Monday, 8 September 2014

What Every Author Should Know…

Feeling overwhelmed when it comes to publishing and promoting a book? Are you getting lost in the crowd? Relax. Take a breath. Release it. By focusing on these key areas, you can find the traction your book needs to rise above the crowd.


Understand the Publishing Industry: Writing a book does not guarantee you readers—believe me, I know! So before publishing, ask yourself some important questions. Who are your competitors? What do they publish? How is your genre faring in the industry right now? Knowing your market is vital to finding and connecting with readers, receiving book reviews, and getting book sales.

Book Covers are Key: Pick up a book or view a thumbnail-size cover online. What’s your first impression? Is the cover unprofessional or tacky? If so, chances are you’ll think the writing is sub-par. It’s a smart move to invest in a professionally designed cover by someone who understands book design and the publishing industry. You've put a lot of work into writing your book; apply the same philosophy to your book cover.

Your Best Marketing Tool is Editing: With all the competition out there, you want your book to be the best you can make it. A poorly edited book will not gain you readers, reviewers, or fans. Delegate to the professionals if you must, but don’t put out a book that’s destined to receive one star nods.

Get Good Advice: Honestly, there are so many reputable, free resources available to authors for every phase of their publishing journey. Blogs, social media groups, online forums, and more offer everything an author can imagine to get headed in the right direction. Take advantage of these resources, ask questions, learn from others, and share your insights.

Work Your Market: Cultivate readers via the social media, not by clogging the internet with spam, but by asking if they’d be interested in becoming a beta-reader for you. Many authors have successfully built a stable of pre-publication beta readers who offer their insights. Don’t forget, beta readers are not editors—they help an author understand if the story works, if it's authentic.

It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint: If you're going to publish a book, you have to be in it for the long haul. It takes time to learn the publishing ropes and build a following. Approach your marketing and promotion with the long-term in mind. Basic formula: Time + Backlist (4 or more books) = Sustainable Author Career.

Website 101: Build a respectable sales hub through your website. Unless you know how to convert web visitors into buyers, and know all about web conversion and SEO, you should find a professional to design your site.

Build Relationships: Saying thank you goes a long way. If you guest blog, thank your host. Are you getting book reviews and interviews? If so, be sure to thank them for taking the time to review your book or interview you because these are people you can approach for your subsequent books. Trust me, kindness and manners matter, and people DO notice.

Teamwork 101: If you're hiring people to help you publish and/or market your book, take advantage of their expertise. Look for someone with a good track record, and who understands the market, then trust their advice and let them do what you've hired them to do.


Publishing is a business. In the end, it’s worth the time to invest in your book, your team, and your promotion. Thank you for reading my blog. If you have time, please leave a comment and share what you’ve been doing to get your book in front of your readers. Love to hear them! Cheers!

22 comments:

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    1. Thanks, Gita! I try to help other writers when I can! Cheers!

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  2. Good advice. A book's no good sitting on a shelf.

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  3. Excellent advice. Thanks, Sharon.:)

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  4. Great advice, Sharon! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa, and you're more than welcome!

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  5. Best comment I can make is never release two novels with two diff publishers in the same week. <falls down in deep sleep.

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    1. OMG, Emma! I don't think I could do that! One is tough enough to market and promo during a release! Cue the smelling salts...

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  6. And Sharon Ledwith certainly has some eye-catching covers!

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    1. You can say that again, Rita. Wish I could take the credit too! Hugs!

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  7. So much to keep up with! Be prepared to make mistakes. Keep calm and carry on, as the Brits used to say.

    Thanks for the reminder, Sharon!

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    1. LOL! If we don't make mistakes we won't learn anything new, Helen and Lorri! Cheers for dropping by to comment. Much appreciated!

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  8. Wonderful advice my Djen friend! ;-)

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    1. It takes a Djen to know one! Hugs, GF!

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