As I get ready to release my “How To” series on How To Self Publish A Book, I want to emphasis the need for self published authors to produce fully developed book proposals of their writing projects before they embark on the self publishing process.
Usually, book proposals are needed for the process of traditional submission – and each agent or publisher usually has a set of submission guidelines on their website. Book proposals require us, as authors, to do a deep dive into the subject matter of our book, target audience, competitive titles, and to form at least a basic marketing plan.
All of this information is critically important to us as self publishers – and makes it clear that, as self publishers, we are actually not that different from traditional publishers. If you don’t consider budget, staff, industry connections, and public relations reach.
One of my “How To” books is all about creating the book proposal, and the rest of the series, both the actions of self publishing and marketing, all refer to the materials you would have created during the book proposal process, so it is pretty integral to the process.
Self publishing a book is not a shortcut to getting published. Doing it properly, doing it well, means taking the same road to publication as a traditionally published author, only walking it ourselves – instead of riding in an auto, and the road is not paved, and often doesn’t tour through major centers of population.
Of course, you can self publish a book without any of this annoying follow through. There are no actual barriers to just accepting an ISBN from the Print On Demand service and putting up a roughly formatted manuscript. But that is not the kind of self publishing I am talking about – so I’ll act as if that’s not even an option in our author’s world.