Six steps to becoming an accomplished author. 

Traditional publishing deals are more scarce on the ground every day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t destined to become a successful, published author. In fact, many people today are increasingly turning to the different types of self-publishing that are currently available to both aspiring and established authors alike. 

Self-publishing can broadly be defined as publishing without a traditional publishing house, of which hybrid publishing is one variant. This allows authors to have more control over their work and over the publishing process, and take ownership of their success. 

Does this sound like something you’d like to learn more about? Then I’d like to share with you what steps authors like you can take today to achieve self-publishing success. 

Let’s get started!

#1. Define What Success Really Looks Like to You

Everyone has goals and dreams, but my goal may not be the same as your goal and your goal may not be the same as your neighbor’s goal. Close your eyes and imagine one single thing, the most important thing, that would need to happen for you to recognize your own success as an author.

Is it selling ten copies of your book, or one thousand, or one million? Is it when a reader tells you that your book has changed their life? Is it going to your local bookshop and seeing your book being sold there? Is it being able to hand a copy of your book to important new clients? Is it your family telling their friends that you’re a published author? Is it seeing your own face on television or on billboards? 

Whatever comes to your mind, that’s great. Now hold onto your definition of success. Write it down. Or tell someone you care about it. This is the first step to your success as an author—laying down the goal posts.

#2. Find Your Fuel

While there is definitely joy in writing and publishing a book, it won’t all be belly laughs. And like convincing yourself to go back to the gym after the first day’s enthusiasm has waned, you’ll need to firmly establish your own reason(s) that will keep you going.

Close your eyes and consider: “Why is writing and publishing my book important to do?” “Why will I continue to write day after day?” “Why will I finish what I’ve started?”

Whatever comes to your mind might again be the definition of success you established in Step 1, or it might be something completely different. Either way, did you find an answer that lights up your face? Hold onto it. Cherish it. That will be the fuel for your creative fire to come. 

#3. Discover Your Big Idea

What will your book be about? Which audience will derive the most value from it? Think of the topic as both the roof and the foundation of your house, and the audience as the walls. You need to have a solid understanding of both if you want to end up building a great house.

Start by considering questions like: What do you know most about? What do you want to learn more about? What do you actually want to write about? Who will benefit most from this information? Who will actually seek out this information? 

Brainstorm a list of different options and then, with love, try refining your big idea. In one form or another, this idea should accompany you for a long time to come. 

#4. Come Up with a Great Title

Look around at any bookshop, online or otherwise. The best and shortest advertisement your book will ever know is to have a great book title. You might change your book’s title a few times throughout the writing process as the book evolves into its final form. That’s fine. But start thinking early and often about a relevant, punchy title that will invite your target readers to stop by and then stay for a while.

#5. Publish Your Book

This is the stage when your book becomes more than an idea, something that you can share and touch and really call your own. As I mentioned previously, there are different types of self-publishing that are available to authors. This can include publishing as a lone wolf author-publisher or together with a partner at a hybrid publisher. They can require varying levels of commitment, resources and expertise, but never be afraid to ask for help to get the book you want so that it meets a higher standard. All forms of self-publishing serve to turn your manuscript into its finished, final form as a published book, but the journey and the product will always be uniquely your own.  

#6. Get Your Book into the Right Hands

In real estate, “location, location, location” may be the reigning maxim, but in the self-publishing world, that maxim could best be described as “marketing, marketing, marketing.” Your readers will need to be able to easily find your book, in the way that’s most comfortable for them, so that they can buy it and read it and hopefully extol its virtues. That might include websites, online bookstores, specialty shops, fairs, group meetings and any number of other places where people gather or spend their time, and decide on which books to read. 

If you want to achieve your self-publishing goal from Step 1, then your book must reach its intended audience. So make it happen and then celebrate like crazy! And if you like, we can help.

Dudley Court Press

Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books and become successful published authors.

For more information, including about DCP’s programs for writers including Writers’ Sprint and Aspiring Author to Published Pro, please get in touch at +1-520-329-2729 or publisher@DudleyCourtPress.com.