One of the things that I notice as I peruse various Facebook, and Google Plus groups for authors is that aspiring authors do not initially understand that they need to surround themselves with a team of professionals to help make their book a success.
While advice abounds about developing a market even before you write your book. Very few people talk about the the business of self-publishing from a overall standpoint. What is equally important as marketing in my estimation is developing your author team. Your author team is those persons who without their help you could not successfully bring your creative work to the market.
Rochelle Carter CEO of Ellechor Media, LLC states in her book The 7 Step Guide To Authorpreneurship “…there is no such thing as “Self-publishing.” Publishing is always a collective effort, and no single individual, no matter how immersed in the field, can complete it alone. Be it printing, shipping, converting to an eBook, marketing, distributing, editing, designing, or maintaining a visible and relevant social presence, somewhere along the publishing process, even the most determined and independently-minded author will likely need some help publishing her book”
Ms. Carter is giving a clarion call to any author who thinks that simply writing a book is a one-man show. It is not. It is a business endeavor, and with any business endeavor, it requires the author to wear several hats and if necessary borrow the hats to successfully publish. Once an author accepts this and recognizes how to acquire the team members they will be well on their way to establishing a successful business.
For an indie author there are several members that you will need on your team to successfully publish your book. How well you succeed in the selling of your work in the publishing business will be influenced on how well your team members perform, so choose wisely.
Lets take a look at the common team members needed to bring a book to market. There are several. Each is listed in no particular order
2. Beta Reader
3. Cover Designer
4. Layout Designer
Most authors are aware that they need an editor to help put the polish on their work. But what about beta readers? Beta readers are essentially market testers of your product, and are able to provide valuable information that you might not have considered. In my estimation, an author would be foolish not to have at least some feedback prior to taking their work public. Even Stephen King had his wife as a beta reader. (You should read the story of how she convinced him to turn his unpublished work in.)
Cover Designers and layout artists are again crucial for giving your work a professional look. No one wants to read text that is laid out properly or look at a cover that doesn’t live up to what one sees in a book store.
To determine whom you will need on your team you will have to answer the question of where your weakness is in one of the aforementioned areas. For example, will you do the internal layout for the book yourself? Are you familiar with how to layout the pages for print? Will you use InDesign of some other layout program? If your answer to the question is no, and or you are not willing to learn, then you would need a layout designer to create the epub, print and kindle versions of your book for you.
Determining your area of need will determine whom you will have on your team. When I published my fiction novel, I knew I would need help from and editor and cover designer. There was no way that I could depict visually what I wanted using my own talents. I had to acquire a cover designer. But I felt comfortable learning what I needed to know to do the layout design myself for the print version. I studied InDesign and created the print copy PDF for that book.
Overall, forming your author team is as important as establishing the marketing aspect of ones product(book). In other upcoming blog posts well talk about how to get these team members if you need them.