Creative writing is one the best outlets one can have. But eventually there comes a time when every writer starts to wonder: Should I publish this?
Things in the literary world are extraordinarily different than they were ten years ago and seem to be shifting ever still. It’s no wonder that more people are beginning to look into self-publishing. With the internet and blogging becoming more user-friendly by the minute, self-publishing in places like Amazon and Wattpad has become the new normal.
However, like anything else, there are certain steps you may want to take before you delve into the ever-expanding world of online publishing.
- Establish a Social Media Presence
Even if you were to take the more traditional route of becoming published, any experienced agent or editor will tell you the same thing: you need to have an online presence.
Publishing companies like to know when they can expect readership. Concrete numbers such as Twitter followers or YouTube subscribers are a statistic you can point to. These will always work in your favor when it comes to publicity and book sales.
In addition to this, it is important that you communicate with your readers. Accounts on platforms such as Twitter, Goodreads, or even Instagram will allow you to instantly post updates, interviews, and any other tidbits you will want to inform your audience about.
- Download an Organization Software
While Microsoft Word seems to be the default on most computers, it can become increasingly difficult to work with as you produce a much longer manuscript. While doable, it will be much more manageable to download one of the best writing software programs such as Scrivener or, if you are writing a play or film script, Celtx. Programs like these make for easier organizing and tracking your manuscripts.
Not only good for your main draft, but you can also create lists and charts to maintain order of your character, plot, or dialogue notes with features such as labels, tabs, folders, or flags, just as you might with a physical notebook.
- Seek Out Editing Services and Beta Readers
Once you have completed your first draft, it is time to have it shown to an extra pair of eyes. While some may scoff at this or see it as an empty investment, it is incredibly important to have an editing partner when you complete your first draft. Another set of experienced eyes can offer insight, ideas, and feedback that you might otherwise breeze past.
You can locate experienced editors within your budget on places such as upwork.com where you can evaluate their past projects and what certifications they may have. During the season, you can also find beta readers on places like nanowrimo.org, though they may be less seasoned.
- Invest in Your Book
While becoming a published author can prove to be more than lucrative, you will need to invest in yourself and your writing first. The more professional a book appears, the more it will attract readers.
Cover artists and suppliers can be quite expensive, but they will be doing the heavy lifting once you start making sales. In addition to this, you may want to advertise for an audiobook reader, as many prefer to listen rather than read.
Another investment you may want to venture toward is hiring a marketing or publicity manager. They can help target areas you may wish to improve to help sell your book once it is published online. They are incredibly helpful when it comes to designing and/or running an official author page as well as your official social media accounts.
Publishing a book can be just as stressful a time as it is exciting. With so many components to consider, it can seem daunting to the point of hopeless. However, if you take these initial steps beforehand, you will find that you are much more prepared for both the online literary world and the journey ahead.