5 Self-Publishing Tips from SoCal Writer’s Conference from Bethany Lopez

Bethany Lopez is a wife, mother, airman, and author. She writes YA, New Adult, and has her first Fantasy coming out in April. She just released the final installment of her NA “Friends & Lovers” trilogy, Trust in Me. Bethany recently attended the Southern California Writer’s Conference and shares some of the self-publishing tips that were discussed there. Even if you are traditionally published, Bethany’s list is a great reminder of some of the most important steps in producing, marketing, and promoting a novel.

Top 5 Self-Publishing Tips by Bethany Lopez

I went to the Southern California Writer’s Conference this past weekend, and there were a lot of new workshops that discussed the current trend of Self-Publishing. It is a really exciting time to Self-Publish. As a Self-Published Author, I attended many of these and agreed with everything the workshop leaders were saying. I decided on five take-aways to share with you here:
1. Hire a Professional Editor – One of the biggest mistakes that writers make when they decide to Self-Publish is to do so before they’re ready. Let’s face it, most of us don’t have any money to put into this new endeavor, but it’s an important step that cannot be bypassed. The best thing I can say is do your research. Not all editors charge a ton of money. Ask other authors, search online, and find someone who will be a good fit for you, as well as your budget.
2. Use a Professional Cover Designer – Readers will often buy, or bypass, a book based on its cover. That is the readers’ first impression of your work. Again, do your research. Look at your favorite covers, and covers in your genre, and see who designed them.
3. Build Your Platform – Your presence online, and your interaction with others, will help you reach readers. Start a website and blog; get a Twitter account, and Facebook Author Page. Check out Tumblr, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, see which social media sites work best for you.
4. Network – It is important to build a good relationship with readers, bloggers, and other authors. Look and see who other people are following, and follow them. Engage in conversations, and help bloggers and other authors. Participate. Never disparage another author, and never respond to a bad review. We are here to help and support each other. Make sure you do your part.
5. Be Prepared to Market Your Book – Writing your book is the easy part. Once it is finished, edited, and released, the real work begins. I would suggest using Blog Tour hosts for your cover reveal and for the release of your blog. This is a great way to get reviews of your book and create a buzz about it. Join groups on Facebook, and maybe a Tribe or two on Triberr, be active on Twitter and the other social media sites. Promote other Authors. Don’t just promote your book. No one wants to help someone who is always worried about themselves and never helps others.
The bottom line is that Self-Publishing is a lot of work and isn’t something to jump into without a lot of thought and research. But if you love writing and believe in your work, it is very gratifying.

More about Bethany:

Bethany Lopez

Bethany Lopez

Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult series. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her novels through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Where to find Bethany online:

More about Trust in Me

Roni’s dreams of becoming a contemporary dancer were smashed under the brutal rage of her ex-husband’s fists. Getting divorced and starting over at the age of twenty-two was never her plan, but maybe in Texas, she’ll find her path. When the town’s local player, Rich, opens a Rec Center, she sees a way to rekindle her dancing dreams…and maybe have a little fun with her sexy new boss.
Rich never expected to fulfill his dreams in the town he planned to leave behind, but that’s just what he’s doing. His reputation as a noncommittal ladies’ man might make it challenging to earn respect in the business world, but he’s willing to prove that he’s serious. In fact, when it comes to pursuing Roni, he’s more than willing. But she’s taking a page out of his book, not wanting to risk another relationship. Can he convince her that his playboy days are done and that she can trust him with her heart?

Trust in Me, the third and final installment in the Friends & Lovers Trilogy, is available now! The cover was designed by BDesign.

Where to buy:

Writers, have you been to any good conferences lately? Have any other tips to share? I especially like tips 4 & 5. They are terrific reminders that, no matter which publishing route you decide to take, it’s a nicer experience when we support and celebrate our fellow authors’ journeys as well as our own. 

Readers, speaking of professionally designed covers, what do you think of the one BDesign did for Trust in Me? I think it’s both cute and sexy. Check out the rest of Allie B’s book covers (and the other two covers for the first two books in Beth’s Friends & Lovers trilogy, Make It Last and I Choose You). They’re great too! Bethany, thank you so much for sharing your conference tips with us!

About Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, and WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE. View all posts by Jill Archer

9 responses to “5 Self-Publishing Tips from SoCal Writer’s Conference from Bethany Lopez

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    […] Bethany Lopez (Self-Publishing Tips from the SoCal Writers Conference) […]

  • Shamus

    While these tips are helpful, I was hoping for something more along the lines of: “The legendary Elixir of Creativity is distilled from the juices of seven pinecones harvested under a full moon and squeezed in a wine press made from oak. Drink it only at noon on the summer solstice.” Or perhaps: “Staring at a blank screen for precisely one hundred sixty nine minutes causes a synapse backlash in the brain that will actvate the other 90% of your brain that you normally use only for idle fantasies and amusing cat videos on the internet. Be prepared to write like a fiend for the following thirteen minutes.” Do you have any tips like that? Bethany? Jill? Anyone?

    • Jill Archer

      Ha! If only there was an Elixir of Creativity that could be distilled so easily. While we continue our search, my Rx for all of us is good ole fashioned bum glue. Butt-in-chair and all that. These days, I’ll confess to feeling a bit of creative pressure with respect to my B3. But I remind myself it’s all part of the process. (And, for the love of everything that’s meaningful to you, STAY AWAY FROM THE CNN “DISTRACTION” VIDEOS!! :-D)

  • Megan Mitcham

    Completely agree with one through five plus formatting! Self-publishing is not for the lazy or faint of heart. Wonderful job, Bethany!

  • Bethany Lopez (@BethanyLopez2)

    Thanks for allowing me to post, Jill. Brinda, there are formatters that you can hire to format your books, or you can format them yourself. Each site, Kindle, B&N, Smashwords, and Createspace (paperbacks), require differenct formatting, so it is time consuming. They do allow you the opportunity to preview them before you hit submit, so you can make sure the formatting is correct. It’s a wonderful tool.

  • Brinda Berry

    Those are all terrific tips. I read a self-published NA book last week that I absolutely loved and saw quite a few formatting mistakes. So, maybe in addition to an editor, one should have a good formatter. There were pages in the Kindle version where the paragraphing would be off by double the space, etc. Being a writer, forgave that error.

    • Jill Archer

      Having just gone through the proofing stage for Fiery Edge, I can’t imagine turning around and formatting it too. Learning exactly what it takes to write, package, and sell a quality novel has given me a new appreciation for anyone who decides to self-publish. It truly takes a team of people and someone who can manage them all. Thanks for the comment, Brinda. I always appreciate your writing/publishing tips!

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