This time ten years ago, I was finishing up editing my first book, Sell Your Self!, which was published in March 2010. Ten years on and I’m finishing up editing my second book and it’s the first one I’ve self-published. To get from having the idea to being ready to hit the “Publish” button, well, it’s all been a bit of an adventure…
STEP 1. THE IDEA. I’d spent the best part of two years creating, filming & editing my Dr Who Fan Film, Project: Fifty. What I had to go through to get it done, that’s a story I reckon is worth telling. Why not do that as your first self-published book? Sounds like a plan…
STEP 2. WRITE IT. Sounds easy when you say it quickly, but the actual writing of your book is probably the easiest part of the self publishing process. For my Coming Soon The Fan Film Book, that took the best part of three years due to a series of false starts and the inevitable hard drive crash… But it’s finally done and this is me gearing up to hit “publish”! The book has been written in Scrivener
STEP 3. SET UP A WEBSITE. Unless you’re only ever planning on writing the one book, or just short Kindle ebooks and nothing else, you probably don’t need a website. But if you’re planning on writing more than one book with a view to eventually living off your writing income instead of doing The Dreaded Day Job, you need a website. I went with WordPress because I’ve used WordPress before.
STEP 3A. GET A DOMAIN NAME. If you want to be and look professional about this Being A Writer thing, then you need a domain name, a proper dot com or dot co dot uk web address. After a lot of jiggery-pokery and searching different combinations of words, I finally settled on the simplest one I could think of – Bryan Mack Books.
STEP 4. SET UP YOUR EMAIL LIST. So you put your website address in your Book #1. Peeps buy Book #1, go to your website and… if there’s nowhere for them to sign up to your Mailing List, chances are they won’t be buying Book #2. Or Book #3. If you’re serious about this self publishing business then you need a Mailing List, and for that you need to set up an Auto-responder because there’s no way you can send out emails manually to the thousands of subscribers you’re hoping to get for your book. I went with Mailchimp because it seemed the most user-friendly for a Newbie like me.
Step 1 obviously precedes Step 2. But you can, and probably should, do Steps 2 through 4 all at the same time. Step 3 should maybe even be Step 2, it’s up to you. But this entire process is a whole series of Chickens And Eggs. You need the website address to put in your book so you can tell people who read Book #1 when Book #2’s coming out. But you can’t do that unless you’ve got the Email List already set up so you can tell them!
NEXT TIME: Editing What You’ve Written