Until a few years ago, before publishing a book it was important to get past the gatekeepers. These were the agents and the publishers who may or may not have looked at your manuscript and chapter samples before outright rejecting it. The writing arena has become crowded now more than ever. For instance, did you know more than 300,000 books are published every year in the United States alone? Now with many writing options on the horizon, becoming an author or a writer is no big deal anymore. Or is it? If you have the skill and the time, no one can stop you from writing. Publishing your work, but, is another matter. You need to consider your options to stand out and make your book a success. So consider these six options before publishing your book.
Start a Blog
Starting a website is a fantastic way to make your presence felt in the vast internet world. Yet, starting a blog on that website before publishing your book will help you boost sales like no other marketing tactic. AllIndieWriters.com call it an author blog. This is where you can engage with your readers to build up your book. Your author blog is a great platform to share:
● Short stories.
● Updates about your book’s progress.
● Book reviews that your readers may like.
● Personal stories to let your readers get to know you more.
● Interviews with writers of a similar genre as that of your book.
Even if you don’t see many comments, keep updating your blog regularly.
Your blog will keep readers coming to your website and engaging with them will heighten their curiosity for your book.
Use the Right Tools
Social media is a powerful tool to bring traffic to your website and get more readers for your blog. Besides being an obvious marketing strategy, platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc are great places to find new readers. As time passes, your online accounts will help you build a community that shares your work within their circles. You can host contests to get more attention and reach a worldwide audience. Take the author of 50 Shades Of Grey, E.L James for instance. She has over 2,370,373 likes on her Facebook page. She is active there and shares tidbits about her work there. Other tools include using the Evernote application to record and organize notes and Dropbox to save your scripts online.
Hire a Professional Editor
Even if you are the best writer in town, you need a fresh pair of eyes for your book. Editors not only look at what you created and give you constructive feedback to improve it, but they also represent you in other areas such as copyediting, proofreading etc. Before your book is published, it will have to go through many people and editors make that happen with their team. This is also a great opportunity for you to take feedback in the right stride. Arrogant writers are hardly successful and that’s why you need an honest appraisal of your book.
Read the Reviews of Publishers
There is nothing wrong with publishing traditionally. These houses give you an advance, get your book into bookstores and you have more chances of being on the bestseller list too. You may be an optimistic writer but realistically, you can too fall victim to a publishing scam. Too many authors fall prey to scammy publishing houses that charge a fee to read your work. A reputable publishing house never charges fees for reading your manuscript. Unless you are self-publishing (and we will talk about that in a moment) you don’t have to pay any “kick starter” fee to a publishing house. So, before publishing your book remember to get feedback and read reviews about the publishers you wish to work with.
Use a Self-Publishing Platform
The self-publishing spectrum of writing has exploded in the last couple of years. Self publishers made up nearly 31% of all e-book sales in 2014. This number is only set to grow as writers are empowered to publish their own work with just a few clicks, instead of the drama surrounding a book agent or a publishing house. Apart from self-publishing at Amazon, Createspace is one of the popular options. This platform needs a microsoft word version uploaded on their platform. After that, you get all the formatting, editing and publishing help you need. With added fees, your work gets published on Amazon and Kindle too. Depending on how you price your book, the royalties range from 30%-70% which is much higher than traditional publishing houses may offer.
Make it Look Good
If you can be realistic, you can clearly see the areas you are good at and the areas you are not. We already talked about how it’s always a good idea to hire a professional editor in point #3. You must hire other professionals to design your book cover too. It’s important how your book looks on the outside. These are experts in their field and will make your book stand out of the crowd, easily. You can even let your readers pick from the sample designs; it would make a great post for your author blog, wouldn’t it?
Publishing a book is serious. It’s letting the world know how you think, how you feel and share your deep experiences. Enlist the help of experts and stay motivated to pull this through until you succeed.
Alice Clarke is a writer. She is mad about creative writing and reading novels. You may find her on her website https://topaussiewriters.com/