I know from writing a book myself, not to mention it being a hot topic during book coaching calls with clients: It’s frustrating that there is no “perfect” or even absolutely correct word count target for your book. (How can I possibly create a writing schedule or figure out how long it will take to write my book if I don’t know how many words I need?) “Enough words to cover your topic” sounds like the kind of smart-aleck answer that would’ve gotten me in trouble in high school. But it’s true.Read More
As an entrepreneur, validating an idea isn’t a new concept to you. Surely you’ve gone through a validating process when you’ve launched other things (courses, products, services). The concept is the same when it comes to a book: Ask the people who are your ideal clients (and thus likely your ideal readers) for feedback.
With a book, though, you might complete the validation process a few times: with your book idea/topic, with your cover, and then with your actual text. The text is our focus today, and in book publishing, we call this process “gathering beta feedback.”Read More
A lot of author-entrepreneurs revise as they write. They’re hesitant to embrace the idea of writing first, and revising second. Just as research and pre-writing are separate tasks from writing, so is revision. It’s not your fault if you think this way. After all, we’re not professional writers! Lots of people lump everything under the umbrella of “the writing process,” but that process actually contains five distinct stages.Read More
How much time do you really need to write a book? If you enjoy writing and write regularly now, you can likely write a 50,000-word book in two or three months (assuming your schedule is fairly open for those months). If you don’t particularly enjoy writing (AKA you see it as a task vs. something you look forward to) and/or don’t write regularly, it might take longer to reach the point where you’re consistently producing larger word counts. The key to book writing is to have a plan BEFORE you start writing.Read More
As 2016 came to a close and 2017 was on the horizon, I was so excited about what the year would bring. (Want a full recap?) I had big plans, personally and for Jodi Brandon Editorial. And then my mom got sick (I am talking a brain tumor, then a neurological disease, and then stage-four cancer) and my plans fell by the wayside as our family turned its collective attention inward to be there for her and my dad. Truly, I have never been more grateful to be a business owner with a flexible schedule and an amazing team. (That worked out nicely for me, by the way, as one of my goals was to keep up with my daily gratitude practice. CHECK!)Read More
In an ideal world, anyone writing a book would have uninterrupted time, a beautiful space to write, and flowing ideas to make the most of your time. But you and I don’t live in an ideal world, do we? You might not have a dedicated writing space, but I can help with the other two.Read More
Who doesn’t love a good podcast? I have several that I love for business in general, but I also have several that are book-related or publishing-related. With the holidays coming and perhaps some downtime on the horizon (ha!), I wanted to share my favorites with you. If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve included some favorite episodes.Read More
Proofreading is not the same as copy editing, as far as the type of work being done as well as when the work is being done. Proofreading is done after a book has been typeset; copy editing is done before a book has been typeset.Read More
We’ve talked before on the blog about the importance of your book cover, because the truth is, we DO judge a book by its cover. In addition to compelling images/graphics paired well with fonts and colors, is the cover text.
In addition to compelling images/graphics paired well with fonts and colors, is the cover text. - @jodibrandon
No matter what format you’re publishing (ebook, paperback, audio, hardcover), you need a cover for marketing purposes. Here are the essential and standard text cover elements:
Other optional front cover text elements include a starburst in one of the corners announcing, say, a foreword or something like “Revised and Updated.”
Does Size Matter?
Notice that the size of the book title versus the size of the subtitle versus the size of the tagline. You can easily identify the hierarchy here, and it’s clear what the title of the book is. Also notice the size of the title versus the size of the author. This is Jessica’s first book. Take a look at a book cover by someone who’s written multiple books sometime. You’ll see, more often than not, the name getting larger while the title gets smaller. (Don’t believe me? Check out both Daring Greatly and Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown. Or both Crush It and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk. This is even more true with fiction books than non-fiction, where readers sometimes have absolute blind loyalty and will buy anything an author publishes, so the name is highlighted in lieu of the title.)
Spine and Back Cover
If you’re publishing a paperback or hardcover edition of your book, you’ll also need text for the spine and back cover. If you’re self-publishing, you won’t have a publisher symbol for the spine. Also if you’re self-publishing, you have the option of changing the price, so you might not want to include your price on the back cover. (Bar codes come with or without the price embedded.)
- Publisher/imprint symbol
- ISBN/bar code
- Author photo
- Author bio
- Book description
- Book category (optional)
- Price (optional)
Whereas the cover art is most likely to grab your attention first, it’s the cover text that will convince you to buy a book. - @jodibrandon
Have you found this to be the case?
A book launch party isn’t JUST a party. Sure, it’s a celebration of your hard work. But it’s more than that: A successful book launch party should be a celebration AND a promotion tool.Read More
Regardless of the format your sales page takes (whether you have a separate website for your book or it’s a page on your current site), it’s critical that you have one. You must have a way to capture emails to stay in touch with your readers, and Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers are under no obligation to (nor do they) share customer information with you. Think of your book sales page as a “one-stop shop” for anything and everything a potential reader would want to know about your book.
Whoever manages your website should be able to add a page or create a new site for you. If you want a simple option, check out booklaunch.io. There are paid and free versions to set up a sales page for your book if you aren’t technically inclined and don’t have an entire new site in your budget.
Keep in mind that this page isn’t taking the place of your book sales page on Amazon, but Amazon should be people’s second stop, not first. If you send them to Amazon first, they may never make it to your website, they may never sign up for a freebie you’re offering, and they may never check out your other offers and services. So where do you begin?Read More
As entrepreneurs and business owners, we know the importance of our email list. We don’t “own” our social media followers. This can take on a whole new level of importance when it comes to book publishing. Why? The almighty Amazon. Amazon doesn’t share customer information with authors, so unless someone who purchases your book is on your list, you may never have an interaction with them, That is NOT ideal, obviously. (I don’t mean to pick on Amazon, because obviously this is true of Barnes & Noble and other booksellers, of course, but let’s face it: Most book sales these days are coming from Amazon.)Read More
You’ve likely heard (correctly, I might add) that obtaining book reviews is one of the most stressful parts of the book publishing process. It’s a catch-22 when your book is first released: You need reviews to sell the book, but you need people to read the book in order to get reviews.
Reviews are different from beta feedback, in which you’re guiding a reader through the book in order to get feedback. With a review, anything goes.Read More
What: Book Ambassadors Defined
Book Ambassadors vs. Book Reviewers
At the time of your launch, these are not the same people. I repeat: These are not the same people. Book ambassadors can BECOME reviewers after they’ve read your book. But at the time of your launch, ambassadors have likely not seen/read an advance copy. They are merely cheering you on and helping you build buzz around your book launch.Read More
Pre-sales are a hot-button topic in the book publishing world. You likely haven’t thought much about pre-sales, so let me break down a few of the most common pros and cons so you can decide what’s best for your book.
First, though, let’s define a pre-sale so we’re all on the same page. (See what I did there?) A pre-sale is, essentially, making your book available for purchase by setting up an advanced listing on a selling platform (e.g., Amazon or your website). When readers “buy,” they are simply reserving a copy, which will be shipped (if a print book) or released (if an ebook) on launch day, and at that time their payment will be processed.Read More
A book, like everything else we create or produce in our businesses, needs to be marketed. A book is the ultimate evergreen product: Once it’s released, it’s ALWAYS available. And thus, it needs a strong marketing campaign that focuses on the launch, the short term, and the long term.Read More
In my 20+ years in book publishing, I’ve never seen an author forget the table of contents. I have, however, seen these three elements of a book forgotten more times than I can count. You might not want or need any of these, but if you do, make sure you don’t leave it (or them) out!Read More
Most creative entrepreneurs and bloggers don’t challenge the idea that writing a book could help their business growth. They know that a book can bring credibility, visibility, and authority; a book is almost like a business card as you establish and grow your platform as an entrepreneur. Finding the time to not just write but also learning the ins and outs of book publishing are usually the sticking points that cause them to hesitate. “I’ll write a book someday” is something I hear often. I won’t lie: Committing to writing a book is huge. The process can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be if you make space for it in your life and in your business beforehand.
All told, I recommend allowing four to six months to research, write, and publish your book comfortably. Can you do it in less time? Sure. But that pace will be a bit frenetic at times, and you might not always be producing your best work. Not all of this blocked time requires you to be actively working on the book. There will be chunks of time when the manuscript is with an editor or formatter, for example. (You thought I meant you’d be writing for six months, didn’t you? You can admit it.)
Still not convinced? Let me show you how it’s possible.Read More