The Book Beautiful: Summary Edition

The past six weeks we’ve been looking in depth at all of the steps that it takes to turn a manuscript into a polished, professional, finished copy of a book. As we’ve learned, this is a complex process full of choices such as whether or not to go with hard or soft cover, what cover illustration to use to draw in your readers, what information to include in your front and back matter, how will you format your text and your back cover, will you illustrate your piece, etc. etc. This process can be long and daunting, especially as a self-published author, which is why we at Outskirts Press want to assist our authors through it with our advice on this blog, but also with our hands-on services as a company.

*****

I’d like to wrap up the last six weeks by evaluating what it is I think authors should take away from each in depth look we took at the different aspects of bringing a text to life. It seems critical to note that each of the choices you make while publishing all answer to a reader’s unconscious sensuous experience of picking up your book in a store. Each choice you make when formatting or designing the final copy of your book is something that a reader will be assessing from the minute they walk by it on the shelf, to the first time they pick it up in their hands, thumb through the pages, read the back, and decide whether or not to bring it to the counter to purchase it. This is really about first impressions, and we all know how important it is to make a good one when someone’s approval is important to us.

first impressions
[ first impressions matter ]
What is the first thing a potential reader will notice about your book when they walk by? Presumably if it is hard or soft cover. Do you need to go with a hard cover to look professional? Certainly not. In fact, it seems that the chance of selling your book in soft cover is much higher. The next thing to make an impression after someone has read your title and pulled the book of the shelf will most likely be the cover illustration. I feel I gave some entertaining examples of what not to do, but the best advice I feel I could give is again, use something that embodies your theme and draws in your target audience. Also, remember that less is more, don’t clutter the cover with unnecessary or flamboyant text or illustrations.

As far as formatting the interior of your book is concerned, remember that the status quo is usually the way to go here. You don’t necessarily want the formatting of your book to stick out, but to ‘fit in’ to what people expect to see when they open a book. That’s not to say that you don’t have some creative freedom when it comes to formatting the text and illustrations (the standards of which often vary from genre to genre), but going out on a whim with a bizarre font choice is not necessarily a wise idea either. Remember that you have creative liberty with which front and end matter you want to include, such as a personalized dedication, epigraph, acknowledgements, bio, etc.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, don’t forget how critical the back cover of your book is. With the 150-200 words you have to sell a reader your story, you get more space than let’s say…a Tweet, but not much more. Make it exciting without giving anything away.

Remember that these aren’t decisions you have to make alone. If you have questions beyond what has been provided in these blogs, don’t hesitate to contact one of our professional, knowledgeable representatives at Outskirts Press. Our experience as writers helps us guide new authors toward the best decisions. We will always put our authors first.


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: “Determining What Book Readers Want”

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.

∗∗∗∗∗

[ Originally posted: July 20th, 2010 ]

Your book content – fiction, non-fiction, children’s, religious – naturally presumes a value to readers intending to be entertained or learn something from your work. How do they decide they want to read your book?

They don’t. You do. Sound like an incredible power? It is. Its name: Marketing

When Thomas Edison turned 16 do you suppose he wanted a Tesla Roadster? Probably not. In order to want something you need to know it exists. One definition of marketing is convincing a a mass of people to want what you have. That puts you, the author of your book, in the cat bird’s seat. Who knows your book better than you, after-all.

How readers know about books has changed a great deal over the past decade, and my guess is that trend will continue. With Amazon, Twitter, Podcasts, Bookfinder, etc. we no longer rely on a single-minded source for telling us about books. A good CEO (the self-published author) knows how to leverage the expertise of others and delegate work. Consider the long-term. Research self-publishers with ongoing marketing support and services. Being published is rarely even enough.

– by Kelly Schuknecht

“Readers are not sheep, and not every pen tempts them.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Lectures on Literature

“Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? Can the writer isolate and vivify all in experience that most deeply engages our intellects and our heats? Can the writer renew our hope for literary forms? Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so we may feel again their majesty and power?”
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

***

When we talk about knowing what we want and making our readers want it to, it’s not quite the same thing as the sales pitch for selling a car. (Although sometimes I envy car salesmen their confidence.)  When we talk about selling our readers on our book, we’re talking about something more grand and with farther-reaching effects–we’re talking about selling that reader on a dream.  We’re not simply marketing, as nice and simple of a descriptive term that might be. We’re in the business of changing the trajectories of peoples’ interests … with nothing more or less than the power of words.

know what you want

Which is not to discount the profound importance of marketing in the world of self-publishing! Marketing isn’t optional for the self-publishing author–it’s absolutely vital. How else will new readers know that your book exists? How else will they know where to track it down and buy it?

You can’t sell readers on a dream if they don’t know it exists.

So how do you keep your marketing strategy from dipping into the hazardous waters of the car salesman’s sales pitch? Several thoughts:

  • Be authentic. We dislike car salesmen as a stereotype at least because we’ve been taught to perceive them as fake.
  • Actually care. Care about your reader. Remember, writing and selling a book isn’t just about your bottom line. It’s making sure your book is received by its ideal audience at the ideal moment. Money is great, but it shouldn’t be the sole purpose of what authors do–and your readers can sense when it is. Prioritize your readers’ needs by putting yourself in their shoes. What is their native habitat? Where do they feel safe? How can you reach them where they already live?
  • Be engaged. You might not be able to respond to every tweet and Facebook comment you receive as an author, but making an effort to respond to readers regularly on the platforms they love is a great signal that you’re not some aloof writer who’s out of touch with the world you live in.
  • Give back. There are a lot of fun ways to do this that drum up your marketing base, too–giving is, in fact, necessary to receive. Consider giveaways, donations, free webinars or live chats, and all of those other ways in which you as an author can interact with your readers in a way that’s fresh and honest and mindful of their needs.

Remember, too, that marketing doesn’t have to be boring. You’re not selling a car. You’re selling your book. And your book is amazing!

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: “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.

∗∗∗∗∗

[ 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.

Conversations: 9/16/2016

THE MANUSCRIPT IS JUST ABOUT FINISHED

It’s Time to Think About adding the Frosting!

cake with frosting

Just last week I went to a writers’ workshop and within the first two minutes of the speaker’s presentation she said, “From the minute you sit down to begin your first book, you need to be thinking about marketing.” OH, my! I printed my first book in 2004, self-published my second book in 2015, and have a good start on book number three. With the help of several very creative friends, I’ve dipped my toes into the marketing river, but it’s not a comfortable place for me. I really don’t know many writers who are (honestly) comfortable wearing marketing shoes.

So, today, I’m encouraging every writer I know to think about the book you’re beginning—or about to finish—as if it were a delicious cake just waiting to be tasted and enjoyed. If it were sitting in the bakery with no frosting covering it, how many people would buy it? All the other frosted and decorated cakes would appeal to buyers first. Your cake/book would sit there for a long time—maybe not be selected at all.

If you’re a self-published author you may be familiar with the concept of “optional assistance” publishing companies offer to help launch our books into the world. One such option for most of my clients has been the Professionally Designed Book Cover. This is really the frosting-on-the-cake! I remember working with a client who knew the image she wanted to present on her book cover. We spent hours discussing it. She wanted to have it ready to submit with the manuscript, and did not want to add the expense of using the publisher’s Designer. So, she had me “spend” hours researching potential images—multiple illustrations—and finally selected two possibilities. When her manuscript was sent in, with the cover images, the Designer showed her the two she’d selected. He also showed her a proposed option—his interpretation of what she wanted. WOW! That book cover “popped!” It was immediately clear to both of us that when her book was placed on a shelf, it would be quickly noticed.

We both learned a valuable lesson that day—to consider what the publisher can offer us in the areas where we are weak. Our time is a valuable commodity, as is our brain-power which we need to begin the next book(s). If we need editing assistance (see last week’s blog), marketing inspiration or help with developing a video trailer that will catch the attention of today’s Readers who search the Internet before making the book-purchase selections, then that’s what we must do.

Even if you have a contract with a traditional publisher, you may need to seek out assistance in the marketing arena. These publishing houses may introduce the book and give authors a nudge into the world of book-promotion, but they rarely offer additional help beyond that. Their book will go out of print after only a few years if the sales don’t keep it alive.  (This is not the case with self-publishing companies. For a very modest yearly “storage fee” your book will be available as long as you want it to be.)

So it is that I encourage you to build up that layer of frosting/visibility as thick as you can for the book you’ve worked so hard to deliver. ⚓︎


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.

The Book Beautiful: Front & Back Matter (It Matters!)

So you’ve written a manuscript, thus the ‘meat’ of your book is complete. However, you want to happily sandwich that meat between what we call ‘front matter’ and ‘back matter.’ Front matter includes things like the half-title, the title page, the copyright page, a dedication, acknowledgements, a table of contents, and perhaps other things such as an epigraph, a preface, an introduction, or a prologue. The back matter can include an index, an appendix, and other material that doesn’t belong in the meat of the book, but that you’d like to include to feel you have a complete book.

First, let’s break down what front and back matter should include and how to make them look professional and appropriate. We’ll begin by tackling the different types of front matter you can choose to include.

 

  • Half Title –  As writers, you’re probably (and hopefully!) avid readers yourself, so you know that typically the first page of a book tends to just contain the title of the book. No author name, no other clutter, just a straightforward, bold texted title.
  • Title Page – The title page will also include the title of the book, but it will also include a subtitle (if you have one), the author’s name, as well as the name of the publishing company of the book. Other details that are often found on this page would be the location of the publishing house, the year the book was published, and perhaps even an illustration.
  • Copyright Page – You’ll usually find the copyright page by simply flipping the title page, and it will have a copyright notice, edition information, cataloging data, publication information, legal notices, and your book’s ISBN.
  • Dedication Page – This page will typically follow your copyright page and can be as simple as…

 

For my dearest mother Mary: R.I.P.

Or they can be witty…

“I dedicate this book to George W. Bush, my Commander-in-Chief, whose impressive career advancement despite remedial language skills inspired me to believe that I was capable of authoring a book.”

Pedram Amini, ‘Fuzzing: Brute Force Vulnerability Discovery’

Or they can be touching…

“Dear Pat,

You came upon me carving some kind of little figure out of wood and you said, “Why don’t you make something for me?”

I asked you what you wanted, and you said, “A box.”

“What for?”

“To put things in.”

“What kind of things?”

“Whatever you have,” you said.

Well, here’s your box. Nearly everything I have is in it, and it is not full. Pain and excitement are in it, and feeling good or bad and evil thoughts and good thoughts- the pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation.

And on top of these are all the gratitude and love I have for you.

And still the box is not full.”

–John Steinbeck, ‘East of Eden

 

  • Acknowledgements Page – This is where you can express your appreciation for all of those who helped you create the book.
  • Table of Contents – The table of contents is where you list all the major divisions within your book, more often than not in the form of chapters. The length of your book will determine how detailed your table of contents will need to be–a longer book will typically require a more detailed table of contents to assist your reader in navigating the piece.
  • Epigraph – An epigraph is a quotation that you can choose to devote an entire page to (usually facing the table of contents), or that you can choose to put at the start of the first chapter.
  • Preface – A preface is place for the author to explain how the book came into being and is often signed and dated by the author.
  • Introduction – Here the author can explain the goals of the work, place the work in context, or explain the organization and scope of the work.
  • Prologue – A prologue is told from the voice of a character in the book, and not the author’s own. It is typically used in a piece of fiction to set the scene for the story that is about to unfold.

As for the back matter of your book,

  • Index – An index will act as a guide to the book itself; it provides an alphabetized list of terms in the text and will indicate where in the text these terms were used.
  • Appendix – An appendix will provide supplementary details about your book such as corrections, updates, and details.

 

Now these are merely suggestions for what you can choose to include in the front and back matter of your book. What is most important is that what you do include looks professional and is well formatted. Pick up multiple books from your shelf and take a look at the front and back matter for a point of reference. While you’ve probably skipped over it on most books you’ve read, think how much more legitimate books with these sections look than books without them. These parts of publishing may seem tedious, but as I’ve said before, they are what will transform your manuscript into a book.


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: “Self-Publishing Ripple Effect Marketing”

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.

∗∗∗∗∗

[ Originally posted: May 27th, 2010 ]

Think of self-publishing book marketing as a marathon, not a sprint. Plan the journey, prepare to work, pace yourself, and not become discouraged when you the bear jumps on your back. Your second wind is right around the corner.

Unlike blockbuster books like Harry Potter, which sell 90% of their copies in the first 90 days of release, an independently published book is often the opposite – not surprising since titles like Harry Potter make up a percent of a percent of all books published. It takes time to build awareness. Sales may start slowly, but can climb over time if you persistently market your book.

If you’ve yet to nail down a specific marketing plan, I suggest starting in your own hometown. Build a Tribe. Attract the interest and readers of people in your inner circle before you focus on your neighborhood. Then, focus on your neighborhood before concentrating on your city. Next your state and region, etc. This is known as the ripple effect.

It applies to both online and traditional marketing tactics.

“The history of the ripple effect, or butterfly effect,” writes Brian Bass of the Houston Chronicle, “precedes the modern forms of technology that today commonly utilize this phenomenon. The theory essentially represents the idea that what happens in one place at one time can have effects on another place at a later time.”  According to Bass, when applied to the world of marketing, the ripple effect is taken to mean “subtly plac[ing] a brand or product front and center in the minds of consumers. A company can achieve this ripple effect through hype, dialog or opinions that the company creates about its products. The ripple effect of marketing states that this attention will generate more attention, benefiting the company.”  The emphasis may be mine, but the words really do speak for themselves. Ripple effect marketing is marketing that builds on itself.

ripple effect

But what about in the context of self-publishing?  Our original post back in 2010 wasn’t far off when it proposed Harry Potter as an exercise in the exact opposite–particularly if we’re talking about the later books in the franchise, once the series had picked up steam.  Nobody needed to generate interest in those books–the interest was already there, built-in, and marketing was simply a way to activate it.  The ripple effect was completely unnecessary.

The average self-publishing author–and the average midlist traditionally-published author, for that matter, if we’re being honest–needs the ripple effect because the average self-publishing author is starting from the ground up.  With a limited budget, and a limited supply of time and energy to see them through.  So why ripple effect marketing?  Because its core principle is efficiency.  You simply can’t find any other marketing theory that so effectively and efficiently makes use of what has gone before, and incorporates all of your individual strengths while pruning away marketing strategies that don’t work for you.

Think of this diagram:

ripple effect

As this BrightEdge diagram demonstrates, your marketing performance (that is, how many books you sell) is the direct product of the convergence between what you yourself create in terms of digital presence (“owned” media) and what you pay for others to create (“paid” media).  The core content–your book–has a lot to do with your success, but so does your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), your finesse with social media, and your means of distribution (the diagram is referring to software, so its visual equivalent here is the Applied Program Interface, or “API”).  The marketing process is simultaneously both linear and circular, with self-referencing feedback.  And the key to making it work?  Optimizing, optimizing, optimizing.  Which essentially means backing up and posing the question “Is this helping?  Why or why not?  And how can I make it better?” at each and every step.

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

The Book Beautiful: Illustrations

We all started out reading illustrated children’s books; perhaps your parents would read the words as your eyes were captivated by the images of a hungry caterpillar, the Berenstain bears, a Curious little George, etc. As we grow older, however, it’s probably not too often that the books we fill our time with have accompanying illustrations. Nevertheless, it has not always been the case that book for adults went unillustrated. Charles Dickens, for example, was known to have very close relationships with his illustrators, to whom he would give plot outlines before he’d even written the text itself. So while it’s easy to pull up references to colorful children’s books illustrations, that is not to say that they don’t have a valid and important place in other genres of books geared toward young adults and adults as well.

curious george illustration

So you want to write an illustrated book? First of all, don’t look at the illustrations to an illustrated book as supplemental, but as a crucial aspect to the themes you are trying to convey. Images help augment the reader’s imaginative experience, they make a book fun and easier to read, and they definitely help hold on to the reader’s attention.

There are certain genres that illustrations or photographs seem to be an obvious and necessary accompaniment–cookbooks, DIY-books, textbooks, autobiographies and biographies, and as we’ve previously mentioned, children’s books. The illustrations for a cookbook could simply be photographs of the final result of your recipe, and for a DIY-book they could be drawings or photographs of the different steps of the project your book conveys. If you’re writing an autobiography or a biography, photographs of the subject throughout their life or at pivotal moments in their life will help the reader further identify with the subject as a person rather than as a character in a story whom they have to fabricate an image of in their mind. As far as children’s books goes, the adage ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ doesn’t really apply–kids will always judge a book by its cover and they will be inevitably more drawn to eye-catching, colorful illustrations.

Quantity is another important consideration to make as far as illustrations go. For a young-adult book, one illustration per chapter will usually suffice, while a children’s book should probably have one illustration per page. With a children’s book then, layout becomes another consideration–will your images be a full-page spread, or will they be next to, above, or below the text? If you’re writing a biography or an autobiography, you may want to have your photographs placed at the relevant points in your text–for example, your subject won the Olympic gold medal and here is a picture of her doing just that. OR, you could have a center panel with multiple pages of photographs and use footnotes in the text that will direct the reader to the relevant images that they can flip to easily.

Now, assuming that you yourself are not going to illustrate your own book (not to at all doubt your artistic abilities), the question of how to get your book illustrated become important. Outskirts Press offers custom, full-color illustrations for authors, even if they haven’t published through our company. By using this service, you can be sure that you’ll never have to split royalties with an artist, a cost that is always nice to avoid. Remember, no matter who you choose to illustrate your book, that quality illustrations are going to be a very important factor in the marketing value of your book.


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