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5 Keys to Self-Publishing Success

Photo of computer, notebook, and cup of coffee and the words: 5 Keys to Self-Publishing Success"
Blank notepad, laptop, and coffee are a given, right?

Self-publishing is often the best option for authors. One major reason is your book's success (and profits) is in your control. However, you can't just put a book into the world and expect it to find an audience. Self-Publishing takes a lot of work, and there are numerous factors that determine whether or not your book will be a success. So it’s important to know what can help and what can hinder you.

Here are five keys that can determine whether or not you will be a successful self-published author:

You know how to market and promote your book.

Even if you’re an incredible writer, if you don’t know how to market your book, it’s very unlikely that it’ll go anywhere. The success of your work depends on raising people’s awareness of it, and on whether you can make them want to read it. Having a plan for marketing your book is essential to its success.

You don’t skip the editing process.

Just because you’re not using a traditional publishing house doesn’t mean you don’t need to edit your manuscript. Editors are going to catch grammatical and spelling errors that you, as the author, are probably going to miss, and they’ll improve the structure of your book, as well. Recognize the importance of editing and build it into your plan and budget.

You think about the cover design.

Creating an arresting cover for your book can draw readers in and boost sales. Often, this means investing in a professional cover designer to design one for you. Make sure that your book looks professional on the outside as well as on the inside.

Woman reading in meadow
Who doesn't want to read in a beautiful meadow? (Photo by Ben White on Unsplash)

You read a lot.

Having a deep, well-rounded knowledge of the kind of book you’re writing means that you know what readers expect from you. Knowing a lot about your genre helps you consciously engage with your audience and make informed choices in your writing.

You know that timing is everything.

Certain kinds of stories are going to do better if they’re released at certain times (few people are going to read a Christmas-themed romance in July, for example). Be aware of this and plan your book’s release around these trends. Also, don’t promise your potential readers that your book is going to be out in a month and then keep pushing it back. Know your deadlines and meet them.

Self-publishing isn’t easy, even if it looks like a surefire alternative to traditional publishing houses. But it can be incredibly rewarding to know that you’re ultimately in charge of your manuscript's destiny. Keep these five things in mind as you consider self-publishing.

And when you get to the editing stage, we're here to help you. Email or to discuss your options. You can also read up on our editing packages and rates here: link.

Maud Grauer, a content creator and book editor for Dot and Dash, wrote this article. You can email her at

Follow Dot and Dash on social media:

Twitter: @GrammarParty

Instagram: @dot_and_dash_llc



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