Self Publishing Books – Good or Bad?

November 4, 2015 in Articles, eBook publishing

Best Publishing Routes For New Book Writers

Early in the writing process, new writers should think carefully about the likely publishing options open to them for their book. We all nurture dreams of becoming bestsellers and earning a fortune; our prudent friends smile, wish us all the best, and think to themselves, keep dreaming! To write and publish a book you need to be businesslike, from the word go.

eBook Publishing and IssuesWe are all entitled to be optimists, and if your book is aimed at a well-defined and large enough readership, then I think you owe it to yourself to offer it to real publishers and literary agents first before taking the publishing risk on your own shoulders. If the manuscript of your book offers fresh insights on a topic, has been professionally edited by a book editing service, and is submitted correctly to those who market such work, then at least you have a ticket in the lottery. And don’t try just one publisher; submit to at least half a dozen at the same time. It will take months, it may not produce a deal, but at least you will have given your book a decent chance of a commercial send-off. In the meantime there is always the eBook route, an option that can be used to kick-start the process and demonstrate the potential of your written work.

Ethical Book Publishers and Literary Agents

How to Avoid the Sharks Lurking in the Publishing Shallows

Real publishers and literary agents, the kind who pay you rather than the reverse, are elusive fish, hard to catch. On the other hand their dangerous relatives, the vanity bandits, dress up in the same clothes, but can be landed without even putting a hook on your line. Just dangle your fishing rod over the water and they’ll leap out, with mouths wide open. Never in their lives will they have been so moved by such tasty bait. Your book is a masterpiece; you are indeed a budding Shakespeare. You are also about to be taken on an expensive self-publishing ride that will empty your wallet, one stage at a time, until there’s nothing left.

Self publishing books, as a paperback or ebook, is nowadays possible for the technically-minded, and not expensive to achieve, but still demands that the book’s contents are ‘as good as it gets’. In other words, the writing itself remains the important task; then follows the editing. Only after the creative work has editorially been ‘put through the wringer’ should formatters be invited to work their magic.

Book editors can mark your card as you prepare your original manuscript, then take extracts of your writing and show you how to self-edit. At the submission stage they can tweak your submission material to potential publishers so that you avoid making the mistakes novices exhibit when attempting to sell their own work. And once you have offered traditional publishers ‘the chance of a lifetime’ to have you as an author, and if they somehow fail to recognise your brilliance, you can self-publish a professional book in weeks, at surprisingly reasonable prices. Don’t be fooled by publishing packages offered by vanity bandits. The majority of these are worthless, using seductive waffle, aimed at taking your money, leaving you with all the risk, and boxes of books to sell on your own. Professional editors help you bring your book to market efficiently and ensure it has the best chance of becoming the bestseller it no doubt deserves.

Writing and Marketing an eBook

June 10, 2012 in Articles, Book Marketing

When you have finished writing your book and you are ready to upload it to Amazon or perhaps an alternative distributor, it is time to stop and think. There are some important actions that need to be taken care of before you make the wrong impression to your intended audience.

eBook Marketing1. Create a really compelling cover. Have you got a professional cover to accompany your book? It needs to look good not only as a full sized image, but also as a thumbnail.  Amazon shows thumbnail cover images in search results, automated merchandising, and detail pages. This is the equivalent of having your book on a shelf in a book store and the image must grab the attention of anyone viewing it. Without a professional cover it is unlikely that a potential customer will click through to the detail page of your book, the first step they take when making a purchase. If you’re struggling with creating a compelling cover, you should use a design service to create your cover.

2. Edit and proofread your book properly. Just because you have created an eBook it does not mean you can allow standards to drop. Your book needs to be readable and error free. Books filled with typos and grammatical errors will probably result in negative customer reviews. So think about using a book editing service and employing the services of a proof reader.

3. Writing a compelling description of the book. The description of your book gives potential customers the opportunity to learn about your book before they make a purchase. It is worth thinking about the description of your book as an extension of your writing style i.e. you can give potential customers a taste of your writing style and the pace of your book in the description. Again it needs to be readable and error free. It also needs to contain the search terms that people are likely to use to find a book of your genre and topic. This is essentially your sales pitch and an opportunity to convince readers to buy your book. Once again if you are struggling to put together an appropriate description then consider using the services of a professional copywriter.

4. Introducing yourself to your readers. make sure you have an ‘author profile’ available. Amazon provide this facility through their Author Central option, one for each of their primary distribution sites. Ensure your author profile is complete on all the sites you are going to offer your book for sale. You can use Author Central to upload your picture, add a biography, and in some cases link to your blog or a Twitter feed so you can speak directly to readers. If you are not using Amazon, then look what other options are available to you, you may even need to create your own blog or perhaps request an author page and or book post on this site. So if you need help with this then get in touch via the Contact Us page, the discussion can be as long as you want.

Creating a compelling author page takes just a few minutes and will help readers learn more about you and your books. Here are a few examples of author pages visible on Author Central: Brian StephensSamantha FordRichard Cheesmar. Remember, where possible, to use all the facilities offered in order to promote yourself  and your book, blog links, Twitter, Facebook etc.

5. Promote your book online. You can use the Web to connect potential readers and purchasers with your book. Social networks are a free way to establish a following. You can create profiles on sites such as  Facebook and Twitter to promote your book on those sites. LinkIn is a good option for non-fiction books especially if they have a business base. Similarly, you can create a website or blog for your book very easily and cheaply, you can post on message boards, join user communities, and promote your book on many sites across the Web. Always remember however, no-one likes direct selling and as proud as you are of your book, ramming it down peoples throats and telling them to buy it simply doesn’t work. It is far better to discuss how you came to write your book, what aspects of the writing you struggled with, how the main characters were created and what gave you the idea for them. In other words you need to create interest and engage with people, make friends with them and garner a little bit of trust. That way you will build a loyal following, not only for your first book but also any subsequent books you produce.

6. Upload videos and book trailers. If you have the inclination and capability you can create videos and book trailers for publication on sites such as YouTube. Self-publishing authors are increasingly creating video trailers to advertise their books online, and  with respect to Amazon, the  Author Pages give you a place to feature those video trailers. You can simply upload a short video that shows readers what your book is about and tempts them to read the book to find out more. This is a great tool and if you can put together a professional video, there is no doubt it will help you sell your book.

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