I’m an enterprising mom and a publishing upstart. I imagine people like me make those who cherish old publishing practices, lose some sleep at night.
In 2009, I had an idea for a book. Within two years I brought a full-color, richly designed book to market. It’s my first book and I self-published it.
I became a self-publisher because I could. I never approached a publishing firm or agent. Instead, I held on tight to my vision, maximized my background in marketing, learned new skills, hired professionals where needed and got down to some hard work.
Here's what I did:
While home alone with my third child I had an idea for an inspiring gift book for new mothers.
I wanted to create a book that would offer an honest examination of the impact of motherhood on women’s lives and allow mothers to feel less alone.
I wanted the book to focus on the changes women undergo when they become mothers and guide readers through the complexities of motherhood without telling women what they should or shouldn’t do.
I began talking about the idea to my mom friends.
I bought a number of books on self-publishing and subscribed to forums and newsletters aimed at the self-publishing community. I continue to learn from these resources.
In addition, I researched books targeted at new moms, gifts for new moms and general literature on motherhood. I noted what was out there and how my book would offer added value. Where possible, I gathered sales figures for books that new moms would be likely to buy or receive as gifts.
I also gathered population statistics that allowed me to determine how many women in my target socio-economic group became new mothers each year. With these figures I determined my sales targets.
I put together a budget with all the costs required to bring my book to market. I worked out how many books I would need to sell to start making profit and understood the risks involved.
The Marketing Plan
I started this early to keep me focused. It remains a work in progress. As does my SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). My marketing plan covered the following:
WHY am I writing this book and why will people buy it?
WHO are my readers and customers?
WHAT are my goals and objectives?
HOW will I achieve them?
Getting a big self-publishing project off the ground can be nerve-racking and requires discipline.
Co-authoring the book with my longtime friend, Andrea Katzman, was an amazing experience. Our responsibilities were clear. We equally shared the task of completing the manuscript but all the self-publishing tasks (including ensuring that we had a written copyright agreement between us) were mine.
My Professional Team
I recruited a team of professionals to help me bring my book to market. These included the book’s talented illustrator, Nomi Melul Ohad; editors and proofreaders; a design team who created the book’s visual concept and online branding; website programmers; an animator for the book trailer; social media advisers and online PR experts.
Wherever possible, I worked with moms who felt connected to the project. It meant that there were lots of people working with passion and delivering excellent results. In addition, it also means that post-launch there is a group of people who love promoting the book.
I've also partnered with Aerbook to develop eBooks, which we're currently bringing to market.
I'm very much at the beginning of my publishing adventure. It's exciting, often exhausting and time will tell just how enterprising. In the meantime, I’m having fun!
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