How Do You Self-Publish a Book? (62/365)

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I’m serious.  How do you do it?  I’m looking into this option right now for my first effort, and my head’s about to explode.

Does it need to be edited by a professional?  What about proofreading?  What does a copy editor do compared to a proofreader or an editor?  How much money should I spend on this option?

Should you get a professional cover?  What size will your cover be?  Who designs high quality covers?  How much should you pay?  What cover looks the best?  What looks the worst?

OKCoverIdeas

Here’s my three efforts, and I’m not sure I like any of them.  I think I need someone to combine covers one and two together because I want the reader to see the illustrations, but I also want the reader to know his name is O.K.

How do you format it?  Should I release it just as an electronic book?  Should I print several copies and sell it myself?  What are the advantages of printing it on demand?  How many can I expect to sell?  What programs are the best for formatting the book?  How do you format the interior of the book?  Should I make an audio version?

What will the target audience like?  The book is for middle grade students, but I think it has universal appeal, so how can I market it as a Middle Grade/YA/Illustrated/Realistic Fiction/Comedy.

Speaking of marketing, what strategies work?  Should I target librarians?  Should I contact book bloggers?  How can I sell to the YA audience?  What should I do on social media?  Will other people help me market it?  How can I help facilitate spreading the message?  Word of mouth works best, so I’ve heard, but how can I get that ball rolling?

Social media is a large component of letting people know the book exists, but what site should I focus on?  Is Goodreads the perfect group to target?  Should I focus on social media that a younger demographic uses?  Do people take selfies as they are reading a book on Instagram?  Should I Tweet about it?  I don’t want to spam my Facebook friends, but I’d like them to know about the book.  How do I do this in an appropriate way?

To those who have self-published, you are amazing.  I hope to join your ranks soon.  I just have a few questions that I need to work through first.

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