Let me dispel the notion that if you write a great book, they will come.
While writing a great book will definitely help recruit some people, the quote above is definitely true.
Self-publishing is a whole different world – it’s not like publishing with one of the big names.
The companies who have legions of editors, marketers and more at their disposal – but in the self-publishing world…there’s you. And you. And you.
And you have to be the one to make all the decisions, to recruit the right team and get your great book into the right hands.
While I’m not a self-publisher, I have worked with a lot (200+) self-pub or indie authors.
And whenever they have questions, I direct them to Marketing Indieworld or Navigating Indieworld: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing Your.
Both of these books are written by indie authors who have had a lot of success publishing by themselves and they give plenty of practical advice on how to get your book into the hands of readers.
This wonderful little guide begins with a bit of advice with how to write your book.
How is your book different from others in your genre. You need to give the readers something they will want to read.
And once the book is written, this guide provides quite a bit of practical advice about what needs to be done before it is ready to go into readers’ hands.
NEVER publish a book that isn’t in the best shape possible.
And advice about how to recruit readers once it is ready!
Your blurb plays a significant role…People will read it, and they’ll be interested or be turned off.
I really liked how much emphasis was given towards the little details of publishing.
For example, I’ve picked up books…and immediately put back down. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I know they’re off. But when I got to this section:
The look of your book is an essential indicator of a quality publication.
it clicked. The books that were “off” were formatted weirdly – too wide margins, page numbers skipping all over, uneven spacing between paragraphs.
These are little things that really don’t affect the quality of the words but they show the quality of the book overall.
It was also quite fun to read the bit about reviewers – it’s cool to see what self-published authors think of us reviewers.
Reviews are one of the most important marketing tools for an author.
And I really agreed with most of what was said. I have seen reviewers absolutely tank books because they didn’t like it – and I’ve seen authors ride a wave to stardom because of their reviewers.
I ESPECIALLY agreed when it came to how to contact reviewers to read your book.
I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I just ignore emails because they are:
- Incomplete – “Miranda! Read my book! – sent from a goodreads account with a first name only”
- Completely off-base – “Your profile says ‘absolutely no poetry’ but you need to read my 400+ page poetry collection. You’ll love it.”
- Off-putting/unsettling – “I see that you have read books about rape before (X, Y, and Z). You need to read mine too. I hope you’re not squeamish.”
People. Just read Marketing Indieworld for how to interact with reviewers!
There was one thing that I didn’t quite agree with – the section about ARC’s.
Typically, these reviewers get a copy of the book a few days to a week before release
Granted, I’ve worked mostly with bigger publishers when it comes to ARCs (self-pubs often send me their books long after they’ve been published), but if you want a them to publish their review of your book before your book is published – do NOT send it to them a few days before the review is supposed to go up.
When I was first starting out as a reviewer, I would take about 2 weeks to read and review but now that my account is a bit bigger, it’s about 2 months minimum (and that’s with me reading 20+ books per month!).
So, just keep in mind that the timescales are a bit of a grey area and depending on the kind and popularity of reviewer you are contacting, you might need to wait a bit more.
All in all though, this is a really handy guide. It was really fun to read and brought out a lot of great insights when it came to the self-publishing world.
With thanks to the author for a free copy in exchange for an honest review