Looking for some great advice on how to self-publishing your book?
You’ve come to the right place.
NOTE: Don’t miss the “3-Vital Words” Guide at the end of this post. It will show you a simple way to grab the attention of your ideal reader when marketing your book (hint: this should also be done before your book is done).
This article is divided into five sections, each representing a milestone you can reach at every part of your self-publishing experience, from idea to published book.
You can hop down to each pillar by clicking any of the links below to view the information about that pillar.
The 5 Pillars of Self-Publishing
These five pillars came from years of experience and publishing dozens of personal books, and books for clients through my publishing company, Jones Media Publishing.
A few years ago I was hearing from a lot of first-time authors about how they were being strung along by editors, taking way too long to do the work. Working with designers is an entire skills-set on it’s own, they can be flaky, don’t follow up, and very difficult to work with. I’m not saying every editor or designer are difficult to work with, but many are.
After doing marketing and design services for my clients for years I became very interested in self-publishing my own book because of the great benefit I was getting from reading and learning about marketing. I developed a plan to market my own book and it hit #1 Best-Seller soon after.
As you may have seen here on my website, I also run a podcast where I interview entrepreneurs about a single book that has been impactful for their business, and also authors about Ideas That Make An Impact. Everywhere I looked there wasn’t a single resource where someone could simplify the self-publishing process.
I was frustrated at the fact there wasn’t a clear picture of the whole self-publishing process.
That is when I knew there were so many entrepreneurs with a great story to tell, great strategies to share with aspiring entrepreneurs, but the entrepreneur is hustling to grow their business, when would they have the time to sit and write a book?
Unless someone helped to facilitate the whole process. Soon after I went to work and invested thousands of dollars on courses, books and coaches to learn everything I could about publishing books. After about 18 months I created a process I call, YourBookBlueprint.com.
Your Book Blueprint is broken down into 3 main phases to self-publishing, and is broken down into 5 Pillars.
Let’s now cover each of The Five Pillars:
People define a niche in many different ways, I look at it as getting to know your reader. This is the point where you gather “intel” about your book buyer. Your book ultimately is written for the reader. Similar to how a product is created to fill a need in the marketplace, it’s better to find a need and fill it with a product than to develop a product and then start your search for a customer that will buy that “thing”.
In this phase, you should identify “intel” or “intellegence” about your book buyers. Look at best-seller categories on retail book store websites and in physical books stores. Find out what is selling and look for common threads.
Yes, self-publishing involves content creation, typically known as “writing your book”. Here is where you use the “intel” you’ve gathered from your niche research to write your book. In the fiction book category you can find out what the readers of popular books in your category like. In the case of non-fiction, you are typically teaching an idea or educating the reader on something.
When writing your book it’s helpful to first outline your book, then write chapter by chapter in your first draft. If you outline your book first you’ll have a structure to writing your book and the second draft will be a matter of fixing each chapter, not rearranging main parts of the book.
A mistake most people make is to think of an idea for a book and just start writing. I realize that some people just express ideas better this way, and if that is your preferred writing strategy then go for it, there is no one way to do anything. In my experience, clients find creating a structure for a book before writing much more efficient.
After your book is complete you should have a trusted editor do a round of copy editing, line editing and finally proofreading to ensure the quality of your content before moving into the packaging phase.
Your book is a product. A real product, with a real bar code that can be scanned and purchased, by a real person. You should put a high importance on creating a high-quality book cover to give yourself the best chance for an attractive presentation for your ideal reader. Remember, the majority of people you want to read your book are complete strangers.
Sure, your friend will buy your book just to support you even if the cover looks like it was done in powerpoint….but, it will bomb when in a retail environment.
The same goes for the interior layout. The book pages should be designed by industry standards of a retail book so the reader feels like this is a book they have read from any other major publisher. Bottom line, your book should not look “self-published”. I was hesitant to use the term, “self-publish”, because it does have a connotation for low quality.
Self-Publish doesn’t mean you do every part yourself, it really means you OWN the rights to publish the book, not a traditional publisher. I actually prefer the term, “Independent Publishing”, because I believe the book author should retain the rights for their work.
After you book is complete and ready for the marketplace it’s ready to be released, or as my friend Jeff Walker calls it, LAUNCH. I learned from Jeff the value of a strategic launch. First you should consider all of the resources you already have available to you. Look at your email list if you are fortunate to have built one up, social media profiles and list of contacts.
After your book release, you’ll want to look at how you can integrate book marketing and promotion into everything you do. Think of how you can promote your book on a regular basis, one of the best and effective ways to do this is by publishing content on a regular basis.
What type of content should you publish to promote your book? This is where it’s important you do some through “Book Buyer Intel” for your target reader. You can use the communication and messaging you found that is attractive to your target reader in your communication.
You can clearly see when you begin with the end in mind, you can see where you are going with your self-published book and plan a better strategy. This will help give you an EDGE and set you apart from other self-published books because it helps to increase the quality of your book when following The 5 Pillars of Self-Publishing.
Be sure to grab our “3 Vital Words” book marketing guide, it’s normally only available in our $39 Members Area, however for a limited time we’re making it available for zero-cost.
We may remove it any day now, so grab it today to give you a Publishing EDGE.