You have worked hard – maybe for years – to write this magnificant book and now you want to publish it, always in the hope to become a bestseller author. Take your time now and do it the professional way, like a traditional publisher. There are several important steps to go, no matter if you create an e-book or a traditional paper book.
1. Let it edit, edit and edit some more – by professionals.
2. Find a superb title for your book.
3. Create a brilliant cover image.
4. Write a splendid description for your back cover including blurbs.
5. Hire a professional book designer (or formatter for your e-book)
6. Get lots of reviewers
If you ignore all other advices, don’t overlook this one: Hire professional copy AND content editors. Bad editing immediately mark you as an amateur and your book wouldn’t be taken seriously. Get a professional opinion before paying thousands of dollars to print your book.
What you can do yourself before handing them your manuscript, is letting it run through a spell check and through a grammar program, such as http://www.grammarly.com. But then leave it to professionals to correct your spelling, grammar and punctuation, to make the writing consistent, which is subliminally critical to readers (and reviewers). A content editor will give you feedback beyond writing mechanics that will help you bring the best out of your story.
Find a title that matches the content of your book. Titles create expectations. Be sure your readers won’t be disappointed when they start reading your book. Have a look at this funny blog with it’s amazing new titles for books: http://betterbooktitles.com.
But seriously, this is the one you should use to find a good title: http://www.bookbuzzr.com/blog/book-marketing/the-10-commandments-of-nonfiction-book-title-success/
Read also these tips on Joel Friedlander’s blog:
Visit bookstores, your library, or go to the internet and research as many book cover designs as possible. You learn as much from badly designed books as from beautifully designed books.
Avoid centering all the text on your cover or title page, this looks pretty unprofessional. Right or left aligning creates much cleaner lines. Never use more than three different fonts on your cover, to not confuse your reader – this includes bold, italic or underline variations.
View your cover always in stamp-size image – this is the size it will appear on website catalogues. Use bold or complementary colors, but NEVER use a white or a very light background as background colors on online retail sites are almost always white. And white on white… you get it. Use light font on dark background for dramatic effects (novels, spiritual, etc.) and dark on light for easy readability (self-help, how-to, business books).
And don’t forget to design a dust rag while you’re at it. In bookstores potential customers only see this half-inch of your book before they pull it out to have a closer look at your book.
Book Description and Blurbs
Potential readers shopping for books follow an age-old browsing routine. They check out the title, then flip the book over and look at the top of the back cover for a description of what’s inside and also for blurbs (pre-publishing reviews). That’s why it is important to write a crisp, enticing summary for your back cover and to have blurbs from professionals in your field or other writers in your genre. But what to do if you don’t know any?
These days, most authors have websites and contact forms so you can get in touch. If you enjoyed their work, consider sending them a short note to let them know. It does not only make their day, but it can help them sell more books, if you allow them to use your words in their “praise” section. When your manuscript is finished ask them to return your favor. Or if you have another author mentioned in your book, ask him or her to write a short blurb for your work.
Hopefully you have been smart and started marketing and networking long before you finished your book. Now you have enough contacts made who can be helpful with blurbs and reviews.
Reading e-books is sometimes very irritating. There have often formatting problems and line breaks, or odd symbols appear instead of letters, which interrupt the pure pleasure of reading seamlessly. It is sometimes so annoying for readers that they ask Amazon to refund them – and they will get their money back, which means you as an author loose out as well.
Same is true for paper book publishers. As a self-publishing author, you need a layout artist who creates a beautiful and properly designed interior for your book. See what’s involved in book layout here: http://www.artbookbindery.com/layout.htm
And the worst 5 mistakes in interior book lay-out here:
A book review is both a description and an evaluation of a book. Try to get as many blurbs and reviews before your book is even published. You don’t need only 5-star reviews, book reviews are very subjective. But you need lots of reviews. Try to get some of professional reviewers at newspapers and magazines too, to have some literary criticism in which your book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit.(hopefully) rather than on the basis of personal taste…
Never trust family and friends to give accurate feedback about your book. Family and friends don’t want to hurt your feelings; readers and reviewers generally aren’t as kind.
Using these 6 steps in self-publishing will help you to present a professional book to your readers. A book that will command respect and shows you not only as a brilliant author but also as a professional publisher.