Obviously, I am not entirely qualified to give advice on publishing since, as the title says, I haven’t published anything in the past. The future is another matter, but I don’t want to blow your tiny 3 dimensional minds with my advanced knowledge. So instead I’m going to make this a theoretical process post by discussing what I plan to do to publish my debut novel. You can tell me if you think it is a good idea and I will ignore you either way. Only joking, I’d love the attention and help. I’m dying over here.
Step 1: Make a Buzz
“But Emma, this isn’t part of publishing a novel. Why do we have to go so far back?” Well, like How I Met Your Mother, to fully understand the ending you need to pay attention to the seemingly inconsequential details first.
Start a blog. Make a twitter. Use instagram. Use any social media you like to give yourself an online presence. You’ll draw a few people who will get to know your quirky sense of humor… or is that just me? I do things like regular hashtag posts on Twitter (#AdventuresInEditing, #….aMovie, #TheDamsel) and on Instagram, post shots of what I am reading, blogging and concepts of my work and the like. Just establish yourself. You’ll find some strong connections are made with individuals too.
Step 2: Serialize Like A Killer
With a few ‘coming soon’ posts on your social media, draw up a date to start serializing your novel on a place like Wattpad. I know it doesn’t have the best literary reputation, but it is what it is, a great place to get some easy feedback. Lots of abuse and spam comments too. Nevertheless you might get some helpful comments and connections that will help you finalize the novel. I think the best way to use Wattpad is not as a final publishing goal for your work, but a public beta reading, like the test screenings of movies. Get feedback from the general population and adjust your story accordingly, if you feel it is needed. After all, you, the author have the final say.
Plus, this helps you generate even more buzz. People who weren’t attracted by odd tweets and photos, will be drawn by the full story, and with it being serialized, say, one chapter a week, it will build expectation. That buzz is all important for the next step.
Step 3: Beg Like a Dog
Not a mangy, smelly old mutt with one leg missing, but a cute fluffy puppy, who just wants to try your last crumb of biscuits before he crawls in your lap and falls asleep, securing your love forever. When you start posting your novel on Wattpad, open a Patreon page. Patreon is like Kickstarter, but instead of funding one project you can continuously fund an artist that you like. In fact, you have a choice. You can give them a certain amount of money per project, or a certain amount of money a month. It’s totally in your control, never going over your maximum limit. What it means for artists is that they can get a regular income for their creative works, which helps them leave the hum drum jobs they don’t really want to do, but have to do to pay the bills.
By opening a Patreon page, you could secure funding to publish a paperback version of your book. Not only that but should you find yourself with more support than you bargained for and you can add extras, such as illustrations, signing events, book trailers and other things to give supporters added value. This is what I plan to do.
Now do you see why generating that buzz was important? Those people who were attracted to random tweets and stayed for the conversation and promise of a thrilling story may become your first paying fans and the serialization is only going to draw in more.
Sure, you might be hesitant to give your story away for free on that site, but never underestimate people’s desire to own physical objects they can touch and the extras you can include with the paperback, thanks to building Patreon support, will only make the book all the more tempting and worthwhile.
Step 4: Print Like a Mint
Once you’ve finished posting your story weekly on Wattpad, and you’ve collected your funds from Patreon, it’s time to publish your final paperback. Any extras you’ve decided on are up to you. If you’ve promised extra illustrations, for example, you need to contact an artist and commission them for the work. The book itself, you’d be best of going to a place like Amazon’s Createspace where you can easily put the manuscript together and publish it across Amazon’s stores and on Kindle with a few clicks. Then you’ve done it! You’re a published writer.
Step 5: Win Like A King
Did you know 40% of British Monarchs were murdered, killed in battle or fell victim to accidental death?
All that remains is to tell people about your book and collect the money from all your sales, and don’t forget that movie deal. HAHAHAAHAHahahahaha…. ! Ok, I’m going to go die in a corner now.
So, that’s my plan. I’m just about to start Step 2, and it’s the first time I’ve done it. So I honestly can’t say how well it will go. Wish me luck?
What do you think of my publishing plan? How did you publish your first book? Let me know below. All comments get entered into a raffle to win a free Imagine Emma Doodle.