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
When most people think about hiring a book editor, they’re thinking about a copy editor. A copy editor takes a micro view of your book manuscript and comes into the process once you have a finished manuscript. (A developmental editor, on the other hand, is interested in the bigger picture of your project and works with you during the writing process.)Read More
True or false? There is more than one kind of editor.
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that’s a gimme. TRUE! Most people think of copy editors when they picture an editor. A copy editor looks at grammar and mechanics, ensures clarity in your manuscript, and looks for consistency in elements like voice and tense. A copy editor is looking at a micro view of your work and comes into the picture when you have a finished manuscript.
A developmental editor takes a macro view and looks at the bigger picture of your project. What are you trying to achieve with your text, and are you achieving it? A developmental editor works with you during the writing process. That’s our focus this week.Read More
If you’re struggling to write your book, you have a few options. You could just keep plugging away and hope for the best, or go to an editor, or hire a writing coach.
Then there are ghostwriters.
Why would you want to work with a ghostwriter?Read More
Book editing can be a big investment, and you’ll be working closely with your book editor, so a good working relationship is critical. One way to ensure a comfortable and solid relationship is to ask questions before you hire someone to make sure you’re on the same page (see what I did there?). I’ve written about this topic before but am back with some new questions this time around.
Remember, too, that there are different types of book editors. These questions are specifically for copy editors.Read More
With thousands of books published every day (yes, you read that correctly), you need to give your book the best chance to succeed. One of the smartest ways to do just that is to conduct a book positioning study. (You might also see this called a competitive analysis or a book marketing study.) Of course book success relies on writing a great book that has a great cover. But there’s SO MUCH more you can do.Read More
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?