By Guest Blogger Nancy Cleary, Publisher, Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing Inc.
Your mission, if you choose to fulfill it, could be advanced exponentially by the decision to publish a book.
Whether it is a personal mission or part of a business plan, anyone who wants to make their book dream come true, or elevate their career to the next plateau, can do it successfully with self-publishing (and without self-destructing).
Why now? The publishing industry is being leveled. Social media is removing the gatekeepers to publicity. Technology is flattening the book world with international distribution and instant downloads of electronic and audio books. Now is the time when anyone — with the guts, the know-how, the energy, the editorial excellence and the finances to do it right — can, and should, publish their expertise or passion.
Chances are, you may already be researching self-publishing and have discovered the industry world-leader, Ingram’s Lightning Source, for on-demand distribution and printing. Visit their site for a list of companies offering self-publishing services: http://tinyurl.com/authorservicecompanies
Whichever publishing option suits you best — here are Five Directives for Mission: Published
First Directive: Polish
Your manuscript must be polished and ready to publish. Work with a ghostwriter if you have a great book idea but can’t get it into words; a substantive editor if you need in-depth editorial advice and assistance; a line editor if you only need to review spelling, grammar and usage; plus a proofreader. Seek peer reviewers through the writing process. Their input can be invaluable and they can be integral in your promotion later on.
Second Directive: Platform, Publicity & Pitch
Strategize your social media presence — Twitter, Facebook, website with blog, YouTube videos — all it takes is time, energy and creativity to leave a footprint and build a platform. Get national publicity through media-lead newsletters ( http://helpareporter.com, http://pitchrate.com, http://ReporterConnection.com ) by learning how to pitch with relevance. Getting publicity is not about you or your book It’s about answering a question from your perspective that is pithy, entertaining and concise.
Third Directive: Packaging & Positioning
Be sure your book cover design has branding in mind and your title is unforgettable. Work with a professional graphic designer and supply the best marketing verbiage. The look of your cover should reflect both the market and how you want to position yourself in it — your personality, your style, your distinguishable author brand.
Fourth Directive: Publish
Choose the most empowered option — be your own publisher with the help of industry professionals. If you have the first three directives in place, and you have an entrepreneurial spirit, then you have the power to launch your own publishing entity with the help of a team: editor, proofreader, book designer, author branding and positioning expert, platform-building and publishing consultant, and publicist, to walk you through the intricacies of the complex book industry.
Fifth Directive: Promote & Propagate
Set your publication date months ahead to prepare a marketing plan around it. Make promotion an on-going creative effort. Enter book awards and join associations like http://www.ibpa-online.org for opportunities and education.
Use http://cafepress.com to create s.w.a.g. for monthly contests on major blogs and Twitter campaigns. And finally, produce multiple formats — ebooks, apps, audiobooks, translations, licensed editions — to generate new buzz and more revenue.