Are you interested in self-publishing? Are you thinking beyond publishing that first book to making money from your writing? Then mark your diary for Saturday, 14th October. That’s when the final installment of the Indie Author Fringe conference happens, a free online event for authors hosted by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).
You posted a photo of your dog on Facebook and all your friends liked it—building a Facebook page to promote your book to fans should be easy, right? Wrong! While your Facebook fan page may look the same and even function the same, the content and mission is completely different. You aren’t talking to your close friends and family, you are talking to over one billion potential viewers, because unlike your personal Facebook page, your fan page is public and a vehicle of book promotion. Here are some tips to point you in the right direction.
Back in 2005, I had written my first book manuscript for a business startup guide, and I attended a writer’s conference where I had the opportunity to pitch agents. Many requested proposals, and in the months that followed, my mailbox filled with rejection letters. Eventually, one of the agents took the time to call me and he said, “I like what you’re doing, but nobody knows who you are. You need to build an author platform. You need to be out speaking to thousands of people each year.”
I was prepared for the effort of taking my manuscript and creating a book from it, but despite all the help I had getting books produced and the ease of which they magically appear on my doorstep, it still fell to me, as a first time indie author, to get the shops to carry them. It wasn't easy, but here are some of the things that worked for me.
More and more, Amazon and Amazon companies are encouraging or requiring authors and publishers to use them exclusively. CreateSpace offers free ISBNs and design services for authors, Kindle offers KDP Select that allows for extra marketing options, ACX will allow budget-restricted publishers/authors a chance to get an audiobook created and produced for free in exchange for 50% of the profits. All of these options give authors opportunities that they would otherwise have to work harder for, but in exchange, they require that the publisher/author agree to work with them exclusively.
I recently bought a book from legendary American author, T.C. Boyle. When I got it home, I was jarred to notice that the book jacket contained exactly zero advanced praise. I became immediately skeptical that the book could possibly be any good—and we're talking about T.C. Boyle. Now imagine the value of that advanced praise if we're not talking about T.C. Boyle.
Newspapers are one of the key sources of publicity for authors. However, very few writers take the time to understand the types of content that make up a newspaper (either the printed or the online version). If you understand what kinds of stories make up a newspaper, you can see where your book might fit in and how to position it to optimise your opportunities.
Having a book production schedule filled with the right tasks in the right order, will not only result in a professionally produced product and enough time to plan your release, but will also reduce your stress, and ensure you’re not throwing your book into the sky and hoping for the best. Breaking the process into parts makes it easier to focus on one thing at a time and get each step right without getting overwhelmed.
Good book editing ensures a book is credible for its market and has the best chance of pleasing its readers. But the editor’s contribution goes well beyond grammar, spelling, and house style. Self-publishers have the opportunity to use an editor to bring out their true talents and aptitudes.