3 Do-it-Now Self-Publishing Tasks
My book, Sunbelievable should be ready to ship from the printer today. Cheers!! But self-publishers beware… there’s no hiatus while waiting. The Capricorn goat in me plodded through the book creation process for well over 2 years.
While working on the book, I wasn’t thinking about anything else except story and design work. Once the book was ready to print, I realized how far behind I was with just about everything else. So I thought I’d share my 3 top priorities and tasks (like a good Capricorn)–the ones I wish I’d started months prior to print-ready. Here’s a bit of advice, from one who’s (still) learning:
1. Start a list of book reviewers in your genre. “A good review placed in the hands of the reading public by a competent reviewer is the most effective and least expensive publicity/promotion instrument available to the independent publisher,” according to Midwest Book Review’s Editor-in-Chief at http://www.midwestbookreview.com/. As early as you can, start gathering all possible sources of information about reviewers, entry forms and guidelines, qualifications, cost per category and entry. The major book reviewers for self-published books are easy to find using a simple Internet search. Don’t forget well respected book bloggers! Of course, follow all submission guidelines to the letter. Of the 1500+ titles a month received by Midwest Book Review ” . . . about half (750) get assigned, and only around 450+ get reviewed. That’s about 1/3 of the total submitted.” Faulty entries are one of the biggest reasons books get sent to the trash pile. I’ll do my best!
2. Research book awards in your genre. Similar to book reviews, awards demonstrate your accomplishment to the public. Are award programs worth the money and effort? According to the Independent Publisher Book Award at http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/LearnMore.php, “Entering your titles in awards programs does take time, money, and effort, but the possible pay-offs include financial reward, personal satisfaction, and prestige. Awards are a great morale boost for all those involved, and they influence reviewers and buyers.” Again, start early. The list of awards isn’t available in one place, so searching and good detective skills–and time–really matter! I’m submitting to quite a number of book awards. Stay tuned!
3. Organize marketing/PR strategy. I surfed the net, read lots of books about marketing, invested in one-on-one telephone coaching sessions. All have been great sources of how-tos for me, and helped sort through the maze of opportunities. I dove into social marketing and networking. As much as these can be a time drain, it seems we can’t live, or work as publishers, without them. On my iGoogle home page, I subscribe through RSS feeds to at least a dozen web sites that offer tremendously useful marketing ideas. Whenever I’m on that page, I can readily see what’s new and how I might use that information for my marketing campaign.
Sound easy? Maybe I should have been a Taurus!
What would you add as #4 to the list above? We can all learn from each other…