Are you planning to self-publish your book but don’t know where to start? Unlike the early days, there are many high-quality guides and resources available to help you learn every part of the process. These are the sources I turn to for reliable advice and up-to-date news on the rapidly evolving indie market.
Learning the basics
Jane Friedman’s blog and collection of author resources is an excellent place to begin, especially if you are still undecided about whether to pursue traditional publishing or self-publishing. I also subscribe to her industry newsletter, The Hot Sheet, which is valuable reading for authors who are serious about building a career as a professional author.
The Alliance of Independent Authors also offers valuable resources, and I especially recommend their thrice-yearly online Indie Author Fringe conference, which includes advice on everything from writing craft to book marketing.
Asking questions & making connections
Kboards is a very busy self-publishing message board. You can lose hours down various rabbit holes here, but you can also find crowd-sourced advice and a vital and helpful community.
The Yahoo and Facebook communities run by self-publishing powerhouse Marie Force are worth checking out, especially for romance authors. These authors know their business and are generous with advice.
Author Twitter is a lovely corner of the interwebs and another place to start building connections to other authors, especially those in your genre. Check the #amwriting tag and join the conversation.
Thinking about marketing
It’s never too early to start thinking about marketing your book. All of your hard work will go to waste if you can’t get your words in front of readers’ eyes. David Gaughran’s advice is well-researched and practical, and I also trust Mark Dawson’s podcast and courses.
You’ll also want to start researching blogs and review sites that cover your genre. A few I follow:
- Smart Bitches, Trashy Books for romance
- SFFWorld and SciFiChick
- The YA Bookshelf
- Crime by the Book and the newsy Crime Fiction Lover
- LitHub for literary fiction
You’ll want to take a deep dive into your own genre – you’ll have a better shot at getting reviews on one of the smaller sites.
While you are busy reading book blogs, keep your eye out for comparable books – these are the books that your ideal readers are reading – and pay attention to things like blurbs and covers. It’s also a good idea to check out authors’ websites and sign up for their email newsletters so you can start building inspiration for your own.
Have a favorite website or podcast to recommend? Let me know about it in the comments.