It’s never been easier to publish a book, but that doesn’t mean we should
I once read a self-published e-book, a novella. I read it for several reasons: it was recommended (which turned out to be a bad reason), it would be a quick read, I’d never read a novella, and it was free (I got what I paid for).
On the plus side, the opening captured my attention, the story line was intriguing, and the ending was a delightful surprise. On the negative side, the book did not flow smoothly, was poorly edited (or not edited at all), contained many errors, and was poorly converted into e-book format. Overall, the great ending did not overcome all the negative elements. read more>>
In The Book Blog we talk about writing books, producing books, and marketing books. Successful writers must do all three. Neglect one element and your book will fail to meet your expectations and reach its full potential.
Even if you find a traditional publisher they will only handle the second requirement: publishing your book. Unless you are an A-list author they will do little marketing for you and expect you to put forth most of the effort. read more>>
A common part in many book proposals is a “competitive works” section. I recently researched this for one of my book proposals. What I saw enlightened me.
First were three books from traditional publishers. They gave me pause. I had to think a bit to determine how my book was different and how it would stand out. This challenged me, but it was a good exercise. Each book was impressive: an attractive cover, nice title, a great concept or theme where the content flowed nicely, and professional editing and formatting. However, I didn’t think about any of these qualities at first. I expected these characteristics. Since they met my expectations, I gave these traits no thought – until I looked at some self-published books. read more>>
Several years ago, Karen Saunders wrote an excellent article “How to Make a Book Cover Design that Flies Off the Shelf!” Today, her suggestions are still just as valid.
However, there is one I would elevate in importance: “Seek the services of an experienced book cover designer.” I don’t view this as an option or a suggestion but as a requirement. Of course, I have no illusions about my graphic design abilities, so it is easy for me to say everyone should hire a professional book cover designer. read more>>
If you are a consultant, service provider, or business professional, having a book can become your best form of promotion. A book provides instant credibility, elevating you above the competition who has no book. It becomes a calling card, opening doors and providing opportunities you would otherwise miss.
Your book is the ultimate business card. Learn more from the article “Your Book as Your Business Card: Indie Book Publishing Provides Professionals the Edge.”
Of course, to realize the most from your book as a business card, it must be professional. Business cards run the gambit from homemade cards using your PC printer and perforated stock to four-color glossy works of art with professional graphics and quality printing. The difference is apparent, separating card-carrying market leaders from under-resourced wannabes. Though the homemade version is better than no card, it’s only a marginal improvement.
So, too, published books run the gambit, from homemade cover and self-edited to professionally designed graphics, quality editing, and elegant interior design that ooze competence. While the homegrown book is better than no book, it is only marginally so.
Whether it is a book or a business card, when someone sees it, do you want them to think “Oh no!” or “Oh wow?”
Is your nonfiction book your ultimate business card? Why or why not?
With changes in publishing and advances in technology, it’s never been easier to publish a book. This isn’t to imply publishing a book is easy, just that the barriers are disappearing and the costs are dropping.
This emerging reality leads to two extremes for do-it-yourself authors who want to publish their books. read more>>
Some authors start writing their book, focus on it until completion, work to publish it, and then promote it. Then they start their next book – assuming they have an idea for one.
Other authors are working on so many books that it’s hard to accomplish anything. I fall into that trap. I recently claimed to have about a dozen books in various phases of development; in reality, the number is much higher. It is insane.
One successful fulltime writer works on three at a time. Even though I am part-time, I tweaked his advice to having four books in my pipeline: read more>>
When readers consider our book, few will bother to look to see who published it. They won’t care if a major publisher, let alone any traditional publisher, produced it. When it comes to publishers, there is little brand loyalty, let alone much brand recognition. The imprint is of no consequence. How the printed book gets into their hands or the e-book gets into their reader doesn’t matter to them.
Here’s what does matter:
Cover: What they will look at is the cover. They will, in fact, judge our book by its cover. First impressions matter a great deal. read more>>
The purpose of back cover copy is to sell your book. It’s essentially ad copy, a pitch to entice people to read your book. You must hook the reader, telling them enough to intrigue them without revealing too much.
If your book will be self-published, you need to write the back cover copy yourself. If you’re going with a traditional publisher, then they’ll do it for you, right? Usually, but who knows your book better than you? Who has the most at stake? You. read more>>
A couple years ago, my newsletter column for the month was “Six Types of Books in My Library.” In summary, this is how I viewed my books:
- Books Worth Keeping: I enjoyed them once, and I’ll read them again.
- Reference Materials: Books with information I want to keep.
- Books I Plan to Read: I really do intend to read them – someday. read more>>