You already know the one big truth about the publishing world today – that change is the new modus operandi:
- The quality of digital printing has continued to improve.
- The ease of using online systems to produce and market books continues to improve.
- The choices for distribution have expanded, and
- The whole world of eBooks has exploded.
If you’re an aspiring author who wants to write a book you can be proud of and you want to enjoy some level of sales success, here are 7 important things you need to know today.
1. Writing the book is just the beginning! Whether you self-publish, work with a publishing services company, or hit the lottery with a huge advance at a traditional publisher, there is work to be done once the pen is put down. See #2.
2. The author has two jobs – writing the book and marketing the book. Marketing is key to your book’s success (unless you are writing and publishing your book for personal distribution only). Write your book and think about how to reach your potentials readers at the same time. Read and study the resources available. And remember that there are different strategies for fiction and non-fiction. Pay attention to the right strategies for your book.
3. A well-written, well-edited manuscript is essential. It’s true that anyone can publish a book today. Any quality book at that. But if you want readers to appreciate your book, tell their friends about it, write good reviews and come looking for your next book, you’d better be sure that you have offered them a high quality product that’s enjoyable to read. Find and use a professional editor and proofreader.
4. In the digital age, it takes the same amount of money to print a low quality book as to print a high quality book. Make yours high quality. Partner with a good publishing services firm to layout your book the way the professionals do. Find and use a professional book designer for your interior file and for your cover. Anything done by amateurs will look amateurish. Amateur is okay for your personal use, but if you want to sell your book or use your book to promote your career, invest in a professional product.
5. Doing a few things right early in the production stage saves time and money later. For example, preparing your manuscript properly at the outset for e-book distribution makes it easy to sell it for the Kindle, iPad and other book readers. Design decisions affect print book distribution too. Be strategic in your book production decisions.
6. Book production is complex and involves lots of industry details that can befuddle an amateur. Hire it out so you, the author, can focus on marketing.
7. Book marketing is complex and offers plenty of room for creativity. It should begin when you conceive the idea of the book and it never ends. Incorporate book marketing into your daily routine if you want to sell your book. Get advice and help from professionals when you can, but don’t assume your book will sell itself. You are the best marketer your book has.
Being a published author is within easy reach of anyone today. So if that’s your dream, do it! Know what your goals are before you start. Write for the audience you want to reach. Use the resources available to write and publish strategically. And, if you want to sell your book, learn to think like a marketer.