One of the most satisfying things as an author is to complete your book and publish it. It is a great achievement. However, book authors’ do not realise that this is not the end of the road. One of the biggest mistakes is that once the world has known about the book, it will sell magically. The second one, which most authors fall prey, is the assumption that once they get a publishing contract, then the publishers will perform the rest of the selling activities. Why would you abandon your baby? When all that is remaining is nurturing the baby to have the desired results. It is wrong and not business savvy. Before anything else, you need to make sure that potential readers can find your book. I will help you with seven tips to help potential readers find your work.
1. Correct Categorisation
You need to make sure that your book is in the correct genre category. This will help your readers to have an easy find in case they are looking for a specific genre. A good starting place is to use Book Industry Standards and Communications (BISAC) Codes. You can find the BISAC codes for Fiction by visiting www.fictionshifter.co.uk/BISACFiction. You can do the same for other categories for example, drama or travel. They will give you steps and suggestion on how to select the right code. You can also search the catalogues of retailers you are targeting such as Amazon, Waterstones, or Barnes & Noble and check how they categorise.
2. Cover Design
It does not have to be complex. A simple cover design that covers all the aspects of good design is optimal. These aspects include; the book colour, physical dimensions, author name and book title and how the sizes of their fonts compare, typography- how the writings are structured and placed on the cover. You can get help by looking at the best-selling books and observe how the covers are created. You do not necessarily need to do the same, just to get motivation. Remember, a good Cover Design is characterised by a keen eye on the details. Make yours visually appealing.
Once a reader is satisfied by the cover design means they are ready to give your book a chance. It is at this point that a well-written blurb kicks in. The reader will want to know what your book is about. Make it short but catchy. Introduce your main character and the conflict of the story. You want to leave the reader with suspense, therefore, do not give the whole story. Adding an image relating to the book will go a long way to attract the attention of a reader. Be original and creative.
It is a world of technology and this goes a long way for authors as it freely increases their market bases. If your book is only available in one format, consider making it available in Kindle/eBook, audio book, or other formats to increase exposure and cover all readers. One format limits you to one type of readers and this can only work in a perfect market. Multi format ensures that readers can read in different circumstances, such as when relaxing, exercising, driving, or doing chores. Check out my previous article on Audiobooks.
Distribution in other words encompasses your target market. You will know in which market your book will thrive in the most. Start with those channels. They could be Online selling points, Independent bookshops, Schools, Libraries, Book clubs, Social media sites, or author Websites. Ensure to cover all your target channels. Make good use of your author website and Facebook Ad Library. If you can, you can have special offer prices or some forms of incentives. For deliveries, ensure they are timely and seamless.
6. Find your Audience
Before you get to selling your book you will have created your audience. People following you on social media, your authors website or the book clubs you attend. The audience will come in handy during the release of your book. Prior to the release, inform them of an upcoming book and why they should look forward to reading it. Communicate and build long term relationships over time. One other way of finding your audience is by having a well organised mailing list, you can achieve this through an author website. Always keep your audience up to date.
7. Education and Support
‘’If you think you know everything, you know nothing.’’ Socrates. The learning process is infinite. From time to time, getting support from an expert mentor whether through coaching, tutoring, or online learning is highly encouraged. You will discover ideas and insights that will help boost your career. It can even be indirectly related to your career, such as how to build meaningful social relationships. The Education and Support also applies the other way around. If you are in a position to educate or support in any way, then I would highly recommend that you do.
Book selling is not all about making money. It is also about sharing your stories with the world and building a relationship with your readers. It is no different to dating, you discover your potential date either through chance or hanging out at their hang out place, you make a connection and hope to build a long term relationship. The constant here is that you are reaching out and making yourself admirable enough. Readers will tend to lean more to an author with whom they have an established relationship. Catch me up next in my next blog as I discuss further the essentials of a cover design.