The publishing world is in transition. E-books and self-published books are no longer only for niche markets, they are recognized as legitimate ways for authors to get their material out to the public. Does this mean that publishing has suddenly become easy? Well, not exactly. Any path that an author takes to publish their work has a certain amount of responsibility to it.
Edit your work, for a start. Punctuation, spelling, flow of thought – once you have gone through and made your changes, have someone else edit it. Bit the bullet, and have it professionally edited. It is not hard to hit Google and find someone to work with here. This is excellent use of time and funds – as authors, we are too close to our work, and can easily miss significant errors/
Format your work for the venue that it is going into. E-book, POD, self-publishing sites like Create Space – they all have a specific format hat they want material submitted in. Follow their format, and you won’t have as many problems. Not being a techie, my learning curve may be greater than most people’s. However, I do get there in the end. And when I do, I can look back and see that if I had read the formatting requirements closely the first time, I would not have had any problems. If all else fails … read the directions!
Fine tune your bio, and the blurb that goes on the back cover. These two things may make the difference between your book selling, and your book not selling. Oh, and that front cover … pay attention to color, font size and type, and imagery. Your cover needs to reflect the tone of your book – it should attract the type of reader that can use the material that you are offering, whether it is technical advice or the next number one fiction best seller.
Understand that marketing is your responsibility, and that you need to think about how you are going to market your material at the same time your are creating it – and not after the fact. Look to your own strengths, and then research how you can use these strengths in a marketing campaign. And those uber important social networking sites? Please treat them with respect! Build a following by providing content, and continue to provide content, making your followers feel that they are a part of the process of creating your product, whatever it is. Under no circumstances do you want to spam them with a thousand messages to go buy your book! Treat your list as you wish to be treated. See how your favorite authors are handling their promotions, then model yourself after them.
We all have stories to tell – it is time to tell yours!
© June 2010 Bonnie Cehovet
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