Tag Archives: marketing

Prelaunch Marketing – great idea!

The point of my blog is to note my progress and what I know and have researched about self-publishing. I don’t want this to become just facts and information that I get from other books or online. I really intend to keep this on a personal level – and keep in mind that this is what I am doing. Others have probably done different, better or worse. Just sayin’.

So now what am I doing? Well, I am really focusing on the pre-launch stuff. There seems to be so much to do and every time you talk to someone, you get another idea and add it to your list. I have attached my ‘to-do’ list so far. Just click here: To Do What I have highlighted, is already done. The list grows everyday and by the time I post this again, it will be twice as long – guaranteed. I will be the first to admit, this isn’t a very good system but at least it is a system. You need something to keep you focused and moving forward. I promise to develop a checkpoint of some kind for my authors so you feel like you have a handle on things.

My pre-launch consists of first – creating a website and blog. You have to direct people somewhere once you get their attention so a website has to be first. I went to wordpress because Mira (my work) had used it and I felt a bit more comfortable. There are other options for blogs and free sites (godaddy, blogspot, etc). I will actually be blogging about setting up a blog. LOL. Definitely start with what is free. You can get to all that fancy stuff later once you have made a few bucks.

Social Media – Wow. I have 2 small kids, a full time job and now this book. Who has time for this social media stuff? I am lucky to flip through facebook at 9pm for 10 minutes before I fall asleep. Anyway, this is the most challenging for me, by far. I have done the following (and will get more in depth with social media once I figure them all out) – Linkedin, facebook, twitter, reddit, tumbler and digg. I know nothing about reddit, tumbler and digg. Luckily, my brother is one of those guys that read a lot of articles about anything and everything so he is a pro with this site. I handed this job over to him so let’s see how it goes. I know that on my blog I instantly saw about 9 hits come through reddit. He also said that people see things on this site way before facebook and other sources. The point of this rant was – don’t be afraid to ask for help!

I have also done the layout on postcards and business cards. They need to look similar to your book cover – same colors, fonts etc. This is what building your brand is all about. You have started a business now with your book, so treat it like one. You should always keep business cards and postcards on hand. Leave them anywhere you can w/o being too obnoxious. Don’t be afraid to spread the word. There will always be opposition to your success. Most great people faced this when they started. Ignore the haters and move on.
This is getting long so I will end on that note.

There are many other things to do pre-launch and that is all based around the genre and nature of your book. Be sure to check out my previous manuscript and cover blogs – just look to your right under ‘recent posts’. My next few blogs will be on ISBN, barcodes, LOC and copyright. Be sure and hit the little follow button on the top left of your screen.

As always, I appreciate any comments, suggestions or feedback. If you have a blog topic you want me to cover – send it over.

…and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.



Filed under Book Marketing

Will people judge my book by the cover?

Hell yes they will!   I hate to say it, but we all do it.  Every day we see things and immediately know if it is pleasing or makes us feel good, bad, ugly…whatever.  You don’t want to brush over the cover design and if you have someone helping or doing the cover for you – be sure to communicate as much as possible with them.

I did a lot of thinking first with my cover.  That sounds kind of silly but I just thought about what kind of elements I want on the cover.  Do I want an image? What kind of image?  Random person? Typical sky or book scene?  What colors or fonts do I want?  Hmmm…there is infinite options which is kind of scary.  I looked on my bookshelves and searched through similar books on Amazon and just did some good old fashioned brainstorming. I often refer people to www.istockphoto.com and have them put some key words relating to their book in the search box.  You can get some great ideas doing that too.

I have a background in design so I did the layout myself.  I graduated from Art School in 2002 so this was right before more fancy programs came out like Adobe InDesign.  I just used Illustrator – probably about 4 versions old – but it got the job done.  If at all possible, DO NOT use Word to layout the cover and definitely do not use clip art.  If you learn anything from my blog, let that be it!

First things first – what is the right trim size (height and width of finished book)?  Well, most books are perfect bound so they will require a spine.  The spine is that little piece connecting the front and back.  This is what people will see when the book is sitting on a shelf.  The spine size is figured with number of pages and type of paper.  Click here for a spine width calc: http://dev.mirasmart.com/spinecalc/.  You also want to add bleed to the cover as well when doing the layout.  Most printers will require 1/8″ of bleed.  What is bleed you say?  It is extending the cover outside of the trim mark so the images or color goes to the edge of the page.  My book size if 5.5 x 8.5 so my cover layout will be:

.125 (bleed) + 5.5 (back) + .10 (spine) + 5.5 (front) + .125(bleed) = 11.35″ wide

.125 (bleed) + 8.5 (height) + .125 (bleed) = 8.75″ high

It is a good idea to set guides where the bleed is and where the spine is.  That way you know the exact space you are working within with placing images/text on the front or back cover.  This is pretty confusing for most people – especially if they are unfamiliar with design layout.  So I hope this shed some light.

RESOLUTION!  You know when you are looking at an image and you can see a bunch of dots – that means the resolution of that image sucked.  NEVER pull an image off of the web.  A) you do not own it and can get in big trouble.  Imagine becoming a super famous author and someone coming back to sue you for some little image?  B) the resolution of images on the web are 72 dpi normally.  This is so they can load quickly on your computer.  They are not for printing.   It is ideal to have an image at 300 dpi to scale.  So for instance, if you take a picture with your camera and put it on your computer – you want to keep it at that size or maybe just a little larger.  If you go and blow it up to a poster size, all those pixels or bits of color get stretched out and now the picture isn’t crisp and clear, it is fuzzy and sucky.  I could talk all day about resolution but I think you get the point.

FONTS – stick to what you have on the interior.   Like I said with the manuscript blog – too many fonts, too confusing.  That is all I have to say about that.

Speaking of manuscript blog – be sure and look to your right under ‘recent posts’.   Check out the last couple if you haven’t already.

As always, I appreciate any comments, suggestions or feedback. If you have a blog topic you want me to cover – send it over.  

…in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.


Filed under Book Layout

Jumping In

Today I realize how important it is to involve other authors in the beginning stages of my self-publishing journey.  I was going to only blog about my book and how to market my book but I thought – that would be silly.  Why not start at the VERY beginning.  That way you all can see the trials and tribulations I encounter with preparing the manuscript, doing my cover, copyright, LOC, uploading to POD, printing, distribution, eBooks….the list goes on and on.  Boy it is overwhelming.  I find myself constantly thinking about everything I need to do and the order I need to do them.

The first thing to think about obviously is what are you going to write about and who is going to want to read it?  Well, I was a little lucky because my audience was right in front of my face the whole time.  I went out and asked all my authors what their best piece of advice or selling tip would be for a new author.  I received a great response from my authors and they were so supportive.  So I poured over many of these responses and picked 60 for the first volume.  The next blog will be about putting together my manuscript and dealing with Microsoft Word…Ugh.




Filed under Self Publishing Author