Sunday, August 1, 2010

Preparation for Self-Publishing

Well, we've talked a bit about the creation piece of the self-publishing puzzle.  Now it's time to talk about how to prepare.  Specifically, how to prepare to sell.

I want to take a moment to say that most publishing houses take at least a year to prepare for the launch of a new hardback.  There's a reason for that.  There is a lot to get done.

Luckily, you only have one writer you need to worry about.  You.  Unless you've got some other personalities lurking in there that have their own manuscripts, in which case it's beyond the scope of this post to deal with anyway.

I'm going to talk about two different areas of preparation that are key for the self-published author.  One is the area of promotional tools, which we'll talk about in this post.  The other is the venue (or venues) for the distribution of those promotional tools, which we'll discuss next week.  They are both important.

The promotional tools a writer would want would be excellent cover art (variations of which could be used for biz cards, press kits, etc.), an electronic press kit (EPK), and a book trailer.

The cover art is the face of your novel.  It's what's going to grab a potential reader or turn them off.  It needs to be polished, creative and most importantly...sell your book!  If you've written a how-to, a fantasy-like cover will do nothing but confuse a potential buyer.

The EPK includes your one-sheet (brief description), three-sheet (more in-depth description), bio and press release, at a minimum.  It can also include a longer bio, a 3-5 page synopsis and FAQ's.  The EPK is essential for anyone that would like to option off the rights to the screenplay.  Being able to send this EPK at a moment's notice can make the difference between you being taken seriously or simply forgotten.

Finally, the book trailer.  This is an opportunity to SELL YOUR BOOK!!!  The importance of a good book trailer cannot be overemphasized.  Let's face it.  Our society has gotten more and more visually oriented as the years have gone by.  Having a visual medium that draws a potential buyer in is a MUST!

For some examples of some amazing cover art, slick EPK's and stunning book trailers, take a moment to go to our website:  You can also our work in action by going to my Smashwords page for Plain Jane.  Not only will you see our amazing book trailer, you'll be able to listen to an audio excerpt and read up to 50 pages for free!  Just so you can see that we practice what we preach.

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