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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
Sure, you can start writing, putting together a marketing plan, and thinking about a title before you determine your launch date, BUT without an end date -- that is, a launch date — it will be impossible to set a time line with deadlines for your book production.Read More
Self-publishing can feel overwhelming, especially if you are a first-time book author. The publishing industry simply isn't one most entrepreneurs are familiar with, so let me give you the lowdown of just what needs to happen to get you to the point where you are holding a printed and bound book in your hands.Read More