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.
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?
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Exactly when an editor fits into your publishing plan depends on a few factors, first and foremost what type of editor you want to hire. Remember there are three kinds of book editors: developmental editors, copy editors, and proofreaders. (Need a recap of what each of these editors do? Check out this post.) This blog doesn’t address proofreading, as that is generally a quicker process and it’s not as critical to book that service quite as far ahead as the other two.Read More