Saturday, 29 September 2012

Preparing an eBook for Publishing

You have written your book and it's a real stunner. You have the text in MS Word (or OpenOffice, or equivalent) and now you are ready to get your eBook off the ground.

You've converted it to ePub format (eg with Smashwords' aggregator and you have uploaded your book onto the Amazon kdp books page). Now you sit back and wait for the sales to flood in... but nothing happens.

Maybe it's a slow start, so you wait a week. But still nothing happens. So you reckon this whole writing thing is a con and you give up.

I've heard this story over and over. Indeed, I fell into this trap myself with my first book. Thankfully it was a volume of poetry that I knew would not sell much anyway.

But can you spot the fundamental mistake made in this scenario?

Authors are writers. They love writing and the book is their 'baby' and they expect everyone else to love it as much as they have. And if you have written a book then you have spent months living and breathing that book to the exclusion of all else. The book has been your whole life.

It's easy to forget that as far as the rest of the world is concerned the book might as well not exist. If you're a beginner writer, then you will not be a household name and no-one will know about your book at all.

So, if people do not know about you, how are they going to know about your new book?

The truth is that if you are an author, then you need to make yourself into a brand and you need to market your book. This is the only way that people will find out about you and what you write. If you do not do that then you will not make any sales.

You are the authority and your book is your business and sales mean an income. Even before you start writing you book you need to establish yourself as a 'name'. Improve your exposure and brand awareness by starting a website or a blog. Write about what you love (even better if this is the subject of your book), get your name recognized.

Just before you are ready to publish your book begin marketing. Write about it to local newspaper, write about it on your blog, submit on-line press releases. Offer discounts on your blog or site to the first 100 that buy it. Get people to write reviews (especially before publication).

One the book is out, write articles about it, put links to sales pages on your web and your blog.

The more you market, the more your book will become known and the more sales you will make.

Remember, you are not just an author, you are a business.

So, if you are preparing an eBook (or any kind of book for publication) get your marketing right before anything else.

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