Everyone knows the gold standard for publishing. You need a great story, good editing, a cover that fits your genre and will capture the reader’s eye, along with a blurb that piques the reader’s curiosity. It is true all these elements do need to be in place before you push publish.
However today, let’s talk about some of the not so glamorous aspects of the writing world that are essential to a smooth publishing experience.
Before you push that big button, there are six tasks that you as the writer need to do. These steps will save you time and keep you on track for your publishing date.
- Get business cards
This sounds simple enough, but the reasons are tremendous. You will use your business card for everything from networking with other writers, to handing them out at events, to opening a bank account. So, get these first.
- Set up a bank account
If you are like me, getting paid for your writing is important. A business bank account goes along way in making that a reality. Amazon pays its authors through direct deposit, so if you don’t want to give the massive big guy your personal account information, you will need a business bank account.
- Set up your author website
Your website acts as your business shingle. It lets others know you are open for business. Even if you haven’t published yet, you can still draw readers to your site by offering excerpts of your work in progress or by posting a weekly blog. Don’t wait until after you’ve published to start. Then you’ll be playing catch-up.
- Set up your author team
No one creates a book alone. It takes a whole team of people to get the job done well. So, start now brain storming who would be a good fit for your team. You will need:
- Cover Designer
- Critique Partner
- Beta Readers
- Launch Team
These individuals and teams help you to put out the best book possible. A few you will need to pay, but they are worth every penny. Others will be glad to help for a free copy of the book and a few special gifts just to say thank you. Always remember to show your gratitude for their time and energy.
- Get an ISBN number
For those who are independently publishing, you will need to get an ISBN number. It allows you to publish your book through several distributors instead of one. Without it, you are limited to the distributor who assigns your book their number.
These numbers can be obtained through R.R. Bowker on line. You will need one for the paperback version and one for the eBook version. You register the book with Bowker’s identifier service, and they keep the records of the numbers for you. I advise you keep your own records as well.
If you are traditionally published, your publisher will supply your ISBN number for you.
- Set up an account with a mail server
If you’ve been in the writing community for very long, you’ve heard about the allusive email list. The one everybody is talking about, but no one seems to know how to capture.
In order to start feeding your email list, you will need an account with one of the professional mail servers like GoDaddy, Mailchimp, or Mailerlite.
Even if your list starts out small, don’t be discouraged. Remember, don’t despise meager beginnings. The first step to growing your email list is having somewhere to put it. The second step is to offer a monthly newsletter or an update on your progress or a blog post, something to engage those who are interested in your writing. They want to hear from you and about your journey as an author. Think of the people on your email list as more members of your author team.
As you can see, there is a lot of behind the scenes, mundane tasks that must happen to make your publication day a success. The good news is that all of these can be done well in advance. By taking these steps, it shows the world that you are serious about your writing career and can’t wait to get started making your dream into a reality.
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Prompt: Susie cringed at the thought of setting up a website. Her teenage son knew more about it then she did and the thought of it made her shoulders tense. But if she wanted to be an author, this was one of the hurtles she’d have to jump.