I have been attending a number of workshops and conferences on Self-Publishing of late to spruce up my knowledge in this area and below are some of the notes I made from a Self –Publishing conference held in Oct 2015.
Here are my key take away points on book cover design, marketing and selling your books.
Book Cover Design
- You need a cover design for BOTH the outside cover and the interior of your book
- Book cover designs will be based on the format i.e. print book, eBook etc so need to factor this in when speaking with your cover designer
- Think of your cover as a thumbnail image- it needs to look good at this size as this is what potential readers will see when they look at your book on Amazon
- Invest in a good cover design- people DO judge a book by its cover
- A great cover will also double as your marketing so it’s worth the investment if you can afford it. I know I will be looking for a professional cover design for the launch of my next book
The below options are the most popular if you decided to create a printed book:
- Creatspace (owned by Amazon)
- Apple (ibooks)
Become the Creative Director of your work
Writing a book is a very creative process but so is the whole process in getting it packaged into relevant formats and getting it out to the market. This involves editing, formatting, book cover design and marketing. An indie author operates like a business!
How to distribute your book?
The following services are available to get your books infront of potential readers:
Distinction between Promotions and Marketing
Promotions are time based discounts. For e.g 20% discount for the first 100 copies sold. Marketing is ongoing exposure of your book.
When marketing you need to ask yourself:
- What value do I add?
- What do you have to offer your readers?
- Who is your reader? Do you know who you are writing for?
- Why should someone buy my book?
- Have you started to build your Author platform? This will consist of your blog, social media, website etc.
3 reasons why people buy books:
- Information- to learn about a particular topic (education)
- Inspiration- to be inspired by the content they consume (motivation)
- Entertainment- to feel good! (pleasure)
On selling your books
- Book 3 is when sales typically take off. Till that point most indie authors typically see slow sales
- Book 5 is the book that typically makes a difference to sales. So for those who have not yet reached 5 books (myself included) the only advice available is ‘write more books!’
On social media
- Writers are expected by their readers to be on social media. But this doesn’t need to become a time suck. Instead pick one or two that you like and stick to those. For me personally I can only handle twitter at this point in time!!
- As an indie author serious about making a living from your writing, you need to be comfortable with selling your book and your brand. See your books as a product to sell.
- As an indie author who is self publishing, your audience and remit is global. There are many opportunities that can be taken advantage of!!
The Writing Journey
Writing and especially self publishing is a business where you learn by doing and failing. Become a good ‘doer’. This one really resonated with me because it can feel quite overwhelming dealing with all aspects of writing and business. So just take it one step at a time. Or one word at a time.
Seth Godin also talks about this in his blog post where he mentions that not everyone is comfortable with devoting time and energy to push past the uncertainty and fear of feeling dumb before you dig your way to getting smarter.
‘’Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’’ Samuel Beckett
For more info you can visit a ton of helpful resources and articles at selfpublishedadvice.org