Self-Publishing and Book Marketing

I love tuning words into books and I get such a buzz out of hitting the Publish button and seeing work go live online or accepting delivery of a batch of books for a client. If I experience this buzz and sense of thrill, it can be nothing compared with how an author must feel to actually see their work published and to hold their book for the first time. Most tell me, they can’t believe they actually did it! It can be an emotional experience and so fulfilling! There can be a downside to this wonderfully euphoric experience and it is this: After the initial flutter of sales as the author tells others about their work being published, and as the books hit the online stores for the first time, sales can settle or dwindle and this can be a shock. This is more so the case for published works of fiction than non-fiction. Why? Because someone will always be searching for a certain term for non-fiction titles and if your book title, subtitle, description, keywords and metadata are targeted to searches then your book has a fighting chance. Also in the scheme of things there are less competing books for non-fiction. For fiction books, you can use the same criteria to help your book stand out, but most book titles aren’t set up for easy finding and so can get lost amongst the thousands of other books competing for attention in the fiction categories. Books that are free, promoted, are written by high profile authors and that have large numbers of positive reviews will dominate the front...

Being a Published Author-Your New Business Calling Card

Recently I read a very interesting article and it really hit home to me about the real usefulness of traditional business cards. I know you can send an e-card but the article got me thinking and that can be a dangerous thing. A business card can only hold so much information and really can get lost or become redundant as more and more searches are done online. A book though is something with a value, even a perceived value and it can be used to inform, educate and persuade any readers to find out more about your business, product or service. If done the right way, it is a really cool marketing tool. If done the wrong way, it is tacky, useless and nothing other than self-promotion with limited to no value. It also shows disrespect to the reader-disrespect to their intelligence and time they allocated to read it in the first place. Writing a business style book doesn’t have to be a major ordeal. It doesn’t even have to look like a business book. Keep these tips in mind before dismissing the idea of publishing a book  for your business. Audience Who are your intended audience? Everybody, is too general! Content and Delivery What specifically do they need to know and I mean specifically? There is a big difference between delivering information and delivering relevant information that someone is interested in knowing. What is the best way to tell them? Can you use case studies, stories, link to your training videos, demonstrate something, give screenshots etc. It is not just words anymore that make a good book, especially...

18 Problems Authors Face When Publishing

Having spoken to a number of authors, there are a number of things that hold them back from publishing. Fear of rejection. Fear that their work is still not good enough to publish or will never be good enough. Fear of the unknown Fear that they are getting in over their head. Fear they will be ripped off by unscrupulous publishers The cost factor Fear of losing their book rights  Not knowing whether they should follow the traditional publishing route or self publish. Not knowing what is expected of them. Worry about hidden extra costs. Worry about making back the publishing and printing costs. Anxiety about possibly having to commit to ordering large numbers of books or commit to a publishing package that causes financial hardship. Worry about who to trust and who to get sound information from. Not knowing what they want to do. Worry about an inferior product or service that will reflect badly on them. Worry that their book won’t sell. Worry about getting bad reviews or negative feedback. Worry that their dream will be shattered. I know I can add more to this list if I thought about it some more and it is because of this and because I started off as an author first, that I now have a better understanding of the needs of other authors. I address these concerns through my personal self publishing service I provide to clients to take as much stress away as possible and to make the whole publishing process...

How to Publish a Book Using an Irish Publisher

I remember when I started publishing my own books a few years ago, I kept everything nice and simple. I was writing fiction, had no images and wrote everything in Microsoft Word. I then got KD Publisher Pro software which took care of the document, formatting it and converting it to html and if I did my job right and opened the resulting document  in Kindle Previewer and it looked okay, I had my Kindle book. You don’t need to buy this software if you follow all the guidelines given for publishing a Kindle book but I did find it helpful. Again it was another thing to learn! You can use a tool such as Canva.com for your ebook cover design if you want to keep costs low too. Amazon are great for templates for publishing and so when I wanted a print book, I downloaded one of their no frills template. It is fine and gives a basic book with page numbers, a Table of Contents and Chapters and the text looks okay if it was okay to begin with! I also used their cover design template initially before outsourcing this part to make it look more professional. Roll on a few years later and now that I am an Irish publisher, I have  invested in Adobe InDesign for all my publishing needs. The only work I outsource now is the cover design as lets face it I am not a graphic artist and could not make a book cover look as good as the artists I hire. What I like about Adobe Indesign for publishing a book, is that I...

Which Book Cover Design Works Best

Cover design can range from the simplest where an image is placed on the cover of the book and text designed around it, to the most complex where unique artwork is created or a composite/montage of images are combined to create an overall image. As a result, the cost can vary enormously. Examples of simple graphics include the following: An example of a  composite montage made from a series of images is shown below. This was prepared from a client brief where the client asked for a city hall, a hill, a psychiatric facility, a woman being led away and a man. A lot of work but with the right graphic artist it can be done. The childrens book below contained original illustrations taking in the key components of the story. An owl, a tree, a rainbow and a little bit of magic (the little light sparkles). Non fiction books can be easier to design and it should be easy to tell what the book is about by its cover. For example a travel guide may show a map, route or image of  the area, a cookery book may show recipes, utensils, pictures of cooking, food styling etc. Books used by business professionals may emphasize more the purpose of the book-its features and benefits. An example being a life coach may have a simple picture or graphic and supporting text for the Title or Title/Subtitle so that  it will be clear what the book is about. Examples below show books in the self-help sector.   Consider also books that have no images just text. A key example being Dale Carnegie. His book titled How...

Key Elements of a Good Book Description

When it comes to writing a good description for your book, it is important to remember that other than your book cover and title, your book description is what will encourage and or discourage any potential readers from reading your book. You only have a short time to hold the interest of any potential readers so make those words count and chose them carefully. What you deem important for a reader to know may not interest them at all. What your book description needs At a minimum, a strong opening paragraph should set the scene, the tone and the mood of the book. Be sure to include words like ‘If you like action-adventure books, you will enjoy this fast-paced….’ Rather than simply saying ‘Action packed’ or ‘Fast-paced’. Try to include something exciting that will hold someone’s attention or hint at something that will happen in the book. Try to build some momentum in your description so that the potential reader will want to read your book. Lift the words off the page and make them come alive. If your description is lack-luster, it will hardly entice any one to want to read the book. They may assume that they will get more of the same. You have come this far, and got everything else right, don’t fall down here. If you have sent out review copies, incorporate positive feedback into your description. See how your book differs from others. There will always be something different about your book so focus on this and see how it can work to your advantage. Prepare a number of short descriptions (150 words)...