How to Publish Your Own Book
Wise Ink Creative Publishing’s office at 807 Broadway Street NE in Minneapolis Courtesy of Wise Ink Creative Publishing

How to Publish Your Own Book

Done right, a book title can add to business credibility and exposure

Think you’ve got a book in you? Wise Ink Creative Publishing in Minneapolis is a hybrid publisher, which means it provides guidance on all aspects of the process, from story development to marketing. Authors fund their book’s production and keep all of the profits. Victoria Petelin is a creative director, ghostwriter, and project manager at Wise Ink. She assesses upward of 400 pitches per year and offers this advice.

Tailor your process to your publishing format. Every book has its best path to publication, and there’s more than one way to publish. Traditional publishers require agent representation and assume creative control of your work once they acquire your book, so if you’re going that route, it makes no sense to hire your own illustrator or designer. Nonfiction pitches to agents don’t require a full manuscript, while fiction pitches do. Books with a niche audience and noncommercial goals are best produced through a print-on-demand service, which is an inexpensive production method great for paperback books with black-and-white interiors. If an author or organization has a well-defined audience and wants full creative control, a hybrid publisher could be the best fit. Do your research: Pitching with the wrong information or starting the editing and design process too early can result in wasted time and money.

Have a post-publication vision.  At the end of the day, books are a form and conduit of communication. Identify organizations with like-minded goals that might be interested in inviting you to speak. Think about the doors a book could open for you and how you will continue to spread your book’s message beyond the page. Identify the kinds of readers you’re most excited to engage and find out where they spend their time. Work on your author platform now, so that when your book comes out, readers are aware of you and excited to purchase your work. When you’re out and about in the world, start conversations. Be inspirational, thought-provoking, funny—whatever your book is! The value you bring to the table as a writer, thought leader, businessperson, or educator is just as important as the book itself. Make your book work for you and your career instead of making your work all about the book.

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