Self-Publishing Hat Trick

June 12, 2024
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It seems pretty straightforward. Self-publishing is easy and accessible. Just create a document, find a platform, upload your story and wait for the clicks and payment to roll your way. Not!

Anyone who has written and posted a story on Amazon, or some other publishing platform, knows that to gain a readership, the process starts when you upload that file. Hopefully, you’ve put together a strategic plan before you uploaded your work that identifies your goals and outlines the ways you hope to achieve them.

To successfully create a healthy following of readers, today’s authors must view self-publishing as a strategic business enterprise. This requires one to wear many hats: Editor, Accountant, Marketing Maven, Sales Person, Publicist, IT Guru, Artist/Designer, and even Legal Eagle/Watch Dog.

You’ll need to ask yourself, “How many of those roles do I feel comfortable with?” Some platforms offer assistance with various aspects of the publishing process. Ultimately, the responsibility for getting all everything lined up and ready to roll will lie with you.

Perhaps a little pre-planning is in order before you determine which self-publishing pathway is best for you. Consider these questions:

  • What am I selling?
    What is the format? E-book, Audio Book, Podcast?
  • What is the genre?
    Romance, Comedy, RomCom, Thriller, Crime, Non-Fiction, Young Adult, Sci-Fi, History or Historical Fiction?
  • Who is my audience?
    Age group, Ethnic Group, Lifestyle or Specific Interest Groups?
  • Are there strategic partners I can work with to promote my work?
  • Are there activities or event tie-ins I can use to promote my work?

Once you have answers to some or most of these questions, you may have a better understanding of which platform best serves your needs and which offers supplemental resources that can shore up areas where you need help.

This article was first published in Ruff Drafts, Summer 2022.