It’s been a long journey, countless hours of writing followed by edits, rewrites, more edits, further rewrites, formatting, cover design and finally… (drum roll please)… your book is now available to purchase on Amazon.
So, what now?
Well, unless you are a well-established author, simply uploading your book to KDP, IngramSpark, B&N etc. does not guarantee you any sales, once your book is published, the next stage in your journey as an author has just begun, this is the marketing and self-promotion stage.
If this is your first book (and in many cases, even if it’s your tenth), marketing a book can seem like a confusing uphill struggle, it’s easy to spend lots on advertising and many hours on social media shouting about your book to anyone who will listen.
So, what can you do to self-promote? Here are our tips on marketing a book as an indie author.
One – Social Media
An obvious place to start, but it is an important one. With social media the channels themselves may come and go in popularity (just look at the rise of TikTok and the slow decline that Facebook is currently going through), but these platforms are a great way to engage with potential readers, and also offer incredibly precise advertising options for running ads.
Firstly, with social media, make sure that you have dedicated pages/profiles as an author, try to keep away from using your own personal pages so that you can project a professional image across all of these channels. Also, make sure that they have some consistency, use the same profile image and banners, if you need inspiration, take a look at your favorite authors or check out some of these banner designs that will give you a good idea.
The key part of social media is in being social, engage with others and be polite (being a troll just makes you look like a moron in front of your audience), post often but don’t bombard your followers with only advertising, share things that you and your audience will find interesting and engaging.
Most social media is about the long term, it takes awhile to build up a genuine audience (and please, do NOT buy followers, they really don’t help).
Two – Social Media Advertising
Now that you have your social media channels set up, start to advertise with them. Channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer frighteningly precise advertising options, here you can set your budgets and target exactly who you would like your ads shown to.
If you are going to spend money on advertising your book this way, make sure that your ad looks professional and has a clear call to action, some of these ads you can create yourself on your home PC, but if you are not sure, many designers can create an effective and eye-catching banner ad for $30 - $50.
Three – Amazon
Amazon allows you to advertise your own products on their website, they have a pay per click service which will allow you to put your book in front of its intended audience, we have an article showing you how to set up an ad account with them and how to advertise with Amazon which is well worth checking out.
Four – An Author’s website
With the popularity of build-your-own website services, having your own website has never been easier, you don’t need to know anything about coding and most services are ‘drag and drop’, so designing your own site is a great deal easier than you may have imagined.
The key thing about having your own site is that it’s yours, so, you won’t get kicked off, or lose commission when a policy gets changed, you can sell your books directly, engage with your readers and build an email/subscriber list for future advertising.
But, in order to make a website successful you will have to put some work into it, SEO (search engine optimization) is something that will always be ongoing and require some dedication on your part, this is if you want people to find your site. The main things to remember, is to write great content which is relevant to your audience and update your site on a regular basis.
If you want to know more about setting up your own author website, we have an article on websites you should take a look at.
Five – Get reviews for your book
Whenever we look to buy something online, we inevitably look at the amount of stars it’s given when we weigh up the option of purchasing it, a low review and we’re more inclined to move on, a higher review and with more people contributing to it and it’s in our basket.
This goes for buying books, and every good author understands this too, the more good reviews you can get, the better your chances of making further sales, so getting your book rated is important. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do, from giving out free eBook versions to sending paperback editions to influential people, with some creativity you can get the reviews needed to make your book shine to an audience. We have listed lots of these options in this article on reviews which will help.
Six – Goodreads
Most authors know about or use Goodreads, it’s a website dedicated to showing what you are reading, reviewing books and to help others find books that they will love. So as an author this is a perfect channel to connect with your readers, gain reviews and advertising your book directly to people who are specifically looking for something to read.
Seven – Guest post & Blog
Another way to reach an audience is to guest post on other websites within a subject/topic relevant to yourself, this could be a horror fiction site if this is your own genre for example. Reach out to the website you’re interested in and simply ask, be polite and follow their guidelines for submission, most people/businesses who run a website are happy to have guest posts from time to time (as long as it fits and is professional).
Eight – Be a podcast guest
Podcasts are massive and cover every genre, sub-genre and niche you could possibly think of, and they normally need great guests to talk to, so why not contact one to talk about your genre or niche as an author? They normally have a strong presence on social media along with their own websites, so getting in touch with a relevant podcaster is easier than you might have thought, just be polite and try to offer them something that would be relevant to their audience.
Nine – Use book promotional sites
There are plenty of these out on the internet and are still worth engaging in, I’m not too sure about spending a fortune on these but even if you don’t, there are plenty of free options which are worth using all the same, we have a list websites to promote your book you may find helpful.
Ten – Enter competitions
One thing about the literary world is that there are plenty of competitions for authors, the great things about these is that if you win something, you normally get a badge/seal to add to the cover of your book and it gets promoted via the competition’s website and social media channels too.
However, you will need a thick skin and patience, there are a lot of other authors doing the same thing as you, so keep at it and keep sending your book off to competitions.
Doing anything creative is (and should always be) a pure joy to the person who is engaged in it, and for those of us working in a creative field such as writing or book cover design, it makes the project you’re working on that much more enjoyable.
But creativity, to some degree, is like a muscle, the more you use it, the better/stronger it becomes. So, the key in growing your creativity is in using it more, sound easy right?
Okay, but what about those who suffer from writer’s block? They are trying to use their creativity but harder they try the further away it seems to get, sitting at a laptop for hours without anything to show is no fun.
However, there are things you can do to try and get your creative flow back and beat blocks you may have, here are some ideas that can help.
1 – Relax
The worst thing about any block is focusing on it, the more you think of how much you can’t do something the more stress you place upon yourself and the less likely you are to be able to overcome it. So, if you are not feeling creative right now, don’t panic, take a break from it and get some distance from the process, if you need to put it to one side for a couple of days, do just that.
2 – Relax even more
Say the word meditation and many people think of monks with shaved heads, sitting in the Lotus position, saying ‘ohmmmnnn’ repeatedly, and all while sat on a mountain top in Tibet, but for most people who do meditate this is very far from reality.
Meditation is something that anyone can do and has proven benefits to both health and creativity, it helps to relax, destress and boost your creativity, you don’t have to spend hours each day doing it (as little as 15 mins per day will help) and there are no side-effects.
Even if you are skeptical, try it for a week and be open, there are no costs involved and it really doesn't take up much of your time either, the hardest part is in sitting still for a while and trying to clear your mind of any thought, as I said, it’s really not that taxing.
However, if you have never done it before, here’s a very simple guide.
Only start to meditate when it is completely safe for you to do so, when it is, either sit or lie down and completely relax your body, next, focus on your breathing, count to four on each inward breath and then count to four on each breath out, the focus should be on your breathing (this is done in order for you to clear your mind), keep focusing on you breathing and when a thought does pop in to your mind (as it will), acknowledge it and simply let it go, then refocus on your breathing once more. It’s best to start of meditating for 5 mins, then gradually work up to 10min, 15min, 30min (start off slowly as this should not feel like a chore). If it helps, you can also find lots of guided meditations on YouTube that are really helpful too.
3 – Read and get inspired
If you are trying to write a new book and a block is hampering you, read more of what you love (and make sure it’s from great authors), when you read well written books, you’ll find that they help with inspiration. It’s the same with art and design, look at your favorite artists/designers and lose yourself in their work, you will usually find inspiration.
4 – Get moving
Writing and most forms of art are created while sat down, or at least not moving very much at all, however, when you get your blood pumping and increase your rate of breathing, the rush of blood through your body helps to stimulate your brain and thinking process. If you are looking for a quick boost, getting some exercise really helps.
5 – Go for a walk
Not as energetic as running or most form of cardio, but a walk can have a massive impact for the better with your creativity. Even if it’s just a quick walk around your block or to the nearest park, it helps to clear the mind and refocus you. Personally, I find walking anywhere there is a lot of nature around me a huge boost to my creativity.
6 – Just create anything
For some, the hardest part is starting, so just start, it doesn't have to be good, you just need to do something. If you are writing, commit to a day or session where you just write anything that comes to mind, you won’t use it, but you’ll just write something. The same goes for anything artistic too, just create without intent to use, you’ll be surprised at how liberating it truly is.
7 – Grab your headphones
Music has given so much inspiration to so many people, it connects to something deep within us and helps to bring out that creativity we’re looking for. So, find the tracks that mean something to you and turn the volume up!
8 – Look with fresh eyes
One thing that artists do is in looking for the art within any given scene, so, right now look around the room you’re in and find the art, it could be the way the light is coming in through a window, or the way a lamp is positioned on a table, the options are truly endless, but only if you take time to look and be creative with the way you take in the scene.
If you are writing, then grab a dictionary or any other book, flick randomly through the pages and then stop, pick any random word or sentence and write something with it. The more you do this, the stronger your creative thinking becomes, it’s also amazing at just how much art and inspiration has been right in front of your eyes.
Along with having a good book cover for your work, authors should also think about the promotional designs they are going to need to help sell their book to a larger audience. When you look at current trends, self-publishing continues to grow and as such, every day there is more than 4,000 new indie books being released.
What this means for an individual self-publishing author is that you must do more to reach your audience.
To be fair, most authors appreciate this and have plans in place on how to reach readers once their book is live (and in many cases, prior to launch too). These plans may include building a website, starting social media campaigns, organizing advertising on Amazon and other book sellers, along with launch parties and book signings (however, the in-person events are a little quieter due to the pandemic).
So, what materials will you need?
Well apart from a JPEG of your book’s cover, 3D renderings are a good place to begin, these give a more tangible view of your book to an audience and allow you to place the image into a multitude of backgrounds (make sure you have a PNG version of your 3D image for this). You can use them in social media posts, upon your website and even in flyers or on printed bookmarks.
Next would be banners for your social media, for your profile pages they can project a consistent and professional image for you as an author. Most banners will either show just your current book, or if you have a series of books, they could show all of the titles you have. The main thing here is to keep them consistent, so that the banner you have for Facebook relates to the one you use on Twitter.
These banners for social media can also be adapted for use on your author website, the dimensions will need to be adjusted, but the layout and feel of the design can be similar, and again, it will give both a professional and consistent view.
Instagram is another very popular social media platform for authors and one which can really help you connect with new and existing readers. But as it is image based, you will need to have some good images to highlight your work. Using your 3D renderings here can be great and if you get creative with the backgrounds, you can really capture your reader’s imagination.
Along with standard banners you can also look at using a GIF, this is normally a banner with some animation to it which when posted upon your Facebook page or Twitter feed can really help your post to stand out among the constant stream of other posts. Leading on from GIFs would be author promotional video’s, these can also be a great way to get noticed, but they can be very expensive to have created.
If you are having a book signing or launch party, then having flyers, bookmarks, posters and even T-shirts and mugs created are great options, we have seen authors get very creative with where their book cover and details have been placed. Most printers such as Vista print, offer so much in the way of promotional designs that you can find a gimmick which will help you to stick out and get readers to remember you
Guest post from Dean Burgess from Excitepreneur
Freelance writing is an excellent way to supplement your income, and it can even blossom into a full-time career if you put in the necessary work. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, studying at university, or simply trying to figure out what to do with your career, writing could be an ideal job. And if you constantly seek to sharpen your research and writing skills, you can build a client base to be reckoned with. This quick guide will show you how to get started!
Learn About the Field
If you have never worked as a freelance writer before, you might benefit from researching the field. Look for other writers who have found success, check out their portfolios, read their blogs, and learn everything you can about the business.
Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to other writers to ask any questions you may have. Take time to diligently research how the industry works so that you can start getting your first jobs quickly.
Take a Self-Assessment
You don’t need a formal education to succeed as a writer (though it can help), but you need to possess a few specific skills and tools if you hope to start strong. For example, you must organize all of your tasks and projects while keeping track of client information, billing requirements, content schedules, prompts, and so forth.
You also need to know how to write an effective blog post. Perhaps the best thing you can do is spend time reading as many blog posts as possible to get a feel for the styles, formatting, and other components clients will expect.
If you are looking to write your own books or e-books, read as many books as possible with the intent of paying attention to syntax, story development, and any other prevalent elements of the prose. Of course, you don’t have to create your own content; you can make money by ghostwriting books, blog posts, landing page copy, and many other mediums.
If you are trying to get into digital marketing, you will need to learn about content marketing. Companies use content to promote their products and services. Sometimes, this can come in blog posts, landing pages, infographics, email newsletters, and many other formats.
Determine If You Need Extra Training
While you don’t need formal training or education to become a writer, it comes with benefits. By pursuing an English degree, you could learn many of the skills necessary to become a successful writer while improving your credentials. Majoring in communications, linguistics or journalism are other pathways worth considering.
You shouldn’t expect to make a full-time income immediately after deciding to become a writer. You will likely need to take on any project that comes your way—paid or unpaid. This allows you to practice your craft while helping you get your foot in the door of the writing industry. In other words, say yes to everything.
Speaking of practice, it is the best way to improve your writing. Studying can go a long way in teaching you how to put together an impactful blog post, book, or other written format, but only practice can allow you to find your rhythm and sharpen your skills with each piece.
Build a Portfolio
Finally, create an online portfolio for your writing. While you want your website to look as attractive as possible, don’t stress too much about its appearance. Focus on the content and add new writing samples and works to your portfolio as you complete them. Once you have a few assignments to showcase, you can start sprucing up your site a bit.
Whether you want to make a little extra money or forge a full-time career, the writing industry is brimming with opportunity. Keep the tips above in mind as you lay a firm foundation for your job and keep researching how you can position yourself to flourish in the months and years ahead. In no time, you could make a living out of your passion!
Self-publishing a book can be a thrilling and wonderful experience, you have worked hard on your book and after editing, polishing, and pulling together many services, your book is uploaded and available to buy on Amazon and other bookstores.
But now what?
It may well be the case that you are not yet working from your laptop while lying in a hammock upon a tropical beach, not yet anyway. It’s a dream that many have but by simply uploading your book to Amazon and keeping your fingers crossed won’t necessarily lead to massive success. If you take the example of most big-name authors, they got where they are today by a lot of hard work as well as having creative talent.
So, now that you have published your book, what do you do next?
Well, it’s quite clear that if you really want lots of individuals to read your book, you’ll need to shout about it and tell as many people as you can. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to do this, and not all of them cost a fortune either.
But before you start to post anything or plan ad campaigns, you will need to get some images/designs ready to use for your book’s advertising.
And with this comes the key word, consistency. Being consistent with your ‘branding’ is important, if you want your book to be seen as professional and taken seriously by readers, the way in which you represent it will be important. Now, you don’t have to spend thousands on doing this, but using high quality images of your book’s cover, banners which look professional and quality images/designs for your ads will make a difference.
If you are unsure of what to use or how a professional design should look, go to your favorite author’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page, and see how they have their banners and ads, you’ll notice that everything is consistent and is fitting for their profile, it keeps their image as a professional author and inspires confidence from those who may want to buy their books.
So, consistent banners, posts, images, and ads should be a starting point, having materials to help you promote your book in this era of social media and having a professional online presence is important. Once you have your designs ready, you next need to look at where you’re going to promote your book.
The first choice that many authors consider will be social media, Facebook is a great place to start (although it is certainly worth noting that many younger readers are leaving Facebook and using platforms such as TikTok instead, so be wary of who your intended age group is). Next to Facebook will be Instagram and Twitter, these accounts are free to set up and worth creating separately from personal ones, and I would recommend keeping your author profile separate from your personal one. Having a separate account will enable you to project an image which is fitting for an author within your genre, it keeps things on a professional level and avoids anything embarrassing caused by a personal post which you may later regret.
From these accounts you can plan advertising campaigns as well as posting daily, they offer incredibly controllable adverts where you can fine tune who you want to see the ad down to the smallest of details, when done correctly this will put your book in front of the right people.
Next it’s worth considering your own website, there are plenty of options for self-build website services out there (we also created a post about this, and several of the services available which you can read here Websites for authors). The great thing about having your own website is that you have so much more control over what you can place upon it and how you choose to interact with your readers. You can also offer promotions, sell copies of your book directly from it, keep your readers updated with what is going on via a blog, and create an email list for marketing purposes.
A website is a great option for any author who wants to level up with their publishing journey, they cost a lot less than you may realize and don’t usually require any knowledge of coding either. Again, as with the social media element, you will need to ensure that your website’s branding and theme relate professionally to your book/s and for you as an author, if you are unsure of what an author’s site should look like, check out your favorite author and those within your own genre (a quick Google search will bring them up).
Advertising via Amazon is something that more and more authors use to self-promote, and like social media ads, it is very controllable and easy to get started with, we wrote an article specifically on Amazon advertising which you may want to check out for further information.
Another option to gain interest in you as an author is in creating a serialized book via Kindle Vella, there are some limitations (as in you can’t just take one of your existing books, break it down chapter by chapter, upload to Kindle Vella and still have it available as a whole book elsewhere). But, starting something new that you update each week, is a wonderful way to introduce yourself to a completely new audience and then bring them across to your other books. If you are interested in using Kindle Vella, check out our article on what you need to know about Vella.
Book signings and in-person events are still thin on the ground, and in this current climate it may be best to hold on until things get better. But you have the option to do things virtually, streaming book readings or going live for your fanbase where you can interact and answer questions etc. is still a great option and will encourage more people to participate. There are also countless podcasts looking for authors to interview, you can either contact those that interest you, or get in touch with one of the many services which provide guests to podcasts (yes, this is a service now).
Guest blogging on websites related to publishing and indie authors can be a great way to get your book in front of a larger audience, make sure that you choose sites which are relevant to your genre and your readers, and be polite when you contact the site’s owners, most will offer a link back to either your book or your own website.
Use Goodreads, register as an author, make sure you fill out your profile and upload a profile image. This is a great forum to be active on, you can post promotions and keep your readers informed as to what offers you have and publicize events that will be of interest to them.
There are also many places where you can promote your book online for wither free or a small fee, lots of them tend to be aimed towards eBooks or lower priced books, however, we have a list of ten sites to promote your book that you may want to consider, all to help get further awareness of your book out there.
Offering promotions to your best fans (those who interact with you the most etc.) is also a great way to increase your presence, using your own website and social media channels you can promote advance copies of you new book or sneak peeks at the first couple of chapters. You could run competitions with your readers to post images of themselves with your book upon your social media pages, the funniest winning an advance copy of your new book, there is a great deal you can do with this, so get creative.
So, in 2022 and even with the current global restrictions that we still find ourselves in, there are plenty of things that you can do to make your book a success, and you never know, maybe in 2023 you’ll be writing from a hammock on a tropical beach.
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.
At this time of year many of us will be thinking of setting goals for 2022, taking time to come up with lists of what we would like to achieve during the next 12 months to become better versions of ourselves. However, what follows is a list of massive unsustainable targets which we keep for the first month and then gradually drop as we slip back into our old (and easier) habits.
Just look at gym membership, early in the new year attendance levels spike dramatically and then fall off after a couple of months, people have great intentions but no long-term dedication or forward planning, so they start off by dedicating more time/effort than they can sustain and once the novelty wears off, they quit, ending up disappointed in themselves for not following through with their goals.
Now I am not personally a massive believer in New Year’s resolutions, if you want to make a change in your life, make it, don’t wait until the New Year! However, for many the symbolism of a fresh new year and a new start is great motivation, so if you’re planning to make a change, good for you! But, getting the foundation of your resolutions right and planning it so that you’ll follow through on them, is critical (unless you want to quit by February of course).
So, here are seven tips on how to get yourself set up for success on your New Year Resolutions.
One – Be Specific
Saying that in 2022 you want to lose weight sounds good, but if you reached the end of the year and you were down just one pound would you be happy? You’ve hit your goal of losing weight, right?
The same goes if you’re writing a new book, setting a goal of just ‘I want to write a book’ needs more specificity, what is your target word count, how many chapters will it have, do you want it published by the end of the year, have you already planned out the story and characters, what research will you need to do?
Being vague with your goal will lead to you missing it, as the target is completely undefined, if you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it.
Be specific in your goal, have a clear target and know what success will look like.
Two – Can you measure it?
The key to hitting a goal is in understanding how you are performing towards it during the year and understanding this on a regular basis. So, if your goal is to write a book with an 80,000 word count, this breaks down to 1540 words per week and 308 words per day (if writing five times a week), roughly speaking your target is one page per day, five days a week. From this you can set weekly, monthly and quarterly targets, clear goals you either hit or miss.
Three – When can you do this?
Most of us think that we don’t have much free time, the truth is that we have just as much time as the most successful people on our planet, we all get the same 24hrs every day, how we choose to spend them is what makes the difference. But please don’t get me wrong, I do understand that if you have kids (especially young ones) and/or other dependents, the amount of time you can commit to achieving a goal will be smaller than someone without those commitments. But do remember, there are still those who have achieved success with the same time constraints as you, the key is to not use it as an excuse to give up on a goal.
So, when can you work on your goal? A very useful exercise is to look at an average week for you, on each day what do you do with your time? How long do you work, sleep, eat, look after others etc. There are always going to be non-negotiable tasks that you will have to complete every day, but then there are hours sat in front of your TV or cell phone, scrolling through social media, how much time each day can you reinvest back into something productive for YOU?
It may be as little as one hour per day, this is still five hours a week, twenty hours per month and 240 hours per year, it’s the equivalent of having six weeks at 40 hours per week to work on yourself every year.
Don’t ever say you that you haven’t got the time, that’s just a lie you keep telling yourself, because it’s easier to switch off and scroll through Instagram each evening instead.
Four – How realistic is your goal?
Getting back to the common goal of wanting to write a book, if you set a target of writing 6,000 words per day seven days a week, unless you’re a full-time writer, most people will not be able to realistically sustain this. Yes, you must have goals that stretch and push you, but you also have to be realistic with your actual free time.
If you look at tip number three, you should have a good idea of how much time you can commit to each day/week, so if it is an hour a day, five days a week, work your goal around this time, could you write 300 words in that hour? If you can, then by the end of the year you will have written 240-250 pages (now you have a target).
Five – Be held accountable
Most of us don’t want to look like failures in front of our friends and family, now that you have a goal for the year, tell people and tell them that you’ll be posting monthly updates.
If you really want further motivation, tell a friend that if you don’t post monthly updates on how you’re doing and if you miss your goal by the end of the year, you’ll give them $1000 (or another amount that would be painful for you to give away).
Knowing that others are watching is great motivation to keep going, use it to your advantage.
Six – Reward yourself
Set up rewards throughout the next twelve months, but only if you stay on target and achieve your goal at the end of the year, it could be using the money you were going to give away if you failed on yourself instead. Having something to look forward to when you hit your target is a great motivator, it shouldn’t just be a massive chore without any reward along the way.
Seven – Inspire others
When working hard towards your own goals you have no idea that you are inspiring others along the way, you set an example to your kids, spouse, family and friends, remember this as you go, your story may be the inspiration someone else needs to make a positive change to their own life.
Be the example that inspires someone you love.
Before you can think about publishing your book, you should consider having the manuscript professionally edited, this stage is such an important one in the publishing process and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Having a professional editor look at your work prior to printing not only ensures that mistakes in grammar and spelling don’t get through, but it also helps with the flow of the book and it’s impact to the reader, it can take a good book and make it brilliant.
One – Bookbaby
Bookbaby are a self-publishing company that offer a host of services for authors, from publishing to printing and editing, they have a lot that an author could need. Their editing services are for three different options, the first is purely proofreading which includes checking grammar, spelling and punctuation along with a character-by-character review of each page. They next offer copy editing as a mechanical edit which is in depth and includes proofreading, then they offer a stylistic editing service, again, very in depth and includes a proofread along with intensive structural edit of your book. Prices of their services start from $3 per page and work up depending upon how intensive you want to be.
Two – Kirkus Reviews
Most authors will have heard of Kirkus for their review services, and they have been going for a long time too, originally started back in the 30’s, they have gone from strength to strength, becoming the trusted service used by countless authors today. They currently offer three packages starting from 3 cents per word and going up to 6.5 cents per word for their top package. They boast editors who have worked in the top publishing houses in the US and offer two editors per project.
Three – The Literary Consultancy
Started back in 1996, this company have many years’ experience within the editing field and have worked with thousands of authors in editing their books. Prices for their services start for small books at 15,000 words from around $300, manuscripts up to 60,000 words from around $600 and then above 60,000 words $8 for every additional 1000 words. They also offer consulting with an editor via zoom, proofreading services, and even a mentoring service so you can develop your skills under the guidance of a successful published author.
Four – NY Book Editors
NY Book Editors are a well known and trusted editing service with 35 editors working for them, giving the author countless years of experience for their book. They offer a comprehensive editing package which gives an in-depth line edit for your manuscript, covering the pace, clarity and flow. It is a very in-depth service aimed a polishing the book to a high standard.
Five – The Writership
The Writership is an editing services which can analyze your manuscript to see what works and what doesn’t. They offer two 1hr phone consultations to answer questions and see where the manuscript is and should be going. You’ll get recommendations of what you should adjust to make the manuscript better along with a lot of resources to help.
Six - Elite Authors
Founded by Jennifer Rotner back in 2008, Elite Authors has gone on to help thousands of authors with their books. They offer line editing, developmental editing and proofreading (along with a host of other services an author may need). Line editing starts from 0.028 cents per word, there other services are given as quotes based on the manuscript and your needs.
Seven – Scribendi
This service has been around since 1997 and offers a hand-picked editorial team which have thousands of authors from all over the world, this has enabled them to give high quality editing and proofreading for each writer they work with. They offer an extensive editing service for every type of author and manuscript along with book critiques, proofreading and even separate services for eBooks.
If you’re reading this blog then there is a strong possibility that you are either an author or someone who just simply loves to read, either way, you still enjoy books and as such have a lot to thank the wonderful authors who pour their hearts and knowledge into each page of our chosen paperbacks, eBooks, or hardbacks.
If you get as much joy out of reading as I do, then I’m sure that you would also like to show some appreciation to those great authors who you have read or may even know. Now, when I’m referring to authors here, I am referring to those indie authors who don’t have the massive publishing houses behind them, those authors and writers who have worked hard to get their masterpieces in front of an audience and really appreciate the support of their readers.
This is where we can all help, supporting your favorite indie author (and not just at Christmas) encourages further creativity and an increase in titles from those you enjoy reading, it’s a real win-win, you get more great things to read, and an author gets the opportunity to bring their manuscripts to life.
So, what can we all do to help support? Here are our top ideas on how to get behind indie authors:
ONE) Buy their books! This may be a bit of an obvious one, however, if you have a friend, relative or colleague who is trying to self-publish a book, buy copies, buy one for yourself and give them out as gifts for others (so many people love to receive books as presents, it’s a much more thoughtful gift).
TWO) When you do buy a copy of their book, find out where they are selling it and buy it from where they get the best return, in many cases this will be from their own website. Normally, most authors will direct their readers to where they would prefer you to buy the book from, you’ll be able to see this from their website or social media channels.
THREE) Don’t write-off Amazon however, when you do buy a book from Amazon, it really helps for the ranking of the author’s book, the more that are sold, the higher up the search results and the more sales the author will get.
FOUR) Pre-order their next book, this really helps with booksellers ordering in more stock in anticipation of strong sales for the title, what’s also worth remembering is that in most cases preorders count towards the sales of that book for the first week, so they have a great chance of going into a best seller list and as a result, they sell more books.
FIVE) Rate and review online, if you liked the book, one of the best gifts you can give back to the author is a five-star rating along with a great review, make sure you take a couple of minutes writing a short review (try not to give any spoilers away) and if you can, place it in several online bookstores (obviously Amazon should be your first).
SIX) Get in touch with your favorite author and tell them that you enjoyed their book. Writing can be a very lonely task and often the only feedback received is incredibly critical, so getting some positive feedback telling the author how much you enjoyed their work can be very motivating.
SEVEN) If you have read a book that you loved, share it, promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and whatever other social media channels you like to use, sharing a link to an author’s book is a powerful way to help them, many authors benefit greatly from word-of-mouth sales, so shout about what you love and spread the love.
EIGHT) Awards help authors, and there are plenty of websites and organizations that love to hand them out, however, they need support to ensure great authors win. So, if you see a competition which would suit your favorite author, nominate them, and then tell everyone you know to vote for your author.
NINE) Sign up for newsletters from your fav author’s website, by doing this you’ll know when your author will be releasing their next book, you also tend to get any promotions before anyone else, so in many cases you’ll get free chapters of new books and discounts too. But most importantly, it lets the author know that their readers are interested in their work, this is so powerful for any author and really keeps them going.
TEN) Find new great indie authors, go to websites such as Goodreads, Gnooks and Bookbub, where you can easily browse for new books from authors you may not have heard of before, you can also search for new authors via Twitter and Facebook where many are building their social media presence.
The main thing to remember, this isn’t about promoting work that you didn’t enjoy or was badly written, this about supporting the indie authors that you read and love, these great authors will really appreciate your help in getting their work in front of a larger audience.
So, if you have a spare moment, do something great today and support an author.
If you are self-publishing, you will have certainly considered using the likes of KDP, IngramSpark or Lulu to print and distribute your book, but have you also considered Draft2Digital as an option for your book?
D2D are a print on demand company that have been in operation since 2012 and are based out of Oklahoma City, and like many of the other operators they distribute to the major channels you’d expect from a publishing service, channels such as:
Amazon, Apple Books, Barens & Noble, Kobo, Tolino, OverDrive,
Bibliotheca, Scribe, Baker & Taylor, Hoopla, Vivlio and BorrowBox.
The fees for Draft2Digital are taken as a percentage of around 10% from each book you sell with stores taking around 30% so you keep around 60% for each eBook, for printed books they state that each book makes around 45% of the list price minus the base printing cost, but there are no upfront charges for their services, and they only get paid if you sell a book.
They offer free templates to help you format your book ready for print and eBook, here they state that even if you don’t publish your book with them, you can keep the interior files for your manuscript.
A great feature about their operation is their customer service, as many authors know, getting in touch with some of the bigger POD services can be really tough, D2D offer US based customer support phone lines making it easier to talk to a human with any issues.
Like KDP they offer a free ISBN for your book, but this will show D2D as the vendor with the ISBN recording agency, and it also restricts the use of this specific ISBN to just D2D (so you would not be able to publish your book via KDP using their ISBN), however, you can of course use your own ISBN if you choose to purchase them separately and use without this restriction.
So, what print sizes do they currently offer? Well, they are a little restrictive in that regard and currently only print in perfect bound paperback books, however, the sizes they print books at are for the most common trim sizes: 5x8’, 5.25x8.5’, 5.5x8.5”, 6x9”, 7.5x9.25” and 8.5x11” which will cover most author’s needs.
They also offer a service called Books2Read, this is a website aimed at helping readers find their next great read, it keeps them up to date with what their favorite author is doing, discover new books and where to purchase the book. This along with a universal book link which takes anyone who clicks it to a Books2Read landing page showing you exactly where you can buy copies of that specific book.
So, although Draft2Digital may not be the biggest print on demand publishing service on the block they do offer some great options for authors, they very much pride themselves in being an indie company which looks after their authors and delivers on customer service. Their choice of print sizes and formats is smaller than others, but without any upfront fees, they are certainly worth consideration.
Book cover designers.
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