There are a lot of things to consider when you decide to publish a book. Do I want to go traditional or Indie? This is an important question a lot of authors find themselves pondering these days. The taboos of independent publishing are long since gone.
Back in the day an author who decided to go the Indie rout would submit there text and graphic material to a printing department. They had to pay a fairly hefty price up front. They would receive a truck load of their books that they had to find a way to sell. For a lot of authors this meant umpteen boxes of their masterpiece sitting in the garage next to the Christmas decorations collecting dust. This can be a very gut wrenching prospect for some. This book is something you put your heart and soul into. Not to mention all the sleepless nights you spent finishing and fine tuning it to the sheer perfection that it is. Many gave up and went back to querying. Others may have given up all together deciding it wasn’t worth the hassle.
Don’t worry my friends, those days are over. Self publishing a book is easier and more affective then ever. Thanks to companies such as Create Space and Smashwords (just to name a few) it is actually possible to get your book in front of public eyes for purchase and consumption for nothing. That’s right notta, zilch ZERO DENERO.
Of course, this is assuming you can handle every aspect of the publishing world all on your own. This means you are not only an author, but a graphics designer, editor and marketing expert.
Don’t let this throw you off the trail though. There are several ways around this problem if you are currently a starving writer as most are when they first start out.
Editing: If you know someone who is proficient in the editing process you can see if they would be willing to scour your manuscript for all the nitty gritty errors. If you know of an amazing English teacher that inspired you tremendously growing up, it’s possible they would be willing to take a peak at your work. There are editors for hire but in SOME cases, they can be quite costly. I looked into one that said they would be happy to edit my manuscript. They gave me the figures and when I worked it out on a calculator, it was going to end up costing upwards of $1000. This isn’t the going rate for all editors though. A search on the internet or advice from a friend could bring to your attention a diamond in the ruff. I have heard there are editors that can cost as low as a few hundred dollars. While this is much better then the price I was given it still isn’t in my budget. I am doing the best I can on my own and having as many people as I can go through my manuscript with a fine toothed comb.
Graphic Design: The cover art for your book is probably one of the most important parts of getting a sold sign on your book. While it might be true in other life situations that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the publishing industry just isn’t that way. Your book is going to be up against big name authors with a solid reputation. Let’s face it, if your cover doesn’t catch someone’s eye when perusing the shelves or results page on Amazon your sunk. You could have written the most eloquently written piece of literary art imaginable but people aren’t going to take a chance on it if the cover is mediocre. A lot goes into designing a book cover. It’s really not as simple as finding some clip art attaching a title and author name and calling it good. Graphic design is a very detailed intricate process. This is the one thing I decided to find a professional for. I am a BLIND writer. I’m pretty sure my cover art wouldn’t appeal to most except maybe my fellow Blindy’s. Some cover artist charge an arm and a leg… literally. This really is a problem for newborn Indie authors. Most aren’t going to have $500 or more to fork out on cover design. Have no fear newbie’s there are cover artist that cater to new independent authors and no what it’s like to be just starting out. I personally found an amazing cover artist and for my particular cover am being charged $100. Of course not all of her covers are that price. Nevertheless, she doesn’t have any covers that are outrageous at all. They look just as good if not better then the high priced designs and the customer service is phenomenal.
Marketing: Many companies promise that if you hire them you will be a best selling author. I have one word for those companies… HA! No one can predict or manipulate book sales to make you the next James Patterson or Stephanie Meyer. In my personal opinion, the best thing you can do is WORK WORK WORK! This means be the King or Queen of social media. Network daily. Utilize Good Reads and other book related sites. Get as many of your friends to tell their friends. Have book marks made and pass them out to local book stores and libraries. Know who your target audience is and reach that target. Do contests on your site or blog with your book as the prize. Once sales start rolling in do book signings. Find a way to connect with your readers and build a relationship with them.
Getting a store to purchase your book on face value alone is tricky. Many are put off by a self published book. In the past, they didn’t look quite as professional as they do now. Some will give your title a chance but prefer to do so on a consignment basis. This means they sell your book and then they get a cut and give you a cut. They don’t give you any money up front. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is possible that once their customers realize what a brilliant author you are that they will tell their friends and then you’re golden. The store will be happy to do more business with you and you’ve just established another networking relationship that will hopefully last for when your future books are released. Try and make your book look and feel as professional as possible. If it looks like one of the big boys hopefully it will be picked up as many times as the big boys.
Book Description: Many people pick up a book for its cover. From there they flip to the description on the back to see if it’s something they want to read. Make sure your description is perfect. Make sure it’s catchy and doesn’t give too much away. If your description tells all the major events then people will lose interest. If a book description tells them everything it will leave them feeling like they’ve already read it. If that’s how they feel, why would they want to buy it? They’ve learned all they need to know by reading the back. The key is to keep them wanting more. Give them just a taste. Leave them feeling desperate to know what happens.
All of these tips are things I’ve been learning through out my own publishing experience. I’ve done a lot of research and talked to a lot of people to compile this wisdom. Honestly, I’ve probably learned a lot more but this post was getting never ending so I’ll bless you with those pearls another day. I am getting ready to publish my first book Clandestine very soon. It is book one in the Slayer Saga series for young adults. If you haven’t already, please check out the description by clicking the link “Clandestine” to the right under the heading “Pages”.
Stay tuned for future posts where the topics you found here are discussed in more detail. There is also a post coming up next that will teach you to make your own copyright symbol (©) using nothing but your own keyboard. This will make your copyright page look more official and professional.
I hope that you all found something helpful in this post. I also hope that you will decide to sign up to be a follower of this blog and show your support of a newbie author. Please use the share links below to show your friends on Facebook and Twitter this post.
Thanks for dropping by and I hope you come back soon!