How to self-publish a novel   2 comments

22114535_Cover Proof.4766065-page1How to self-publish a novel is a post I have been asked to provide by other aspiring authors. Today, Muhammed Sokhna, a promising up-and-coming author, is contributing to this guest post. Muhammed has written a very spicy and wholesome novel called ‘The Worst Dilemma’. I gave him a 5-star rating on Smashwords because Muhammed fulfils the 5 core principles needed to self-publish a book. These are simple but all necessary to succeed:

1) Have a vision of what you are writing in which you project your talent into a picture of your eventual success.
2) The ability, despite tough external factors we all have to face, to go through the process and work harder than anyone else.
3) Have a short, a medium and a long-term plan as to how you are going to arrive at your destination of being a successful writer.
4) The ability to market your book positively and relentlessly.
5) The ability to accept early pitfalls, knockbacks and failures and use them as a spur to attaining eventual success.

Muhammed has impressed me because of his ability to work at all 5. Here is his post:

Life sure is an adventure and it should never be a bore. We, the people that nurture this verdant earth, are wayfarers, but we don’t limit our paths of greatness to just traveling by foot. We travel by land, air, and my favorite sea.
Imagine yourself going to a harbor. You watch the cerulean waters career toward the deck. The ebb of the sea leaves treasures that couldn’t be found on land. You stand on the deck waiting for you ship to come. In some cases, your ship comes early. Sometimes it’s on time. There are times when it’s late. But, one thing is for sure. Your ship will come if you just have faith. The ocean’s zephyr brushes through your face. A soft whisper of the wind can be heard as you marvel through the fog at a distance. You smile when you finally see your ship coming. Because this means you finally go to a place you always wanted to go, but this is a place you’ve never been.
My opening statement is tantamount to the book publishing world. To anyone that is reading this, my name is Muhammed Sokhna and I’m the author of The Worst Dilemma, an erotic romance trilogy. I want to share with you guys what it is like to be a new author in this booming industry.
Here are some tips I want you to know right off the bat.
1. When you start writing your novel, finish it no matter what your circumstances are. You owe it to yourself to see the project through to the end.
2. Decide whether if you want to self-publish or go with a traditional publishing house. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, you will still have to market the book yourself.
3. Save 10-25% of what you earn from your day job. Or, you can take out a loan up to $10,000 for self-publishing authors. If you have good credit, get a limit increase up to $10,000. It is not necessary to use the whole $10,000, but the money will give you a great financial boost toward your business. Use the money for business needs first before you even think about business wants.
4. Find a good editor. If you can’t find one locally, there are a few good websites that have editors on staff that will help you with your manuscript. (Ex:
5. Know your market. Nothing is worse than coming out with a book that nobody knows about or nobody in that market cares about. The author who knows their market will always appeal to that market.
6. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, Writing Club (Ex: Atlanta Writers Club), and Genre Specific Writing Club (Ex: RWA).
7. Create an author’s website or website for the book. (Warning! Never go the cheap route for a website unless you know the web designer is awesome at what they do. Always look for a legit company to build you a website for a fair price. Cheap websites create a bad rep for you and your business. Plus, Google hates cheap looking websites and if Google hates it, everybody will not see it.)
8. Think about having a book tour for your book. There are tons of companies that will organize a tour for you if you don’t have the patience to organize one yourself. Book Tours are a great way to get some exposure about your book and yourself.
9. Self-published authors should save all receipts that are business related for tax purposes. Make copies as well. When going to do business related activities, record how many miles it took you to get there as well. This is a business. Treat it as such.
10. Have a deadline for your novels. Make sure you fans know when sometime is coming out. Anticipation is great for readers who love your work.
11. Let everyone you know that you are coming out with a book with a professional business card. The key word is professional. That means you need to spend some money. There are quite a few companies that will help you create professional looking business cards for a reasonable price. Mines was $150, but that come along with my website package. Here is an example of how they look like (These cards were in their early stages so they don’t look like this now):
12. Invest in writing workbooks to increase your writing chops (I highly recommend Writing with Stardust by Liam O’Flynn).
13. Don’t be afraid to “go there” in your manuscript. Writers are daredevils. We say what others could say or express. Be proud and bold.
14. It’s ok to have a shitty first draft. At least the idea is on the paper. The hard part is over.
15. Do something outside your comfort zone. Meaning, volunteer, speak with people at networking events, and teach the youth writing techniques. These are just some of the few things you can do.
16. Engage with fans through social media about your book. This includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
17. Brainstorm about your book before writing your first draft.
18. Write every day ever if you are not writing your manuscript.
19. Don’t always look for the cheap route when you are investing into your book. Look for quality.

For me, the book publishing world presented some unique challenges for me. I never thought it was going to be tough getting my name out there, but I should have expected that. The industry of self-publishing is blossoming so much that it’s hard to get yourself noticed. But, it’s still a fun read to see yourself progress in the beautiful field of literature. But, the main thing I want everyone to remember is that there are resources out there to help you succeed. Never give up and press on so the world can know your name. Don’t strive to be the best writer in the world. Strive to be a better writer than you were yesterday.
If anyone has questions our wants to get in contact with me, you can find me on almost any social media outlet. But, the best way is to email me through my website,
Also, I want to share an exclusive Smashwords coupon for 1st part of my trilogy series. If you enter coupon code: HM48C you will receive a discount to get my book for .99 cents. This is only for a limited time however so take advantage of this steal.
Also, if you go to this link,, it will share with you some insightful looks into the publishing world.
Thank you for your time and reading my post. I wish everyone the best in their writing careers.

Remember, you will make a lot of mistakes in business. But, as long as you learn from your errors, your mistakes will really become lessons of improvement for yourself and your business.
















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2 responses to “How to self-publish a novel

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  1. Thanks for sponsoring my blog post Liam.

  2. You are very welcome, Muhammed. I wouldn’t have done it unless I thought you had the talent, potential and hunger to be a resounding success. Anyone who has read ‘The Worst Dilemma’ can see that you will thrive in the years to come. Your ability to use technology as a marketing tool also separates you from your peers. As I’ve always said about you, top man. I loved it when you called writers daredevils. It hits the nail on the head! Talk soon and keep well. Liam.

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