A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing Your First Novel
What has worked well for me:
– Writing your first novel is one thing, and there are plenty of great books on creative writing to help you with this part. I used Adele Ramet’s book ‘Creative Writing‘ as it has great sections with tips on how to write for and in different genres and gives good practical advice about marketing etc.
– Assuming that you have got a well-written, well-structured and polished novel- ready for wider consumption, make sure that you produce an eye-catching front cover and one that looks great as a thumbnail image. There are good sites online that can give you advice on the design for free. You don’t need a fancy publishing package- Word can do the job perfectly well. But make sure that you have the correct permissions to use any images for commercial purposes. What is ideal is if you know someone who is a photographer, artist or graphic designer who can provide you with the perfect image. In my case, I used part of a beautiful oil painting by my sister- we modified the scanned image to fit the theme of the novel. If you aren’t lucky enough to have such a connection then there are packages available for a smallish fee.
-Make sure that your book is well edited. If you are skilled enough to write it- then you are perfectly capable of proof-reading it. But get others to help you here- they will spot errors that you might miss. Read and check it critically, as many times as is necessary and then once more for luck. Leave at least three weeks for the editing process. Top tip; read the book backwards- so that you are purely checking for errors and not getting ‘lost’ in the storyline and skipping over typos without realising it!
Next Time; suggestions about how to market your novel: from press releases to adverts on Twitter- I will tell you what has actually worked for me.