From the Archives: “Give me six hours…”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

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[ Originally posted: August 7th, 2009 ]

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and
I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
– Abraham Lincoln

Let’s look at breaking down your self-publishing book project into the short, mid, and long range in terms of the process in goals. The actual time involved for each phase varies with each author and each project. Nevertheless, you’ve worked hard on writing, revising, and preparing your book for publication. Congratulations. The first step or phase is done or nearing complete, and it’s time to publish.

Many authors confuse this second step – actual publishing – with step 3. Let’s slow down and take a closer look. Phase 1 is the writing, or artistic phase. Step 2, the publishing or business step. Time to begin sharpening the axe. Upfront prices are important, but take the time to avoid the ever present instant gratification of free and quick publishing and research beyond. What kind of pricing control will you have? Professional production options? Will your book be situated to retail competitively on the market? What kind of marketing services and options are available after publication? These are critical questions to ask as you research full-service self-publishing options, customize your mid-range work, and begin to look at getting your published book into reader’s hands. Now your prepared to chop the tree.

– by Karl Schroeder

Karl’s recommendations for breaking the publishing process down into three simple steps has as much to offer the self-publishing author in 2016 as they did in 2009. The steps are straightforward:

  1. Writing (the “artistic” phase)
  2. Publishing (the “business” phase)
  3. Publishing (the “chopping of the tree” phase)

There’s some lack of clarity between these two final points in Karl’s original post, but there doesn’t have to be. Think about it more like the distinction between planning and execution, which in reality ought to be separate steps and given equal weight from the outset. If the planning is not given your full attention, the execution can only ever be mediocre. And your book deserves better than mediocre!

planning

There are plenty of services out there to help you organize your plan and navigate the oft-hazardous process of publishing. If you’re still in the process of writing your book and you need a little more structure, I can’t begin to recommend the Scrivener writing software highly enough. Better still, you can try it for free for 30 days, which if you’re doing NaNoWriMo this November may be just enough time to knock out what’s left of your book.  If not, the renewal fee is minimal. It is, at its core, a digital studio space.  That’s Stage 1 taken care of.

If you’re at Stage 2, however, it might be time to reach out for help.  In doing your research for Stage 3, you will have stumbled across any number of companies offering self-publishing services–but how many of them have customer support?  Even if you’re not ready to commit to a specific company, it’s well worth getting to know who’s on the other end of the line when you call in.  In the case of Outskirts Press, you’re hooked up with a Publishing Consultant almost right away. (A real live person, in the age of the Internet?? Amazing.)  Some of your early questions can be answered by such a person, but if your questions require further attention, it’s worth paying (a reasonable amount, one would hope) someone like a Personal Marketing Assistant for that insight.  After all, as Karl said, marketing needs to start before your book hits the shelf.  It’s more of a lifestyle than a small component of a larger project.

Stage 3 is easy if you have knocked out the first with your customary thoroughness, in part because extensive planning will have made you aware of what you value most in a self-publishing company, and what steps to take once you’ve chosen one.  It might seem simple or reductive to break the publishing process down into just three steps … but then again, it works!

Thanks for reading.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing News: 9.26.2016

And now for the news!

This week in the world of self-publishing:

“In its annual summary of ISBNs registered for self-published works, Bowker reported that nearly 730,000 were issued in 2015, up from 153,000 in 2010,” writes Brian O’Leary in this September 23rd report for Publishers Weekly. “The numbers cover ISBNs issued for both print and digital formats,” he writes–but why should self-publishing authors care?  O’Leary has the answer:

The ISBN is a useful way to monitor sales across the supply chain, but works published on a single platform can forgo the identifier and rely on platforms such as Amazon to report performance. Because the creators of many self-published works do not apply for ISBNs, the number of new works published each year is believed to be greater than Bowker is able to report.

The result is that self-publishing authors are selling books which aren’t being effectively tracked by a third-party organization which reports on print, digital, and traditional vs. indie market shares.  Amazon, as we’ve mentioned elsewhere, doesn’t tend to release its sales figures to the public–and if it does, usually it’s only for a special occasional.  All of this is well and good if nobody minds that Amazon and other companies involved in self-publishing continue to withhold important information from the public, and if the public in turn doesn’t mind if it allows Amazon–a company with a vested interest in only its own shareholders, not the quality or diversity or ethicality of the product and marketing–to retain its unchallenged position at the apex of the indie revolution. O’Leary may not come out and say these things, but there’s the subtext when he concludes that “It’s not just a debate about traditional versus independent publishing, although that discussion will go on for some time. Understanding the market gives authors and publishers the data needed to inform where and how they spend their time and resources.”  For the rest of O’Leary’s excellent report, follow the link.

Monica Rhor pulls no punches in this September 24th article for USA Today; she’s ready to let the publishing world have it, and she delivers the full force of an argument that has been percolating among the near-holy trifecta of authors, publishers, and readers for some years now: Children need to see themselves in the books they read, and they aren’t getting that chance if they happen to be anything other than white and middle-class. And parents like Rhor’s interviewee, Victoria Cepeda, want to purchase books that “reflect her 4-year-old son’s cultural roots as well as his potential aspirations. [Cepeda] seeks stories that promote education and achievement, with characters who mirror his Latino heritage. Pretty simple stipulations. Amazingly difficult to find.”

This shouldn’t be the case, Rhor argues. But what’s holding us back? “Of the 3,400 books received by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education in 2015,” writes Rhor, “only 58 were written by Hispanic authors and 82 were about Latino characters. Most large-trade publishers in the U.S. send copies of their new books to the CCBC, an organization that tracks the race of authors and characters in children’s books.” This is despite the fact that fully one-quarter of US school-aged children are latino/a in heritage–and they all are being read to as a part of their school curricula. They are being told, in essence, that their culture and background doesn’t matter. That they are expected to identify with exclusively white characters, while white students are being taught that they aren’t expected to relate to anyone from a non-white background. If history has taught us anything, it’s that this kind of disparity does not teach empathy or create a safe environment for a growing nation’s minorities.

But there’s hope, and Rhor runs down a short list of opportunities now opening to latino/a authors, publishers, and readers (parents and children alike). To track these opportunities, read the rest of Rhor’s article here.

“Fear of failure and concerns over what the process would entail always put a stop to the idea; until now that is,” writes Chris Myers, co-founder and CEO of BodeTree, “a financial management solution for organizations that serve small business,” and frequent contributor to MSNBC. His “until now” reference is, as you might have guessed, to do with the rise of self publishing.  As Myers documents in this September 23rd piece for Forbes, self-publishing may actually be one of the few cases where a process is easier than advertised. (And it’s a fact that many experts caution authors as often as encourage them, for fear that they might lead them to think the process too easy.) And there you have the first thing Myers learned–“Publishing is easy”–as well as the preamble to his second point–“Marketing is hard”–which sounds about right, given the plethora of websites and blogs and books out there (including ours) which have something to say on the subject.  And Myers’ final point?  “It’s important to keep your expectations in check,” he writes, because “It’s a difficult and often thankless journey, but ultimately we do it for ourselves rather than fame or money.”  And if you haven’t already bought into the truth of these statements, check out Myers’ full article at the link, and make up your mind after reading how he came to these three realizations.


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As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

Let’s Celebrate! Indie Author Day Is Just Around the Corner

October is a big month for festivities—Halloween, we’re looking at you—but there’s one party you absolutely don’t want to miss: Indie Author Day, which this year will take place nationwide on Saturday, October 8th. Why is this a big day? First of all, it’s the day where we celebrate you and all that you do as a self-publishing author. And if you needed a second reason, here’s another: Indie Author Day provides a fantastic opportunity for networking with other authors and partner organizations, as well as a great centerpoint for launching your next promotion or giveaway at your local public library!

indie author day 2016

Want to know how to get involved? Your first stop should be the official Indie Author Day website (www.indieauthorday.com). There, you can find out if your local library is participating (under the “WHERE” tab) and even get involved in signing yourself and your library up for next year (under the “AUTHOR INQUIRY” and “LIBRARY REGISTRATION” tabs, respectively). The website is chock-full of useful information and tips to get you started.

Perhaps the most important feature of the Indie Author Day website is, however, the “NEWS” tab, where you can find the most up-to-date information on events happening both near and far from you as well as ways for you to watch live streams or take direct part. And don’t dally, if you can help it—some of the opportunities out there have fast-closing deadlines, so it’s worth diving in with both feet right away; there are plenty of how-to resources available through the website as well as elsewhere online (don’t forget about your advocates and your Personal Marketing Assistant at Outskirts Press, for example!) to help you find a foothold.

To top it all off, there will be an online “Digital Gathering” for indie authors, advocates, and fans on October 8th at 2:00 PM Eastern Time (ET). The gathering will feature a Question and Answer session with writers, agents, and other industry leaders that you absolutely won’t want to miss. Libraries hosting Indie Author Day related events will be streaming this gathering, but if you can’t make it in (or if there is no library near you playing host), you can also watch the event on YouTube—live or after the fact, depending on what works for your schedule. As is fitting for an event seeking to advocate for indie and self-publishing authors, the wonderful people behind Indie Author Day do their best to make theirs a flexible, adaptable, and responsive event.

We here at Self Publishing Advisor and our friends over at Outskirts Press will be following the events of Indie Author Day closely. You can follow along as we post more information here and by accessing that all-important Indie Author Day website.

See you at the library!


Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

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Conversations: 8/23/2016

PROMOTING YOUR BOOK—EVERY WAY—EVERYWHERE!

A book-lovers miracle took place back in 1939. The Pocket Book publishing company began printing book for $0.25 cents. Traditional publishers did everything they could to stop it. They were going to lose money if this crazy idea caught on. Well, it did! Suddenly people in the U.S. began reading all the time! The first books were reprints of best sellers and classics such as The Lost Horizon by James Hilton (sold 2,514,747) and Topper by Thorne Smith (1,546,000). Can you imagine not having affordable access to those—or our own recently published books?  This revolution in marketing was a blessing to the world much like the production of eBooks today.

giftcard

Now the question for us is, “How can we do ALL that we need to do get our books noticed and purchased?” Often our budgets are small to begin with and the marketing column is the smallest. Several years ago, one of the self-publishing companies I’ve worked with came up with the idea of providing Gift Cards for authors no matter what stage of writing or publishing they were in. This was before the Facebook “GoFundMe” pages began to appear, however the concept is basically the same. Family, friends, author-communities and neighbors can help financially support an Author—basically donating funds to give the author more options for such things as: completing their book with editorial assistance, hiring a professional cover Designer, or working with an experienced Graphic Designer to prepare a video-trailer to market the book online. This is such a great way for a lot of people to share in the publishing adventure right at the beginning of our own writing journey.

The first place I recommend for investing Gift Card funds is with a Marketing Expert who specializes in promoting book and the genre of books you are writing. Even before your book is ready for release, this person will become your new best friend. I cannot express how valuable their expertise is in today book-world. Much like the innovative thinker who began the Pocket Book company, your personal marketing assistant will be the person who thinks WAY outside the box giving you priceless strategies for getting and keeping your book in view of Readers everywhere. First they will listen to you and collect all the information about your book that you can give them. Then they will develop a plan of action—tasks for you or them—to do today, tomorrow and next year. Arranging book signings at local venues from bookstores to book-friendly coffee houses is high on their lists. They will also help you create a brand and/or platform as well as an “online presence” through all the social media sites possible. Yes, indeed, these folks are amazing people whose gift to us is moving us forward beyond our own expectations.

Also right up top of my helpers list is the PRESS RELEASE writer. An author’s relationship with this person may be short. However, an exceptionally written Press Release is a top priority. One thing to ask when selecting the person you’ll work with is HOW WIDE is their distribution. The publishing of your book is not only a remarkable event in your life it is also an Event that needs to be noticed in the publishing world. Working with a professional and creative Press Release writer will help your launch your book and grab the attention of reviewers in newspapers and online—everywhere. ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

In Your Corner: Know Thyself (& Thy Genre)

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve spent some time looking a few of the many choices authors have to make during the self-publication and marketing processes, starting with the Big Whopper (“Choosing a Self-Publishing Company“) and then moving into choices regarding the text itself (“Choosing a Trim Size for Your Book“).  This Thursday, however, I’m writing less about making a choice than I am about detecting past choices you may not have been aware you were making … and then totally exploiting them for marketing purposes.

Let me explain.

You Don’t Choose A Genre So Much As Discover It:

It Probably Only Matters for Marketing Anyway

Thinking back over the history of publishing, I can’t begin to count the number of times a book has been rejected as “too weird” or “too out-there” when really, the issue at hand was the fact that the book in question didn’t fit neatly into one of the prescribed genres (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Fantasy/Science Fiction, Western, Biography, etc).  And the marketing folks at a traditional publisher know: it’s hard to market something that doesn’t fit neatly into a category, because doing so requires flexibility and out-of-the-box thinking.  Hybrid thinking.  Opinions are changing, slowly, but not fast enough within the Big Five traditional publishing houses.

Self-publishing gives you a third way. You don’t have to pick a genre while writing, but you can take advantage of a book’s genre or genres plural by approaching genre as a diagnosis after the fact, and an expedition in search of what the Atlantic’s Noah Berlatsky calls “a ‘web of resemblances’ created by intertexual references” that are “constituted basically by social and cultural agreement,” quoting John Rieder and Jason Mittel.  It’s a hunt for markers that point you toward certain resemblances … resemblances you can capitalize on for their social currency.

genre

The diagnosis process is simple:

  1. What books have you read that influenced your work in a measurable way?
  2. What books on the shelves in bookstores now bear resemblance to yours in style and content?

Once you sketch out a couple of lists to answer this question, it’s time to hit the bookstore and your library.  Libraries tend to scale the number of genre sections they stock according to how much shelf space they have, so bigger libraries will have finer distinctions between genres, while bookstores tend to pick the genres they’re going to stock according to what’s popular.  If you survey both your local Barnes & Noble, Tattered Cover, or (*gasp*) actual real-life physical Amazon Bookstore as well as your local public library, you’ll pick up on some of the more common genres out there, including:

  • Action/Adventure
  • Biography
  • Fantasy/Sci-Fi
  • Horror
  • “Literary” Fiction
  • Mystery
  • Thriller/Suspense
  • Romance
  • Self-Help
  • Westerns
  • Women’s fiction

But the list could be a lot, lot longer.  I haven’t, for instance, mentioned more obscure genres like Steampunk and Grimoire.

Once you’ve found the shelf or shelves on which you could picture your book sitting in a bookstore or library, you’re ready to start integrating genre into your publishing and marketing processes.  Now, your book may have “resemblances” to any number of genres, but for simplicity’s sake it’s a good idea to pick just one or two that have left very clear thumbprints on your text.  You can take a quick poll of your early readers, or consult the professionals, for what they find most striking about the style and tone and voice of your book if you end up stuck for answers.  And before committing to your genre or genres, you’ll want to consider your readership.  What are they likely to connect to the most in terms of language?

Genre safely discovered and stowed away for future use, it’s time to start putting it to work.  The language of genre is rich with possibility in terms of “buzzwords” for marketing purposes, so sow them liberally amongst your back-cover blurbs, your press releases, your Amazon and Goodreads listings, your website and blog posts, as well as your social media interactions.  (Genres like #biopunk and #horrorlit make for great hashtags, don’t you think?)

There are lots of ways to use genre once your book is already written and ready to meet the world…but remember, it’s all a matter of timing.  You don’t need to write your entire book to meet a genre’s proscriptive requirements…just your promotional materials.  Genre can be confining, so it’s best to bring it into play only after the creative work is already done.  In my opinion.

You are not alone. ♣︎

*  And when Thomas himself took the poem seriously and made some rather intense life choices–for example, going off to WWI–Frost was devastated.  He was even more devastated when Thomas died in Arras.  The moral of this story being, it would seem, to make major life decisions upon thorough research and consideration, not the (misread) interpretation of a poem.

Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 18 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, pre-production specialists, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

The Book Beautiful: The Back Cover

It’s More Than a Graveyard for Details

A potential reader has your book in their hands, they look at the front illustration, they flip through and subconsciously note how the book it formatted, and then they turn the book around to read the back cover. The back cover becomes a crucial piece for a reader deciding whether or not they are going to purchase your book. You essentially have 150-200 words to sell your story to the reader, anything more than that will appear cluttered or have to be excruciatingly small in order to fit, alienating some potential readers who didn’t bring a magnifying glass along with them to the bookstore.That being said, a great thing to do before you begin brainstorming the back cover of your own book is to go through your own library and look at the back covers of some of your favorite books for reference.

Is your book fiction? If so, provide a short summary of what the story is about, including some enticing plot points to hook your reader in (don’t give the ending away!). An exciting way to end your back cover blurb is with a question or introducing a point of tension that the reader will feel compelled to explore further.

Is your book nonfiction? Begin by addressing the primary purpose of your book, or the ‘why’ a reader should choose your book. Proceed by making a bullet-point list of the topics your book will cover, i.e. what the reader can gain from reading your book.

Once your blurb is written, it’s time to introduce yourself as an author. A professional photograph of yourself (a face shot with no background noise, the focus is on you here) with a short bio is another essential component of a back cover. This bio won’t be as detailed as the formal bio on a page inside the book (or book jacket if a hardcover), and is not meant to be. If you are a nonfiction writer, this is a good place to list your qualifications, experience, or training in the area you’ve written about.

Endorsements are another appropriate feature to add to your back cover if you have them. An endorsement is just a short little quip written by a well-respected author in your genre (if fiction) or professional in your field (if nonfiction). If you don’t have someone well-known to endorse your book, it is best to omit this feature as it will simply look like you couldn’t obtain a more reputable endorsement and instead settled for anything.

If you’re struggling with any of the components of your back cover, Outskirts Press’ one click publishing package includes a personalized back cover that is professional and polished and relieves you of the stress of choosing the right few words to include to reel in potential readers.


Thank you for reading!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at selfpublishingadvice@gmail.com.  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com

From the Archives: “HUGE MISTAKE: Using ‘Traditional’ Business Cards as a Coach/Speaker”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

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[ Originally posted: February 28th, 2011 ]

You’re an AMAZING speaker. You know how to work the room when you’re in front of an audience. Once your presentation is over, though, you make a HUGE mistake. This one is really big, but no one told you what you were doing wrong: you hand out a business card. That sounds harmless enough, right? Not if you’re a coach or speaker.

A business card can’t portray the true value of a speaker’s knowledge in their field. Last week, I presented at Kathleen Gage’s New Horizon’s Telesummit on the topic “Your Book – Your Business Card”. If you haven’t published a book, you are doing your business (yourself) a great disservice. Think about how easy it will be to attract/retain clients and book speaking gigs if you had a published book

  • Your audience can get to know more about you and your business
  • You can share your expertise with your target customer and others in your field
  • Coaching is intangible. A book allows the client to touch the coach via the book.
  • A well written content rich book will validate the author as an expert. Experts get to charge more.

Okay, I’m sold. I know I need to publish a book to build my business. How can I get started? If you decide to self-publish, it’s not as difficult as you think. There are some companies that offer self-publishing packages for coaches and speakers, including Outskirts Press. Packages like these are designed for busy professionals that are always on the go. If you think self-publishing is right for you be sure to choose a self-publisher that can accommodate your marketing and distribution goals. Truthfully, creating the actual book is the easiest part. Make sure that you are maintaining the rights to your material and that you have control over your retail piece and your trade discount.

Some authors don’t want to pay to publish their books. In cases like these, you may consider going the “traditional” publishing route. Remember that you will be selling your rights to the book, but you will still be responsible for promoting your book after the process is complete. Also, publishing your book this way could take months or even years (if it’s accepted).

It is important that you weigh the pros and cons of each option and decide which one works for you.

– by Wendy Stetina

Wendy was right–the best advertisement for an author is a book, and the best means of marketing a new book is to start working on the next one. This isn’t to say you won’t have valuable things to add to the conversation about self-publishing if you yourself haven’t finished publishing your book, but as someone interested in indie publishing you probably know better than most the true importance of timing. It’s worth waiting to give that big presentation until after you have some hard copies of your book in hand, even though waiting is agonizing and fun for no one.

We’re talking about the power of tangibles. There’s a lot you can do with the force of your personality alone in terms of capturing an audience and convincing its various members of your sincerity and authenticity … but there will always be at least one person who will lobby a comment during the Q&A session asking how and where to purchase your book.  If you don’t have an answer for that person, your credibility as a presenter tanks.  It may not tank a lot, but any tanking is a bad thing.  On the other hand, if your book is for sale digitally and you can confidently state its retailers, you’ll earn credibility.  The more at home you are with the particulars of your own publishing experience–the date on which your book was or will be published, the retailers where it can be purchased, and your personal website address and social media account handles where your audiences can seek out more information–the more your image as a worthwhile presenter is built and the more your listeners will see you as an author and not just as any old speaker.

When it comes to speaking about self-publishing, there’s real currency in sharing your personal experience.  This is why I’m 100% an advocate of signing yourself up to be a presenter … and just a tad cautious about signing up too soon.  Make it worth your while.  And if you’re absolutely going to be steam-rolled into a presentation before your book is out in print, make your business card an access point to the publication process.  By which I mean: make sure it not only includes your publication date and website information, but make the giving of it an actual incentive to buy.  Incentivization is king!  You might offer a 15% discount to everyone who can provide proof of business card acquisition at online checkout–perhaps each business card is printed with a discount code–or you might use it as the first clue in a series that will lead your presentation listeners on an Easter egg hunt around town to friendly businesses that are promoting your work.  You can get really creative at this point–my suggestions barely scratch the surface!

Just … don’t let your business card be boring.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.