The Road from Trade Published to Self Published
An exciting guest post from author Angela Page about the road from Trade Published to Self Published!
My first book, “Matched in Heaven,” was published by a small press. I was prepared to do my own marketing, but I didn’t expect that the publisher would do NO publicity. And shockingly when my first book won two awards within a few months after release, the publisher did nothing! It was time to think about becoming Self Published!
I educated myself on marketing campaigns for indie authors even though I was trade published. I built a book website and subscribed to sites for reviews. In addition, I produced an animated book trailer that has more hits today than the book FB page! But I was not really organized for effective marketing.
I chose to self-publish my new book “Suddenly Single Sylvia,” which is a novella with a potential target audience of singles and baby boomers.
But I would caution that going “indie” should not mean you should be “independent” throughout the process. It’s highly recommended to get feedback during the development and writing of your work. I belong to a writer’s group of all trade published authors and journalists. They gave me feedback and suggestions from an outline, synopsis to actual chapters. I would not have been able to finish the book without their input and encouragement.
Once you are finished and satisfied with your book, I recommend a line edit and more pro feedback from an editor who knows your genre. Be open to rewriting if suggested. Once you have your masterpiece in shape, shop around for help on the cover and “in book” design. You’ve seen and heard it a million times; a catchy cover is essential! The site Upwork has many qualified freelancers to assist.
Once you’re ready to publish, prepare all those pitch materials you would prepare for a potential literary agent and publisher. You will need these materials for a publicity campaign. I place all my book related materials on its own thumb drive so readily available when I need specific files.
Instead of winging it, this time I created an Excel spread sheet with timelines for online and offline marketing activities. There are tabs for online/print media, radio/podcasts, reviewers, blogs, events, and contests.
It’s a good idea to create a budget and track your marketing spend. Start with the free sites such as Twitter, email, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn and Goodreads. Facebook has numerous indie author and book groups. Don’t forget Meetups, which has book clubs in your area. There are other free sites, bloggers, and reviewers, podcasts that would be happy to mention and review your book.
I threw myself into guerrilla, but organized, marketing for “Suddenly Single Sylvia,” and feel more comfortable with reaching out to media, reviewers, bloggers, and influencers. Within the first three weeks of release, I have over twenty reviews, book excerpts on major sites, guest blogs with dating related content, three radio/podcast interviews and an event at a local bookstore.
As a control freak, self-publishing has been a good experience so far. But I wouldn’t rule out going trade again under the right circumstance, especially if they gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse.
Ben Jackson ~ Having never published a book through trade publishing, I was very interested to read this article by Angela. I myself have enjoyed writing and publishing as an Indie publisher and author, but have no way to compare it otherwise. As Angela said, if a publisher made me an attractive offer, I would find it very hard to refuse!
If you enjoyed the article, then please share it and comment below! If you need any book formatting or publishing assistance, or if you would like to write a guest post related to publishing, writing, illustrating, cover design, or anything indie author related then don’t hesitate to contact us at Indie Publishing Group!