Many authors don’t know how to produce an appealing cover image of their own, and ugly ebooks don’t sell in the competitive ePublishing market. This article discusses a few simple guidelines any author can use to ensure their cover looks attractive and professional.
Ebook publishing has produced many success stories, and their numbers will only grow as eReading continues to grow in popularity. In fact, the market is already flooded with so many titles that it is very difficult to get a serious piece of the ePublishing pie. Many authors fail to realize that having an attractive cover is the best way to advertise their work. By following a few simple guidelines, any author can create an eye-catching cover that gives their work the best chance for success.
Make it unique.
Ebook marketplaces are filled with millions of books, many featuring generic designs. As with any media, communicating why your title is interesting and unique is key to generating sales. Instead of creating a cover with a basic layout, consider using an iconic image or distinctive style to capture your customers’ attention. Studying and using the same elements as popular ebooks is an easy way to make your work stand out from the crowd.
Keep it professional.
Along with being your unique, your cover should also look professional. Many ebooks struggle to sell simply because their formatting is sloppy. If you don’t have the skills necessary to produce a high-quality cover, consider hiring graphic artists or other specialists to help you throughout the creation process. Although websites do offer ebook cover construction tools, their design and formatting options are severely limited compared to what you can create for yourself.
Be willing to change.
Many authors don’t realize that customers won’t buy an ebook that looks unattractive or unprofessional. Since your cover is the first thing shoppers are likely to notice about your title, it is also the biggest factor in whether or not it will sell. If you get too attached to your own designs, you may fail to realize how your ebook is actually perceived by the public. By being willing to change your cover, you can find the layout that leads to the most sales of your work.
Pay attention to your feedback.
Feedback should be an important part of your ePublishing projects. Not only will listening to the opinions of your audience help you create better covers, but it can even help you develop valuable contacts in the publishing industry. Authors generate feedback a number of different ways. Some offer free promotions of their work, while others interact with online communities or ask friends and family for their unbiased opinions. Whatever method you choose, always take advice with a grain of salt and produce a cover you are proud of.
Although making a desirable ebook cover requires experience and hard work, anyone can learn how to create designs that lead to to the most sales!
Everyone has a story to tell. Not everyone has the knack for publishing their stories. Once you have a great idea, you try to write it down as professionally as possible, but then you have to go through the struggle of publishing it. Traditional publishers and agents are difficult to crack through, and even when you do land a publishing contract, you’ll have to jump through a lot of hoops to get your story up to your publisher’s standards. There’s nothing wrong with traditional publishing, but if it were easy to get into, you wouldn’t be reading this right now.
Fortunately for the millions of brilliant writers out there, traditional publishing is no longer the only option. Self-publishing is not only possible, it’s logical, easy, inexpensive, and more widely accepted than, say, a decade ago. If you truly are a talented writer, there should be nothing to hold you back from publishing your greatest works. But perhaps you are worried about the cost. If that’s the case, stop worrying, it’s very inexpensive to publish an ebook. Also, most authors don’t have million dollar trust funds backing up their efforts.
Start with an ebook
The first thing you’ll want to do is to test the waters, see if there is a market for your book. If there’s not a big market, you can grow one. Do this by first publishing your book in ebook format. Creating an ebook used to be complicated. A few years ago, you had to understand the various formats, such as epub and mobi. To convert a book from a typical MS Word document, you had to be pretty skilled in a publishing software, like Adobe InDesign. That’s not the case anymore. Electronic book distributors, such as Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, Smashwords, Sony, and even Apple iTunes have worked hard to help great writers become published authors. If you can follow directions, you can easily turn your novels into professional looking ebooks. Amazon Kindle has a complete step-by-step guide that will help you set up your book in Kindle format. Not only is the service free, but you’ll have an option to exclusively list your book with KDP Select for 90 days in exchange for a monthly share of their KDP fund. Barnes and Noble Nook is also free and easy to set up. They actually accept your manuscript as a Word document as long as you format it correctly. If you’d rather reach all ebook outlets at once, your best option would be Smashwords, which is an incredibly author-friendly site that will take your manuscript (conformed to their style guide) and convert it into all ebook formats. Then they distribute your book to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Apple, etc. and pay all of your royalties at their one site. This service is one hundred percent free to you.
Tips for ebook publishing success:
1. Edit your book. This is extremely important. If you can’t afford a professional editor, do it yourself, but be extremely careful. First, run the manuscript through your word processor’s spell and grammar check. Next, since these automated checks are not one hundred percent reliable, borrow a copy of Chicago Manual of Style from the library and go through the manuscript again. Once you’re sure you have no errors, you probably still do have some, so have friends or family read it and mark corrections.
2. Create an attractive book cover. Again, this could cost money and our goal is to do it all for as low-cost as possible. For as low as $5.00, you can have a decent book cover created on Fiverr.
3. Make sure your ebook is reasonably priced. You can’t have your ebook listed at $80, it’s just not going to sell. Most ebooks are in the $0-$10 price range. Offering your ebook for free on Amazon for free for a few days is a great way to get the word out about your book and increase reviews.
4. Market your book through mass social marketing. Build a Facebook page for your book. Join Linked-In groups and share your Amazon author page. Use Twitter and RSS feeds and whatever you can find that will help spread the word.
5. Get reviews. There are hundreds of reviewers out there who are willing to provide free book reviews in exchange for a copy of your book. If you still want to keep this process going at no cost, some reviewers are willing to review a PDF copy of your book. To avoid looking like a cheapskate, request the reviews before your publication date.
Now that you know what it takes to get published, what are you waiting for? Get that manuscript finished, polish it off, and become the published author you were meant to be.
There are many amateur writers who would love to write a novel. Not all of them know where to get started. This is a basic blueprint for first-time novelists to learn how to approach writing a novel.
Writing a novel is every writer’s dream. Not everyone with this dream knows how to take on the gigantic task of writing 40,000 to 120,000 words or more with one legendary story. Here is a simple blueprint to writing a novel for those who want the chance to make their writing dreams come true.
Start With A Title: The most important step in writing a novel is coming up with something that people will want to read. Without a clever title that stands out among the crowd of books available, then there is no point in writing a novel at all. Come up with the main idea for the novel with a catchy title and go from there.
The Beginning And The Ending: Every story has to have a purpose. Before proceeding any further, decide why the story is happening and where the story will end. Making this decision will help the main character to develop throughout the novel. Choose a problem for the main character to deal with in the beginning and a goal to work toward for the end.
Choose Chapter Names: The best way to stay on course throughout a novel is to prepare a series of events for the characters to experience along their journey. Having the basic ideas set in place before giving the details will keep a nice pace, and will help avoid rabbit trails.
Develop Main Characters: Before writing the story, it is important to know a few basics about the main characters. This will ensure that they act consistently throughout the novel. Making a profile for each main character will keep the novelist on the right path.
Just Start Writing: The hardest part for any first time novelist is believing in their abilities. The best thing any writer can do to get started as a novelist is to just start writing. If a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, then the journey of writing a novel begins with one word.
Use these steps and start writing a novel today.
Getting book reviews is vital for recently published authors. There are two main benefits to having your work reviewed: public presence and social credibility.
When your manuscript is complete, you might send it off to an agent or publisher. Alternatively, you may decide to self-publish. Either way, you will need book publicity to gain attention from your target audience, so that people actually buy it and read it.
After publication, the fear sets in. What if nobody reads it? Or even worse, what if people read it and everyone hates it? Realistically, if your book is worth publishing, there’s somebody out there who will think it’s worth reading and even paying money for. You need to make sure they know it exists.
Gaining presence in the world of booklovers comes about by people talking about your book. It’s a promotion for you, even if they aren’t saying nice things, at least they know your name and the title of your book. If you get people talking about your book online, it will generate more interest and a lot of people will read the book just to see what all the hype is about. So, although positive book reviews are better, any type of mention can help you out with sales and presence.
The other reason book reviews are so important for authors is that it gives you social credibility. When other authors support your writing, all of their fans may potentially become yours. Even getting book bloggers or general readers to discuss your work is valuable. It shows people that other people are reading your book, not just your high school English teacher. They have read it and they cared enough about it to tell the world what they thought. The majority of them will be fair, albeit subjective, in their comments, which means you will probably accumulate a decent number of favorable statements to use in your public relations campaign.
Of course, it’s a lot of work to get a bunch of reviewers to write about your work, especially if you’d much rather be writing your next book or taking a well-earned vacation. The submission process is different for each blogger and figuring out how to get a hold of published authors is even more complicated and time-consuming, but it’s worth the effort. Having that credibility and public presence will give you the edge you need to succeed in the publishing world. Once a few people mention your name, the word will get passed around.
The crux of the matter is that when people are talking about you, it means your book publicity is working. Publicity helps increase book sales, and book reviews are one key way to make those sales happen.
The playing field has been leveled for aspiring authors. No longer do you have to send out dozens of queries and wait months to receive a rejection notice. Authors now have the power to go directly to the source and self-publish. Self-publishing has allowed authors to bypass big name publishing houses and press agents, but what some fail to realize is all that responsibility is now in their hands. It can feel overwhelming for a first time author.
Some authors have the mindset that all they want to do is write. Unfortunately, those days are over for most authors, especially those that are new self-published authors. The biggest thing you must do as a self-published author is create a community of “fans.” It may be two people when you first begin, but it has to be people that are passionate about your work. There are so many books being released that it is tough to get publicity and carve out a niche to get yourself noticed. This is where your fans can begin to help you out. They will become your public relations managers and help spread the word on how great your book is.
Developing your base:
You must have a place where your fans can gather and get access to you. If you’re a self-published author who wants to stay out of the spotlight, you have a better chance of hitting the lottery than having a best-selling book. You must be on the frontline engaging with each of your readers. Let them get to know you and really allow them to see who you are.
A blog or a website is going to be your “home-base.” This is where your readers will be able to get updates and samples of all your latest works, and most importantly have access to you to start creating that bond.
As you are establishing your blog or website, you need to start adding social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are the biggest out there right now. Each site is unique so make sure you get a feel for the proper procedures before you dive in. Once you feel comfortable, it’s all about how you can help your readers. What problems can you solve for your readers that will make them interested in your work? Once they become interested and buy your book, then you want to add them to your army of PR advocates who are also your fans.
Self-published authors need to be on the front-line of any successful public relations campaign. Engaging with readers and building a community of fans is essential. Ideally, this plan needs to be put in place well before your book is released. However, most self-published authors are learning as they go so if you already have a book out it’s okay. Just realize you are starting from ground zero and it will take some time to build a solid platform of followers.
This article gives some low or zero-cost ways self-published authors can successfully promote their books and increase sales.
If you have self-published a book, you have likely learned that getting a book published is only half of the work. There are millions of books available to readers, who have only so much time and money to spend on them. The challenge is figuring out how to promote your self-published book so readers become interested and spend their hard-earned money on it.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges in promoting your self-published book is if you do not have thousands of dollars or more to spend on hiring a professional to promote it. Still, you can market your book successfully without spending very much money at all. Later, as your book’s sales increase, you can then use the money you earn to increase the marketing efforts for your book.
Here are six low-cost things you can start doing today to promote your self-published book:
1. Start with family and friends. Promoting your self-published book requires you to not be shy about sharing your work. This is no time for humility, but at the same time you need to not be annoying. Your friends and family have an interest in seeing you succeed, and they are a ready-made support base for promoting your book. Talk to them about your book, and even consider giving them free copies. Encourage them to post reviews of your book online, to talk to their friends about it and do anything else they can think of to spread the word.
2. Leverage social media sites. Social media allows you to connect to other people from across the globe, spreading your influence even further without spending any money. Set up a Facebook page for you as a writer, or consider setting up a page for your book, and then invite your Facebook friends to like the page. Use Twitter to connect with other writers and to reach people with interests that relate to your book. Register on Goodreads and encourage your friends on there to read and review your book. Connect with people who have interests relating to your book’s topic by joining groups on different social media sites. For example, if your book is about gardening, find out what gardening groups exist and join them. Do not just talk about your book on these groups, but actually participate in the conversations going on in the group. Mention your book occasionally, or to include a blurb about it in your signature every time you post a comment.
3. Never underestimate the power of local support to promote your book. Seek out local bookstores in your area. Avoid marching into a bookstore and just hawking your book to the owner though. Get to know the store beforehand, frequenting it on a regular basis so you get to know the culture behind the store. Many independent bookstores have their own quirks that appeal to their customers, so if you can make your book mesh with those quirks you have a better shot of getting it placed with the bookstore. Also, getting to know the workers and owner as a customer helps selling them on your book.
4. Look into non-book stores. The fact of the matter is that a good portion of book sales take place outside of bookstores. Market your self-published book by placing it with other local stores, especially ones that sell things which relate to your book. If your book is about cooking, even if it is a work of fiction, place it with some local kitchenware stores, or even independent restaurants. In general, local gift shops, grocery stores and pharmacies also might be interested in carrying your book, especially if it has good mass appeal.
5. Further market your book by convincing book clubs to choose it as their next book selection. This requires you actively seek out local book clubs, which you can find listed on the Internet or at local bookstores. Offer to go speak to the book clubs when they discuss your book, giving extra incentive for the club to choose your book. Members of the book club also inevitably will end up mentioning your book to other people, increasing your marketing efforts and your book sales.
6. Donate two or more copies of your book to local libraries. Your book marketing plan can reach a whole new level if people who are well-read like your book. Many people who read high amounts of books frequent libraries, since they cannot afford to buy every book they read. These people often are go-to sources for other people who are looking for a good book to read. If library users have read and like your book, they likely will recommend it to others who value their opinion.
Many people who have written a self-published book see dismal sales because they don’t know how to promote their book. These people often think they need spent lots of money for marketing, advertising, and public relations, but as you can see, there are plenty of low-cost things you can do to promote your book yourself to increase sales.
This article offers 13 do-it-yourself public relations tips for authors to use to promote their books.
Writing a book takes a lot of hard work, commitment and discipline. Ask any author about the trials and tribulations, the research and the search for the right words and wording that goes into writing a book.
Then ask any group of authors about the aftermath of writing and publishing a book, especially those authors who self-publish. That’s when the promoting of the book kicks in and the reality of how hard it can be to get people to want to buy and read their book.
Most writers write to get people to read what they’ve written. They put a lot of time and effort into a project, which most often becomes a part of them. And, they become convinced the book will fly off the online bookseller’s shelves and become an overnight bestseller.
Bestsellers can happen
Any book can become a bestseller, including those that are self-published by the author. It takes creating a need for the book and creating a perception that the author has the answers or the story that readers will enjoy or benefit from reading.
It rarely happens overnight. Instead, authors have to take the time to promote their books. There are a number of ways to do so including using public relations tactics. Writers tend to like the solitude of the profession and steer clear of any overly social aspects of the writing life, making the job of promoting a book even more difficult.
Public relations activities may be more to authors’ liking, making it a bit easier to get the word out about their books. Public relations (PR) generally involves talking to people about the importance of the topic of a book versus talking about how many books a person will buy.
There are many public relations tactics authors can implement easily, at reasonable costs, and with reasonable time demands. The following thirteen tactics can help get one started.
1. Authors can sell books when they agree to provide free talks about the topic of the book at civic events, local libraries, schools, or book clubs.
2. Donating books to local libraries for local author displays is an effective way to get the book displayed for the reading public to see and possibly decide to buy.
3. Attend book fairs and signings. Attending these types of events offers the opportunity to become a featured author and/or network with other authors to talk about their books.
4. Contact local newspapers and offer oneself as an expert in the topic of the book for them to interview or to use as a resource for other related articles and for local radio and television shows.
5. Contact trade and consumer magazines related to the book’s topics and ask them to review the book for their readers.
6. For business book writers, biographers, or self-help books, network with your local Chamber of Commerce and get to know businesses in the area that may benefit from reading the book.
7. Contact bloggers online that review books to see if they would be interested in reviewing your book.
8. Create your own blog about the topic of the book. Posts regular writings about the topic or the writing of the book or ways people can use the book.
9. Contact local bookstores about doing book signings in their stores.
10. If the topic is teachable, offer to teach a class at local colleges or at conventions.
11. Use social media such as Twitter and Facebook to post messages about where to find the book or about signings, conferences or other events where you will be appearing.
12. Get word-of-mouth promotions started through those that are referenced in the book as case studies or expert commentary.
13. Ask family and friends to help spread the word about your book or write a review for it.
It is important to create a need for your book and develop a must-have perception for it. These 13 public relations tactics can be implemented immediately and at a relatively low cost to effectively get the word out about your book.
Do you need help promoting your book? At Book Publicity Services, we provide the results you need to get the word out about your book and increase sales, without spending a fortune. We specialize in generating book reviews and media exposure to create awareness and build credibility. We have successfully promoted a wide variety of genres, both fiction and nonfiction, traditionally and self-published. Get your PR campaign started today to make your book stand out from the rest!
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