Why Business People Need to Publish a Book

Why Business People Need to Publish a Book Outskirts Press

Certain professions need to be published. They can go on forever: entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, journalists, consultants, self-help experts, freelancers, and so on.

Even if your profession is not on this list, read on to evaluate whether publishing a book is right for your job. After all, publishing a book can contribute significantly to your career.

For the typical professional, it’s easier than ever to publish a book. Self-publishing and eBook publishing are both viable. You can release your book without waiting years for publication, keep control of your vision for your book, publish in both physical and digital formats, and retain a larger share of the royalties.

A book can serve as your best form of marketing in any profession, working better than any business card. A piece of paper can be easily thrown away, but a book can remain on your reader’s bookshelf forever.

Any reader who picks up your book becomes a prospective client, attracting attention and increasing your reach and visibility. Your book’s content can also testify to your authority, credibility, and professional expertise. On top of that, it extends your brand by giving you another avenue through which you express and practice your profession.

Finally, a reader-turned-client is more informed about your goods and services, improving the experience for all parties. Of course, any good professional can explain what they do, but having a book do the explaining is neat too.

For another example, take public speaking. If you’re a speaker for a living, you must have a book.

You can publish a book that serves as the companion guide to everything you speak about on stage. It gives you space to expand on topics you cannot discuss at length during your speech, and audience members who buy your book on the way out have another way of expanding on what they learned from what you said.

It’s also smart from the standpoint of marketing. Your speeches will promote your book, and your book, in turn, will open up more speaking gigs: a positive feedback loop!

A book can serve as the linchpin for your online content strategy. If you put in the work, you can increase the opportunity of your book snagging that blue-chip client, sparking word of mouth, or even garnering media attention, reaping you an ongoing stream of new customers. It’s a win-win.

So, how do you sell your book after you publish it? First, consider giving your book a strong presence on LinkedIn. If you’re a professional, you’re likely already using LinkedIn, so why not get more mileage out of a platform you’re already leveraging?

Your book gives you another reason to post regularly on LinkedIn, especially if you’re prone to leaving LinkedIn alone for months at a time. To fuel your posting, you can repurpose content from your book as LinkedIn content. Alongside the standard post, LinkedIn has features to publish an article or create a newsletter. Also, in these various forms, you can include a call to action to check out your book or otherwise begin a conversation with you.

This also applies to other social media platforms. You could even tweet quotes and excerpts on Twitter. You can create short videos for Instagram or microposts for Facebook. You can even launch your own blog or newsletter. The exact platform may vary (as any of these platforms may not exist in a few years), but as a medium, the book will remain.

You can also bundle the book as part of your product, increasing its value for your customer. This is especially effective for digital products, where you can toss in an eBook at no extra cost to you. So while you may give up a potential sale, it’s a worthwhile trade if your main product sells for significantly more than your book’s sale price.

Marketing aside, a book serves as another nifty format for your work, depending on your profession. If you’re a lawyer, you can teach the basics of law without having to sit a prospective client down. If you’re a consultant, a book can be a solid alternative for any client who’s unable to book an appointment with you. The possibilities are endless.

And above all, there’s always the chance that you start writing a book and find publishing to be your calling! As beneficial as the promotional aspect is, a book is also an opportunity to express your thoughts, work, and love of your craft.

Many professional authors start in different professions before making writing their full-time vocation. So now, don’t rush to quit your day job, but do recognize that the act of writing can lead you down a rabbit hole of authoring.

No matter how you’d leverage a book, know that there’s an exciting business world full of books. Will you write the next one?

Over to you: What are some of YOUR favorite examples of professionals who’ve published books? If you’re a professional who’s published a book, how has YOUR book served YOUR career?


Elizabeth Javor Outskirts Press

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, 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 Importance of Securing Amazon Reviews

The Importance of Securing Amazon Reviews Outskirts Press

When I’m looking for a new book on Amazon, I often wish I had the psychic ability to look at a novel and know right away whether I’d enjoy it—or not.

But, sadly, I don’t have psychic powers. But I do have Amazon’s Customer Review section, which is why I’m here to teach you the importance of securing Amazon reviews.

Why in the world do you need Amazon customer reviews? Wouldn’t your book be able to sell itself from the title, the cover design, the blurb, the store category and keywords, and the preview of the first few pages? All of those are important, but they’re NOT enough.

Amazon itself encourages shoppers to leave customer reviews. The power of reviews pans out in practice, as successful self-publishing authors observe that sales increase with positive reviews.

Generally, readers are reluctant to buy the book of an unknown author. It’s understandable, as a reader spends both money and time when purchasing and reading a book. But, conversely, readers love to buy books from their favorite authors—so what can you do when you’re starting?

That’s where customer reviews can bridge the gap. If they see that the book has stellar reviews, customers are much more likely to take a chance buying it.

Now, reviews are a pain point for many self-publishing authors. Reviews are vital for attracting sales, yet they’re one of the factors authors have the least control over. You can write a great story and craft a solid product description, but you can’t write reviews of your own book.

(Seriously, don’t pretend to be a reader and review your own book. Amazon will catch you and kick you off their storefront.)

Don’t know where to begin with reviews? Fortunately, you have several methods for soliciting reviews, and you should employ multiple approaches simultaneously.

  • Ask your friends and family not only to read the book (which they should!) but also to post a review on Amazon. Yes, friends and family are allowed to leave reviews.
  • Run an office contest for your coworkers. The first colleague to leave a great review gets lunch on you.
  • Post on social media channels, especially Facebook and Twitter, asking your followers to leave a review. Emphasize to your readers that reviewing is a fantastic way to support their favorite authors and that you appreciate each review. You could even read some positive reviews and share them on your feed, engaging your most supportive fans in a fun way!
  • Research book reviewers and review blogs in your book’s genre and category, then send complimentary copies. Recurring and professional reviewers have an audience of their own who read their writing, making them a great publicity asset. Just be careful to contact reviewers and bloggers who read the type of book you’re publishing. For example, if you send your steamy, erotic romance novel to a Christian memoir reviewer, she’s not going to be happy!
  • Keep publishing more titles. With more books, you’ll get more opportunities to obtain reviews from regular readers. There are few other people you want on your team than a power customer who recommends all your books!

Don’t be stingy in giving away free copies to potential reviewers. If a reviewer is willing to buy your book, awesome! If they’re not, it doesn’t hurt to be generous to reel in a reader who would’ve otherwise passed up your book.

Keep in mind that under Amazon guidelines, you can’t force a reader to leave a review in exchange for a free copy, so don’t take it personally if some prospective reviewers don’t follow through.

This is an excellent place to emphasize one perk of digital publishing. You don’t have to spend money to produce galleys or advance reviewer copies when you have eBooks. Instead, you can send a reviewer an eBook with a single email. In addition, Amazon provides options for you to gift a reader an eBook to make it easier on both ends.

Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to have physical copies on hand to give away, as Amazon lists the reviews from all a book’s formats under one section. Believe it or not, there are still readers out there who want a physical copy. I certainly wouldn’t turn down a print book!

It can be daunting to ask readers to review your book on Amazon. The ask can be intimidating by itself, and the prospect of a negative review can be outright frightening. However, even with those risks, an author is her best publicist . . . and a self-publishing author more so.

With practice, you will get better at asking for reviews. As your titles grow, so does your audience—and so do the reviews. Over time, more readers will review your books without you asking, and even the dreaded one-star reviews will soon be buried underneath an avalanche of five-star praise!

If you’re in self-publishing for a long and exciting career, you need to secure Amazon reviews right now. Fortunately, you can start today.

Maybe someday I’ll find your book, be impressed enough by its reviews to click that “buy” button, and leave a review of my own. I look forward to the opportunity.

Now, I’ll turn it over to YOU. As a reader, what leads YOU to review a book? As a writer, what tips and tricks do YOU have to secure Amazon reviews?


elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, 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.

Why You Should Have Your Book in Multiple Formats

Why You Should Have Your Book in Multiple Formats Outskirts Press

Even with technological advances, I still love the feel of a physical book.

Whether paperback or hardcover, I love to cozy up on the couch with paper and ink in my hands. But even with my preferences, I’d still advise that it’s a wise business decision for self-publishing authors to sell books in multiple formats.

The physical book isn’t going away despite apocalyptic predictions that digital will kill paper. On the contrary, paperback books remain the most popular format. That said, it’s unwise to self-publish your book in only one format.

Readers love choice more than ever, and that love of choice includes book formats: physical books, eBooks, and audiobooks.

Here are several reasons why you should publish your book in multiple formats.

Some formats work better for specific markets than others.

If you’re a romance novelist and you self-publish your book only in paperback, then you’re more likely to fail. Why? A great number of romance readers prefer eBooks over paperback, so you’re leaving sales on the table if you’re not getting your stories digital.

Conversely, children’s books fare better in paper formats, so a children’s book in only eBook form may not be enough. Format preferences vary wildly on genre and category, so you’ll glean a wealth of information by researching the format most of your potential readers are buying.

But even when one format is more popular than another, it’s wise to publish in multiple formats. Related to the above, many romance readers still prefer paper to electronic—airport stands for romance novels still exist! So, multiple options are crucial to reaching your potential audience.

You increase the number of platforms you can sell your book on.

Not every bookseller sells books in every format. If you self-publish your book only in the .mobi eBook format, then you’re practically limited to selling through Amazon’s Kindle section. While Amazon is the biggest storefront for self-publishing authors, you can do better.

If you take your manuscript’s file and export it to .epub, you open up most of the rest of the eBook market. You make it possible to sell your book on Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play, and more. Some retailers even sell books in .pdf form.

If you record your book as an audiobook, you can play in audiobook storefronts, such as Audible, iTunes, Google Audiobooks, Nook Audiobooks, or Kobo Audiobooks.

And if you release your book in physical form? You can sell on most of the above retailers, like Amazon, and even keep open the chance to see your book at a physical bookstore. Sounds exciting, right?

You can get the best of both worlds with exclusivity and availability.

Some retailers offer the option to sell your book exclusively on their storefront. In exchange, you’ll often get better royalties and priority in promotions and algorithmic placement. The downside is that exclusivity commits you to only one storefront. So, if you sign up for Amazon’s KDP Select, you may not be able to sell your eBook with Barnes and Noble.

However, exclusivity deals usually only apply to one format. So, you could decide to give KDP Select eBook exclusivity but then sell your book in physical and audiobook formats elsewhere. You can mix-and-match exclusivity deals and benefit from both the perks of exclusivity and the availability of multiple formats.

You increase your book’s accessibility.

Not all book readers can read a physical book. For example, some readers are visually impaired. Other accessibility considerations include learning disabilities such as dyslexia, limits in motor skills, and language ability.

Fortunately, a self-publishing author has all the tools to make an accessible book. Audiobooks are an excellent alternative for accessibility. And eBooks are also beneficial in their adaptability. With an e-reader, a reader can increase the text size, change the font, look up dictionary definitions, or even enable text-to-speech.

But when formatting eBooks, be sure to follow accessibility guidelines. E-readers need a properly formatted file to parse text for the user. When you format your book with accessibility in mind, your product looks more professional, and more readers can enjoy your work.

Bonus reason: For another kind of accessibility, you can get your self-published books into libraries. This is especially easy with digital formats, and you can use book distribution services to list your book on digital lending services like OverDrive and Hoopla. In addition, libraries that you license your book to will financially compensate you without the reader having to pay.

You can even sell readers the same book more than once in different formats.

Some retailers make it enticing to buy in two or more formats. For example, for some Kindle eBooks, Amazon offers the option to “add Audible narration,” often at a discount. Through Whispersync technology, readers can switch between visual reading and audiobook reading without losing their place.

You can even set it up so that if a reader buys the physical version, they can also buy the eBook version at a cheaper rate or even get it for free! This bundling technique is a fantastic way to increase goodwill with your readers and entice them to buy your next book.

Closing

The case is strong: Multiple book formats are great for your self-publishing business and the culture of reading. Prepare your manuscript with different formats in mind, and you’ll be a step closer to success.

Now, I’ll turn it over to you: What book formats do YOU prefer? What factors influence the format YOU get YOUR books in?


elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, 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.

How to Stay Motivated While Writing During the Holidays

How to Stay Motivated While Writing During the Holidays Outskirts Press

Most of us writers know how difficult it is to stay motivated and continue to write during the holidays.

You may have plans to travel to see family. You may be the one hosting and may have to tidy up your home. You may be experiencing colder weather that brings down your mood, maybe even to the point of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). No matter the specifics, you have a world of reasons for your writing motivation to dip to zero.

Even I am feeling the weight of December on my shoulders calling me to abandon the keyboard and instead, buy another book for my shelves or bother the cat for the seventh time today.

Yet, it’s my job to advise you—like how self-publishing is a job—even if you don’t necessarily have an office and a water cooler.

Here are my tips and tricks for staying motivated with your writing, even during the holiday.

Set a New Year’s resolution—maybe even early

With it being the start of the calendar year, January 1st is a logical time to begin a new goal.

For a self-publishing writer, a fundamental goal would be, “Write a novel.” While a good starting point, this goal by itself is vague. With little direction, your motivation may flounder.

Instead, you can choose from several different methods for goal setting. For instance, you can set a SMART goal: a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

Under the SMART criteria, I could take “Write a novel” and rewrite it as this New Year’s resolution: “Write 4 pages of my novel every weekday until the end of April. Sit down at my writer’s desk at 9 in the morning to write for at least 2 hours.”

While SMART goals are a common method, feel free to research and find the method that most resonates for you.

Now, you don’t have to wait until January 1st, 12:00 a.m., to begin your resolution. If anything, starting a few days sooner gives you a head start for writing in 2022!

Improve your writing environment

While obvious, we often underrate the effects our surroundings have on our writing. For example, we may accept having distractions in the background would make it more challenging to work. So why do we blame a lack of willpower, yet we exonerate our unproductive work environment?

Assess your typical writing environment. Do you have a regular writing space, like a desk? If not, it’s helpful to pick one, even if it’s as informal as your kitchen table. Then look at your writing tools. Do you have all the materials you need in place? If you write digitally, how does your desktop look? After that, audit your distractions. Got loud construction outside or maybe an adorable pet like a cat?

Now, rearrange your environment to increase positive motivators and decrease demotivators. Noisy background? Put on headphones and white noise. Are you always too cold in the morning? Set out a warm sweater or coat the night before so you can put it on first thing in the morning.

But what if you’re traveling? Work with what you have and tell the other people around you that you need to get some work done and that you’d appreciate their support if they give you space to write.

Speaking of other people . . .

Find an accountability partner

It’s easier to slip when you’re the only one keeping track of your project. But what if you rope in another person to pay attention to your progress? Many productivity coaches call this an accountability partner, and a partner works for any goal, including writing.

Without a partner, the options you may face could be “work on your manuscript or spend the afternoon on Netflix.” However, when you have an accountability partner, this turns into “work on your manuscript or spend the afternoon on Netflix and tell your partner you didn’t work on your goal.” When framed like that, doesn’t Netflix sound less appealing?

Bonus points if you find another writer and you act as each other’s accountability partners! Such a partnership can transform into a lasting collaboration.

Accept you won’t always be perfect, then strive to begin again tomorrow

Despite your best intentions, you may fail to meet your word goal. When you feel unmotivated, and you’re staring at a blank screen or page, you may start questioning whether you’re meant to be a writer. After all, if you really wanted it, would you even be struggling in the first place?

In these moments, it’s pivotal to take a step back and forgive yourself. Successful authors are not perfect. If anything, the most successful authors are the ones who allow themselves to make mistakes and have those bad writing days, yet they persist and eventually succeed. It can take years for a writer to succeed, especially a self-publishing author.

So, if you have one of those days and the writing isn’t getting done, take a break, step away from your manuscript, and try something else. The holidays are a testing time for any career, including a writing career, so you won’t be alone in sputtering.

After the uncertainty wanes, come back to your desk and keep on writing. I wish you success in writing your book this holiday season. I believe in you!

* * *

Now, it’s your turn! So what are your tips and tricks for staying motivated during the holidays?

Thinking of you always. ♣︎


elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, 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.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays Outskirts Press

No matter what holiday you celebrate, I wish you a happy, peaceful one.

If you exchange gifts to celebrate, may there be plenty of books with bows tied around them. If you use this time for quiet contemplation, may you find some of that at your laptop, notebook, or typewriter. Best wishes for now and into the new year.

elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, 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.