Thursday, September 24, 2009

Self-publishing: keeping your head out of the clouds can mean better book sales

I come across too many would-be self-publishers with unrealistic expectations about the process and what is involved, particularly when it comes to marketing and promotions.

Here are some things to keep in mind:
  • Don't skimp on professional editing; it will bite you in the butt down the road when you are clobbered in reviews.
  • Along those same lines: Don't blow it with a shoddy book cover. That will instantly label your book as "self-published"--and likely shoddy (even if it's not).
  • After your manuscript is complete and your book is in print, your work has just begun. Prospective readers will not automatically flock to your new title. Even the most compelling book needs to be promoted.
  • Start promoting your book well in advance of its completion. If you wait until after your book is published, you won't have the advantage of prepublication momentum and it can be harder to get that momentum going.
  • The chances of you getting on Oprah are slim. Concentrate your marketing efforts on more realistic avenues.
  • You don't need to do an expensive bookstore tour to be successful. Bookstores, in fact, are not the best place to sell books.
  • Don't expect overnight success. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to book promotions. You have to keep at it, month after month, if you expect to sell books.

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