Unfortunately, there is no sure way to know if your self-published novel will succeed. Not even the most successful author can be sure a concept will resonate with the audience. But there are many ways to improve the chances that the story will catch fire with your public. Here are five things that may help:

  1. Study your story concept. Is the idea timely and of interest to today’s reader?
  2. Edit the heck out of your manuscript. If you haven’t done at least ten rounds of revision, it probably is not ready for release. Find the holes in the story. Where does the tile lag? Where are the holes in motivation or credibility?
  3. If self-publishing, make sure the book is developed and produced with the highest standards. For example, free of typos, correctly laid out and designed, and  priced competitively.
  4. Draw up a strategy for distribution. Where is the likely audience? Which sales channels are likely to reach them?
  5. Promote, promote, promote! Use every available outlet to promote your title—social media, websites, YouTube, conferences, fliers, clubs, friends. Hire a publicist. Pay attention to every detail. Stay informed about the publishing industry. Tip: Add your book title to your signature line in email.
  6. Finally, never, ever give up. Keep writing. If one novel doesn’t succeed, write another and another. Persistence pays.