Congratulations – your book is ready to go live and be read by hundreds and thousands of readers…and you’re just realizing the road ahead can seem a little daunting.

It doesn’t have to be. I know self publishing can seem overwhelming but if you follow these 5 strategies, that mountain you aren’t sure you can climb will quickly look like a little mole hill – trust me.

Your book is ready, you’ve had it edited and proofread…so now what?

First off…I’m sure this doesn’t need to be said but…you hired a professional editor to go through your manuscript, right? You didn’t do it yourself or thought to rely on friends and family to catch the errors? Good – I didn’t think so.

  1. First thing you’ll need to do is get a cover. This isn’t the time to try your hand at photoshop. Your cover is crucial when it comes to getting in front of readers. The goal of your cover is to entice readers to check out your blurb…and it needs to be professional looking. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $3000 for a good cover. Don’t know how to find a cover artist? Ask around. Ask your author friends who they would recommend, do a search and look at the portfolios of other covers they’ve designed.
  2. Ensure your have a properly formatted novel. Formatting for ebook vs print book are different. There are programs you can use to help when it comes to formatting – Scrivener will format for you but my favorite right now is Vellum. It creates a beautiful ebook and in the formats you need! If you are planning on putting out a print book – Createspace has some great templates to work with if you want to do it yourself. Or you can ask your cover artist – sometimes they will offer the service of formatting your book (they will also need to provide a wrap-around cover).
  3. Get ready to start your newsletter. There are a multiple of providers to choose from when it comes to newsletters but I like Mailchimp. Once you sign up, use the link the provide and place that on your website, in your email signature, on Facebook etc. This is a great tool to have for new readers who find you. You’ll soon discover it’s your best tool when it comes to communicating with your readers – you can let them know about specials, new releases, free books – you can even use it to cross-promote with other authors. Be sure to link to your newsletter in your new release – if your reader has loved your book, they’ll want to sign up so they can be the first to find out about your next release.
  4. Get social. By now you probably already have your author page set up on Facebook, you might have a Twitter account or even post on Instagram. Start relating to your readers – get personal, interact with them…you don’t need to wait until your book is released to get started on this.
  5. Think of this time as your learning curve. Whether you go wide with distribution or start off with KDP Select, use this time to learn and experiment. When the book is finally live…wait before you announce it. Download your book first and take a quick look through it …is it the right file? Is the formatting okay? Do all the links work? Did you remember to add in that bio or how to contact you? Go to your website – link to your book now…and when everything is ready – then announce it to the world. Celebrate your new release, let your friends and family know you’ve got something out there, that you are now a published author…but remember…don’t spam. Don’t be constantly saying “buy my book” over and over and over. Spread the word and then start thinking of creative ways to keep your book front and centre. Maybe cross-promo with other authors who have a new release or give your book away in a random contest, highlight some awesome reviews that you are getting….

There is so much that goes into publishing your own novel and while there is a huge learning curve, you can take it one step at a time. I hope these simple steps help.