And I’m losing control, ’cause the power, you’re supplying – it’s electrifying!
Hands up who remembers that song sung by Danny Zuko and Sandy from Grease? (You may have caught my words swap from the original – chills to skills but, hey, it’s all good.)
I feel like a word needs to be said about the many skills that a self-publisher learns over their journey. But the truth is, I really wanted to write this post so I could get the song lyrics out of my head. Just kidding.
Now, it’s not to say that all people who want to self-publish have to learn every single skill involved, but it is possible, and when you’ve learned something new, it feels amazing. So, this post is dedicated to all of those mult-talented people, and those who want to be. Below is a list of skills I think you can learn when you become a self-publisher.
- Writer – Well, that’s a no brainer. If you want a little extra help in this department, check out The Ultimate Novel Planning Workbook.
- Editor – Take a few quick refresher courses on how to look at your own work from an editors point of view. Have you discovered Udemy? There’s plenty of online courses here.
- Marketer – Testing the market, or doing research as to whether which genre your writing fits in before you start is a good idea. I’ve learned the hard way that having something that doesn’t fit into a category is harder to sell. I would still write the story, but when you know your genre, you know who your audience are, what look and feel your book needs and where to advertise. If you want to learn more about marketing your book, take an author specific marketing course. Try the Author Marketing Club for an online solution.
- Salesman – You know those door to door salesman? Well, the better you are at selling, the more books you will sell. I’m not fantastic at the face to face stuff, and I firmly believe against ambush selling, so I’m trying lots of different ways to get around this with my own works. If you want to get better at sales, check out this post on the Entrepreneur site
- Designer – The inside and outside of your book are two different things. One, is more technical, the other, creative. If you want to learn more in designing a book cover, I recommend taking an Adobe Photoshop course. If you want to learn the inside of your book, I recommend learning InDesign. When you sign up to the cloud, the program comes with free tutorials and direction where to get more paid ones.
- Blogger – Blogging is a craft all in itself. Some people think that to be effective, they just need to post some words every now and then. But this isn’t the case. Taking a short course on blogging for authors is a good idea if you’ve never done it before. Check out this free guide on Jane Friedman’s blog.
- Professional Speaker – I haven’t gotten to this stage of the self-publishers life cycle yet, but one day I will. You may need to speak professionally to a group of other writers or to read passages from your book. Check out Toast Masters. They are a public speaking club with chapters all around the world.