Self-Publishing
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Category : Tips
Author : Hiba Farook

Publishing a book is different from writing a book. What we are often not aware of is that while writing can be a therapeutic activity, publishing is a lot more technical and not always unicorns and daisies! Now I don’t want to disappoint you because we are living in an era that has made publishing an easy task. When I decided to publish ‘Written’ there were two options that I was acquainted with. It was either to find a publishing house and have them publish my work or take a trip through the self-publishing road. After discussing with my mentors and people who were better versed in the field, I realised there were many other options too! So, long story short, I was able to publish my book through the crowdfunding method under Wordsmiths Publications.

From figuring out the publishing method to printing, several steps go along the process. Most often the manuscript that we have written down is not what finally gets published. We find a good editor who helps us to proofread and scratch out the excess words and phrases. We also need to find someone who can come up with a good design, layout, cover page and much more that shall make our book be judged as a reader picks it up. The journey of publishing a book may sound tiring but the truth is, it is fun when done the right way.

Here are a few tips that I have learnt through my journey of publishing a book.

1). Figure out which method you wish to publish your book is a key step. The traditional method involves you finding a publishing house directly, or through an agency. This might be time-consuming as the first publishing house you send your draft doesn’t need to accept your work.

2). The perks of having a publishing house take up your work are you need not worry much about the post publishing work as they would take care of marketing, promotions, and sales.

3). With platforms like Notion Press and Kindle Direct Publishing, self-publishing is easily accessible to anyone. Self-publishing gives you more creativity and marketing control. You can utilise your social media handles and other social spaces to promote and market the content. Having a website of your own adds to the advantage when you go for the self-publishing method.

4). Before you get to printing or creating a design, take your time to proofread the work. It is good if you can find a mentor or a friend who would go through your work and help you in editing it. Sometimes you would need to rewrite multiple times before you produce the final manuscript.

5). If you are publishing poetry, find minimal illustrations. Make sure that the art is not distracting your reader from the words.

6). Crowdfunding is another way to publish your book. You can find a group of individuals who would be interested in aiding you with publishing your work. They get a share of the profit annually. This makes finding investments an easy task.

7). Find a good designer to help you with the cover page. As much as we say not to judge a book by its cover, the world doesn’t always adhere to the advice. A poor cover can bring about so much damage to the book and it is best to bring out a design that connects with your work.

8). One of the lessons I learnt from my first experience was how I should have given more time to write a good blurb. We all tend to check out the blurb when we plan on reading a book. Keep it descriptive but not too long. Make sure it sums up what you have written down. This shouldn’t bore the reader but should help bring out a sense of curiosity.

9). Finally, do good research before you set out to publish. Figure out what categories are available to sort your book. Pick a good font and while sending down the book for printing choose good paper quality.

This is alongside the gender pay gap, as measured by the Gender Gap Index 2020, according to which India is at an embarrassing 112th position.
Publishing a book has been made easy in today’s world, but that does not mean we should laze around. The more you invest in the publishing journey the better the book turns out to be. The reader experiences not just your words, but the
font, page, colour, paper quality, etc. Therefore, when publishing a book keep in mind the whole process and not just the writing journey.

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