Sunday, April 27, 2014

Common Mistakes of Debut Authors (OMG!)

Common Mistakes of Debut Authors (OMG!)

Ok, I can’t believe new authors are STILL making these
mistakes. I’ve been blogging and podcasting about book marketing since
2000!  OK, get it together authors. Read this article by a colleague –
and if you still need help, contact either one of us!

pam perry speaking

Prior to being published, new authors frequently make mistakes that
damage or even preclude their book’s marketability. Commonly, these
errors include:

Poorly designed or stock cover art

• Unedited, under edited or unprofessionally edited manuscript

• Inadequate book marketing budget

• Insignificant blog and website presence for author and title

• Absence of platform and clear audience for the material

Book Covers can make or break your ability to obtain reviews and readers. You can judge a book by its cover.

As James Cox, Editor of Midwest Book Review puts it,

“Stack #3 are those titles that are immediately rejected — not for
their subject matter; not for being written by a first time author; and
not for their self-published, POD-published, or small press published
status, but because they are poorly designed or defectively produced in
terms of presenting substandard, inadequate, or otherwise unattractive

Appealing covers summon buyers. Whether these buyers actually read
your book is another matter, but the most important element for
purchasing a publication is its wrapper. It has been proven that people
choose a book by what they see and read on the cover, especially if they don’t know the author or the title.

Make sure your cover is designed by an award-winning book designer,
not a general graphic designer. For different angles and musings on book
covers, visit book design web sites and blogs.

Editing is also critical to your book’s success. You want to
interview several editors and hold their completed books in your hand.
Choose a set of editors who are experienced with your genre. Among
equally qualified candidates, hire those with whom you have some
professional chemistry. For an explanation of the types of editing your
work might benefit from, read the Northwest Independent Editors Guild
four types of editing.

What is a reasonable Marketing Budget for a book launch? Plan
to spend $2.5 to $12K before and during the first three months of your
book’s life. If you get an advance on your manuscript, I recommend
spending the whole amount on marketing your book.

Line item expenses in a prep & launch budget might include
research & fact checking, editing, indexing, illustrating, cover
& interior design, web design, optimization, & maintenance,
distribution, shipping, travel, publicity, and advertising. If you need
media training or a public speaking coach, include that. You may want to
also add book festival and industry or genre conference registration,
book award submission fees, exhibitor costs, and presentation equipment.

An author’s Web Presence is absolutely crucial in today’s book
market. Internet book sales have risen exponentially. For this reason,
each author needs a web site that pulls incoming traffic from people who
are searching on the book’s issues, title, and author name.

The internet is so dynamic that each year the way to attract
customers on the cyber superhighway seems to morph. Recently, for
instance, video became mandatory for good page rank. Perhaps 152 million
blogs exist today because blogging trains Google to find you.

Use search engine optimization (SEO) tools like Google AdWords to
discover high ranking keywords, and then repeat those throughout your
web site, blog and press releases. Seek a web designer who is both
imaginative and good at taking direction, while exhibiting a proficiency
in English, design, WordPress, SEO, and business.

Finally, if you cannot define your book’s Audience and Platform,
your book will never get off the ground. To market your book, you must
be able to distill its issues and know who and where your readers are
and how they search for books and information. Create your value
proposition to attract them and prioritize your first year plan so that
you fully fund and lead with the strongest element in your platform.

pam perry in barnes and nobleDon’t end up in the slush pile! Spend time and money with your editing team, a book designer, a web designer, and a publicist, so your book is more likely to remain competitive among the 300,000 titles released in America each year.

Common Mistakes of Debut Authors (OMG!)

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