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A Beginner's Guide to Self-Publishing

A Beginner's Guide to Self-Publishing

Guest blog written by Summer from Rowanvale Books, the largest assisted self-publishing company in Wales and winner of the 2021/22 Welsh Prestige Award. Founded by Cat Charlton in 2012, after her father had a bad experience with a self-publishing company, Rowanvale Books strives to provide high quality work that you can trust. They provide expert assistance with every stage of the self-publishing process, through services that can be purchased individually or as part of our comprehensive self-publishing packages. You can visit their blog here to read more, or take a look at the services they offer here.
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Virginia Woolf, E.L. James, Rupi Kaur. These are just a few of the hugely successful authors who chose to take control and self-publish their writing. For many, the amount of information online about the self-publishing process can seem overwhelming, but if you are considering giving it a go, don’t let this put you off. Today, we present to you The Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing. This guide has been developed to get you well on your way to seeing your name in print.

1. Perfecting Your Manuscript

Before you are ready to publish your book, you need to make sure that your manuscript is the best it can be. When sending your work to a traditional publishing house, your manuscript will go through multiple rounds of heavy editing before it will be sent to the printers. When self-publishing you should be sure to do the same. Although self-publishing is all about taking control of your work, editing is a job best carried out by someone other than the author. This could be a close friend or family member with a keen eye for grammar. However, another option is to engage the services of an assisted self-publishing company such as Rowanvale Books to ensure you receive expert feedback and tailored advice.

2. Cover Design

We are all guilty of judging a book by its cover, which is why cover design is such an important part of the publishing process. Your book needs to stand out on the shelf (virtual or physical) amongst hundreds of professionally produced novels and non-fiction masterpieces, so it needs a top-quality front cover. You may be an amazing artist yourself and be ready to tackle this challenge, or you may know someone perfect for the job. If not, assisted self-publishing companies like Rowanvale Books have skilled in house artists who will be able to help you create the book cover you’ve always dreamed of.

3. Interior Design & Formatting

Designing your book doesn’t just involve creating a breath-taking front cover, you also need to format the inside of your book. What font should you use? What size? Where should the page numbers sit? How will each new chapter be introduced? There is a myriad of interior design decisions to be made. Learning the right skills to format a book yourself takes time but can be done with a little hard-work and dedication. However, for the best results, it is recommended to hire a professional to make sure your book meets industry standards.

4. Printing & Distribution

When your manuscript is perfected and the designs are complete, it is time to get your book out there. When printing you can decide to print in batches which will need to be stored until they can be sold or to using a print on demand service. With print on demand, you only print one copy of your book each time it is ordered. This is the most popular choice for self-published authors as it saves money on storage, as well as avoiding extra costs from unsold copies. In the modern book industry, there are plenty of great distributors that will help bring your book to a larger audience. Assisted self-publishing companies can help you create listings for your book on major sites, like Amazon, and get your book on the shelves of major bookshops like Waterstones.

5. Marketing

The work doesn’t stop once you have published your book. A book that nobody has heard of is not going to sell many copies. Marketing can make the difference between a book sitting untouched on the bottom shelf or becoming an international bestseller. There are many ways to market your work. One of the most exciting marketing tools of the twenty-first century is social media. Creating a presence as an author online will help you to build a dedicated fanbase of engaged readers that will be desperate to get their hands on your latest release. Social media isn’t your only option. There are many more marketing avenues for you to explore, such as, email newsletters, author websites, and more. This can all seem a lot to take in as an author new to the world of book promotion, but don’t worry! In time you will learn all the skills you need to succeed. You may chose to use Rowanvale Books’ marketing and aftercare service, where a dedicated marketing advisor will guide you through the entire process and help you to learn these invaluable skills.

That’s all there is to it! 5 steps to self-publish, distribute, and market your book. With a little hard work and dedication, you could get your story out there for the world to read. If this simple guide has captured your imagination, and you want to find out more about self-publishing - or even start the process - get in touch with Rowanvale Books at info@rowanvalebooks.com.
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