Thursday, August 20, 2020

# Guest Posts # Self-Publishing

Top 10 Things I Learned from Self-Publishing a Book by Tamika M. Murray @celestialscr81 #guest #selfpublish

Top 10 Things I Learned from Self-Publishing a Book
By Tamika M. Murray

It feels surreal that I wrote a book. However, the final proof copy is staring back at me from the coffee table, so it’s definitely happening. But if you had told me a year ago that I’d be in this position laughter would have ensued. Even though my publishing imprint, Celestial Publishing LLC was formed, I hadn’t returned to my completed memoir manuscript. Nor did I have plans to do so. Thank goodness a new idea came to me.

If you’re thinking about self-publishing a book, you’ll want to know what to expect. Sure, no two self-publishing journeys are the same. Yet there are things to consider before leaping. So sit back. Get comfortable as I share the wisdom gained from self-publishing my first book.

1. You Have to Work Hard, but it’s Fun

Now I’d begun researching self-publishing back in 2015. I watched countless AuthorTube videos and read endless articles from those who’d released their labor of love to the masses. But you won’t realize how much work is involved until you’re in the process.

If something needs revision, it’s up to you. When the manuscript needs to get reformatted because of last-minute fixed typos, guess who gets it done? Yes, it’s you.

Self-publishing a book requires you to wear many hats. But remember you don’t have to do everything yourself. Being organized and determining which tasks you will do and what can get outsourced will keep you sane.

Plus, you have to remember to enjoy the journey, because it’s truly a blessing to have the ability to publish your work.

2. Use a Checklist

I keep post-its and notebook checklists for the tasks I want to complete. Some people might create a spreadsheet or use an app. If that’s your jam, then use it. I’m more ole school.

But whatever method you use will help you stay on track from book ideas through your book launch.

3. Outlines are Everything

Through the creation of outlines for the blog series I initially wrote, I learned there was enough information to write a book. The drafts I used for the blog posts easily turned into chapters. If I hadn’t outlined my chapters, the writing process would have taken longer. Through outlining, my words flowed.

4. You Will Spend Money

Now I’ve seen so many videos on how to publish your book for free. While this is true in the technical sense, most self-published authors will spend money.

Kindle Direct Publishing doesn’t charge for publishing your work. Ingramspark does charge a fee for paperback, ebook, or a combination of the two. But they offer discount codes, so I recommend you use it as I did.

Yet, self-publishing isn’t that cut-and-dry. Unless you have experience designing book covers and formatting the book’s interior you’ll need to pay someone for those services. But you don’t have to go broke doing so.

I used to hire freelancers to edit and design my book cover and interior layout. I read the reviews of each freelancer, looked over their gigs, and messaged them for quotes before hiring them. I am pleased with the finished product and plan to utilize their services for my next book.

5. You Need an Editor

Please, do yourself a favor and hire an editor. If you’re fortunate enough to know a book editor, that’s terrific. But if you don’t know someone, then start your search early on in the writing process. I used my editor for developmental, copywriting, and proofreading. You only get one chance to make an excellent first impression. Don’t skip over this step, or you might regret it later on.

6. Hiring a Book Cover Designer is Mandatory

A book cover attracts people to your work, so hire a professional. My book cover designer works with me and asks for my input. When it needed to get resized due to my error, she made the changes quickly. Here’s a word to the wise. Be careful not to get your cover designed too early because if your page count changes due to revisions and formatting, you’ll need the cover resized before uploading it to KDP or Ingramspark.

7. An Interior Designer Makes Your Book Pretty

As I’ve heard from other self-publishing authors, your book's presentation will make or break your reputation. If your book doesn’t look professional, people will notice. You don’t want the inside of your book to look thrown together. Nor do you want to use a font that hurts the readers’ eyes.

8. You’re Going to Make Mistakes

No one is perfect, and mistakes will happen. Don’t expect things to go smoothly all the time. Even when you’ve done the research and planned things out, mishaps occur. What’s essential is to shake it off and keep moving forward.

If you’re stressed, step away from the desk. Go for a walk, listen to relaxing music, eat a snack, or watch something funny. Practicing self-care keeps you healthy and allows you to finish your tasks.

9. Give Yourself Enough Time

While it can seem exciting to churn out your book and start earning royalties, remember haste makes waste. You want to give yourself enough time to correct errors. Making your book the best it can is a process. Ensure there’s time for revisions, proof copies, distributing advanced reader copies, and promoting your book.

10. Book Promotion is Essential

If you’re not a celebrity or a well-known figure in your field, then marketing your book should start as soon as possible. There are plenty of ways to get the word out about your book. Hiring a publicist is an option, but might be expensive. Utilizing social media through consistent posts or going live is good. You can also promote your book on your website and blog.

Organizing a virtual book tour, being a podcast or TV show guest, and getting interviewed by the media are also options. You could try Facebook and Amazon ads to help circulate your book.

But whatever tactics you use just remember that what works for one person might not work for you. So don’t put yourself down if you don’t become a bestseller overnight.

About the Author

Tamika M. Murray, better known as Mika, was born in the urban, seaside town of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Mika is a certified social worker, owner of Celestial Publishing LLC, freelance writer and soon to be author. She graduated from Stockton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and a Bachelor of Science in Social Work. Since then, her writing has appeared in over 50 online publications through ghostwriting. Mika’s helped over 200 children and adolescents during her career as an Adjunct English Instructor and Case Manager.

She plans to raise awareness about School-Based Youth Services Programs (Teen Centers) and why they are a necessity in all schools through the release of her book Crying, Learning, and Laughing: Why Students Visit the Teen Center, releasing on September 1, 2020.
She currently resides in Southern, New Jersey, with her boyfriend and three rambunctious kitties.


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About the Book:
In his debut endearing coming-of-age book, B.A. Bellec writes about a group of weirdos that find and save each other from the dark depths of their minds. Someone’s Story is literally Someone’s story, as in a first-person narrative of a teenager that calls himself Someone. As he struggles to find a new footing in a new space, we encounter the many ups and downs of modern teenage life, the difficulties that adjusting to adult feelings bring, and a few tear-jerking surprises along the way.

Littered with music, mental health, friendship, loss, meditation, advice, pop culture, and even inspiring an EP, there is so much nostalgia, inspiration, and depth here it is hard to absorb it all. Cozy up somewhere warm and enjoy!

“B. A. Bellec has crafted a masterpiece of emotive and well-rounded young adult fiction.”
K.C. Finn – Author

“The variety of personages, situations, and mental illnesses represented allows all readers to relate to this book and take something away from reading! This novel is on our list of all-time favourites!”
International Girls and Books

“Someone’s Story is a beautiful novel, written in great prose, very descriptive, and filled with insights about life. The author does an incredible job with themes of family, friendship, bullying, and personal development. It felt like I was reading a portion of my emotions and myself in Someone’s Story.”
Gobi Jane – Professional Critic @ Readers’ Favourite


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