Recent Author Book Signing

Recent Author Book Signing

I am thanking my lucky stars that I am heading into the traditional publishing world with the Responsive Universe. Trust me after 12 years of writing and promoting various works, there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears. The whole experience was a big learning curve for me…  Lots of mistakes and lessons…. And for that reason I am quick not to forget my roots. As a self-published author there was much to learn and today I wanted to share some of my most valuable tips and lessons to those that might want to self-publish their work:

First things first… You need a social footprint established well before your book release. I think a year in advance is necessary to build your website and drive traffic to it through social media vehicles like Face book, Twitter, Stumble and your book related blog. You need a social media footprint with followers well before this book goes live – better get started!

Second and foremost, congratulate yourself on being a self-published author. It is not an easy task writing a book. Just make sure your final manuscript (MS) is edited by an outside source and you did not write this book out of ego in the interest of getting rich or popular. There are many ways for a book to fail and you don’t need your ego being one of those sources. Make sure your MS is not rushed and you took your time doing the best that you could do. Finally, find pride in being a self-published author. Maybe your book is ahead of its time or has not found the right editor or traditional publisher. As long as you are proud of your work, you will have no problem promoting it guilt free with energy and drive.

A couple of tips:

  • Make sure your references are sound and well noted
  • Make sure you own usage rights on all your images – use sites like Fotolia or Shutterstock to purchase images.
  • Again, get an outside source to edit your book and check for misspellings. It is easy to miss things when you have been rereading the same chapter over and over.
  • Right off all your business expenses – I made my book fees and expenses back in one year with proper tax incentives.

When shopping self-publishers don’t be afraid to negotiate the fee or ask for bonuses like additional services. I used Authorhouse and found them to be competent, professional and swift. Just remember, a self-publisher does not make their money on your book’s success, they make their money on all the additional services they sell you on the side. Once you sign with the self-publisher, their marketing division will be calling you once a week to sell you pricey options to increase exposure to your book. Some of them might help but tread carefully. Finally, make sure you retain all rights to your book when signing a contract with a self-publisher!

Don’t overprice your book and make sure your cover art is high-resolution and professional looking.  Make sure your services include an eBook version as well as exposure on Amazon and B&N.

Now that the book is live it is time to promote it. Depending on your self-publishing tier contract, you might have opted for a promotional package. These are actually worth it as you can get materials like free books, book signing posters, invites, promotional post cards and book markers as supplemental swag for very little extra.

A couple of tips promoting your book:

  • Remain active on social media sites like Face book and Twitter
  • Continue to blog about your book or content related topics.
  • Send out a press release to local media outlets and local industry related publications. This can be done through email or post.
  • Try to get your book into any book catalogs so that book stores will be able to purchase it.
  • Maybe schedule a book launch and invite family and friends. Sell your books at a onetime discount.
  • Schedule a book signing and be sure to plan ahead so you can make free announcements in the local media.
  • Attend industry related fairs, conventions and drop off info about your book to interested parties.
  • Search Google and other search engines for “Self-Publishing Tips” – there is a lot of helpful content out there beyond my words here.
  • Don’t be afraid to give away free books. One or two sales are not going to make a difference so be generous with your book. Maybe offer free giveaways online.
  • It can take a year after your book goes live for it to be organically optimal on search engines like Google – in fact, give your book a good two years of promotion before you gauge any monetary success.
  • Above all… HAVE FUN!   ..that is the point right?

Self-publishing a book is hard work. You may find yourself spending weekends writing the MS and hours each week promoting the final draft.  Just remember, this whole process needs to be fun and rewarding. Don’t fall into the rut of basing your book’s success on the Amazon rankings or those quarterly commission checks. Over 2,200,000 books are published every year worldwide – many of those are self-published. Only about 10,000 of those actually make money. It is a tough business so don’t be hard on yourself or ever think your hard work was not worth it. Some things are out of our control. Simply enjoy the process and be proud of your accomplishment.

Who knows, with the right energy and intent, your book might be a best seller! Within the realm of possibility, what we think we can create in a Responsive Universe… Be mindful of that…

John C. Bader

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