Indie publishing in 2022: How to get started

22.06.2022

Do you want to publish a book, but traditional publishers make you wait too long? Then indie publishing is your choice because you are your boss here. Don’t be afraid if you’ve never published a book on your own. Today we will tell in detail how to do it in 2022. Get ready, and let’s begin.

Why should you choose indie publishing?

Being an indie author, you have a lot to take care of: Editing, publishing, marketing, and spreading your book. Unlike traditional publishing, self-publishing requires much effort and time. However, it’s worth it, providing many advantages. What are they?

  • 100% guaranteed publishing. You can be sure that your book will see the light of day. And there is no need to stay in line, trying to impress the publisher.
  • Creative freedom. As everything depends on you, you decide what a book cover should look like, what illustrations to use, and more. 
  • Higher royalties. As you pay for everything, you can earn up to 60% off each book sale.
  • Flexible schedule. And again, you decide when to issue your book. You can make a timetable that suits your needs and possibilities and work in comfortable conditions.

So, if you had doubts about using indie publishing before, we hope they’ve disappeared. Now let’s see what you should do to succeed as an author here.

How to make indie publishing work for you

It’s not enough to write any book, publish it on Amazon and wait for fame and profit to fall on you. We’ve mentioned the effort before for a reason. To succeed as an indie author, you must go through several steps.

1. Write a worthy book

You may already have a story you want to publish. Or you’re just about to start writing it. What is essential at this stage? It would help if you did research on which genres work right now. Suppose you want not only to become a published writer but also to achieve specific goals (for example, to become famous or make a profit). In that case, you should consider the potential readers’ tastes.

The most popular genre of the book is romance. But you can turn to another genre if you do not want to write such books. How to understand which one to choose? Go to the Amazon online store, select the best-selling books and see what genres are trending now.

If you have a finished book, you can edit it according to the market tastes or find out how widespread this genre is. In this case, you’ll be aware of what to expect.

2. Polish your manuscript as much as possible

It is not enough to finish the book. From now on, almost the most extensive work begins. Most likely, you’ll need not one or two editions but more. Be prepared for that. First, try to edit your manuscript yourself. To do this as well as possible, you should:

  • Don’t touch the manuscript for several days.
  • Print it to see your book in a different format.
  • Read the story aloud.

Secondly, find beta readers. They are non-professional readers who can provide insights on how to improve the plot or characters. You can reach out to the book community or your friends and family.

Thirdly, use special online tools, for example, Pro Writing Aid. Such platforms will help to avoid misprints, as well as common spelling and punctuation errors.

Finally, even if you want to do everything yourself, use the services of a professional editor. An expert of this level knows how to improve the book’s logic, remove the excess and increase the book’s strength.

3. Get a stunning book cover

An attractive book cover is one of the top reasons people buy books. For example, about 28% of people choose books in Canada because of their covers. To create the most stunning one, you can act in two ways:

  • Use professional services. A designer must specialize in the design of book covers. Such an expert can advise what works in the book market and what does not. The designer is also aware of genre features. To make your collaboration effective, prepare a wish list in advance of how you want to see the cover of your book. However, be open to expert advice.
  • Buy a premade book cover. In this case, you can immediately imagine what your book will look like, and you won’t have to wait a minute. In addition, such cover is cheaper. Usually, premades meet all the canons of the genre.

Also, when creating a cover for your book, you need to answer some questions:

  1. Does it fit the genre?
  2. Does it evoke the right emotions?
  3. Doesn’t it look like a template?

For inspiration to create a cover, check out the covers of popular books of your genre. Think about how to make your cover more unique.

4. Create illustrations

It is crucial for authors of children’s books. You can create simple illustrations yourself by combining different images from stock. Maybe you can draw and know how to use Photoshop. Otherwise, find a professional illustrator. You can do this by visiting several websites:

  Illustrations can also be relevant to fantasy authors. If you write non-fiction, take care of informative tables, diagrams, and infographics.

5. Choose a self-publishing company

The modern book market is full of different publishing options. As an indie author, you should pay attention to two types of self-publishing companies: Book Retailers and book aggregators. And while choosing, consider such factors as:

  • Whether the company is officially registered
  • How many books does the company sell
  • What helpful services the company can provide
  • The company’s service price. 

To save your time, we offer you to check these five popular self-publishing companies.

Kindle Direct Publishing

You’ve probably heard about it as it’s the most prominent online bookstore. You can upload your book for free and earn up to 70% of royalty. New books usually appear within 24-48 hours. Also, you can print your story as well.

Barnes & Noble Press

This company sells about 155 million books yearly. It’s also free to use. You can take advantage of extra marketing services. The royalty amounts up to 70%, and you get paid monthly. There is also a printing option.

Apple Books

It’s an excellent opportunity to reach Apple users who tend to pay higher prices. Here, you can earn up to 70% of royalty. There is no pay for uploading your book.

Lulu

The company provides many additional services, like editing, book cover design, marketing, etc. But they are paid. However, it’s free to upload books. Also, Lulu produces high-quality printed books. By the way, you can earn up to 90% of royalty here.

Smashwords 

It’s a popular book aggregator that works with Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Kobo, Blio, and the Smashwords store. The royalty accounts for up to 80%. Also, you get daily sales reports that make it easy to track your success.

6. Don’t forget about marketing

You can write a fantastic and engaging book, but the world will not know about it if you do not promote it. Therefore, it is time to start marketing after publishing the book. It would be best if you began the promotion campaign before the story came out to achieve the best result.

How should you promote your book as an indie author?

Boost your social media accounts

  • Create an author’s page to share news and valuable content
  • Use a book cover as a marketing material 
  • Interact with readers by hosting live chats and answering their questions
  • Join thematic groups and participate in discussions
  • Arrange giveaways and contests
  • Cooperate with other authors who write in the same genre.

Develop your website

  • Run a blog and tell about behind-the-scenes moments of writing and share some insights
  • Create an email list by adding a subscription button
  • Send newsletters with updates and engaging content.

Don’t neglect offline events

  • Visit book festivals to communicate with your readers in person and meet professional critics
  • Arrange a book presentation at the bookstore, museum, gallery, etc. 
  • Participate in conferences and shows.

One more thing to remember here is: Promoting a book is an ongoing process. You should keep going even when your book has become a best seller.

Summing Up  

Now you know how to act to get your book published as an indie author. Everything begins with a worthy story that should be polished as much as possible. Take care of a stunning book cover and illustration. After publishing your book, make time to promote it regularly and constantly. We hope to see your book at the bookstore soon!

Have you already tried self-publishing? Share your experience in the comments.

 

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