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
How do you know if your book topic is worth pursuing? With hundreds of thousands of books published each year, are there really any original ideas anymore? Well, not EXACTLY. Before you get discouraged, though, know that your particular take on a topic IS new and original. (Whew.) Validating your book idea will ensure that there is a market for your book. Of course, that does not guarantee book sales.Read More
Writing a book in a short time frame — whether it’s 30 days, six weeks, whatever — is about quantity over quality. It’s about putting your head down and getting words on paper. Is it possible? Sure. Is it a great idea? Not so much, in my opinion. You’re interested in quality over quantity.
Please don’t misunderstand: Can you write a FIRST DRAFT in 30 days that you’ll then spend at least that amount of time revising and improving? Absolutely. But writing a draft in 30 days and then putting that book into production (that is, having it edited and formatted) is almost impossible if you’re publishing a high-quality book.Read More
Repurposing is a buzzword in the online marketing and online business world these days. Create something once and use it over and over again. Makes sense, right? Bloggers often ask me if there’s any way to repurpose content from a blog into a book — and if so, how to do so. The short answer is YES! Chances are, you won’t have everything you need in blog post form, but I bet you’ll be surprised by how much you DO have once you take inventory. Here are some ideas to get the wheels turning.Read More
Writing is like a muscle. Use it or lose it! That means you need to write regularly to decrease the chances of facing such a block. Establishing a regular writing routine and practicing your craft regularly (preferably daily) is so important to good writing.Read More
Surely you've heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals and why they are beneficial to your business. S.M.A.R.T. goals are:
- Time bound.
Let's take the concept of S.M.A.R.T. goals and apply it to book writing so that your book serves your business in the way you want it to.Read More
Writing doesn’t come naturally to every entrepreneur, and for those people, the thought of penning an entire book can be overwhelming — even if they know they want to write a book to grow their platform and have committed to doing so. If you stay organized from the jump, however, it’s not terribly complicated. Here’s the most important piece of advice I can give you: Build a daily writing habit. The sooner you do this, the better. (By sooner, I mean preferably before you start writing your book.) Writing is a muscle that gets stronger with use (an atrophies with no use!). A daily writing habit will train your brain about when it’s time to write so that you don’t waste your writing time each day. Day by day, the words will get written and the book will be built.Read More
If you've been following the blog this month, you've seen me refer to my master checklist of self-publishing to-dos. You can grab that here. Writing obviously precedes publishing, but there are tasks that need to be done even before you sit down to type (or write, if you’re old school) the first word of your manuscript.
Back to that checklist for a moment: If you read the blog post that accompanies it, I talk about pockets of time. There are times during the publishing AND during the writing processes during which you’ll have pockets of time to move the big-picture process forward. Knowing when these are coming can be helpful.Read More