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February 2011

Five Steps to Getting Your Self-Published Book Recognized

By guest author Jake Olvido.

Self-publishing a book involves both a time and financial investment. It is for these reasons why the same kind of attention and importance should be given to your book after it has been launched as what you gave it during the book writing and publishing phases. Publishing your book is not the end of your job.

With the rapidly developing technology, the art of marketing and promoting your book has become far more complex. To help you, here are some basic tips to consider:

Work to understand potential reader preferences. Successful marketing campaigns are the result of understanding consumer preferences. When you fully understand the needs of your prospective readers, it better defines your options on how to meet those needs. The key is proper market segmentation.

Explain the value of your book. There is often a tendency for authors to bombard the media with the names and titles of their books. However, that's no way to generate sustainable publicity. Tell the public what makes your book unique, what your book offers that cannot be found elsewhere, and why it is worth the read.

Offer consistent and regular messages. Consistency in your book marketing message helps your readers understand more about you and your book. Consistency will avoid confusion.

Conduct evaluations after each promotional effort. Such evaluations will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and perhaps generate some new opportunities.

Create enhanced author-reader releationships. In addition to specific book marketing initiatives, focus on building relationships with your reader market. Don't just sell your book - market yourself as an author too.

If you want your book to receive the recognition it deserves, what you do after your book is published will play the key role.

[Jake Olvido is a book marketing specialists and can be contacted at BookWhirl.com.]

What Should Your Book Look Like? Do What The Pros Do.

First, when it comes to creating the "look" of your book, you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Here are some tips that will help you in designing your book.

Visit a bookstore and check out the section where your book will most likely be, then look at other sections. As you survey the shelves, you will note that each genre or category has its own unique look. For example, business books usually have a hard cover and a dust jacket. Books for professionals such as doctors, lawyers and accountants are hardcover without dust jackets. Children's books are larger, and full color. Cookbooks are often wider than they are tall, and are coil bound so that they will lie flat.

Your book must look like the rest on its shelf. If you book is different, it will lose credibility. Potential buyers will think you are an amateur and not ready to be a serious author-publisher.

Next, find a book that you like the looks of. Consider the binding, layout, feel, margins, type style, everything. Then buy it. Use this book as your book model.

Tell your editor, typesetter and printer you want your manuscript to look like this book. They can deliver any format you wish. Just give them some guidance. There is no need to plan a book when you can adapt an existing great book design.

And remember, if you want your book to sell like a book, it has to look like a book.

[This post was created from excerpts from Successful Nonfiction, written by Dan Poynter.]

Proofreading Your Manuscript - Some Great Tips To Follow

Successful manuscript proofreading requires the eye of an eagle. It's easy to transpose letters, omit or duplicate words and have words spelled correctly, but be the incorrect word (i.e. you and your). It's far better to take some extra time now, rather than suffer the heartbreak of catching major errors when the completed book is in your hands. To help you in your proofreading mission, here are some specific things to look for:

  • Watch for widows and orphans (no, not women who have lost their husbands or parentless children). A widow is the last line of a paragraph that appears alone at the top of a new page. An orphan is the first line of a paragraph that appears alone at the bottom of a page. You display a cleaner page design if you let the page fall short or run long rather than allowing widows and orphans.
  • Check the bottom of each page against the beginning of the next page to be sure words or entire lines didn't accidentally get left out.
  • Be sure all artwork, photographs, charts, or graphs are in appropriate places and have the necessary cutlines.
  • Check the headers and footers on each page.
  • In a nonfiction book, remember to leave blank pages if necessary so that chapters will start on recto pages.
  • Check the page numbers on each page.
  • Check that the page numbers in the table of contents are accurate.'

From an overall perspective, is your book thoughtfully presented? Are the subject areas and subareas clearly marked? How about arty touches that make reading a pleasure? Do graphics provide a visual rest as well as add helpful and stimulating information?

It's always a good idea to ask a friend, relative or associate to cross-check your manuscript against the typeset copy with you. Typesetters who must rekey the manuscript have been known to omit entire paragrahs or omit words. Or you may want to have a professional proofreader do the job for you.  Either way, it best to have fresh eyes take another look.

Proofreading may cost some money and take extra time, but your book will be the better for it.

[This post was created from excerpts from The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 5th Edition, co-authored by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.]


Five Secrets to Successful Book Marketing

By guest author Dana Lynn Smith.

Here are five keys to planning for a successful book marketing effort:

1. Educate yourself about book marketing. It's important to understand the principles of book marketing. Take advantage of resources such as books, teleseminars, conferences, networks, articles, forums, blogs (like this one) and other venues to shorten your learning curve and make yourself aware of great ideas. Also, budget some money to purchase books and courses that offer a more in-depth education in planning and executing book marketing.

2. Understand your market. To successfully sell your book, or any product for that matter, you need to understand who your ideal customer is; what your secondary markets are, and their characteristics, interests, fears and motivations? Also, learn who else reaches these same audiences and identify how your book differs from your competitors.

3. Have a written marketing and promotion plan. Creating a book marketing plan involves big picture planning - like defining target audiences, understanding reader benefits, studying the competition, determining sales channels, pricing and determining specifically how you will promote your book.

4. Get organized. Being organized will save you time and make you more effective. Devote a day to organizing all of your data and files so that you can find things quickly. Create a database of all your contacts. Create a system for tracking monthly progress such as sales, website visitors, number of articles submitted, etc. Also, continually search for time-saving software and services that can help your efforts.

5. Budget your time and money wisely. With so many book promotion options available and a limited number of hours in the day, it's important to prioritize your promotional ideas and focus your time and money on those tasks that are most likely to produce results. Budget funds for book marketing, even if it's only a modest amount, and block out time on your calendar each day to devote to marketing.

By devoting time to learning, developing a plan, getting organized, prioritizing your promotional ideas, your chances of implementing a successful book marketing campaign will be greatly enhanced.

[Dana Lynn Smith is a nationally recognized book marketing coach and author of The Savvy Book Marketing Guide.]