20 Things to Do Before You Self-Publish

1) Define your dream. What do you want to do and how will you accomplish it? What is your personal definition of success?

2) Examine your book with an open mind and critical eyes. What are its strengths, limitations, and potential?

3) Understand who your reading market is and what they need from your book.

4) Write down your Resources (money, knowledge, equipment, etc), Abilities (what you know and who you are), and Limitations (time, money, knowledge, etc). How will you mange them?

5) Find people who can help you. No one can do it all. (book designer, editor, proof reader, book keeper, CPA, etc…)

6) Study the process of creating and publishing a book! The more you know the more effective you will be and the better your book will sell.

7) Join a Publishing Association, such as Independent Book Publishers Association or Small Publishers Association of America. Membership can give you discounts on printing and marketing, as well as support from experts.

8) Make a budget for your business (not just the book). How much can you realistically spend and still earn a profit?

9) Choose a name for your company that reflects the image you want to convey.

10) Register your domain name to lock in your spot on the internet.

11) Buy your ISBNs. A block of ten will save you money in the long run.

12) Decide your business structure: Sole Proprietor, Partnership or Corporation?

13) File the paperwork: Business License, Resale License, DBA, etc…

14) Open a Business Checking Account. Keep your business and personal money separate!

15) Create a Logo for your business.

16) Make a Marketing Plan for your book, including a budget.

17) Explore printing options (digital or offset?)

18) Have your book professionally edited!

19) Find a designer who does books. Book design, including cover design, is different from other types of design.

20) Keep meticulous records of all your start-up expenses to make life easier at tax time.

Pungky Dwiasmoro Hiswardhani

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