This is #2 in our 5 part series on how to take control of your author career. You can easily publish your books yourself! The information in this series is taken from Self-Publishing Tips and Tricks. You can receive your free copy here.
How to make sure your book is ready to be published
Before you publish your book, make sure your book is thoroughly edited. You’ll also want a fantastic cover, and you’ll want to have a blurb that catches a reader’s attention and entices them to buy your book.
Make sure your book is well edited
Many experts say that carefully editing your book is one of the most important things you need to do before publishing your book. Ask beta readers, family, or friends to read your work and look for editing mistakes. Ask for their feedback on the character arc and plot development. Hire a professional editor, if you can afford it. Listen to their feedback, and make changes.
Then read through the book again yourself. I do my final read by using a print version of the book. I always catch new errors in a print copy that I never see on my computer. In order to get a print copy, I upload the preliminary interior and cover files to CreateSpace and order a copy to be mailed to me. (During this proof stage, make certain that you do not enable distribution to Amazon! Just approve distribution to your CreateSpace eStore.)
When I read through the print version, I make changes within the Word doc as I go.
Last of all, do one last spell check and grammar check of your document before you make those final files. I always catch a few errors in the final check. When you are sure your book is edited well, check to make sure the formatting looks great (see a later section for tips about formatting), and then make your final PDF/x-1a:2001 file.
Readers do not like to read books with spelling or grammatical errors. It disrupts their reading experience, and it looks unprofessional, too. This is one thing you can fix—make sure your book looks great before you publish it in either ebook or print format.
Get a professional looking cover
Covers sell books. Look at books in your genre and see the images and colors that seem to be popular. You will want your book to fit into the genre, and yet have its own unique flair that will grab a reader’s attention. Find a cover artist who does good work.
Here are a few sources, although there are many great cover designers. Choose an artist whose work you love.
See Derek’s site for great information on many publishing topics. See here for his list of services:
And here for Derek’s $49 do it yourself option:
If you write romance novels, then the following are several ideas:
Romance Novel Covers
They have pre-made designs, but you’ll need to open an account in order to see them.
Write great copy for your blurb
A fantastic description for your book is vital to ensure great sales. http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2015/09/14/book-sales-description-bryan-cohen/
Here is another great article on the same site:
A few ideas:
1. Brainstorm 15 to 25 ideas.
2. Ask for additional ideas from others who have beta read your book.
3. Think of the headline (the first line of the blurb/description) as being on a movie poster. Would it grab their attention?
4. Write a headline that is short, emotional, and works well in your genre. You can research other titles in your genre on Amazon, and see what words and themes appeal to these readers. Make yours similar, and yet fresh, attention grabbing and different.
5. Pick the best headlines and ask others for feedback.
6. It’s best if the description focuses on the main characters. Do not focus on subplots.
7. Name and characterize the main characters. Such as: race car driver, Seth Black.
8. Include a hint of the plot and dilemma.
9. Ask a question or hint at a mystery in order to engage the reader’s interest.
10. Include adjectives that will entice readers who love the genre of your book. Use words that evoke images and emotions.
11. Make sure your description flows from one idea to another, building interest in the reader, so that it will seem like a must buy to the reader.
12. Edit the description in order to reduce word count and increase the emotional impact up on the reader reading the blurb. It is best if the description is short—about 100 – 150 words.
13. Keep your sentences short.
14. Get feedback from others on your book description. Provide two of your best versions and ask which one they like better.
15. Split test the blurb using Facebook ads or use a/b testing emails to your readers to see which version is more appealing.
More information about split testing and how to write great blurbs can be found here:
Next week, we’ll post tips about how to format your ebook for publication. It will be #3 in our 5 part How to Self-Publish Your Books, Tips and Tricks series.