As a newbie author, you might already know two of the options – traditional publishing and self-publishing. That said, when you self-publish, you can retain more control over your book. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that you can control nearly all aspects of your book – from writing to publishing.
You don’t get shoved into a random book cover that you don’t like. And most importantly, you keep all rights and royalties.
While this is undoubtedly a pretty sweet situation to be in, you should certainly know how to write a nonfiction book. There are a few major things that first-time self-publishing authors don’t know about. So, if you are considering walking the route of self-publishing, there are a few things that you should know about:
You Won’t be Participating in the Entire Book-Publishing Process
If you want to publish a great book that will actually sell, then you should know that you won’t be able to DIY the entire process. Also, you won’t be able to hand off the entire process to someone else and expect to get it done well.
When launching a book successfully and a book that sells, you should know that at least five professionals are working on it – together with you. We are referring to copy editor, developmental editor, proofreader, and cover designer – just to name a few.
You get the point – it is not one person alone involved in the book writing and publication process – many skill sets are required to create and publish a great book.
It wouldn’t be wrong to state that if we were to look at the bigger picture, writing the book seems like a small portion of the entire process, especially if you really get into it. Nonetheless, the book can also not exist without the author.
Even if you have a ghostwriter helping you write the book – your skills are still required to get the book out there. Book launching and book publishing is a team sport, which is why you won’t be able to do it all by yourself – especially if you care about creating something great and exceptional.
Book writing and book publishing is a team project – and the only way to win is when everyone plays in their best position, trusts each other, and shows support for each other with the mutual goal of getting the best end result.
Your Reader Can Not be Demographic
Let us get straight to the point – a demographic never decides your ideal reader and whether you have written well enough to market your book to them. You might want to focus on the following aspects first:
- What potential problem does your book solve?
- What experience is your book offering to its readers?
- How will the life of your readers change after they have read the book?
Let us say that your book is about how to succeed in your career or how to develop a successful mindset; then, you are offering a solution to society in general that you cannot define in terms of demographic.
So, if you want your nonfiction book to sell, you should never make the mistake of defining your ideal readers in terms of their demographic. Here is what you can do instead:
Define your readers by the problem they are trying to solve, and you solve their problem differently than other authors or books.
Your Book isn’t Necessarily Going to be a Bestseller
Many newbie writers are prone to indulge in excessive dreaming and wishful thinking where they tend to believe that the very moment their book will hit the online store or the market – it will turn into something like a global sensation and reach the top of the list of New York bestsellers.
That said, you should keep in mind that it is next to impossible to become a best-selling author based on a great book alone. You probably have a great story to tell, but that is not enough to become a bestselling author.
In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that a great book is barely part of the equation for making a nonfiction book a bestseller.
Undoubtedly, some books get lucky – but most bestsellers are created by tons of marketing work. Usually, the marketing starts even before the book comes out and after it has been out – tons of marketing work, such as networking, consistency, social media platform engagement, platform building, and, more importantly – a great book can get you there.
But no author has become a bestseller overnight – all good things take time, and patience is the key.
As a newbie author, you have to keep in mind that no book gets published overnight, and once it is published, you won’t simply start selling your book without any extensive marketing work. You will want people to talk about your book even before it gets out there.
The underlying reason is quite simple – imagine a book gets launched, but nobody is talking about it – who will know about the book launch? More importantly, why would anyone want to buy a book that nobody is talking about?
Don’t Rely on Friends & Family for Advice
When it comes to book-publishing, you should always aim at getting professional advice, including avoiding friends and family for their advice on matters related to book writing and publishing.
Your friends and family might be the best and most reliable if you would need advice related to your personal life; however, when it comes to booking publications, they aren’t the ones who will give you the best advice – unless they have published a couple of books themselves.
The same goes for feedback – sometimes, your loved ones can be too harsh in an attempt to protect you from embarrassment. And all too often, your friends and family might be too soft as they wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings but take the active role of your supporters and source of encouragement.
That said, the end result of turning to friends and family is often bad advice. The solution is to always go to professionals for a bit of advice and seek their feedback and criticism instead of your friends and family.