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We discuss different aspects and considerations for publishing. With now millions of writers and more aspiring, we look at how a writer can be successful publishing their manuscripts. Additionally we discuss how technology must be included to continue having success. Publishing Magic does offer services priced reasonably to assist in the publishing process. The services have a guarantee that is refundable. Visit the shop page for the services. CHEAP is not ALWAYS the best!
The manuscript is written, now what? Think about before the publishing steps:
Editor; Art; The cover; Font and Cover Text.
Why is editing important?
It is crucial because without good editing, the flow of the story can be disrupted. The reader can lose interest due to the disruptions as well as trying to understand. Even if you are an editor, one must have objectivity therefore getting an editor will help. Never do your own editing! If it is to save costs, then it’s not time to publish. Here’s a question, what type of editing will you need? There is a difference between copy and developmental. Along with this choice, it is important to choose the right editor. THe editor that is a good fit is one that first of all requires a contract. Secondly the communicate regularly with you. Thirdly they don’t make changes without your approval. Take a moment to plan, research the editor resources before choosing. Save investment debt and get a quality editor. Your manuscript and sales report will appreciate it.
How do you choose an artist?
Know what you are looking for or an idea of the cover. There are 3 areas of the cover to be concerned about; the cover, the back and the spine. All three can have slightly differing art. In addition to the art, one must be mindful of the text and font.
Once the image(s) have been decided, then the type or style of art to be used should be considered. Some covers have nothing on them but a simple image. What is important is to remember that the image(s) must be incredible dynamic. Remember your product is competing with many other products.
Once you have chosen the artist, communication, regular is crucial. The artist doesn’t have to be local. The artist can even be on another continent. But what is important is communication that is precise occurs. He/she must have a clear idea of what you want. Before choosing the artist btw, look at their portfolio to determine if this is what you need. If they do not provide one, then this is not the artist for you. Ask questions about price point, experience, tools used etc.
Before agreeing or signing a contract, which you must have, request a draft, a template, a sketch of the cover. Most artist don’t ask for payment. If they do, usually you have a couple of sketches that are allowed for the project. Before all of this, hopefully you have created a budget. Remember the price point for the book is a part of this investment.
A big mistake would be to choose an artist based on price point only, particularly if very reasonable. You may find yourself having to do another cover as a result. If you use one of the packages from publishing services, again the art will not be the same as that of an artist. If likely will be more reasonable as it will be a part of the package, yet be critical of the work before publishing.
The text, font and image is important to determine for the cover. There needs to be balance. The image or text all must be eye catching enough to where the first look is intriguing enough for the potential reader to pick up or click on the book. Think of it like a new car. The outside of the car is the first step of attraction before looking under the hood or inside the car.
Lastly, give enough time for the cover to be completed. Once the agreed upon deadline has been reached, if the artist is not done, being that it is reasonable, remind the payment is connected to the timeline. This should have been written in the contract. Hopefully the agreed upon payment was a percentage at the beginning and balance upon completion.
Book Fairs/Seminars/Comic Shows
Ask Yourself, Why am I going? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Can I afford it?
Attending book fairs, seminars or shows can be very effective primarily used for marketing and some sales. A few important steps to take before deciding to attend.
Create a budget – by creating a budget you will have an idea of how much to plan for and spend. This budget will include booth or table costs; travel costs; table or booth preparation and presentation costs; printed books costs; hotel costs; and book promotional costs. This will also help in determining how many printed books to bring.
A Fair Match – make sure the fair, seminar is a fit for your book. Not only that, but if it’s worth the investment of time, resources and finances. Look at how it’s organized as well as how they communicate. Sometimes these events look better on paper or the internet vs in person.
Expectations – develop reasonable expectations of attending the event. In other words, how many books you will sell; how many fellow artists or authors you will meet; how much money you will invest; what alternative plans will you implement if expectations are not met and or what will determine if attending this event will make it successful.
It would be helpful to identify a fair that is close to reduce travel costs. If there is a fair or show closer, consider to reduce costs and increase the potential for a return on the investment. Many smaller fairs or shows usually will have a smaller registration fee. This will allow the ability to invest in printing or other costs related to the fair or show.
Before attending, determine how many books will be for PROMOTION, ie. give aways. Make sure the books that don’t sell have a category, ie marketing or promotion. This helps with determining an actual sale count.
There are more factors to consider when deciding to attend these type of events. Soon I will discuss a bit further about attending these type of events, particularly setting up your booth and or table.
How do I-choose which service to use? There are so many? Before choosing, do some research. Each service, such as LuLu, CreateSpace, Amazon, IUniverse and others offer many different types of services including packaged services.
In keeping ‘investment spending‘ down, investing wisely will help. Before signing up for the service, review the publishing process. Know what you are to do first. Did you develop a budget?
It is important to look beyond the cost to publish. Also it would be helpful to look at their distribution lists, who are they distributing to outside of the normal; ie Amazon. Knowing this will help in deciding what additional services to use. No need to choose a service just because it is being offered. Don’t make the experience similar to shopping in a grocery store when hungry.
Before making the choice, take a moment to write down what services you actually need. Then evaluate what services they are offering. Look at your budget to make sure you are staying as close to your budget as possible. You will be very happy when your royalties go directly into your bank account versus waiting months because you have to pay off your ‘investment debt’.
When is it time to change?
Many authors today seem to focus on selling only, a reasonable approach to success. What many are not doing is taking a moment to plan or budget. The most expensive is not to plan for return on the investment. What many seem to do is get an idea and then invest without investigating how to get the money invested back. Does it make sense to see a service and based on their marketing invest without researching if the service will bring about a return?
Being that most authors don’t write for a living, time is a challenge as well as managing home life. So writing and promoting becomes even more challenging. When the results have not met goals(if goals were set) after a number of years, why continue to do the same thing? At some point, the question of “when is it time to take a different approach?” should be asked. Continuing the same methods with terrible results is not productive and becomes incredibly expensive.
The unfortunate part is without goals being set or a plan or even a budget, we won’t know when that time is. This includes giving up the idea of writing or selling. I know this sounds harsh, but why continue the same path with the same results? An example is I heard of a writer that has continued for 13 years attending a book fair in a local town. This writer didn’t within this period add new books or change anything.
What value is there to continue to invest or pay the money to attend the same book fair for 13 years even when sales don’t even pay for the book fair fees? What is the goal? How much has been invested in 13 years?
Plan, budget and evaluate.
There will come a time when a change is needed. Know when that is. Next time I’ll talk more about plans. What does planning look like.
What does a plan look like?
Now that you have published what is next? Theoretically a plan will have already been developed before publishing the first manuscript. Like many new authors, a plan is secondary or even tertiary. A really good approach would have been to developed a plan even before publishing. For example:
A. Develop title
1. Develop Premise
a. 25 words or less
B. Book Typesetting
1. Chapter construction
2. Manuscript Font
3. Font size
Not necessarily in this order, but this is an example of a plan for writing the manuscript. If you notice, a part of the plan is including structural pieces like typesetting. You then will know before you hire a typesetter or editor. Also knowing the font size will help with the book cover including title placement on the cover.
Let’s move past the early stages of the writing aspect. Developed at the same time, let’s look at publishing. Here are some questions to help with developing the plan:
1. Publishing Method?
A. Self publishing
C. Vanity publishing
D. Joint publishing
Which is the best method that is the most cost effective?
Based on my time, which method would allow me to be most effective?
Should I choose to publish a second book, which method would be easy to replicate?
Depending on the publishing route I choose, what services will I need? Will the route offer services within my budget?
These questions will apply to every aspect of the publishing process. I would suggest using these questions to help develop the next level of publishing which would be marketing. One of the biggest advantages of developing a plan is the guidance a plan provides for the entire process of publishing. Additionally it allows for evaluating the effectiveness of the plan. If the plan is not effective, you can change it.
A few more questions:
Have you developed publishing expectations?
Are the expectations attainable?
Will this manuscript be a one off?
If more than one, a series, how many?
Will they all be published using the same method?
How much time are you able to commit to all aspects of publishing?
What is the time line for publishing?