Over the past couple of weeks, we have been refocusing on the services that we offer the authors we work with, as we’ve been in the publishing industry for many years now, we have seen some changes in how self-publishing works and what is important to an indie author.
Self-publishing is an exciting place to be, more and more authors are taking the step in bringing their work to an audience, which is great for those of us who love reading, but for the author, they face more competition than ever before.
There are of course more places to publish your book through, and each of these POD services offer more options than just a couple of trade paperback sizes, KDP now offer hardbacks, have gone with just ePub for their books on Kindle and offer their Vella option where books are broken down into chapter installments. The other big players like IngramSpark, B&N, Blurb, Smashwords and Lulu have also made their process to publish so much easier, and more accessible, prompting more people to publish their first book.
However, as mentioned earlier, this does mean that the number of books being published is increasing and will continue to do so, this also means that authors and publishers will have to be very dedicated when it comes to getting their book ready for launch and promoting it once it’s for sale.
So, if you think that you can just upload your manuscript, sit back, and watch the $$$ come rolling in, think again.
Those authors who are successful have worked extremely hard to get there, once the first draft manuscript is complete, they will fully edit, proofread, edit again and polish until it is as perfect as is possible. The editing process is one that all professional authors take seriously, if you upload a book with lots of errors and/or a storyline which lacks continuity or flow, the reviewers on Amazon will be very quick to point this out, and that can have a massive impact on sales.
Having a great manuscript is vital, but so is the advertising and marketing materials you use with your book too.
There is a reason why successful authors and publishers use professional designs for their covers and the advertising materials they use to grab reader’s attention. They use them because they know it works, it’s the same with all advertising, you are projecting an image of your book/product in a way which is appealing, and that reassures the buyer/reader that your book is worth not only their money but their time too.
So, what designs should an author use? Well, the first and most important one will of course be their book cover, this is the ‘face’ of their work and should represent it professionally (remember, once your book is on Amazon, you’ll be competing with the likes of Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and other well-known names within your own specific genre).
But once you have your book cover created you will still need to be active in self-promotion, promoting your title on social media and online (especially during these days of facemasks and where not everyone wants to go to a book fair or signing event). So, focusing your promotional activities to mainly online still makes more sense presently.
The other elements that many authors use and get results from are things like 3D mockups, banners for their author website and for social media posts, GIFs (which are smaller animated banners which can really grab the eye of your reader), promotional images for use with Instagram and designs for use with online book promotional websites such as BookBaby etc.
There are lots of different ways to get creative with the media you use to promote your book, and if you look at most social media channels now, they are greatly focused on short videos, apps like TikTok have really pushed this forward (and it’s not just 12-year-olds using it), Facebook have Reels, which is very similar, and every other social media app will allow you some form of video upload. If you want to reach a larger audience, use them.
It is an exciting time to be in the publishing world, will it change? Yes of course it will! Will you be able to find info to keep ahead of those changes? Most definitely! The main thing is to be open to those new opportunities and embrace what you need to, if you want people to read your book you will.
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