Authors, I thought I did everything right with my first self-published book!
- I wrote down a story I love with characters I love even more. Check.
- I asked a friend to draw a custom book cover. Check.
- I wrote a blurb for the product description. Check.
- I asked a friend to edit the book. Check.
- I previewed my book and it's formatting. Check.
- I published the book. Check.
- My cover captured a scene in the book, but what I needed was a cover that captured buyers! Meaning a thumbnail image designed with mass-market appeal. A book cover is strictly a marketing tool.
- My blurb read like a book review, not a sales pitch. It's supposed to HOOK a buyer, not explain the whole plot.
- I recommend hiring a professional copy editor. My friend is and remains invaluable as a content editor, but copy editors are up to date on the current trends in style preferred by NY publishers.
- Book formatting is an art form in itself! I failed to justify the right alignment of the text. A rookie oversight if I ever saw one! And, I didn't set a gutter in my paperback. My margins were too big anyway, so the gutter was a non-issue, but now that I'm thinning the margins, the gutter is essential.
I received my manuscript back from the proofreader yesterday. I'm going through his comments and polishing the story. I'm also taking this opportunity to change the fonts for the chapter headings, I'm increasing the font size for my young readers, thinning the margins, and justifying the right alignment. The new version is the same story, only better!
I'm unwilling to market The Pet Washer until the changes are complete.
To Do: We all need to promote our books, but not when we know they can be better. If something about your book is nagging you--fix it! It's a pain to do, but it only has to be done once. I want to promote my book with pride, and I can't do that when I know it's not the best it can be. My updated version of The Pet Washer will be available soon!
Here are articles on my previous blunders and advice for helping your book shine!
- Book Renovations On manuscript preparation
- Authors,Timing is Everything. On when to publish.
- Maximizing Author Central on Amazon (most popular post!)
- Why I Am an Idiot (on choosing the right reader categories)
- Why Outsource? (on seeking outside help)