Not quite ready to publish? Still tying up your loose ends? Here’s a checklist to make sure you’ve thought of everything prior to jumping into publishing
Whether you’re indie publishing or targeting agents, you should still establish a web presence, research competition, and network. Bottomline: it doesn’t matter how you intend to publish your book. Your foundation is essentially the same.
Here are the basic tasks that you should add to your to-do list to give your book the best possible start.
- Write your book and self edit
- Start interviewing and researching mentoring presses (DIY authors should interview editors, book designers, and proofreaders) or literary agents that compliment your book’s genre
- Draft a publishing plan to guide your publishing journey
- If you’re publishing your book as an e-book, research e-book distributors (e.g. Smashwords, CreateSpace, Bookbaby, etc.)
- Seek a published author, preferably an author successful in your book’s genre, who you can rely on for moral support and guidance
- Visit your favorite bookstore to scope out the competition
- Brainstorm your title and subtitle. Poll your friends and colleagues. Once you’ve narrowed it down, check to see if the domain name is available, using a site like www.domai.nr.
- Check if there are other books with an identical title on www.booksinprint.com and www.amazon.com.
- Secure the domain name for your website, using a site like www.godaddy.com
- Begin collecting or making note of books that have an appealing design. Scope out the competition’s design as well
- While looking at competing titles, make a note of their prices to get a sense of reasonable price options for your book
- If you’re a fiction writer, participate in at least one reading where you share an excerpt from your book, ask for feedback
- If you’re a nonfiction writer, give a speech around your book’s topic and solicit reactions to your presentation
- Join IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association)
- As you work through the manuscript, pull out excerpts that would make good standalone articles, blog posts, and good content for your marketing materials
- Consider setting up a business license (call your county Business License Division for details). With the license, you might want to open a business checking account for all business transactions related to your book
- Create a Twitter account for your book
- Create a Facebook Fan Page for your book
- Create a LinkedIn account, add author to your profile
- Subscribe to, like, and follow books of similar content on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
- Start researching and following blogs of similar content, blogs by other indie authors, and blogs about self-publishing
- Create a Google account
- Sign up for Google alerts
- Choose two to three reviewers close to the topic to read your book and provide final suggestions for strengthening the manuscript for editing
What’s missing? Is there an item here that you did that did or didn’t make your publishing journey smoother?