Last week I gave you basic tips about writing your first book and how to be consistent until you complete it.
As promised, in this week post I am going to discuss publishing and promoting your book once you’ve completed your work.
As you know, a book is not only about the writing and editing part; it’s actually only the beginning.
Now you have to publish your work so it can travel and reach potential interested people all over the world.
To me, writing the book is the easiest part. Once your book has been completed, edited, and proofread, you’ve got to choose how you are going to publish and promote it.
As I was mentioning in the previous post, it used to be a time when you didn’t have much choice to go about publishing a book. Today, however, self publishing has made it much easier for anyone who wants to publish a book.
Nonetheless, self publishing will not fix all your problems, so to speak. There are still some things you need to know and be aware of. Let see what those are…
Publishing Your Book
There are four different options to publish a book today. Traditional publishing; digital publishing; self-publishing; and print-on-demand.
While traditional publishing can cost you a lot of money, and might not be the best route to take for book publishing nowadays, the other 3 are low cost, rather easy and fast.
Self publishing means just that. You are publishing your book yourself rather than having a publisher doing the work for you. This goes from cover design, page design, and distribution.
While I wouldn’t trust all self publishing services out there, as some have been reported to be total rip offs, others such as Lulu, Smashwords, and CreateSpace, are reliable.
Lulu is an online publishing and marketing service that allows you to create paper back, hard cover or eBooks, and help you sell your book through their own Lulu market place, Amazon and even retail stores.
Lulu has a free do-it-yourself service as well as various paid services to help you publish your book. You can also ask for a free consultation to discuss what your wants and needs are with and expert that will advise you.
Lulu can also distribute your book all over the world in print or eBook retail channels.
Smashwords is an eBook distributor where you can format your manuscripts and distribute your eBook to iBookstores in 50 countries around the world.
Your eBook will be distributed throughout various iBookstotres such as Apple iPad iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kodo and more. You can also sell your eBook on their site.
CreateSpace is an Amazon company. It’s very similar to Lulu. CreateSpace also has a free and a paid service.
The free service allows you to download your book and use the tools to create the design you want. With the paid service you can choose a tailored publishing method and design that fits you and your budget best.
They take care of your book manufacturing and shipping with an on demand inventory.
You can publish a book in Kindle format on Amazon using the free service Kindle Direct Publishing.
You can create your fee author page, and start selling your book immediately all over the world while keeping 70% of the royalty.
Kindle is probably the best way to sell and promote a book or eBook today.
Don’t Print Too Many Books
Unless you print your book on demand for special occasions, there is no need to have printed books anymore.
For example, if you wanted to print few copies of your book for a book signing, make sure that you’ve got the OK first.
The reason I’m saying this is because book stores are rather reluctant to have book signing for self publishing authors. Sadly, book stores would trust you more if you’d published your book with publishing companies such as Penguin or Random House, than if you are a self publishing author.
You might also want to print some of your books to give them away to “influential” people that could help spread out the word for you, but my advice is that you do not give a single copy to someone that has not shown a real interest in your work, or your book will be collecting dust somewhere, and it will be a waste of your time and money.
Promoting your Book
Getting the right promotion for your book is less about having a big budget and more about having a great communication method.
For example, if you write a book before building any type of relationships with your audience, your book won’t go anywhere. I can promise you that because I have seen this happened before my very eyes.
Whether you create a book or any other product, having an audience and followers will help you sell your book tremendously.
The other thing that you need to keep in mind is to target the right market for your book. Even a heavy promotion to the wrong market won’t do you any good, while a simple promotion to the right market could generate leads like a wild fire.
Avenues to Promote your Book
Of course, if you have a book ready to sell, I hope that you also have an account on the main social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter (at the very least), and that you’ve been building relationships with like-minded people prior to the publishing of your book.
The reason why I’m saying that is that I know someone who had not done that and still has not spent the time creating any type of relationships on social media sites, or anywhere else online for that matter.
The result of this? The book completely stalled.
This a huge mistake, and you would struggle big time selling your book, if you left the online relationship building out to the equation.
Create a Blog
I’m sorry to say it like this, but if you are trying to sell a book, and don’t have a blog, God help you!
If you have a product such as a book you need to have a blog where you can talk about the topic of your book, about you, about your future upcoming works, and anything that will help your future buyers to get to know you, and what you do.
You may have the best book in the world, but if you don’t have a way to talk about it far and wide who’s going to know about it?
Other Avenues to Promote your Book
Here are other avenues that you should tap into to spread the word about your book.
- Press releases,
- Email marketing campaigns
- Article campaigns,
- Guest blogging
- Book reviews
Final Promotion Tips
Remember that your book like any other product that you might have created is not about you, the author; it’s about what the book can bring to the readers.
I read a report, recently, about publishing that said that the reason why many press releases are not bringing sales is because it’s written in a way that talks about the book, but not about the benefits of the book.
I think that this is a really important detail that should be remembered by anyone trying to sale a book. No matter what type of book that may be. Write your press releases, reviews, emails and other articles about the benefits of your book, not just about your book.
The customer is king, because he’s the one who buys. And the customer will buy only if there is something for them. That’s as simple as that.
I hope that this post could be of some help to you if you are thinking about writing and publishing a book or eBook.
Please, leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
27 thoughts on “How To Write Your First Book – Part Two Publishing And Promoting”
You just gave away the goods now.
I had mentioned to you in your last post that at one time I had thought about writing a book so I took a class. A few years ago, maybe a little more, I met a guy on MySpace who is not only an author but coaches people about self publishing. He and I had a conversation and of course he said if you’re an author then you have that under your belt and it can open so many more doors for you. I understood what he was saying but I didn’t at that time have the desire to go that way. Especially when he told me everything that was involved in self publishing your book.
Now Lisa recently published her eBook so that was the first time I had heard about Smashwords. That was the service she used and she explained why which I thought was pretty logical. I didn’t realize that you had to purchase one major piece of software in order to get published on Amazon. That was news to me.
You have really given away the goods here girl and anyone who is eager to not only write some type of book but market it will love what you just shared here.
Awesome stuff! Enjoy your week.
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When someone like you like my post it means a lot to me. Theodore above said that I over delivered on that one, and that made me feel good as I always have the opposite feeling (always afraid that I’m not giving enough information) in my posts.
I have to go over to Lisa’s blog which I haven’t in a while, so I didn’t even know about her eBook. I shall check this out.
Oopps I didn’t know about purchasing a piece of software for Amazon. Is that for Kindle? Never heard of this.
Thanks for coming by, Adrienne and have a fantastic week!
Oh girl, you definitely over deliver and we love you for it!
Yeah, I think it was Lisa who shared about this software that you need which is why she went with Smashwords. She was writing about the eBook she wrote so you’ll have to check out that post. I haven’t gone that route with Kindle books so I wouldn’t have a clue. I have to depend on others to fill me in.
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A very interesting post on book publishing and yes, i remembered you promised to write more about the topic and here, you have over delivered indeed.
I agree with you that you have to establish a strong readership before you think of publishing a book because no one will be willing to buy from an unknown author.
I’ve heard of Smashwords and createspace before and even lulu but as you may know, I’ve not writing any book yet except the one on my sidebar which is free, but those are certainly the platforms i will use ones I’m ready which is very soon.
Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive post on this topic with us and do have a great weekend.
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I’m thrilled that you like this post and that you’re telling me that I “over” delivered, which is nice to hear since I’m always afraid to under deliver and not giving enough information in my posts.
Thank you so much for coming by and I hope to see your book on one of such platforms soon.
Great information for anyone who has the desire to write a book.
The digital age we live in has really made it much easier to do and you have laid out some great tips and resources here in this blog post.
I’m glad you enjoyed this information and thank you for coming even though you might not be writing a book now, but maybe soon :)?
Have a great week!
Wonderful post! I started implementing many of these strategies so that when my book launches I have things in place. I realized that you need to have reviews so I’m working on that right now. A couple of months ago I started my new website/blog and I’m getting quite a bit of engagement on it. I am going through create space and will also use KDP.
I also created 2 videos for the book. One that is a quick intro to the book the other is a book trailer video. Getting all my ducks in a row!
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Hi Toni and nice seeing you here.
It seems that you know all the steps involved around publishing and promoting a book. Great job. Let us know when the book is out, which I’m sure you will.
Thank you for coming by and for your feedback.
Great share again!
Even though I’m still struggling on the 1st step(your last post) but you have shared this stuffed with gems.
I could realize the importance of readers before publishing the e-book. I was on Lisa’s post and is aware of smashwords.
Thanks for this awesome share and have a great week ahead.
I’m so glad that this information came at the right time for some people such as you. I’m sure that if you put your mind to it, you can make this book of yours happen.
I’m glad if this post series could motivate you in doing that 🙂
I have again learned something from you through this post. I have heard of all the publishing outlets you mentioned except smashwords. I will do more research on that route.
You are spot on with your tips; I do have on feather in my cap when it comes time to publish my fiction novel that I have spoken with you and the other wonderful members of our mastermind group, I already have a connected editor. We have worked together on this manuscript and I only have the last chapter to finish.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge about publishing with me and teaching me of more outlets.
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Well, that such a great thing to be so close to completing your book. I wish I could say that with mine 🙂
I appreciate you’re coming and sharing this with us.
Thanks for coming.
I agree with some of the other comments this is a great post and yes you do over-deliver.
It still amazes me how much the world of book publishing has changed in a relatively short time. We were still publishing and printing books for our speakers ten years ago. It was such a big deal and huge expense.
I am not saying it is easy now but at least people do not need so much capital up front to fund it all.
Thanks for the great list of resources here. I had heard of some but not all of them.
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Yes, Sue, it’s true!
Only 10 years ago we’d talk only about printed book published by expensive publishers. I’m glad those days are over to tell you the truth.
Now book publishing can be achieved by just about anyone who just wants it bad enough.
Thank yo for coming and sharing your input on this blog 🙂
If I say this is an awesome post, it’s not fair enough 🙂 It’s SUPER fantabulous guide for modern publishers.
You teach stuff to be learnt in the right way 🙂 I had no idea about other self-publishing services except for Amazon, and SmashWords as it has been mentioned by Lisa 🙂 True, I haven’t explore about it, but didn’t come across such a post either. It’s really cool how many opportunities you will find online, even for free.
Now publishers don’t wanna do the research as you already made it for ’em. I’m pretty sure your post gonna loved by many bloggers and authors Sylviane 🙂
Woohoo… Now your authorship is working for all blogs and more benefits to come as Google crawls all of ’em 😉
Have a wonderful week dear 🙂
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I’m glad you enjoyed the post and that most people here are giving great feedback about it.
I guess this could be a useful resourse and work great in search engines to find tips about publishing and promoting a book.
At least this one, Google has found it 🙂 Hopefully it will find the other one soon.
Thanks for coming.
You’ve put together a fantastic overview! Another alternative to CreateSpace that I keep hearing about (and have not looked into) is Lightning Source. I’m sticking with CS myself because I’m happy with them. So few of my sales actually come from print books that I’m not going to worry about using more than one POD (print on demand) company.
One of the best ways to promote (from what I’ve heard, going to give it whirl myself soon) is using Amazon’s KDP Select. I’ve been using my blog, social media, and asking for reviews. It has had limited success, but free books on kindle is where people go to find new authors these days. I’ve heard that KDP Select works best when you have another book to point readers to, that’s why I’ve waited to join and give it a try. I’ll definitely let you know how that goes! 🙂
Oh, and a little warning about Smashwords. It is an easy way to get your book submitted to most of the online book sellers, but you lose control over certain aspects of your book. For instance, it can take weeks, or longer, to have Smashwords remove your book or make a price change on some of the sites. So you have to weigh the benefits to see which is better option for you.
Have a great day,
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Your feedback on that is very valuable and I really appreciate that.
So far I’ve written eBooks only but as far as the tools I’m mentioning here I’ve studied them, but not used them as you have. So again, your feedback is very much appreciated.
I didn’t know that about Smashwords so, it’s a good thing to point out and be aware of even though I still think that’s a good platform.
There are so many tools out there to learn about!
Thank you so much for your input.
Hello Sylviane, great article and informative. I always wanted to write a book of some sort, it would probably be a How-to book about blogging.
It’s still on my to do list and I hope to accomplish it one day. There’s some many helpful ways you can do it these days like an ebook is just one simple way.
Thank you for sharing your views on this topic because I think we have all wanted to do this at one point. Have a wonderful day.
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I hope this will make you want to write your book soon. Yes there are many helpful ways to go about creating your book these days.
Thank you for coming 🙂
You bet it’s one of the things I hope to accomplish in the near future.
Writing a book is something I think every blogger hope to do and will at one point give it a shot. But as long as we have helpful tips like this it should not be to hard.
Thanks so much for a a great post Sylviane. Have a great day
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I second all the other comments that this is a great post and indeed you did over-deliver.
It is amazing how technology has really made it easy for those who want to write and publish their book. You really did a great job with giving away great tips and resources in this awesome post for whoever has the intention to write a book. By the way, it is my first time to hear about these resources as I have never thought of writing a book yet but who knows, I never thought that I will blog one day but here I am having a blog and I am enjoying it.
I agree with you 100% about what you said: that a book writer must have a blog to talk about the topic of their book and about anything that will help their buyers to know and trust them. A blog will be their platform to market their book.
Thanks Sylviane for such a great post and for sharing your knowledge as always.
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Hi Neamat and nice to see you here.
My guess is that if you stay online long enough you might be writing a book sooner than you think 🙂 It’s like a natural progression for a lot of people online, even if it’s only an eBook.
When I first started writing eBooks there weren’t any of such tools out there, but new technology has made things better and better over time.
Thank you for your input.
You’ve given any would-be authors some valuable advice here.
I think you’re right in saying that writing a book is the easy part. I did an article once on ways to promote a self-published book and by the time I’d finished it made me exhausted just to think about all the work involved – including being up at the crack of dawn on days when your book’s going out as a promotional freebie so you can promote it like mad and get the best results.
I think the trick is to work at getting some good reviews by giving your book away for free in the first instance – once you’ve got some decent reviews, it’s much easier to promote it.
Kindle Select is a good option, if you don’t mind giving Amazon exclusive rights to your book for the period of your enrolment – but you’ve really got to watch their terms and conditions. I think when I eventually get around to publishing a book I’d probably go for Kindle and maybe CreateSpace.
An excellent article, Sylviane – thank you!
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I’m sure you know quite a few things about this yourself as you are a writing and blogging about writing yourself.
I know all these things can feel quite overwhelming. I know for me, anyway, writing is the easier part, even though they are making it easy, there’s still some important details such as understanding the terms as you mentioned.
Thank you for sharing you input on that.
Before I read your first post I had thought about writing an eBook but one of the things that stopped me was publishing. I didn’t realize how easy it is to publish an eBook now. I haven’t gone into pricing but I imagine it doesn’t cost as much as before 🙂
I’ve heard of Smashwords through Lisa and seen Lulu but I’ll have to check out the others.
I also took note of the ideas you shared for promoting my future eBook. I’m just not sure about the video, I’m camera shy 🙂
Hope all is going well!
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