• John C. Richards, Jr.

3 Steps to Self-Publish a Book

Updated: Apr 30


I love to write, but I always had an excuse for not writing a work to self-publish. One day, I eliminated that excuse. The ability to self-publish eBooks has removed all barriers to becoming a published author. Yes, there are some authors who self-publish works that read with no logical flow. But there are others who self-publish successfully and write works they can take pride in. Through my own process, I've learned that there are three crucial steps to self-publish a book.


1. Bleed


Ernest Hemingway famously quips, "There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." My problem? I never took the time before to sit down. I kept putting it off. Other things took precedent. I put my passion on the shelf, like an old college textbook. Sure, I'd write blog posts. Those were quick and easy. But a book? That took too much time. I was right about one thing. It takes too much time if you're unwilling to sit and bleed. In order to bleed, something needs to be cut. So that's what I did. I started cutting things out of my life that prevented me from writing. It's no surprise that I've been as productive over the past 24 days as I've been in a very long time. So what are you waiting on? Bleed.


2. Bandage


This step is immensely important. It's what separates good writers from great writers. Bleeding is great. But some people tend to bleed all over the page. No method. Just madness. They never take the time to bandage their writing. Bandaging entails the things we all hate doing. Grammar, spelling, word choice, voice. It's tedious, but you don't want your work to be a bloody mess. Clean it up a bit. Eliminate unnecessary words. Make sure your writing flows the way it should. Bleeding is great. It allows you to get all your ideas on paper. But if you want to be taken seriously when you self-publish, don't forget to bandage.


3. Buzz


Ahhhhh. Those dreaded words. Marketing. Branding. Promotion. Did you know that there are millions of books available on Amazon? What is it that distinguishes your work from the others? Your ability to create buzz. So many things are vying for people's attention these days.


The question most people ask when making purchasing decisions: "What's in it for me?" Answer that question by creating buzz around your title. Do you know your core audience? Are you writing on a topic they'd be interested in? Have you created any incentives for others to buy your book (i.e., giveaways, etc...)?


We can bleed and bandage all we want. It's buzz that leads people to buy. If we fail at creating buzz, we've failed to complete our task. This is the most difficult step for most writers. Because it seems like it's self-promotion. And writers like to—no surprise here—write.


If you really believe in your writing and think it will help others, why not? Why not share something that could be helpful and potentially life-changing? We promote other things we deem important.


I know this is difficult as a Christian writer. We don't like to toot our own horns. Isn't it kind of un-Christian to self-promote? I'd say this. It's not if you have the right heart. If you cloak yourself in the Cross and Jesus' humility, you're not branding yourself. You're seeking God's glory. And that's a difference-maker.


Bleed. Bandage. Buzz. Do those three things and you'll self-publish a book in no time.

 

Speaking of authors who self-publish—shameless plug—be sure to check out my book, The Tenacity of Hope, over at Amazon. Pick up a copy. Tell a friend.

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