page.
- Get active on Facebook and Twitter. In particular, I would look for one or two groups on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn (yes, they have topic groups) that deal with your specialty area. Join them and interact often. Occasionally link to your book. Make sure your profile page on any social media has a link to your author page on Amazon.
- Write the next book.