You can either enjoy the story or write the story everyone enjoys.

{Day 4} Author's Essential Writing Pilot

 

The Book Launch Success System™


First off, congratulate yourself.

What you have accomplished is something many writers never do. So, go ahead, enjoy the moment. Treat yourself to something nice. Smile, cheer, do a cartwheel, whatever you please; you’ve earned it. Moreover, do not deflect any positivity that comes your way. If someone says “great job!” say “thank you.” Many people wish they could write a book, and you’ve actually done it. Very well done!

Now, there are a few things you have to understand before you move forward. Ask yourself what you want out of this project. Many writers tell us that “this writing thing is just a hobby.” If that’s the case, you’ve completed your project. Congratulations! Go ahead and start on the next one.

If it’s more than a hobby, if it’s a passion and your goal is to be published – perhaps even to shoot for the best sellers lists and beyond – understand that you are no longer a writer. You want to become an author. What’s the difference? Writers write. Authors write to publish. Publishing is probably one of the most intense endeavors you will ever be a part. Strap yourself in because right here you a’re going to get the next few steps on the road to publication. 

1) Look into a professional editor.

Editing is nothing to disregard, especially if you are a new author. No matter how many degrees you have in English, Creative Writing, or How To Be Awesome, you can’t catch everything in your own writing. It needs another pair of eyes. A pair of objective eyes. Some authors even have several pairs of eyes look at their work (beta readers, friends, other writers, etc.) before they send it to the editor. Whether or not you decide to hire an editor, please have someone else look at your book before you publish.

NOTE: You are still the author, so you get to decide which edits are and are not accepted, but it’s essential to get a new, objective eye on your story. Dreadfully important. While you are waiting for the edits to come back, look into the cover design. It will give you something to focus on so you don’t pester your editor every hour.

2) Formatting

All the work you have put into the book and all the money you have invested in making it grabbing will be for naught if you don’t have it properly formatted. Depending on CreateSpace to do it for you (if you are self-publishing) is like playing Russian Roulette. It’s not expensive; ask around. Find someone who can format for eBook and print. You can even learn to do it yourself.

Interior Design

There is a difference between formatting and interior design. The interior design companies tend to include the format with their services. Interior design makes formatting much more beautiful to look at. They can add custom designs to your scene breaks, special characters to your chapter heads, and even fancy designs for the page borders. It’s much more expensive to go this route, but the final product is definitely worth the money. 

Formatting prepares the book for the printer or eViewer. It makes sure the bleed is right, the indenting is uniform, your chapter beginnings are all the same, and you can get unique headings for your interior pages (like your author name with the book title on facing pages). If you are confused as to anything mentioned above, you need to have someone format your book for you. Email us if you have questions; we’d be happy to help you.

3) Cover Design

Your cover design, blurb, and first page are critical in hooking and keeping your audience. Do not try to short cut your story with a questionable cover. If you’re going to invest the most money into something, your cover should come second only to your editing. Luckily, covers are not that expensive, especially if you are planning an eBook.

4) Decisions

Now, you have a polished, publish-ready story, and it is time to decide whether you want to self-publish or seek out an agent/publishing press. Many publishers will provide formatting and a cover for you; however, showing a publisher that you invested time and effort for your work before contacting their business is a great bargaining chip. It shows that you are serious about your book. If you don’t take yourself seriously, do not expect anyone else to.

If you want to self-publish, at this point you’re ready to go. CreateSpace.com is an excellent place for publishing print-on-demand and eBooks. They link with Amazon Kindle and get your file ready to release. Now you can even put it on pre-order and get to one of the most tedious tasks you will find on a limited budget: marketing. You keep more of the royalties with self-publishing, though, so there is an upside if you are willing to put in the work.

5) Marketing

 While the editing and cover design are in process, you need to start marketing. No matter how well-written your story may be, if no one knows about it, you will not make any sales.

Take Your Time

Understand that marketing is not something that produces results overnight. The truth about marketing is that you will not see the results of your efforts for between 4-8 weeks. So, take your time. Marketing is an investment. Be in this for the long haul – otherwise, you are just wasting your time.

Promotion Sites

Promotion sites are not a thing of the past and not to be taken lightly. There are HUNDREDS of places that market books to their reading lists in all genres. You will have to research, and you will have to spend a bit of money. We recommend that you put your book up for sale for a certain period (preferably in conjunction with the 4-8 week timeline) and set all the promotion sites to promote on a schedule.

Search for places that market books. We do provide marketing service, but if you’re on an extremely tight budget, we recommend Kindlepreneur (Here’s 129 Promotion Sites for Authors). There are more companies out there eager to help promote authors make money with their books. Look into as many of them as you can.

Local Impression

Your best bet is to start where you are. Although you are (or will be) published online, the bookstores and libraries in your area are a great place to promote your physical copies. Write a press release and send it to your local newspapers, write an article for your bookstores, find as many places to put your book as possible and engage their services.

Social Media

Utilizing social media will help you reach people worldwide. Get active on social media. Create a Facebook Fan page, a Twitter page, an Instagram, Linkedin, and any others you find useful. Facebook is great for business as billions of people are there, including millions of readers.

Also, reviews help people make more decisions than you think. Find people who do reviews - on Facebook there are hundreds of groups. If someone asks about your book, don’t just post a link for it, tell them about it yourself! Self-promotion will be a never-ending cycle. As you gain readership, it becomes easier. Eventually, you will hit the point where your readers are pestering you for the next book. It’s a fantastic problem to have!

Website & Mailing Lists

The two most overlooked items by authors, websites and mailing lists, leads to the most money lost. ATTENTION: your mailing list is a list of people who like your book and are willing to be contacted by you repeatedly. This directly leads to increased sales.  Here is a business statistic about sales - 80% of your money is produced by 20% of your customers. So, anyone who buys one of your books becomes part of the 80% of the money you’ll make in your career. Why would you not want a list of these people to contact? They might buy shirts, bookmarks, signed copies.

To build your mailing list, create a website that you send your customers to. Link it in your social media sites, mention it on your Amazon Author Central, build the awareness about it. Always offer something for an email (even if it’s a free book). It will take time, but once you build your mailing list, you will be able to control how much money you make.

Appearances & Events

It is well documented that many authors are introverted “by nature”. Sorry, this is not going to make you any money. Your fans are going to want to see you, read about you, hear you talk, and get acquainted. So, you have to make yourself available.

Organize book signing events (the best events feature other authors and creatives just besides, especially if you’re a new author) and make appearances at community activities. Make yourself known, get in front of people and tell people who you are. It will be nerve-racking at first, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you will be with it. Soon, you will have a following, people announcing who you are, wanting to take pictures with you and read your books. Get active!

With these strategies, you will be able to make yourself a career as an author. If you need more help, contact us. We will gladly create a marketing strategy to get you recognition, build a fanbase, and make money.

Again, congratulations on your accomplishment! You’ve done well to make it this far, and please keep going! Writing is one of the best fields you can pursue. The possibilities are literally endless!