Self publishing has given a large group of writers a new opportunity to market themselves, reach a large audience and even make some funds in the process. Aren’t we all looking for such opportunities? To make the most of them, however, you need to have a good idea about what self publishing entails.

Being a successful self published author is all about strategy. Even if you don’t have a lot of money to dedicate to the process, it’s still important to do a bit of preliminary planning. Here’s everything you need to know about publishing a book on a tight budget.

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1) You Still Need A Budget

Why self-publishing is free of charge, you’ll still need to set a budget in order to ensure the professional launch of your creation.

Publishing an eBook or opting for on-demand printing (Amazon offers such a service that some find attractive despite the royalties) is free of charge. You will, however, spend some money on other aspects of putting the final “product” together.

If you’re not a graphic designer, you’ll have to splurge on the creation of a cover. An eBook cover is the most powerful marketing tool you can rely on. People are visual creatures. If you put an amateur cover together in a text processing program, chances are that you’ll miss on numerous opportunities to generate a sale. The lack of professionalism is simply sloppy and today’s buyer is picky.

Lesson 1: Do financial planning BEFORE getting started. This way, you’ll know whether the project is achievable right from the start.

2) Do as Much as You can on Your Own

The process of publishing a book itself is not expensive. Some of the additional services that authors rely on, however, can be costly.

These services include editing, proofreading, distribution, PR, getting your ISBN and even professional book formatting.

If you’re diligent enough, you can handle editing and proofreading on your own. Here are some online proofing tools that might help.

When it comes to formatting, layout and cover design, there are free of charge tools you can use for the purpose. Big retailers like Amazon, for example, allow you to upload just about any format and they handle the formatting for you.

The services you can’t handle on your own can be committed to a freelancer.

Lesson 2: Learn the necessary skills to minimise the involvement of other professionals.

3) Come up with a Strong Promotional Strategy (You can do it Free of Charge!)

You should know how you’re going to advertise your book before you’ve even launched it.

Launching a free book promotion or a discount in the first days is a good idea. This way, you can get customers who’ll read the text and leave honest reviews. In today’s world, it’s all about reader reviews. People rely on those to determine whether to buy one book or another. Thus, it makes sense to offer the book for free in exchange for some online popularity.

Think about offering the book for free to bloggers and GoodReads influencers in exchange for their honest opinion. Don’t try to influence them and push for positive testimonials. Quite often, these will sound fake. They may also provoke dissatisfied readers to leave extra-harsh reviews because they were tricked into buying your book.

Lesson 3: In order to make money, you have to advertise. The self-published competition is pretty intense and you can’t rely just on luck in order to sell.

4) Choose the Right Publishing Platform on the Basis of Royalties

Having a well-written text isn’t the only essential. You’ll also have to put your business hat on and determine how you’re going to distribute the book and which stores you’re going to rely on. There are many free of charge publishing options but some of them come with hidden costs in the form of high royalties.

Most self-published authors start with Amazon. Kindle Direct Publishing offers powerful opportunities and a chance to reach millions of readers across the world.

Various other popular online stores give self-published authors a chance to sell. The conditions and the formatting requirements will vary from one to the other. The downside is that you’ll have to format the book individually each time and submit it store by store.

If you don’t want to go through all of this work, opt for an eBook distribution service. In this case, you’ll be paying somebody else to handle the formatting and distribution for you. There may be a single charge or the service provider may take a percentage of each sale that you generate. Once again, make the calculation in advance to figure out how much money you’ll be dedicating to it in the long-run.

Lesson 4: Plan distribution accordingly to minimize losses from high royalties. Remember that the platform that’s worked for another author may not necessarily be the right one for you.

5) Consider Crowdfunding for pre-orders

If you’re attempting to self-publish a book on a budget but you’d still like to present a high-quality product, you may want to consider a crowdfunding campaign.

Crowdfunding platforms allow you to collect funds for a project or a cause that you’re passionate about. A good presentation and telling your audience to know why you need the money will be essential for successful crowdfunding. Think of it as a ‘pre-orders’ service.

Lesson 5: If you can’t cut the costs, look for additional sources of funding. A crowdfunding campaign may be just what you need to get started.

BIO: This article was written by Alice Honeycutt, a content marketer and a writer. She is always looking for new audiences to share her work with. Connect with Alice online HERE.

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