A guide to getting published…. The concluding conclusion
And so it was early 2016, I had organised a publication date for Open Evening and now I needed to find a cover artist!
The platform in which you can upload and self-publish books via amazon allows you to use their software to put together a cover. The offer a fairly limited amount of designs mainly of the plain persuasion but it all depends on what you want, sometimes plain can be effective. I’ve personally never used it and on advice I received I suggest you don’t either. Unless you have an elaborate idea of what you want or even a photo you have personally taken I would suggest using the services of a cover artist in which there are many out there on the world wide webisphere…
I’m telling you to do this because A) Getting a nice cover made should already be in your budget and, B) a cover is really important and just in case you didn’t know, people do judge a book by its cover. If you read the last post you can see at the very bottom how mine turned out, and yes it looks wonderful.
After some research and even reading some self-help books I concluded that I wanted a company called Design for Writers to make my cover. Their Facebook page displayed a wonderful array of covers in which I imagined mine would be like. And like that I accepted their quote and waited until closer the publication day to begin working with them.
During this time and getting nearer to publication day I began to pen my next book Darke Blood in which I concluded drafting in June of 2016 (coming out this year!).
Editing and Cover stuff- Final putting together of the book
Nicky Fitzmaurice my editor had informed me she had began her work and it was August now! Time flies huh? It wasn’t long until I had back my manuscript which had been annotated throughout with changes/corrections.
After approving the changes things were really ready to move into publication.
Design for writers presented me with a link to an online basecamp where I could tell them what I wanted. They asked me a boat load of questions regarding tone, plot and characters just to get the idea of what I wanted and what they could do. After some weeks of work and back and forth (its okay to ask questions at any stage of a project, especially if you are not sure) soon enough we had a cover ready! They had even given me the choice of 3 completely different options.
The final cover proof was sent to Nicky who uploaded it to Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing along with the edited manuscript and we were ready for launch!
Book Launch and Marketing – This doesn’t have to be a frightening ordeal but this is what I did and learnt from it…
And so here it was, the moment I had been waiting for since that rainy Sunday afternoon with the windows 98 computer. Book release day.
Now my advice would be to publish and upload your book maybe a week or so before your actual publication date. This allows for you to make sure it’s OK and delivers out to people in one piece. By this time, you have maybe told a close group of friends and some of them have ordered copies. Now the buzz can really begin. Some of them may have even put up a first impression review!
Out of all my ideas to market Open Evening there was one movement which sold more books that I hadn’t accounted for. The Open Evening ‘SELFIE’. And trust me book selfies sell books, in fact they sell around 50 in the first week of release.
Selfies and cats sell books!
Even now I am still figuring out how to market my book and get sales which haven’t been remarkable but… slow and steady does eventually win the race. My amazon UK page has 6 reviews so far and all of them are good.
Goodreads would be something I suggest you get into and they offer an awesome giveaway service which will get an abundance of eyes on your book. I have also tried the Amazon US giveaway scheme which can actually get you more twitter follows.
If you would like to read on about more of my book marketing advice and adventures then check back with my resources section soon.
Now finally the conclusion via a list of stuff you need to be like me and published…
- The willingness to write and get better at it
- A book idea that’s good
- A completed manuscript which you have edited multiple times. Trust me this is important and the amount of people who have unfinished work is more frequent than it sounds. Get to writing you can do it!
- An online presence – Facebook/ Twitter and Blog. Get out there and engage with people!
- Money! You can do this on a budget but I would say you need at least £800 to get everything you want, this also includes marketing such as Facebook adverts!
- An editor and or publisher who wants to publish your work.
- A cover artist. Plenty of good ones out there, research research research!
- A thick skin and a lot of patience (mainly because stuff doesn’t ever happen quickly)
- The ability to ask questions…. Because although it looks like I know everything, I don’t.
- A plan to market and sell books. How are you going to do it?
- A good group of friends to help you launch the book with selfies and those important first reviews.
- A realistic approach and of course its all subjective. Success as an author is in the eye of the beholder so set realistic and gradual goals!
- Just keep going and never look back!
Its been rather nice re-living the story I lived over the past few years and I must thank you all for the wonderful response I have received so far. Thank you all for the likes, follows and re-tweets.
This has been my journey to publication and of course we all know it has only just begun…..