What do you want? What’s your Why? When I ask these questions of my coaching clients, I often get a deer in the headlights look. When I ask this question of my self-publishing clients, I get a completely different expression. Authors who are ready to publish have a clear and dreamy look in their eyes, reflecting mountains of possibilities.

Writers normally know what they want. They are clear, concise, and to the point. And, by the end of the publishing process the dreamy glow has transformed to a blurred gaze. Then the final author copy of their book shows up in their mailbox and the dreamy-eyed glaze is back. Their heart races as they view the pages of their book.

I know I make the publishing process sound like a roller coaster ride. That’s because in some respects it is.

The truth is that there are so many steps in the process of publishing that it’s easy to lose sight of your Why with everything there is to consider like: spine width, ISBNs, font style, running heads, sellable sizing, formatting your copy properly, doing the necessary legal filings, and finding your audience… just to name a few. All those details and I haven’t even mentioned the editing process.

The Tentpoles of Self-Publishing

So how do we stay on track? Here are a few ideas. I hope they help you navigate the self-publishing process.

Why Did You Write the Book in the First Place?

Why are you publishing this book? Is it for business? Maybe it’s to tell your life’s journey and to communicate what you have learned along the way. Are you an expert in your field with an important new way to approach a service or a philosophy? Or maybe you’ve got a great story rolling around in your head and want to get it out.

Where is Your Audience?

Research other books in your genre. Learn more about what kind of readers read your type of book. Are they male or female, professional or blue collar, retired, millennials, or sci-fi buffs? Do your kind of books sell more in brick and mortar locations or are all the sales online? Maybe a book signing in a venue that personifies your book would be a great option. Do your homework and then combine this information with why you wrote the book in the first place. This will help you stay focused on purpose.

Hire a Professional Publisher.

Hire one that is not in it for the money but for the love of self-publishing. A publisher that will get as excited about your project as you are. When choosing a publisher, you want someone who will walk you through the process and ensure you are up to speed and understand each step. This is your project and just because the writing is done does not mean the work is over. When it comes to choosing a publisher, in my opinion, if they don’t care about your Why then move on.

Don’t Overpay and Don’t Go Cheap.

Don’t overpay for a publishing house’s association but don’t nickel and dime the process either. Just because a publishing house has celebrities on their publishing dossier does not mean they will help you sell your book. Nor does it mean they will do for you what they did for the celebrity. My point here is, for your self-publishing efforts, don’t pay for “success” by association.

And please don’t go cheap with Aunt Betty as your editor or your cousin Jim’s son fresh out of high school to format your book. Paying a fair price does not mean looking like you just pulled a Word document together and called it a book. Really. This is important.

No matter your reason for publishing your masterpiece it’s easier when you have an idea of where you want to go and what you would like to accomplish once the goal of publishing is achieved. Remember being wide-eyed and focused when the process started? That Why is what you want to focus on and refine as you move through the self-publishing process.

Conscious Shift Publishing consults, edits, formats, designs, publishes, and markets books. Whether writers wish to self- or indie-publish we inspire them through every step to promote their unique perspectives. CSP clients retain 100% of their royalties as well as 100% ownership of every digital file and image. Find out more at ConsciousShiftPublishing.com or contact publisher, Tracey Kern, at tracey@cscpubs.com to schedule a complimentary consultation. Write on!