i wrote a book – now what? 1 of 3
An Author’s Guide to the Web and Marketing (Part 1 of 3)
Turning an idea into a manuscript and a manuscript into a book can be a years long process. Unfortunately, when it comes to actually getting your book into the hands of eager readers, having a finished book is only Step 1. Getting your book to market can be a daunting and complicated task, so to that end we’ve put together this short but thorough guide to the web and how to use it to market your book!
E-Reader devices such as Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and the ubiquity of tablet devices such as the iPad, have created a huge market for digital publication. This trend combined with the dozens of digital marketplaces that have opened their shelves to any one with a product to sell, has created a market environment that allows for independent authors to achieve the same level of international reach and distribution that was formerly monopolized by the publishing and printing industries.
Through various online services, a writer can take their manuscript and easily convert it into an E-Book. There are many different file formats to consider, as many of the marketplaces have their own proprietary file types required for distribution in their stores. Fortunately, the more popular marketplaces offer online tools for sellers to utilize that will convert content to their required format. For example, Amazon has a conversion tool that will help you publish directly from your manuscript. That said, the EPUB format is rapidly gaining popularity as a vendor-independent format and most of the major E-Readers and marketplaces are at least supporting the file type if not adopting it out right – so make sure you start with EPUB.
A great resource for converting your written work into an E-Book is Calibre – a free and open-source software tool that allows you to import, style, format, and then publish your work. There are many plugins available that allow for adding illustrations and it is well documented with instructions. A quick Google and YouTube search will yield a wealth of information for those with a DIY mentality.
Although printed books are steadily losing dominance in the market, there are many avid readers and literary purists that still prefer the real thing. And although the material and shipping costs associated with physical books require a more substantial investment than digital publishing, the recent emergence of on-demand printing services has made it much more affordable for independent authors to create their very own paper and hardcover books.
There are many online businesses, such as Blurb and Lightning Source, that provide a wide variety of self-publishing services and tools to independent writers. Blurb is considered the industry leader in high-quality, limited run printing, offering a wide variety of color, size, stock, and binding options. They also provide an easy-to-use interface that allows for even novice users to convert their raw manuscript into and fully-realized product.
Design and Layout
In spite of an old adage condemning the practice, many readers do, in fact, judge a book by its cover. And whether you are choosing to publish in digital or printed formats, you should strongly consider creating a cover graphic that can be used to engage the potential reader at a glance.
There are many different approaches that can be taken as to designing the cover graphic for your work – but the best place to start is by doing research in the marketplace. Identify the bestsellers in your niche or genre and analyze the various covers for unifying styles, layouts, or motifs that can help guide your creativity. Don’t shoot for perfection – it just has to communicate to your reader that they will be interested in your work.
If you have absolutely no idea how to go about designing graphic for your book, there are two options: 1) You can consult Google and YouTube with a search like “Book Cover Art Design Tutorial” and follow the long path of identifying and acquiring a digital design workspace, learning to set up your project, laying out the page, and then creating and manipulating images and text; or 2) hiring a graphic artist/print designer to help. A skilled designer will also be able to consult with you on polishing up the actual layout of the book if you are unable to get exactly what you are looking for using free online tools.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING – STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 WHERE WE WILL BREAK DOWN DISTRIBUTION. IF YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS OR REQUIRE ASSISTANCE IN ESTABLISHING YOUR SALES AND MARKETING PLATFORM, FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT TO US!
RUSTY HUBER – firstname.lastname@example.org
BRYAN HARRIS – email@example.com – 657 204 6973