By Indie Authors for Indie Authors.

Tag: book sales

8 Crucial Mistakes Authors Make When Launching an eBook

 

8 Crucial Mistakes Authors Make

When Launching an eBook

 

by Daniela McVicker

 

Writing and publishing an eBook could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to start your career as an author. Regardless of what style you’ve opted for and what the theme of your book actually is, launching an eBook isn’t as easy as just finding an eBook distribution website and publishing an unrevised draft there.

The process of making your eBook available to readers worldwide needs to be taken seriously from the start. Being negligent of a few details, overlooking important publishing steps can affect your success and your reputation as an author in the online environment.

So what are a few important things you should know on the matter? What mistakes could put the success of your eBook launch at risk? Here’s what you should be avoiding.

 

#1 Writing your book description last-minute

The description is what intrigues readers to get into the actual book’s content in the first place. If your book’s description doesn’t excite, you are less likely to drive interest and determine people to buy it. Therefore, you should be putting enough attention into writing it, and not wait until last-minute to cover this task.

Don’t go for the standard story summary, write a description that actually builds expectation and shows a potential buyer why they need to get your book. Allow yourself sufficient time to put together a fantastic description because writing it might take you a few days, or even a few weeks.

 

#2 Believing you don’t need an editor – not hiring a proofreader

If you’ve put a lot of hard work and time into this book, spotting mistakes can be difficult. You’re already extremely familiar with the layout and content of the book, so some big-picture issues could easily go unnoticed, not to mention typos, missing words, grammar and spelling mistakes.

Hiring an editor might seem like a luxury, but it’s the type of luxury you can’t afford to skip. Even if your budget doesn’t allow you to opt for a full edit, professional proofreading is still critical here. You don’t want your reader to buy a book that isn’t edited to perfection. So, searching for some top editing services is advised.  Having a professional go over the content will allow you to reach the writing quality you desire.

 

Hiring an editor might seem like a luxury, but it’s the type of luxury you can’t afford to skip.Click To Tweet

 

#3 Neglecting formatting

Your manuscript might be ready, but to turn your written content into an actual book, you need to assess formatting requirements properly. Picking a layout, a font, and relevant images should be done carefully, considering these factors can influence the readability level of your book.

Select the specs correctly. Your readers should be able to transfer the book into multiple eBook formats. The right formatting approach will prevent the end-project from having that unappealing self-published look.

 

#4 Designing your own front cover

Even if you’ve written a brilliant book, what potential buyers will see first is the cover. The front cover, together with the book description, will help you actually sell the eBook. This isn’t the type of task you should handle yourself unless you are an expert in graphic design and Photoshop.

Find a professional who can help you make your cover instantly attractive to buyers. Think about colors, fonts, and clarity. If your eBook looks amateurish, readers could even neglect an excellent description and put off buying it. This is particularly true if potential buyers don’t have any knowledge of you as an author.

You have free cover creators online, but it’s wiser to invest a bit of money and handle this task professionally – it will go a long way.

 

#5 Not getting your website/blog ready before the launch

If you don’t want to lose any promotional traction, make sure your website is ready or your blog is updated. Your eBook launch might be your first contact with a wider audience. This is your opportunity to build a loyal group of readers and having a blog or website ready for them will allow you to establish the author-reader connection you are aiming for. You can later use the website to promote potential forthcoming releases. A blog or a website can be excellent promotion tools.

 

#6 Overlooking your social media activities and details

The power of social media can be used to your advantage. Your accounts on all popular social channels should be representative of your new status as an author. Some of your readers will probably look you up and follow you on social media networks to keep up with your activities and learn about your projects.

If your existing accounts don’t reflect your status, make the necessary adjustments. Change your usernames, add or remove certain posts and fine-tune your accounts so you can make the most of them in terms of self-promotion.

 

#7 Next to no marketing

Consider every single advertising opportunity before you actually launch your book. Marketing is critical for self-published authors. The right tactics here can help you gain the recognition you desire and increase your sales once the book is released.

Just writing a blog post and publishing it on your website won’t be enough. You can’t expect an explosion of initial sales if you’ve had next to no marketing. From Facebook ads to affiliations with famous bloggers, find marketing solutions with high potential and direct some of your resources to promotion. Doing this on time can help you gain visibility and have sales coming as soon as your book is made available on Amazon or at the eBook retailer of your choice.

 

Just writing a blog post and publishing it on your website won’t be enough. You can’t expect an explosion of sales if you’ve had no marketing.Click To Tweet

 

#8 No sales funnel

Finding a publishing service is the final step to take here, but one of the most important ones at the same time. With an automatic sales funnel in-check, customers will be sent to you without you actually doing anything. Amazon is usually the preferred option for eBook authors, being such an influential website with lots of exposure. You can use Amazon’s publishing service Kindle Direct Publishing. If you want to explore other options, Smashwords and Draft2Digital are two other popular eBook distributors to look into.

 

 

Bottom line

Being part of the self-publishing field is just as exciting as it is challenging. When you are launching an eBook, you need to assess every single detail to ensure your future success as an author. Because with limited experience you can easily end up making some critical mistakes, it’s important to inform yourself properly with sufficient time before the actual launch and take the necessary course of action. The suggestions highlighted here will help you start on track with your publishing and boost your odds of appealing to a wide audience of readers.

 

 

About the Author 

Daniela McVicker is an editor for RatedbyStudents. She has a master’s degree in English Literature, and she is truly passionate about learning foreign languages and teaching. Daniela works with the students helping them to reveal the writing talent and find one true calling.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

4 Tips for Marketing Your Book and Increasing Sales

4 Tips for Book Marketing

 

Self publishing can be a scary endeavor, but just as frightening sometimes is the marketing that Indie Authors have to do after they publish. I want to share some of my own marketing tips with you to help you on your journey to sell more books.

I have published five books and have gone through what you are all going through. I’ve sat at my damn computer day after day trying to put into words the sensational story swirling around in my head. When I finally had my story down on paper—and more or less coherent—I had to start with the editing. Then, to add insult to injury, once the book was published, I had to demean myself to market it. Well, maybe demean is not the right word, but I do so hate to beg. I only mention my time in the trenches so you’ll know that I’m a veteran and have the wounds to prove it.

I’m here today to relate the little of what I’ve learned over the last five years concerning marketing. And don’t fool yourself, you gotta do marketing. Even Stephen King has to market his own books. He puts $200,000.00 of his own money into advertising each of his books. He can afford that kind of budget. But the rest of us will have to work a little harder.

Most of what I’m about to convey will be old hat to some of you. And to you brand-new writers looking for a signpost or two to help you find your way, I sincerely hope what I’m about to convey helps.

 

1) Newsletters

Using outfits with mailing lists is a good way to go. For $30.00 or $40.00, you’ll sell some books. When I use those resources, I’ll sell a couple of hundred or so. But you can go down that route only sparingly. They let you promote a book only once every ninety days. But after the first blast, you’ve probably made most of the sales you’re gonna make anyway. A few of the best are Ereader News Today, Free Kindle Books & Tips, Book Gorilla, and Choosey Bookworm. There are others and you’ll find ’em if you look for ’em.

One last thing, you’ll want to space out using these guys because you’ll want to know who will give you the most bang for the buck. And I’m sure some of the names on their mailing lists overlap.

 

2) Ask for Reviews

There is no other way to say this, but ya gotta go out and beg for reviews. Reviews spur sales. Ya gotta sit at your computer at least ten hours a day—or as many hours a day as you can afford—sending out the same query letter.

The first bit of advice that I read about when my first book came out was to get the list of Amazon’s top 100 reviewers and send them an email asking for a review of your book. I did that, but I didn’t stop at one hundred. I sent out almost 400 emails. I was into the top 600 by the time I stopped.

I did get two of the top 100 to review my book and both of them were kind enough to give it five stars. Subsequently, they’ve bought my other books and gave them good reviews. And that’s good. But … for my next two books, I sent out over a hundred requests to the Amazon top reviewers, and I didn’t get one single reply. Not every reviewer has their email address on their page. So, to send out 100 query letters, you have to go through about 300 to 400 profiles. It’s a lotta work.

 

3) Guest Posts

Next, the book bloggers: This is where the honey is. The people that read their blogs are readers and buyers of books. These are the people you want to know about your book. You can get lists of book bloggers by googling “book bloggers.” Who would have thought?

BUT (and there is always a but), book bloggers are inundated with requests for reviews. Some get 500 requests a week. At first, I went that route asking for reviews and I got a few. But the return on my investment (my time) was slim. I’ll explain.

Once you have the lists, you have to go through them and get the link to the blogger’s page. Then you have to go to their “Policy” page to see if they are even interested in your genre. You’ll be extremely lucky if you hit 50%. Then you have to go to their “About” page and get their name…if it’s there. If it is, personalize the salutation of your “begging” email and send out your request for a review. Then you go to the next name on the list and do the searching all over again.

Whew! Makes me tired just remembering going through all that.

I did that for ten hours a day, seven days a week. I must have sent out 2,000 begging letters for each of my books. But I finally got smart. Instead of asking for a review, I offered to do a guest post or an interview. It’s a win-win. The blogger gets content and you get to promote your book.

To date, I’ve done over 600 guest posts and I’ve sold a fair number of books because of those posts.

 

4) One Last Thing

This has nothing to do with marketing, but it is important. When you start getting reviews, the best policy is not to respond to them. However, if you want to thank someone for a good review, I reckon that’s all right. BUT … NEVER, EVER RESPOND TO A NEGATIVE REVIEW. Do so at your own risk.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

 

 

Andrew Joyce AuthorAbout the Author:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written four books, including his latest, a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, Mick Reilly.

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