In Your Corner: Doing the Subtitle … Right

subtitle

Subtitles are tricky things, aren’t they?

No, we’re not talking about the ones at the bottom of that Netflix show you’ve been binge-watching lately (though we totally get it). We’re talking about book subtitles, those handy descriptive phrases which come after the colon in a book’s title on the front page. They often hint at a book’s content in terms of subject or theme or atmosphere, but each author approaches the subtitle differently. For example, you have the original fancy-pants subtitle, invented pretty much around the same time as the novel and the bound book. A classic example is pretty much anything scientific from the 19th Century, such as Revue D’Histoire Des Sciences: Et De Leurs Applications ….

subtitles

More current examples might include:

  1. Tangled In Life: A Lainey Kelso Mystery, by Mary Meckler (in which the subtitle clarifies the book’s genre as well as indicating that it is part of a series);
  2. Wednesdays With Jerry: A teacher, a student, and lessons to bring about the greatest of life’s stories, by Eane Huff (in which the subtitle sketches out some basic content points as well as placing the book as an inspiration memoir);
  3. Turnings: Love In A Time of War, by Chloe Canterbury (in which the subtitle sets the tone and names the stakes of the book);
  4. When KIWIs Flew: The Diary of a Mad Airline Entrepreneur, by Bob Iverson (ditto, only in this case the subtitle also hints at the book’s style and atmosphere too–light, wild, and intensely funny); and
  5. BULLYING: Applying Handwriting Analysis to Detect Potential Danger Signs and Effects, by David J. DeWitt, CGA (in which the subtitle takes a very serious approach to describing the book’s field of study, as is appropriate for a book which will keep company with peer-reviewed journals, textbooks, and medical handbooks).

As you can see, subtitles perform a variety of different functions–some of them more specifically coded for a particular genre than others, as in the case of strictly descriptive subtitles in the research-driven nonfiction area and more emotive subtitles in the case of fiction. (This would hold true for poetry, too.) Subtitles may not be the first thing potential readers see when they first pick up a copy of your book, but they’re an important follow-up punch to a well-crafted cover, and serve as a bridge between your title and the blurbs and descriptions which readers will find on your back cover. They often make a difference in whether a shopper will commit to buying your book on a deeply instinctual level!

There are, of course, some instances in which a subtitle is not necessary: when the author is a celebrity (and has widespread name recognition, like Kim Kardashian) or famous within a specific field and the book is addressed to people in that field (such as a book written by a famous doctor for doctors), and when a book is a straight-up literary fiction novel. Of course, these authors may still choose to take advantage of the benefits of a subtitle! (We won’t hold it against them.)

A good subtitle is succinct, to-the-point and crystal clear. Subtitles are not the zone for hazy atmospheric inferences and poetic rambles! A strong one will duplicate nothing in the regular title, but will instead expound upon what may be found between covers. The best subtitles provide a digital boost, too, in that they’re a playground for keywords which will better enable readers to find your book (and buy it, of course). Keyword-enriched subtitles make your book marketable, and this is not a benefit to be ignored!

And a side note:

Your book’s title is not protected by copyright, so neither is your subtitle. Its role must be to capture the interest of your audience and to make your book stand out among its peers on a crowded bookshelf, so it’s well worth taking a gander through some of your local libraries and bookstores to see what titles are already trending. You want yours to resonate with current trends–but also to strike a note of contrast, to set your book apart.

My recommendation? Don’t come up with your subtitle until after your book is complete. And if you feel insecure about the direction your title and subtitle are headed, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here for you! And we love being your sounding board.

You are not alone. ♣︎


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.

Spending Money to Save Money!

Ever find yourself lured into buying something simply because it’s cheaper, only to find that it doesn’t work and then you have to spend more than twice as much money trying to replace it with what you actually need? We’ve all been there. We’ve chosen the cheap mechanic or car salesmen only to have our car break down just a few miles up the road.

As self-publishing authors, the temptation to choose the cheapest route is a dangerous one. A cheaper illustrator for your cover may save you a few bucks in production, but it could cost you exponentially more in sales. Spending money to make money always hurts initially. It’s a risk-based investment that you can’t guarantee will pay off. However, you can almost always guarantee that going a cheap route to save money will  never pay off.

Here are some things that cost money and are worth every penny:

  • Proofreading!!!!!
  • Developmental Editing and Copyediting
  • Interior Designer
  • Cover Designer/Illustrator
  • An up-to-date, visually appealing website
  • A book trailer or other social media marketing tools
  • Education — attend conferences, classes, writing retreats, etc. These things make you a better writer and will improve your sales, your networking and reputation as a writer.

Look at these investments as what they are: things that will pay off in the future. You invested so much time into creating a manuscript that you felt proud of, so don’t sell it short. Invest the money in it that you would like to get back and you will be amazed at the returns. If you just want a book to give to friends and families, feel free to skimp, but if you’re trying to market yourself, spend your money on quality investments.

money dollar bill


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: “There is No Such Thing as Free Lunch”

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: May 28th, 2012 ]

Have you heard the cliché “There is no such thing as a free lunch”? Everything has a cost, even if it appears to be free. This true for self publishing as well as all other areas of life.

While there are companies who say they publish your book for free, there are still costs to you. For instance, you may have to buy large amounts of merchandise after the book is printed, or you will have to spend vast amounts of time marketing your own book. In addition, a “free” publishing company could harm your reputation has an author if your book is not of professional quality.

Authors who want their books to be taken seriously need to invest in their projects. This means you’ll at least need a good copy editor and possibly an experienced graphic designer. Depending on your skills and goals, you may also require marketing services. Not all self publishing companies offer these extra services.

Authors should invest in their books by choosing a full-service self publishing company that offers a variety of production and marketing services as well as excellent customer service. This will ensure that you have access to skilled professionals who will help make your book a masterpiece.

I’d love to know, what additional services do you plan to use when self publishing your book?

– by Wendy Stetina

free lunch

While a good (almost) five years have ticked by since Wendy first wrote this post, much of what she has said remains true. Yes, you still need to watch for hidden fees tucked into your self-publishing contract. Yes, you still need to guard against paying for any package that leaves big gaps for you to cover, especially if these gaps coincide with a lack of experience or expertise on your part that you can’t hope to redress in time to sell your book effectively. And yes, many of these issues naturally resolve themselves if you take care and exercise sound judgment in choosing the finest self-publishing company you can.

And since you’ve opted to pursue self-publishing, clearly your judgement is a finely-tuned instrument to begin with!

But I think Wendy had another, greater point buried within her original post, all the way back in 2012. The point of reputation. Your reputation is, for all intents and purposes, inseparable from your personal brand. And your personal brand is what, in the end, sells books. In an age where boycotts have been proven an effective means of communities exercising influence over what works of art get funded and produced, an author’s reputation means a lot. A lot. So much, in fact, that it might as well mean everything, because once it’s even faintly tarnished, it’s rather a complete loss.

The natural end of this formula (a + b = c) is that, yes, the self-publishing company you choose is fundamental to either losing or building a stellar reputation. While self-publishing authors and companies don’t have exclusive ownership of this formula (consider the rage boiling over a certain Twitter troll’s contract with Simon & Schuster, for example, which will affect both of their reputations in the long run), the self-publisher lives and operates an awful lot closer to the line of no return.

And several self-publishing companies have mistreated their customers. This is a sad fact, and not at all indicative of the general trend (which we hope we espouse) towards respectful and honest, unilaterally positive treatment … but even one rotten apple in a bushel is enough to inspire caution, isn’t it? (Or maybe a carton instead of a bushel. I cracked open a rotten egg a week ago, and let me tell you, I have struggled to walk through the kitchen ever since. The memory sticks.)

My point is this: listen to reviews from authors who have self-published already. Spend some time sussing out the dark corners of the internet to verify the company of your choice is, in fact, generating the kind of reviews it should be. Don’t pay any attention to general naysayers who give all self-publisher’s the middle finger, but do listen to articles and posts that are company-specific, and rooted in individual experience.

There’s no margin of error when it comes to your reputation and its relationship to your decision of where to take your next self-published book. Take it somewhere where it–and you, and yes, your lunch–will be in safe hands!

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.

From the Archives: “Self Publish a Book in 2013”

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: December 31st, 2012 ]

It is hard to believe another year is already behind us. As 2013 approaches, many of you will set New Year’s resolutions for yourself. One of the most popular resolutions is writing and publishing a book. Whether you write fiction, non-fiction, adult or children’s books, the Self Publishing Advisor blog is here to help. Every week we share tips, advice and news about self-publishing to help you achieve your goals, and I’m dedicating my January posts to authors whose 2013 resolution is to write and self-publish a book before the year ends.

Whatever your writing obstacles have been in the past (a busy schedule or a fear of failure), I am here to help! Enjoy the last night of 2012 and get ready for the best year of your life — the year you become a self-published author.

Happy New Year’s!

– by Jodee Thayer

Okay, so one last “resolutions-related” blog post for 2017 and I’ll be done. Probably. I suppose it has been on my mind a great deal in the last few months–what with my participation in NaNoWriMo this year and an encroaching sense that if I don’t finish my book now, I will never ever finish it–and I’ve been simply unable to let go of the hope that 2017 can somehow be different … that it has to be different, for my sanity’s sake and the sake of peace and equilibrium at home. And my back. My back would really appreciate it if I could stop internalizing all of my existentialist anxiety and self-recriminations over my lack of progress.

So, how to kick things into gear? Plan. Plan, and then turn plans into the kinds of good habits which lead to a finished book, and ultimately, a published book.

But enough about my story. What about yours? Is 2017 the year–or a year, for those of you who have already self-published–when you publish your next book? Oh, yes. Yes it is. I firmly believe it can be done–even if you haven’t started writing it yet. A dash of fierce dedication and a plethora of hot coffees and maybe a couple of kale smoothies every week, and you can get there. I firmly believe this, not just because I need to for my own reasons, but because 2017 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for self-publishing.

There are countless book expos and fairs making space for self-publishing authors and companies; there are dozens of new technologies and applications in the pipeline to smooth all of the ancillary experiences circling around publication, like marketing and scheduling and getting books into libraries; there are new products and services available pretty much everywhere you look when it comes to choosing your self-publishing company itself (you all already know which one I recommend!); and last but not least, readers are hungry, oh-so-hungry, just positively ravenous for new self-published material to read.

Let 2017 be the year you publish your book. It’s time. Conditions have never been better. And you’re ready. I know you are, because you were born for this.

antique old typewriter dandelion puff

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.

In Your Corner: Choosing a Self-Publishing Company

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
//
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
//
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
//
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
X
– Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken” (1916)
***

You may very well be asking what Robert Frost has to do with self-publishing.  After all, he’s rather more a titanic figure in the world of literature (read: traditionally-published literature) than an icon of the D.I.Y. generation.  But here’s the thing: Robert Frost wrote about choices.  A lot.  And while the poem means as lot things to a lot of different people–a lot of things and a lot of people–Frost himself was taken aback to discover how seriously his readers took it.  He’d written it, quite literally, about his friend and walking buddy Edward Thomas, who had rather a lot of trouble making up his mind where to go while they were walking together.*

choices

If Frost had a point, it was that indecision can lead to rather long walks–and maybe damp hair, if there’s a fog or a rain cloud about.  And as you can no doubt verify, the same principle is at work when it comes to choosing a self-publishing company: indecision leads to long waits, and long waits have more consequences for books than just damp hair.  Timeliness is an important part of a book’s appeal, and when we delay publication for whatever reason, that timeliness is undercut.  But making a rash decision can be equally if not more problematic, can’t it?  Finding yourself trapped into a contract which privileges the company and not the author is always a bad thing.  And so we come to it; if I have any advice in choosing a self-publishing company from my years working with self-publishing authors, I could boil it down to these three pointers.

How to Choose a Self-Publishing Company:

1. Choose the people, not the platform.

A lot of self-publishing companies keep costs down by sacrificing customer support and real humans on the other end of certain processes.  But believe me when I say these companies have lost something vital and important; publishing, even or perhaps even especially self-publishing, is about connection.  Connecting the dots between manuscript and book, between author and readers, and yes!  Between the author and the process of publication itself.  If there’s no one on the other end of the line, the final result will suffer.

A good self-publishing company, on the other hand, hires professionals who really and actually care about producing beautiful books that their authors are proud of.  A good self-publishing company hooks you up with partners, with people who care as much about bringing your vision to life as you are.  Choose the company who makes you feel like a priority, who makes you feel like you actually matter.

2. Post-publication assistance matters.  A lot.

Publishing your book is just the start; there’s a lot that comes after.  Don’t just look for a company that offers pre-publication assistance (like copyediting and custom book cover designs) but one that also offers post-publication assistance.  A good self-publishing company will offer marketing assistance, maybe some merchandising options, social media insight, and distribution not just to online retailers like the Apple iStore or Barnes ?& Noble’s Nook Store, but also to physical retailers like Ingram and to reviewers, award committees, and book fairs.  It doesn’t matter if one or two of the offerings don’t strike you as must-haves … but it does matter that you choose a company with diverse options available (which proves they have a lot of muscle, and a lot of influence) and that you choose a company which can still be useful to you after your book hits Amazon.  A company you can turn to if, for some reason, your book sales stall six months on.

3. Don’t give up what made you decide to self-publish in the first place.

Look, I get it: most of us choose to self-publish because of money.  Or because of intellectual freedom.  There’s usually a bank balance or an ideology at work, and I would caution you against thinking of this as a bad thing.  Something pulled us towards self-publishing, even if it’s just plain old simple curiosity, and that something is both valid and worth hanging on to.  Stick with your guns.  Don’t give up on your instincts–because ultimately, your instincts are the most trustworthy and valuable thing you have when it comes to choosing a self-publishing company.

choices

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.

From the Archives: “Vanity Verses Self-Publishing”

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: October 24th, 2008 ]

The self-publishing author community is becoming increasingly educated in options available, naturally comes in part as the by-product of approaching sound resources and asking good questions.

One question I do see stumbling around from time to time is some form of this, “Isn’t self-publishing the same as Vanity publishing?”

The answer: not really at all…

Vanity Presses often very dubiously attempt to present themselves as small presses, similar to ‘traditional’ publishers. They do this by claiming to be selective in terms of content. But those rejection rates are very low – generally reserved only for those manuscripts containing things like libel or pornography. But vanity presses do not otherwise screen for quality. They publish anyone who can pay, but don’t disclose that until well into the publishing process. Often, those fees are hidden in obscure production services unrelated to design, materials, or binding. That is where these operations ultimately make their money – charging authors book printing costs only to sell right back to authors.

The good news is that quality self-publishers are available with open, upfront, book production, distribution, and marketing options. And once books are professionally published copies are available where readers actually buy books. Unlimited printed copies are availabe for retailers and wholesalers on-demand, without additional out-of-pocket printing costs.

Keep writing.

by Karl Schroeder

You may be wondering why today, of all days, I choose to return us to the argument over vanity presses vs. self-publishing, but if you glance back at yesterday’s news you’ll notice mention of Samita Sarkar’s July 28th Huffington Post article, in which she deconstructs Globe and Mail Books Editor Mark Medley’s mission to cast shade at the work of Canadian author Douglas Gardham earlier in the month.  Gardham, who made his mark by hand-selling books on long cross-country tours, symbolizes everything despicable and pitiable in the self-publishing world–according to Medley, that is.  Sarkar comes to Gardham’s defense, and in so doing works hard to redefine the boundaries between vanity presses and self-publishing (a distinction that Medley is more than happy to blur for the sake of an easy character smear).

Sarkar defines vanity presses and self-publishing narrowly:

There is a difference between publishing with a vanity press or so-called “self-publishing service” and true self-publishing. True self-publishing means being the owner of your own ISBN. Self-publishers register their ISBN under their own publishing imprint, or their own name. They hire independent editors and cover designers, and upload their manuscripts directly to bookseller websites, such as Amazon, Smashwords, and iTunes. Self-publishers maintain maximum creative control over their work, and receive much higher profits from sales.

Unlike true self-publishing, if the author uses a vanity press, the publisher will remain the owner of the book’s ISBN. The author will also have to pay hefty upfront fees for the book’s production, and to top it all off, authors will receive low royalty rates even though the publisher has not invested in the book whatsoever. This backwards business model is how vanity presses make their money. This is why vanity presses aren’t picky; so long as it’s not hate speech or pornography, anything goes.

Whereas traditional publishers pay authors for the rights to their book and consider the readers to be their customers, and self-published authors also consider the readers to be their customers, vanity press customers are authors, not readers. I have yet to meet an author that has turned a profit from publishing with a vanity press. There are very few exceptions.

And in many ways, I agree with Sarkar–if not exactly  in point, than in the general direction of her argument.  I still align with what Karl first wrote for us eight years ago–vanity presses are the realm of personal ego thinly disguised as corporate profit. Vanity presses give their authors a little, but take a lot–in terms of creative control and royalties, and that’s how you can recognize them.  And self-publishing companies take a little (usually a percentage of profits) while leaving the rest entirely to the author’s discretion.

Really, the most glaring mistake that Sarkar makes is the omission of hybrid publishing companies, a subject we’ve discussed before.  The lines are far more blurred even than Medley knows–but not between vanity presses, which are straight up scams that almost always trap authors in stasis.  The blurring is between self-publishing and hybrid publishing–and the distinction between these terms would be better described as a spectrum, with bare-bones self-publishing experiences like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing at one end, and more fully fleshed-out hybrid publishing service providers like Outskirts Press at the other end.  (And OP just updated its website this week!)

You can easily tell the difference between a vanity press and a hybrid publishing company, as I mentioned, by the royalties and creative control.  With a hybrid publishing company like Outskirts, you own your ISBN and while you have the option of paying for cover design (if you’re not comfortable designing one yourself) you can just as easily choose to be your own designer and forego the cost.  This is how hybrid publishing companies work: you choose which services you need and pay for those, and you own whatever is produced by those paid services.  The object of Sarker’s dislike (vanity presses) is correct, but her reasoning (there’s no room for a middle-man in self-publishing) is an extreme position, if not downright incorrect.

Not every person has the time or the skills to create a beautifully produced, polished, designed, and edited masterpiece.  But that doesn’t mean that such a person has no story worth telling or self-publishing.  It just means they need a conscientious and ethical way of paying for the services they didn’t come built in with at birth, and they can find these services at a hybrid publishing company.

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.  ♠


KellyABOUT 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.

In Your Corner : The Side Benefits to Starting Early

I woke this morning to grey skies and a half-mowed yard.  As I write this, the rain keeps coming down in a steady drizzle, leaving the roads slick with oily puddles and my lawn thick and green and completely wild-looking, with weeds poking up through the grass in some kind of chlorophyll-rich reminder something along the lines of you really should have thought this one through before we got to this point.  It’s not that I haven’t put thought and a little muscle into mowing my yard–I picked up one of those engine-less little reel mowers that require a lot more pushing because I thought it would be a good and simple way to incorporate a little more exercise and a little less carbon exhaust into my routine … but the end result has been I mow a lot less, it takes a lot longer to finish the yard, and the lawn looks like an overgrown mess.  Sometimes a retired neighbor of mine will even take pity on me and use his ride-on lawnmower to take care of my jungle while everyone else is away at work.

mower

You might be thinking, what’s the big deal?  Why the long monologue about your yard, Elizabeth?  How could this possibly relate to self-publishing?  The answer lies in the planning:

Making publishing decisions early will help your end result.

I’m talking about editing and putting together a strong, custom cover design.  These things will make a book far more successful than a book without–and putting them together at the last minute or even in the frenetic rush of the middle of your publication process can hamstring your ability to create a truly high-quality, attractive final product.  But your book’s appearance isn’t the only beneficiary of planning ahead: as others have said before–and no doubt with more panache–you simply can’t wait to start marketing until after you’ve published your book.  I mean, you can wait, but your plan is likely to fall apart under the pressures of the day-to-day realities of working, writing your next book, promoting your current book, and managing all of the other intricacies associated with sales … if you don’t have a sound plan and well-established marketing strategies.

Your marketing plan will help you to determine if your targeted audience is going to want a paperback or a hardcover, for example–and this knowledge creates a feedback loop to how you approach the publishing process which is far easier to exploit if you’ve started your marketing and planning process in advance.  What kind of cover design would appeal to your targeted audience?  You’ll know a lot more about them if you’re already in contact, before your book rolls off of the (digital, sometimes) printing press!

Perhaps this subject is only on my mind because I’m staring out my window at my soggy excuse for a yard, and wishing I’d had the foresight to have a plan for days like today–days where I don’t have the energy to mow a large lot with a little reel push mower, and when the weather exacerbates all of my finest procrastinatory tendencies.  Or perhaps it’s part of a larger whole–a larger set of decisions that I, and every other person working in the self-publishing world, face every day.  We can either let life get ahead of us, or we can feed those parts of ourselves that give us the foresight and energy to get ahead of it!  Some days its harder than others, but I hope you always feel convinced that …

 

You are not alone. ♣︎

 

ElizabethABOUT 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.