“You should write a book.” For years, I had been hearing this comment. Writing an entire book seemed completely overwhelming, and so, for a long time, I contented myself with writing short articles. One day, inspiration for an article hit me and, as I started writing, paragraphs began flowing out at an enormous rate. Before I knew it, a rather lengthy piece was developing. It was too long to be an article, so, I decided it would not hurt to try self-publishing a little booklet. Was I ever surprised! The first printing of this 32-page black and white booklet sold out within a week.
All of us have an area which we have more knowledge and experience than the person next to us. What many do not realize is that there is often a hungry market out there ready and willing to pay for the information we have to offer. Yes, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to see a book to completion and printing, but it is well worth it.
Some things I have learned through the experience:
1. Start small. Don’t attempt to tackle a 400-page work for your first publication. You will also save yourself a bundle on printing if you keep it small. I recommend a booklet under 50-pages to launch your career as an author.
2. Enlist the help of others who are more experienced. If you know someone who has published anything, ask their advice and help. You will gain invaluable information from them and save yourself many headaches. In addition, request assistance from others for editing and proofreading. No matter how meticulous you are, it is always good to have other eyes review the final draft before it goes to the printer.
3. Be prepared to deal with disappointment. When you put your heart into something only to hear, “We’re not interested,” it is easy to take it personally. But, you must continually remind yourself that this is part of the package deal in self-publishing. For every “yes” you receive at least five “no’s” (or so it seems). Learning to humbly and graciously accept rejection and keep pressing forward is an absolute must in self-publishing, especially at the beginning.
4. The more you market, the more you sell. You can publish an excellent book, but unless people know it is available, you cannot expect many buyers. The possibilities for marketing are endless. Check out all the books on marketing your local library offers. These will give you some great starter ideas. Send out an e-mail to friends, family, and business associates announcing your book’s publication date and offer a limited-time pre-publication special. Join self-publishing groups and let them know about your book. Ask others to promote your book. Be pro-active and do not be afraid to try novel ideas!