5 Great Publishing Tips for Aspiring Self Publishers

It’s quite common practice these days for some small business owners and popular bloggers to produce physically printed versions of their contents in form of hardcovers, normal books, videos or CDs. Many of them are doing this because they are looking out for unique ways to reach out to their target markets or audiences.

Although, most of these people might have started their blogs or businesses as an alternative to their offline competitors – the mainstream print media or mega offline channels, printing their content offline in a book form just appears to be the norm these days. It’s a quietly emerging trend and always an exciting experience for anyone involved.

But this is no easy task if you decide to do this via the traditional publishing route. You’ll have to hire an agent with vast experience in the field who can get you a publishing house that can make your books an instant hit while you dream royalties.

Every publisher wants to print the next worldwide or nationwide best sellers – books that can be sold in massive volumes which is why they run after celebrities with contracts to write their autobiographies and ask you to come up with a six figure advance before they touch your work. You don’t have to be surprised or feel offended, these celebrities have the huge followings and fan base you don’t have that can make these books an instant hit once they are released.

Video Tip: “How to Start a Writing Career” by Laura Turner

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Another downside to publishing with these traditional outfits is that as someone without a brand, you can’t strike a bargain – you only get to earn a small percentage in royalties if you make any profits. This is why many bloggers and small business owners have decided to take the path of self-publishing by printing their books and magazines themselves.

As long as you can handle the entire task and processes involved in self-publishing yourself, it’s one of the best publishing routes available for the small guy these days.

Anyone can easily do this too as long as you have a loyal following or audiences via your clients or readers of your blog willing to buy anything you sell that further helps in reducing your barriers to entry.

Here are five great self publishing tips that can help make your publishing dreams a reality.

Tip #1: Content is Key in This Business.

contentYou’ll never get away with poorly written content so don’t even think of lowering the required professional standards.

I spent the last six months working with my team of designers and editors working on the contents and designs of my current magazine. This is why we only print them twice a year because self-publishing has to do with quality and not quantity.

If you deliver a very poor job – poorly produced, designed or written content, no one will ever buy anything from you again. That’s just the way it is because you need to wow them and give these people a reason to buy from you again.

Apart from the design and contents of my magazines, I also go the extra miles to ensure that my magazines are printed on papers made of the best quality.

Yes, this often costs me more than the basic option but people get so impressed when they receive my magazines in their mails that they order several more copies of the next editions. I strive to always over-deliver on my promises and I think you should do that too. It works!

Tip #2: Hire An Experienced Book Designer

book designerMost times, we tend to think we can do it all by ourselves because we have some knowledge of Photoshop which we’ve got on our computer systems and can create PDFs too. That’s the wrong way to go.

Please, give it to the expert. If you think writing and editing a 100-page mag or manuscript is great work, then just think about designing it as well!

My design team takes a huge chunk of the production costs whenever I’m working on my magazine and I don’t feel bad about it because they help make my dreams of owning a magazine – and a good one at that – a reality.

And, with the huge competition coming up from other bloggers who are also towing this line your designs and the quality of your prints just has to be good so you can stand out from the crowd.

If you fail to get this right, you’ll end up with a failed product in the marketplace and can as well kick the whole self-publishing idea goodbye.

Tip #3: Hire A Professional Proofreader

proofreaderYou need to get a professional proofreader who will act as your editor to help go over your work again and again when you decide to do this.

You can always publish stuff online and get away with the mistakes because you can go back to your dashboard and correct your mistakes.

Offline, there are no rooms for mistakes once you’ve decided to print a book or a magazine. You can’t start editing that typo once the book or magazine has been printed and released to the market.

You can’t do this yourself no matter how great you’ve always been at spotting your own written errors. Get someone – preferably an expert to do this for you. Always check for spellings, grammatical errors, page numberings, poor image resolutions, text alignments and lots more.

It’s very important that you do this repeatedly before sending the final manuscript to the printers.

Tip #4: Find A Very Good Printer

book printerWhen it comes to self publishing your books or magazines at this stage, there are several options. You can eventually decide to take it to a traditional book or magazine publishing outfit like I do or use online services like Amazon, Blurb, Lulu and MagCloud publish your work.

Read our Lulu.com review here

I use traditional publishers because they are quite cheaper once you are ordering larger copies of your work say 1, 000 copies. You end up paying a lot less for every unit of your work which often adds up to the profit you make for every copy you sell.

However the downside is that you’ll have to LOOK for space or a warehouse to store them, get some capital to pay them in advance and also ensure that you have the market to sell them or you’ll just be burdened by a huge inventory of your work which can be quite frustrating for any author.

Another disadvantage is that you’ll often be responsible for fulfilling the orders – packaging and shipping each copy of your work by hand when an order has been made which will cost you time as well as the expense you’ll have to bear each time you send out the order.

However, you’ll experience none of these shortcomings when you use a print-on-demand service because the client pays for it all and all these issues are included in the price.

Tip #5: Be Smart About Market And Sell Your Works.

online marketingWhen you self-publish your work, it’s up to you to sell it because the magazine or book cannot just sell itself. Someone has to be out there promoting the work.

When you take the traditional route, the publishing houses often take the responsibility for marketing and promoting your work which is why they also get a share of your royalties though sometimes, this is not guaranteed and you might have to do some work.

You have to develop a killer sales pitch for your products, promote them on your websites without annoying your readers or going overboard blatantly promoting it and ensure you use other simple mediums to put that book in the hands of your readers.

You can place easily them on book selling service sites like Amazon, Lulu, Barnes and Noble, E-junkie and many more.

In conclusion, self-publishing should not be a mind blowing tasks if you set your mind to it. It helps bloggers and book authors to fulfill their lifelong dreams of seeing their works in prints without waiting endlessly for a book deal that might never come.

If you’ve always wanted to write a book or become the publisher of your own magazine, then I will advise that you quit waiting on someone to come after you and give you the job, with these few tips you can get the job done yourself

Related Article: Publishing a Children’s Book Online.