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How To Become A Professional Writer Without A Publisher
You’re going to be shocked by what you’re about to read. That’s because you’re about to learn how to publish your own book without having to send your manuscript to a publishing company. In fact, it’s possible that you can publish a book tomorrow and start seeing sales tomorrow. The best part is that it’s not complicated. There are some things you will need to get used to, but that’s the case with everything.
Finding An Editor
Of course, it’s not likely you can publish a book tomorrow because you need to write a book first. After that, you need an editor. This doesn’t mean you need to hire an expensive editor. Stay away from those folks. You can just as easily get an editor for free. All you have to do is offer a credit in return, as in ‘Edited By’. In order for an editor to get excited about having a credit on your book, you need to prove to them that you have a large following and that some of those followers will read your book.
How To Get A Large Following
If you already have a large following on social media, then you have a head start. If that’s not the case, no problem. The biggest key to success in business is fearlessness, and this means no fear of rejection.
Let’s say you have three Facebook friends and 15 Instagram followers right now. We can fix that in a heartbeat. On Facebook, send friend requests until the system tells you to stop. Don’t even look at their names because then you might think: “This person won’t want to be friends with me.” You’re going to be shocked by how many people accept your requests.
Sticking with Facebook, after you do this for a few weeks and reach the maximum 5,000 followers, begin posting light and fun material. This doesn’t mean memes and YouTube videos. It means original content from you that is based on your daily life. Pay attention to everything you see and hear and write about it on Facebook, but keep the posts short when possible, and it’s okay to embellish a little for entertainment purposes. Just like that, you have created a large following on Facebook. This is important because sales is a numbers game. When you publish your book and post the link, you’re going to get sales.
Instagram is a little more time-consuming. There are follow-back lists you can find by doing an internet search. These lists will usually be taken down after a while, but that’s okay. Your goal is to grow the number so the perception is that you’re very popular. That perception will eventually turn into reality.
There is another method on Instagram that is more organic. Go through your list and like 100 posts per day. Studies have shown that for every 100 posts you like, you will gain 1-2 new followers. When you like a post, it puts you on the radar of other people.
After you have the book edited and you have a following, it’s time to publish. You’re going to do that on Amazon. But not so fast! First you need to format your books. This can be tricky because the Kindle version needs to be formatted differently than the paperback version.
For the Kindle version, use H2 for all your chapter headings and create a Table of Contents if applicable. You don’t want page numbers on the Kindle version because Kindle readers can differ. If you use a TOC, you’re going to see page numbers on the TOC. This is a tricky step, but it can be a fun challenge as well. Beginning with the page number, highlight that page number and all the dots leading up to the chapter title, then hit delete. Do this for each chapter. It will take several attempts if you’re new to it. If you make an error, refresh the TOC and start again.
One more important step for the Kindle is that you need to insert a page break after every chapter. You also want page breaks after the title page, copyright page, and TOC. As far as copyright goes, don’t fall for copyright services that charge you. A copyright is free. All you have to do is add the year with the © symbol.
For the paperback, you’re going to want to use 6 x 9 for layout. Bold all chapter titles. The paperback used to be more complicated, but it’s now even easier than the Kindle. The only problem you might have is with page numbers. When you insert the page numbers, it’s going to have 1 on the title page, which you don’t want. Be sure to select ‘Start from a Different Page.’
Then there’s the book cover. You can find expensive book cover creators online, and you can find book cover creators that will do this for a few bucks. The sweet spot for value seems to be around $100. Or, if you know a talented friend, it can be free. You also have the option of using Amazon’s Book Cover Creator service, but that isn’t recommended because it’s generic and your book won’t stand out. The book cover is the third most important factor for book sales behind reviews (#1) and quality content (#2).
The last steps are to create a blurb, go through the reader to make sure everything is formatted correctly, choose keywords, select how you want to price the book, and then publish. But … you’re still not done.
You absolutely need an audio version of your book. If you’re in college, then most of your readers are likely to be younger, and many young readers like audio. In order to have your book for sale on Audible and iTunes, you need to go to ACX.com. It’s an easy step-by-step process. However, the most important step is to choose a narrator.
If you want a narrator that crushes, it’s going to be expensive, so you don’t want that. It’s relatively easy to find a quality narrator that is willing to do a royalty share deal with you. That means you don’t need to pay them a penny to narrate your book. Just remember that the royalties are split three ways between you, the narrator, and ACX, which leaves you with 26% of sales.
One final note. Remember to create an Amazon Author Page. After your book is published, find your title on Amazon and claim it so it will be added to the bookshelf on your Amazon Author Page.
Once your book is published, enjoy making money while you sleep. The more positive ratings and reviews you receive, the more money you will earn.
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