Do you want to be an author and publish your book?
Whether you self-publish or seek an agent/publisher to handle things for you, the steps are common.
Planning Your Book
The first thing to consider is ‘what do you want to write?’ Determine your topic. If you are just beginning, remember that this is your first book, not your only book. The question is ‘what knowledge can you teach that people are interested in’? While many authors come to me with a book near completion, others are simply thinking about writing, so the first thing to resolve is which book project you wish to consider completing.
Initial questions include analyzing your ability to write this book (do you have the knowledge and skills required?) and whether the book has an audience. Initial research can help fine-tune your goals. Try to find an area where your knowledge or outlook can add to the volume of what is already there. To stand out, your book requires an approach that makes it unique.
If your goal is fiction rather than non-fiction, determining the genre you are targeting can help with many decisions. Be familiar with what is available on the market in your chosen genre. See what attracts you and what is selling. Shape your plans to fit in with the market. Readers in each genre have expectations; make sure you are meeting those expectations in your book plots.
If your goal is simply profit, it is essential to target markets that are large enough to support sales. At the same time, narrowing to a niche can sometimes get larger readership from a smaller audience. Others are writing for their own benefit, such as creating a book of family memoirs. Before you start, determine what your goals are with your book.
Writing Your Book
As an author, the bulk of your efforts will go into researching and writing your book. Each writer has their own style; there is unlimited training material available for writers. How you approach your writing is up to you.
Ensuring that there is structure to your book is essential. If you are writing non-fiction, form a list of topics and chapter titles that you wish to cover, then fill in the blanks. If you are writing fiction, it helps to have an understanding of your characters and storyline before you begin. Yes, writing can be a discovery that unfolds as you progress. Nevertheless, readers anticipate structure.
Editing your book can take on many levels. From your first draft, you as the author should be doing read-throughs, corrections and enhancements. The cleaner the copy you give to an editor, the more likely you will be pleased with the outcome.
Editing can be time-consuming and expensive if you are looking for deep input. Concepts such as plot and characters can be developed, but if lowering costs is important to you, then editing is where you can save money. Have your friends read your book and provide feedback. Join a writing club and get a variety of opinions. Take courses on writing and storytelling. Learn about structure. There are many things you can do to enhance the end product.
No matter how well a book is edited, there is always a requirement for a final proofread. We want the book to be as perfect as possible, and simple mistakes stand out as unprofessional if there are a lot of them.
Publishing Your Book
Once the book is completed and edited, we are at the ‘block of text’ stage. The thousands of words that you have put blood, sweat and tears into are now a big file. Turning this file into a product that is ready for printing your book is a technical process handled by Shusia Publishing. Decisions will be made about book size, fonts, appearance, etc. When the file is complete, it can be sent directly to a book publisher for printing. Shusia currently works with a printer that ships from Toronto; we could easily work with a printer more local to you.
A cover will be designed appropriate for your book and genre. When designing the cover, the intention is not to tell the story that is in the book. Instead, the goal is for the cover to be attractive enough that the reader wants to investigate. When selling ebooks, often the reader will see search results that show a dozen or more books. Why is YOUR book the one they choose to look into? The cover is the most important part of that clicking decision.
If you wish to sell your book (or ebook) through any standard channels, you will require an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). This would be generated into a bar code for your printed book, or help customers find your book/ebook at retailers and libraries. As a registered Canadian publisher, Shusia can provide ISBN numbers. You could also setup your own publishing company and create your own ISBNs, or purchase them from an internet ISBN seller.
Marketing Your Book
Once the book is complete it is ready to sell. The author is responsible for purchasing and selling printed books. While having your book available at bookstores may create some sales, it also requires an investment in inventory. Many authors have been more successful selling books at public events, particularly after giving a presentation or book reading. With quick turnaround from printers, it is unnecessary to invest in a large volume order. Instead, ordering a smaller amount (minimum 50) allows you to pace your investment in inventory.
E-book sales tap into a wide market of readers who prefer the convenience of using an e-book reader. In addition, costs are minimal since each purchase is simply an electronic copy. Shusia Publishing is an associate of Amazon Books, where listing covers half of the e-book market. The other half is covered by publishing with Smashwords, which distributes to all other e-book retailers and library systems. The author can choose to setup their own publishing company and upload the files themselves. If you wish to be represented online by Shusia Publishing, with an ISBN and book listing, a 15% commission will be taken from your selling price.
There are many ways to market your book, each requiring time and effort. While Shusia Publishing does some marketing, the bulk of responsibility is with the author. Joining various reader groups such as Goodreads allows the author to promote themselves, setup author and book branding, and gain readership by directly meeting your potential customers.
Shusia Publishing is available to advise and assist you at any phase in the book creation process. If you have questions, please check the Contact page and we will be pleased to respond.