You’ve likely heard me say that your work as an author-entrepreneur is far from over when you finish writing your book. In fact, that’s just the beginning. You might also mistakenly think that you can sit back and relax once your book is uploaded to and available for purchase on Amazon. If only that were true! Here are five ways to maximize book marketing as soon as your book is available.Read More
Self-publishing is on the rise. Final 2018 statistics haven’t yet been released, but according to Bowker, self-publishing grew 28% in 2017 (up from 20% in 2016) and 1,009,188 new titles were released. You might be thinking, That’s a lot of books! I’m thinking that, too — but I’m also thinking about how important it is for self-publishing authors (as most of my author-entrepreneur clients are) to produce a book that’s as professional as possible. With that many books being published, you want your book to stand out in a good way. Self-publishing used to have a bad rap in the industry, and the main reason was because the barrier to entry was so low that some truly bad books (in content and form) were released. And by “some,” I mean “a lot.”
As a self-publishing author-entrepreneur, you can ensure that your book looks like a traditionally published book on the bookstore shelf with a few simple dos and don’ts. Of course, none of these tips take the place of professional editing and design. They are meant to enhance your book’s professionalism in the eyes of consumers/readers (as well as bookstore owners, book buyers, and librarians). Many of these will seem minor (heck, you might not even notice some of them), but they make a difference in the book publishing world (and believe me when I say that book professionals do notice).
Embed your book Price in your bar code. (Yes, this means changing the barcode with price changes.)
Use the same font for your title on the cover and title/half-title pages. (In general, consistency is a good thing throughout a book on all fronts.)
Use ragged, not justified text.
Follow the standard order of matter for book elements.
Use “By” before the author name on the cover. (Dead giveaway your book was self-published.)
Use paragraph indents.
Use too many fonts. (This applies to the cover as well as the interior).
Include a header on chapter open pages.
Have a blank spine. (The spine should include the title, author, and publisher (if applicable). Note that books need to be a certain width to allow printing on the spine.)
Put a page number on the table of contents.
The Independent Book Publishers Association is nudging self-publishers (and niche and hybrid publishers) further in the right direction with its Industry Standards Checklist for a Professionally Published Book. Download the Industry Standards Checklist for a Professionally Published Book here and make sure everyone on your book team follows them.
Imagine this: You’re scrolling the internet one afternoon and you read something that resonates with you. Those words seem so . . . familiar. When you reread the paragraph, you realize you have heard those words before. In fact, they’re your words. You’ve been plagiarized.
Before we dive into specifics, a quick disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, so this post does not constitute legal advice. I don’t pretend to know everything about copyright law. I do, however, know some basics that every book author should know.Read More
Some of the hesitation I hear regarding a plan for book writing comes with the unknown. As a business owner, you've planned a launch or two (or 10), but you've never spent months writing and then publishing a book. Whom do you need to hire? What steps come first? Here’s what you need to know to plan your book writing and publishing for best results.
To allow plenty of time for schedule mishaps, breaks, and, you know, life and business, author-entrepreneurs should allow six to nine months for this process. (More wiggle room in the schedule never hurt anyone, did it?) Sure, you could do it quicker than that, but putting together a high-quality book takes time.
Ready to dig in?
As it is with any large project entrepreneurs take on (course creation, for example), organization is critical to book writing and publishing. And make no mistake: This post advocates using Trello to organize your book publishing plan, but what’s most important is that you have some method to organize your project, whether it’s Google Drive, Asana, Evernote, or whatever works for you. No need to reinvent the wheel here: Use what you (and your team) are already comfortable with in your business.
The ability to share a Trello board with your book team (your VA, your editor, your designer, your publicist, a co-author — anyone you want to have access to the details about your book project) is one of greatest reason to use it.Read More
Repurposing comes up a lot when it comes to content. I'm not suggesting that you can cut and paste a bunch of blog posts together, slap on a book cover, and consider yourself an author-entrepreneur (PLEASE don't do that). You probably have a lot more content than you think that is appropriate for a book, with some tweaking. One of the first exercises we do when I work with book coaching clients is to look at their content archive compared to their book brain dump.Read More
A book is a tool — a catalyst — that enables results for you (and, by extension, your business) in the form of credibility, growth, and visibility. What makes a book unique is that it’s an evergreen product that benefits from continued marketing efforts in a way that doesn’t necessarily happen with courses and other products. Think of Amazon as a search engine — in addition to a place where people go to buy books. (That’s not always the case on Facebook, or your website, or…you get the idea.) Listing your book on Amazon isn’t free marketing, but it certainly doesn’t hurt (especially if you’ve paid attention to your author profile and selected strong categories/keywords). Your book marketing plan slows but does not stop after the book launches. You can do as much or as little marketing as you want; that’s both the beauty and the curse of book marketing. Of course, the more you do, generally the more fruitful the results will be.
Writing a book establishes you as an expert in your field. This can help you attract ideal clients in line with the services and/or products you offer. Testimonials from clients who are recognized in their industry will do wonders for your credibility. People will begin to associate your name with the topic you’re writing about, which allows you to become the go-to person for people seeking information about your topic. Your credibility is tied into visibility.
Here’s a personal example: I speak annually at the American Copy Editors Society annual conference. Speakers submit a bio, of course, for the conference program, and I included my book title in mine. To my surprise and delight, the morning of one of my sessions, the Society tweeted out, “Be sure to stop by merch table after @JodiBrandon’s session to pick up a copy of her book.” They were showing their audience that their presenter is credible (as a published author), and I had several people approach me to congratulate me on my latest book. Win-win!
Here are just a few possibilities that I’ve seen my clients achieve:
A second book, which can lead to a discounted/bundle price on your website
Speaking engagements, which often involve back-of-the-room sales opportunities
A live workshop or a signature course based on your book
A giveaway item at conferences and retreats, which can put you in front of a new audience.
Being able to include “Author of X” in your bio can benefit your business in many ways, and increased visibility is certainly one of them. A book can give radio/TV personalities and producers, podcast hosts, print journalists, and others a reason to reach out to you. And being featured in the media can grow your audience like nobody’s business! You’ll have an added blurb for press releases, starbursts on your next cover, and so forth that say “As Seen in X” or “Featured on X” — and that is just what helps you get more of these opportunities.
Want to learn more about how a book can serve your business? Book a complimentary Book Brainstorm Session today.
How much time do you really need to write a book? If you enjoy writing and write regularly in your business already, 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, 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
The term author platform gained traction in the book publishing world alongside the rise of self-publishing. Essentially, it refers to your ability as an author to sell books based on your audience — who you can reach and convert into paying customers. Traditional book publishers were looking for authors with a large platform to help with marketing efforts. Nonfiction writers with a built-in author platform had a greater chance of getting a book deal, especially with larger book publishers. An author platform offers influence, which gives authors a leg up when it comes to book marketing efforts.Read More
Beginning on Black Friday and continuing through the beginning of the new year, the holiday season marks the busiest shopping season of the year. This is great news for author-entrepreneurs, whether your book is new or not. Why? Books make a great holiday gift!
Actually waiting until Black Friday to start thinking about holiday book sales is too late, though. You need to be ready well in advance, so start thinking about your plan now.Read More
As an author-entrepreneur, you’re well aware that your email list is a warm audience. So any time you launch something (a course, a new service, whatever you’ve been working on) it’s a good place to start your sales efforts. This, of course, applies to your book/ebook as well — but with a twist.
That warm audience means that your email newsletter is an ideal place to share details about your book, both before and after its release. The mechanics of launch emails DURING A BOOK LAUNCH are no different from any other evergreen product or service launch (AKA no cart close date): focus on the benefits of your offer (to illustrate its features), show the offer in action with case studies or testimonials, etc. And, of course, it goes without saying that you need to link to a killer sales page for your book with every email you send. However, your pre-launch and post-launch emails don’t follow the launch formula in that they aren’t part of a sequence but rather book-related more generally. Your regular email newsletter likely sometimes contains something book-related during the pre-launch and post-launch phases.
That warm audience means that your email newsletter is an ideal place to share details about your book, both before and after its release. - @jodibrandon
Email Ideas Based on Launch Phases
Your book launch has three phases, so your book-related emails will fall into those same three phases: pre-launch, launch, post-launch. As noted previously, the launch phase will follow the traditional launch sequence entrepreneurs are familiar with. Here are some ideas to share with your list related to your book:
Launch ambassador recruitment
Beta reader recruitment
Virtual launch party details
Bonuses/freebies/discounts for newsletter subscribers
Bonuses for newsletter subscribers
Mapping Your Launch
A key difference between book launches and other launches is that it’s truly never too early to start marketing a book. Early momentum is a good thing for book launches. Planning your launch calendar will be much, much easier, though, once you have a launch date — sometimes called a “book pub date” (as in publication) — because you can work backward to select dates for certain emails. You can do this electronically or on paper, but get your sequence mapped out, including email subject lines and topics.
A key difference between book launches and other launches is that it’s truly never too early to start marketing a book. - @jodibrandon
Have you successfully launched a book? What tips do you have regarding launch emails? Share your do’s and don’ts in the comments!
If you have followed me for a while, you know that I regularly talk about the long game of book marketing. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I have seen so many authors treat it like a sprint and burn out — quickly. The investment of time, energy, and money can be overwhelming, and it is ongoing, so pacing yourself is critical. Book marketing experts talk about multiple phases of marketing, and most agree that there are three (called by different names, of course): pre-launch, launch, and post-launch.Read More
Punctuation is weird. I know. That doesn’t make it unimportant, though. As an entrepreneur, why should you care? Because good punctuation helps with clarity. And whether you’re writing for your business blog, your email newsletter, or your book, clarity is obviously important.Read More
With about a million books published each year in the United States, book marketing is absolutely critical. Much of book marketing is trial and error, since every book is unique. That said, here are some common book marketing mistakes I see. Learn from others’ mistakes and avoid these, and you’ll already have a leg up in the book marketing game.Read More
One of the common misconceptions about self-publishing is that you can’t get a self-published book into bookstores. False!
It is absolutely possible to get a self-published book into a bookstore. That said, there are a few things you need to do as an entrepreneur to make sure your book is available to sell in bookstores.Read More
Entrepreneurs often ask me, “When is the perfect time to write a book to serve your business?” This isn’t a cop-out answer, but truly, there isn’t one. Lots of factors play into when the “right” time is for people, but here are three guidelines that I discuss with author-entrepreneurs to gauge whether it’s the right time for them. (Note that these will look different for every entrepreneur.)Read More
As a book publishing industry veteran who works almost exclusively with self-publishing author-entrepreneurs, it’s no surprise that I am a big advocate of self-publishing (particularly for entrepreneurs). The process can be fairly straightforward, but if you don’t do some research and make a solid plan, it’s easy to make mistakes. Here are solutions to the top-five mistakes I see author-entrepreneurs make when self-publishing.Read More
Audiobooks have been on the rise for the last few years. As a book lover, you probably know that. What does this mean for you as an author-entrepreneur? Does this mean you need to find a production studio, hire a professional narrator, and shell out a few thousand bucks to produce an audiobook in addition to your print version? Nope. But you shouldn’t immediately write off the idea of an audiobook, either.Read More
Technically speaking, a book trailer IS optional. But given the explosive growth of video in today’s marketing world, you’d be silly NOT to take advantage of it when marketing your book. According to ComScore, readers are 64 percent more likely to buy your book if they see a trailer that promotes your book effectively. 64 PERCENT. That’s just about two out of three people. Creating a book trailer and including it on your book’s sales page as well as in your marketing efforts in general, then, is a no-brainer.
Here are a few pointers to keep the process manageable.Read More
With so many possibilities — unlimited possibilities, really — it can be hard to know where to focus your book marketing efforts. That includes both time and money. Whether you DIY your book marketing or hire a book marketing/publicity firm, these three tips work for just about every author-entrepreneurRead More