These ten steps will help you painlessly jump-start your new adventure. Although most of these steps are very easy to accomplish, I believe that they will help you quickly lay the foundation for a successful first book.
1. Realize that this is a business
Self-publishing is a business. It can be your side-business, main business, or even be your hobby. But you still must run it like a business. That means you will need to learn the basics of management, marketing, sales, public relations, accounting, negotiation, etc.
2. Start your due-diligence
You must research what will be involved in self-publishing. Buy several of the most popular books about self-publishing, such as those by Dan Pointer. Visit the popular self-publishing blogs, such as TheBookDesigner.com. Visit the biggest websites that can sell your book, such as SmashWords, and Scribd.
3. Keep your current job
This will ensure that you will have a regular paycheck. It is also very important to keep building your resume. A good resume will help build your credentials and be your proof of your accomplishments. This will give you more credibility with your readers.
4. Discover your niche
In today’s terms, this means “micro-niche”. As a self-publisher you will most likely find the biggest success by narrowly defining your market niche. It is much easier to become an expert in a very specific market where it is much less crowded with big well-established writers and publishers.
5. Start with an ebook
This is the smartest way to get started. It is fast and inexpensive. It is the perfect way to dip your toes into the water and see how comfortable it is. Starting with an eBook allows you to feel out your market. It also allows you to make any changes or corrections well before sending your book to a print-on-demand printer and distributor.
6. Set-up your blog
Once you figure out what your niche is, start your free WordPress blog right away. This will get your creative juices flowing. It will also establish an internet home for you where you will show the world your expertise in your niche.
7. Get your spouse/partner on board
It is important to keep your family involved with a decision like this. Keeping your family informed and involved will help keep all of you happy.
8. Join professional groups
This will help keep you informed of what is going on inside your market niche. These same people might also become the market for your book. Professional affiliations also give you more credibility with your readers.
9. Advocate for your target market/audience
Nowadays, especially because of the internet, you can immediately start to show the world that you are an expert. Start writing for industry publications and websites.
10. Start your next book
Now that you have accomplished the previous steps, keep the momentum that you have built-up going. Keep improving your business model. Never stop learning about marketing and promotion. Keep enhancing your blog. Keep improving your first book. Start your next book.