Sultana's Dream

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Sultana's Dream
August 2012


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So You STILL Wanna Be a Writer!


If you decide to electronically self-publish, you can get your book to readers with minimal overheads and it can be a good starting point to test the market. These days some writers manage to make a living by being savvy self-published authors, or leverage their success to gain a contract with a traditional publisher.

·       Cover and Editing: Are just as important for digital publishing as they are with paperback self-publishing. Refer to my previous articles in the series Part 1 and Part 2 for tips on these.

·       Formatting: When publishing electronically you will need to get your book formatted for the printing service you are using. Services such as Smashwords or Amazon Kindle have style guides that you can follow, however you can also pay for this to be done professionally and tested on all digital platforms.

·       Distribution: There are many digital platforms that you can sell your book through: Smashwords, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Google Australia, You should list your book with all of these to ensure your readers can download your book in whatever format is convenient for them

·       Promotion: When it comes to promoting yourself online you can do so much with little to no money and by using your initiative. Here is an overview of things you can do:

- Establish an online presence by creating a website/blog. If you have limited funds and experience with website design start a blog through Wordpress or Blogspot and map your domain name.

- Utilise social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+ to promote your book. In order to simplify your various online identities you can sync your social media so that, for example, your tweet also appears in Facebook. You can also use HootSuite or Tweetdeck to allow multiple programs to be managed and accessed from one log in.

- To get the most exposure from your social media make sure your profile for each one promotes your book, has a suitable photo of yourself, and links back to your website.

- In terms of online etiquette—be interesting when creating an online platform. Don’t ask people to buy your book. Instead write interesting content and ensure that you clearly advertise how readers can buy your book on your website.

- Promote your book online by establishing relationships with other bloggers and request that they review your book and post the reviews on other platforms like Goodreads and Amazon so you get maximum exposure.

- Try to create an online blog tour with other bloggers where you do a guest post or interview to gain further readers. Make sure you reciprocate.

- You can use existing websites to create giveaways such as Goodreads (for paperback) or LibraryThing for digital and paperback. You can also host giveaways of your book via your website.

- You can be innovative and create a book trailer which is a short video that summarises the story with images, words, and sometimes music. You can do this by using your networks to find talented people to help you, or use low tech software like PowerPoint to create a presentation that has the features of a book trailer. Upload it on YouTube and use your social media to promote it.

- Join forums that deal with your particular genre and use this as an opportunity to network.

- Always keep in mind that networking is not just about wading in for your gain. It is about building genuine relationships in person or online with like-minded people. It is this community attitude that will ensure your success.

·       ISBN: You will usually be allocated a free ISBN from the digital self publishing platform you use. Each format will have a different ISBN.

·       Further information: If you want to know more about digital publishing in Australia a good starting point is a guide created by Copyright Agency you can find here at Digital Publishing Australia.

I hope you have found this series a helpful starting point about self-publishing in Australia. I encourage you to do a lot of research before you embark on your publishing journey and wish you the best of luck.  

Amra Pajalic