Do you want to self-publish in 2022, but you don’t know where to get started? This article will help on your journey of becoming a self-publisher.
How to Self-Publish in 2022
Is it your dream to self-publish your novel this year, but you’re not sure where to get started? Have you self-published before, but you experienced problems, and maybe you were even scammed out of a lot of money?
These days, anyone with the Internet can self-publish an ebook, but the challenge is to do this successfully without the support of a big publisher and without spending a fortune. It’s important to understand the costs associated with self-publishing.
Advantages to Self-Publishing
It’s easier than you think to get started with self-publishing, and there are many advantages.
- You have creative freedom, which means you control everything about your book, including the cover design. You can choose with which editors and designers you want to collaborate, and in the end, it’s only your approval that will matter.
- You can decide when to publish your book, and it will be published. You don’t have to wait on a publishing company to fit you into their schedule.
- The royalties are all yours; minus the retailer’s cut.
- You have 100% ownership rights, and you remain in full control of book deals and any possible film adaptations.
How to Get Started
If you know your way around publishing and writing, you could do everything yourself, but if you’re a complete newbie, it might be easier to use a qualified ghostwriting service. They will assist you with the writing, editing, and cover design of your book.
If you know what to do and you have a limited budget, there are various useful options available to you. It’s to the benefit of self-publishers to learn to do as much as possible themselves, as you can cut down your expenses.
What Can You Do Yourself and Will You Need Help?
So, after you’ve completed your masterpiece, what’s next? Editing and rewriting are big parts of getting your novel ready for publication. Follow the next steps if you’ve decided to do it on your own.
The Editing Process and Costs Involved
Editing and rewriting are the processes that create the document which will finally be published. This is a long process that starts with the writer rewriting and producing multiple drafts of their book, a copy editor doing multiple rounds of edits, input from beta readers, and then the final proofreading before the book is published.
To save time and money, you need to self-edit as much as you can. Get your book in the best possible shape, so that you don’t have to pay an editor to correct the basics.
You can also send your manuscript to beta readers who often provide useful feedback. Incorporate their feedback as you work through a few drafts to sort out your storyline and characters.
There are groups on social media where beta readers will read your book free of charge. You can hire a beta reader on Fiverr at a reasonable price; some provide more detailed feedback than others, depending on the package that you purchase from them.
If you’re a non-fiction writer, you can share your book with a focus group and then incorporate their input into your rewriting.
You can find editors at reasonable prices on platforms such as Reedsy and Fiverr. Another advantage of self-publishing is that you should get more consultation time with an editor, than you would with a busy in-house editor at a traditional publisher.
The editor you choose should have a passion for your genre and an interest in your project. You could ask them for a sample edit to see their skills, but some might not be able to do this if they’re too busy. Your editor should give you honest, but not harsh, feedback.
Book Cover and Layout
If you don’t have a budget for a graphic designer, there are some fantastic sites where you can buy premade book covers at affordable prices, such as Book Cover Zone.
Prices start from as little as $20, and the covers are customizable. After buying the cover, you can change the text on it however many times you want. If you have more complicated changes, you can contact the cover designer to do them for a fee.
Book Cover Zone also offers you the option to buy various premade banners for your social media platforms.
You will be set apart from other self-published authors by how you market your book.
The following factors are important to consider for your marketing strategy:
- Your book must have an eye-catching cover and be genre-specific. The cover must give the reader an idea of what type of book it is, and it must look professional.
- Your book must have a catchy title, and fiction titles in particular should create a sense of curiosity with readers.
- Your book description must speak to your ideal reader and tell them what your book is about. For fiction books, you could start with a tagline that will draw your readers. If you’re writing a nonfiction book, you need to identify a problem, show there is a solution to it, and indicate how your book provides this solution.
- Your book’s price should be similar to what is common in the market for your genre. Try not to go too low or too high.
- Part of your marketing strategy should be a lead magnet, which is a free gift with a link that will entice people to join your mailing list. This is especially effective if it directly relates to your book, e.g. a free short story that takes place in the world of your novel.
- Promote your book on your author website and social media platforms.
Your novel has been edited, designed with an eye-catching cover, and you have a marketing plan. Which publishing option will best suit your needs?
It's free to upload your book on Amazon KDP. The royalties are 70% for ebooks between $2.99 and $9.99 or 35% for books below $2.99. Amazon is the biggest seller of ebooks, and any writer can self-publish manually by using KDP.
If you've decided to only sell your books on Amazon, it's worth your while to enroll in Amazon's exclusivity program: Amazon KDP Select. You get access to deals that will help you market your book, such as discounting your book or setting it to free on the Kindle store, for a certain time, every 90 days.
You can also enroll your book in Kindle Unlimited, an Amazon subscription service, which allows members to read as many KU titles as they want.
Amazon recently launched Kindle Vella; a platform for serialized stories. It's a more professional version of the popular story platform, Wattpad.
The main drawback is that it's currently only available for American authors.
Vella could offer you a platform for building a wider audience, by publishing on a regular basis and creating hype for your future projects. It could also be the main place where you decide to publish your work.
Readers can read the first episodes of your stories for free, but they must then purchase the rest with Kindle Vella tokens.
It's free to upload your book on Kobo, and your royalties will be 70% on ebooks that are more than $2.99 or 45% for books priced below $2.99. Rakuten Kobo is a Canadian company and a subsidiary of the Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. Kobo is a great place to publish if you want to reach readers outside the U.S. market. Kobo Writing Life, the company’s self-publishing section, is free to use and also provides you with promotion opportunities if you decide to distribute via Kobo.
The reality is you can spend as little or as much as you want on becoming a self-publisher. You may find that you make more money with your book if you spend more to have it professionally edited and designed. Ultimately, you want a quality product that readers will consider worthwhile buying.
Paying professionals can also help you improve your craft in the long-term, and it’s vital to learn as much about the process as you can, as that will help you improve your books and build a bigger audience.
While it's free to self-publish books on platforms like Amazon, you could expect to pay around $2000 for a professional book that has been edited and formatted with a decent cover.
The creative freedom of self-publishing attracts many writers, but it’s wise to do research and make sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for before you embark on this labor-intensive process. It’s rewarding, but might end up taking more of your time, effort, and money than you expected.