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Self-Publishing Mastery: From Writing to Marketing Your Book

Updated: 5 days ago


An open book with glowing, magical text floats above a dark wooden surface, surrounded by vivid icons of self-publishing: a painter's palette, a magnifying glass, a colorful book cover, social media logos, and a mockup online bookstore page. The setting suggests a blend of creativity and strategy in self-publishing.


Introduction

  • The market for books

  • The reasons for the failures


Part I: The evolution of self publishing Two myths to dispel

  • Self publishing: writing for self

  • Self publishing: writing for others


Part II: Thinking like an editor

  • The evaluation form

  • From scorecard to literary editing

  • The pitfalls of self-referentialism

  • The role of the editor


Part III: The promotion of the work

  • The cover

  • The description

  • The booktrailer

  • The mockups


Part IV: The power of social media

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • TikTok

  • Pinterest

  • Youtube

  • Hashtags and community

  • Influencers and advertising


Part V: Web presence

  • Tips for your website


Part VI: Become a merchant

  • Marketing activities

  • The potential of Amazon

  • The editorial plan


Conclusions



 


INTRODUCTION

The market for books

There are many people who referring to the book market frame it at the end of its days, forced to fight a perpetual cultural crisis, a victim of social media. In a world bound by the myth of image, consumption, the need for speed and so many other clichés, there is no longer any room for reading -- but that is not quite the case.

 

Despite complaints from industry players, the book market continues to weather fads and time unscathed, managing to keep its sales in balance, balancing small contractions to rising markets. Data from many sources (see Statista.com) indicate that - globally - book sales (print + ebook) have been consistently above $110 billion since 2017 and projected to increase to over $124 billion.

 

We are talking about a mature market, with distinctions to be made by country or genre, but overall, a market of great interest.

 

The book market possesses a traditionalist and conservative vocation inherent in the very nature of the product and its age of origin, but it has nonetheless always found the momentum to stay in step with the times.

 

To get a clear view of this evolution, several elements need to be considered: new sales and communication formulas have modernized offerings, ebooks have consolidated their shares, audio books have gained acceptance from a diverse audience, new applications have facilitated access to extensive and in some cases free catalogs.

 

Three factors made this possible:

  • accessibility that has expanded through the democratization of the Web;

  • globalization that-again thanks to the Web-allows readers and writers to explore or propose themselves in markets that were previously distant and unthinkable to reach;

  • digital printing, which has made it possible to produce paper books even in small quantities, at a low price compared to past technologies, and in most parts of the globe.

 

This means that anyone can write a text in France, publish it in Japan or the United States, and sell a single copy. Borders are no longer (almost) an issue.

 

In this terrain composed of technology, digitization and globalization, self publishing has found a perfect place to take root and grow.

 

In the recent past, self-publishing meant investing a huge amount of capital, where the first item of expenditure was the printing press and where every sales action was complicated and costly.

 

Print 1,000 copies, one had to turn into a nomadic author, carry boxes full of books with them in hopes of selling them, organize presentations, attend fairs and markets. And with a still immature social network, web promotion was nonexistent.

 

New conditions have changed the approach, and self-publishing has become a form of publishing that can garner acclaim and interest from those who love to read and, more importantly, from those who love to write. At every latitude this publishing practice is increasing its presence, regardless of genre or target audience.

 

To get an idea of the magnitude, suffice it to say that in 2020 the estimate of self-published books was 1.7 million titles, up in triple digits over previous years. And you can be sure that the pandemic and economic crisis have accelerated this trend.

 

The sum of the listed factors has been a driving force for women writers who have seen in this process an opportunity to reach the general public.

 

But in the face of the opportunity to market oneself to the public with a self-produced book, skipping the filter of publishing houses, for how many has publishing success been realized? How many have been able to produce a bestseller? And how many have received public acclaim?

 

Based on statistics and market data, adding the productions of publishing houses to those of self-publishers, bestsellers have been as rare as white flies. If the sale of 1,000 copies is a good goal, 50,000 already determines a bestseller and that's a few dozen.

 

The harsh reality is that most titles are intended to sell a hundred or two hundred copies. Then it is fair to ask why such paltry numbers exist.

 

Delving into the reasons why the majority of self-publishers have not reached sales expectations can enable them to address weaknesses and improve.

 

The reasons for the failures

It should be pointed out that self-publication is not necessarily connected with the author's or author's desire to sell thousands of copies, or to become a famous person, or to make a profession out of it, in other words--an alternative income.

 

Many pursue goals other than sales: to take a satisfaction and see one's name on a cover, or to close a chapter in one's life, or to concretize a dream in a drawer, or to tell a story to one's grandchildren, or even--outside the perimeter of classic fiction--to create a business book, to produce a text with the sole purpose of being on the resume to increase reputation or to develop marketing dynamics.

 

In any case, self-publishing a book is a very delicate decision, often underestimated by those who approach it. Most people, after writing a work, try the publisher or literary agent route and in the face of rejection or silence go to plan B.

 

Plan B almost always takes the form of self-publication, but between the two moments--publisher rejection and self-publication--reflection, critical analysis, and evaluation of one's own limitations is a step that is rarely addressed. This is unfortunate because understanding why publishers have rejected the text can prove to be a lever for improvement.

 

The self-publishing author or author should decide beforehand whether she is publishing a book to sell many copies or for pleasure since she falls under the list presented earlier. If his intention is to sell then the approach must be organized and structured. In other words: he must become the entrepreneur who wants to make his investment profitable.

 

And what entrepreneur should the self-publisher be inspired by? The obvious answer: it is "to the publisher."

 

Every entrepreneur faces expenses and investments. The publisher is an entrepreneur and as such must make a profit from the books he publishes.

 

Publishing a book involves incurring costs on several items. Let's look at the main ones because some of them will prove crucial for those who publish in self:

 

Before selection:

  • Scouting. There must be someone who reads and chooses the best books from the many proposed. Not just best overall, but best in relation to the publishing house's editorial line.

Production stage:

  • Review. The book must be free of inconsistencies, plot holes, weaknesses. It takes an editor.

  • Proofreading. The book must be free of typos and grammatical errors. It takes a specialist.

  • Graphics. A book needs a cover, and covers are studied by an illustrator with a graphic designer using a specially prepared brief.

  • Layout. Having decided on the printing format, someone has to fit the text into the established pages. He has to do it the right way, following the publisher's standard and making the text fit the chosen format.

  • Printing. The paper book needs a print shop to physically do the printing, paperback, and cover.

 

Sales phase and post-production:

  • Administration. As an enterprise, the publisher has to manage accounting, which is also very particular. While on the one hand there is stock keeping, on the other hand there are royalties, service invoices, goods. 

  • Pre-distribution promotion. To minimize the risk associated with printing and begin to introduce the work to the market, the publisher uses agents to promote the work in bookstores and collect preorders.

  • Distribution. Expensive, it is used to ensure books are in bookstores and fulfill their orders.

  • Press Office. Maintains contact with the press, institutions, and is responsible for promoting books and authors.

  • Promotion. Very broad aspect ranging from social presence, to organizing bookstore presentations, to organizing fairs.

 

The sum of all these activities-internal or outsourced-are connected to the book being chosen and result in a major cost. So the book must be chosen by the publisher with great care. The story must be interesting, it must engage the reader, it must possess memorable characters and precise writing technique. But the quality of the manuscript must also be high in order to bring down the high costs of revision and proofreading.

 

So, if the manuscript was rejected by one publishing house perhaps it was flawed in one of the latter requirements. If the manuscript was rejected by twenty, thirty, a hundred, publishing houses, doubt should become a certainty. Yes, it is true, some great authors have received dozens of rejections, but often a modicum of modesty can help one understand where to improve.

 

In this introduction we have not yet described the most important element of the literary supply chain: the reader. He is the customer, the needle in the balance, the one who marks the fate of a business, a product, a service, or a book. If the publisher does not publish a book it is because he has better, where by better of he means something that has more opportunity to please the public and costs him less to produce.

 

The publisher knows that the reader is as demanding as and more than any other customer in the world. The reader pays an amount of money to experience emotions, to be entertained, captivated, and if he is not satisfied he is unlikely to return to repurchase that author or books from that publisher. Serious publishers pay great attention to this element, and so should self-publishers.

 

Hence, it should be clear that self-publishers must place the same care on their text as the publisher does in selecting and submitting their own. This rule applies even more so if the book has been rejected. Rejection is an incredible opportunity to understand the reasons behind it.

 

It is imprudent to impute the rejections of ten or twenty publishing houses to bad luck. It is much more effective to treasure them and understand what the problems were so that they can be remedied. The quality of the text is something no one should skimp on, out of respect for the reader (paying customer) and for that of one's name on the cover.

 

In the next sections of this guide, we will go into the merits of this analysis and go so far as to imagine the self-publisher on a par with an entrepreneur who has spent time and resources to create an artistic object and prepares to offer it to the market, seeking consensus, sales, and reputation.

 

We will analyze how to operate at the pre-sale stage so that you can be sure that the work will be presented in the best possible condition, qualitatively flawless, both from a formal and a structural point of view. We will also try to understand whether investments in money are necessary or whether it is possible to save, or even eliminate certain costs.

 

In a parallel with classic publishing, we will try to understand the value of proofreading, editing, graphics, layout, and even printing. Likewise, we will check how self publishing also imposes great attention to the post-production stages, how mistakes can be remedied, how one prepares for a literary launch.

 

There will be a section on promotion within which we will look at how to leverage social to create traffic, but also other marketing elements, sometimes traditional and sometimes more innovative.

 

The revolution mentioned at the beginning of this section has been profound and has created opportunities for those who want to approach the world of self publishing. Today there are authors who have made passive income with so called low budget publishing products (low cost, easy to make: diaries, notebooks, notebooks...) or thanks to very simple publications (cookbooks, manuals, guides...), but like all booming and very crowded markets, money has also attracted boastful characters.

 

 

Pt. I: THE EVOLUTION OF SELF-PUBLISHING

The main reasons for a triple-digit evolution of self-publishing volumes are: innovation that has increased accessibility to the Web; popular cost (though not across the globe) that has allowed for an expanded possibility of globalization of supply and demand; and the emergence of tools such as digital printing that has enabled the production of paper books even in small quantities at a low price.

 

An evolution that has taken place for better or worse.

 

For the good, because when a discipline, an art, a response to a need for expression is accessible to all, it is an indication of a civilization that is able to progress in a democratic and free way. Everyone is allowed to paint and sell their paintings as well as to write and sell their books.

 

In the bad, because this openness is not synonymous with quality and lends itself to thousands of unedited publications that have nothing to tell, filled with errors, often, outright scams.

 

Not only that, a world of 'services' has sprung up around self-publishers that is equally uncontrolled and that, sometimes, with magic formulas for writing bestsellers or becoming literary celebrities is able to attract (or lure) authors by taking money and energy away from them.

 

So, those who approach self-publishing need to be aware that they are about to dive into a literary Mare Magnum, navigated by millions of titles, increasing year after year, and where only a tiny fraction will get to sell more than a thousand copies and even fewer may be on the shelves of a bookstore or reviewed on the literary page of the national newspaper.

 

Better to leave it alone? Absolutely not. There is a golden rule that should be written in block letters and pasted somewhere in front of you: quality rewards, always. Every time you come down to compressed with this rule you deteriorate the value of the text and negatively affect the possibility of standing out above the crush of headlines.

 

Two myths to dispel

Actually, the ones we will meet in the next few lines are not only the myths of the self-publisher but of a wider array of writing lovers who approach the writing of a short story or novel in a rough way.

 

MYTH 1: It is the talent that makes the difference.

TRUTH: Geniuses in literature are very rare. Women or men who from their first work -- and until their last -- have maintained a very high standard are hard to spot. It is training, practice, the willingness to challenge oneself, to try and try again, that makes the difference. It is true for great photographers, for major league basketball players, for actors treading the boards of national stages, it is also true for writers. There is no escape.

 

There is no talent that doesn't work out every day. That is why in WriTribe one of the largest sections is devoted to exercise: you need to lift weight to strengthen the muscle. The exceptions are such and do not concern us.

 

MYTH 2: Grammar and syntax don't matter if you have a good story.

TRUTH: Would you turn to an engineer who can't do math to have your new house designed? You could, but the risk would be that the building would collapse. In writing, the same principle applies: using grammar clumsily disrupts (or prevents) communication. In practice, it collapses the validity of the text.

 

Writing is an Art, true, but it must adhere to a set of rules that regulate the use of a language. Grammar is the great repository of these rules, and knowing how to write without errors is the first step to making oneself understood, to not interrupt the flow of reading, and to enchant the reader.

 

Self-publishing: writing for self.

Writing-or rather Literature-is an artistic discipline, on a par with Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music, and Film. Without wishing to go into the main Arts, the minor ones, the underlying ones, we can say that what accumulates the artistic disciplines are creativity and aesthetic form.

 

Each of the disciplines, with its own set of techniques and rules, is the vehicle through which the artist communicates a range of emotions and conveys a message.

 

Thus, we have two possibilities: one expresses oneself in artistic form for oneself or one expresses oneself for others. People can dance just to let go, with a liberating will, or to release their energy, or for the simple pleasure of dancing. Nothing to do with wanting to become part of a dance troupe, to get on a stage and, in the face of a paying audience, to be part of the ballet staged.

 

It is the same difference between those who paint in the privacy of their studio and those who aspire to a solo exhibition in the downtown gallery, between those who carve a block of marble to give vent to an inner urge and those who, though with the same urgency, wish to realize a message for those who will stop to admire the sculpture.

 

Personal forms of expression, which are sometimes dictated by pure momentary passion and other times follow more or less explicit therapeutic goals, need not meet the canons of communication language that make them accessible to the public.

 

The writer is no stranger to this logic. If the writer does it for himself, to let off steam, he is under no obligation to produce an interesting story.

 

Those who love to write but have no ambitions for success or publication are free people: they do not have to bow to the needs of the market, the demands of the public, the comparison with the competing book, the trend of the moment, the same grammar.

 

His drawer (or his computer) will be crowded with papers, texts, short stories, novels that will never see a library and no one will be able to enjoy them. Yet, each of those manuscripts will have fulfilled one of the most important functions that Art possesses: to provide us with an alternative means of expressing ourselves by letting our emotions flow.

 

However, the difference in what is involved in writing for oneself or writing for others, which is trivial in theory, is not at all known to most in reality. And this is the reason behind the overcrowded catalogs presented by online self-publishing bookstores.

 

Self-publishing: writing for others.

How many good works are there in Amazon's fiction catalog? Hard to say, but the feeling is that there are very few when it comes to self-published works.

 

So, how to motivate the failure of thousands and thousands of titles? Broadly speaking, we can summarize the reasons in a group of four macro-categories and we can identify them with as many slang expressions that are depopulating the web:

  1. If others have done it, I'll try it too.

  2. People do not understand the artist in me.

  3. Yet I was assured in the course that with five lessons I would write a bestseller.

  4. I don't put a penny into it, I did it all myself and if they want to read me this is the text.

 

Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for the reader, the market tends to ignore the arrogance, the lack of preparation, to turn toward those who assure quality at the right price.

 

If the self-publisher's desire is to reach the target market and be known, appreciated, perhaps applauded, then he or she must be able to think as a publisher would, with the same ruthlessness and professionalism.

 

There are two questions that the self-publisher must always have in mind:

  1. Why should a reader read my story?

  2. Why among so many stories (millions) should the reader choose mine?

 

The approach to these two questions must be professional and carried out with the same logic as the publisher who has to choose which manuscripts to invest in. No uncertainty, but severity, commitment and a desire to produce a quality product; this is how the chances of success will increase.

 

 

Pt. II: THINKING LIKE AN EDITOR.

A publisher or agent's first step in nabbing a valuable text is scouting, which is the search for the best texts in relation to the publishing house's editorial line. This is followed by proofreading and editing.

 

The self-publisher does not have to research anything, he already has the text in his hands, but on what certainties can he base his conviction that it is worth tackling the next steps? Moreover, if the manuscript has been rejected by agents or publishers, this should ring loudly as a wake-up call.

 

If I bake a cake for an office party and none of the ten colleagues go beyond a first tentative taste it should creep up on me that the recipe did not turn out as I expected. The question is, what did I do wrong and how can I correct myself? Yeah, because unlike cooking, almost always the writer of a novel does not notice if he or she has put in too much salt. On the contrary, every time he savors a page he finds it delicious.

 

Then how to do it?

 

The evaluation form

A great many self-publishers have an awareness that their work is not working, but they fail to understand the reasons why. This awareness is the first step in initiating the corrective mechanisms of a text.

 

The person who wrote the work is at a crossroads: pay for an evaluation form or look for someone who can return feedback after reading the book, perhaps for free.

 

Most opt for the second option, hence the emergence of so-called beta-readers, strong readers (or supposedly so) who return a judgment on the work.

 

Being a strong reader is not the same as being a technical reader. They are two different roles, like the taster and the cook. The self-publisher doesn't need to be told, "Nice, but a little slow. Some scenes are a little boring but others are cool." Those who need feedback on their text need a detailed, professional drafting map.

 

It means that he has to receive an eight- to ten-fold document explaining it thoroughly:

1.         Writing style

2.         Grammar and syntax

3.         Characters (conflicts, desires, relationships)

4.         Plot and plot

5.         Descriptions

6.         Settings

7.         Dialogues

8.         Tension and main joints

9.         Consistencies (including historical if necessary)

10.       Narrative techniques

11.       Final judgment

 

Ideally, the sheet should be enriched with practical examples extracted from the text. This is a job for professionals, someone who has acquired the technical knowledge through studies, courses and practice.

 

And being a consultancy-even a rather demanding one-must be paid. It is meticulous work, providing the self-publisher with an x-ray of the work and the focal points on which to intervene.

 

With such a written form anyone is able to understand the potential of their work. It could also be largely negative, and it would be fine anyway, because it would have fulfilled its task of avoiding unwary publication experiences by pointing out axes of improvement.

 

Those who tackle self-publishing, in following in the publisher's footsteps, after the scorecard find themselves at the decisive crossroads, the point of no return: "Am I willing to invest time and money like a true entrepreneur by pursuing the satisfaction of my readers while knowing the risks? Or do I prefer to do it myself and possibly fall back on one of the four slang expressions that justify failure?"

 

From scorecard to literary editing

The scorecard is the first technical tool that anyone who has written a novel should get. An honest scorecard will tell him whether he should continue, correct or, unfortunately, stop.

 

Problem mapping shows where to focus, what the priorities are, where the weaknesses of the work lurk. It is a great beacon lit to counteract the fog of doubt and, even more, it sheds light on our limitations and how we should act accordingly.

 

An example to be more clear: 

 

  1. Author Gigi receives a form in which the editor points out to him that the plot is weak, but the most serious problem is the handling of verb tenses, which are often incorrect. The syntax is also convoluted and the choice of terms is inaccurate. Repetitions are widespread. Basically, it is poorly written.

  2. Author Anna receives a card in which the editor points out to him that the plot is weak, but the biggest problem lies in having constructed a boring protagonist, who comes across as flat, conflict-free, bent to the plot and not a driver of it: things happen to him and he seems to comply.

 

Gigi needs grammar training, which is at the bottom of the pyramid of writing skills. Anna, on the other hand, needs a better understanding of technique.

 

Some may be disappointed, but the scorecard is an opportunity: Gigi is now aware that she needs to study grammar, pick up some good texts, have a teacher accompany her, practice and consolidate her writing. Will Gigi have to stop writing? Absolutely not! On the contrary, it is right for him to continue and with a teacher (not an editor) understand what his shortcomings are. Only then will he be able to grow. When later, strengthened by proper training, he rereads his first texts he will realize the narrow escape.

 

Anna, on the other hand, needs to prepare herself for a different path. She probably lacks specific technical expertise, or she knows it but has not put it to good use. Her protagonist was not engaging in the eyes of the editor: he possesses no conflict. At this point Anna will try to understand what makes a character interesting and what meaning lies behind the word 'conflict'. Once learned in concept (perhaps through WriTribe's guides), Anna will intervene by correcting the manuscript and trying to heal the editor's evidence, but at this point who will control Anna's intervention?

 

The pitfalls of self-referentialism

Our Anna understands from the evaluation form that during the writing she focused almost exclusively on the plot. She has written a coming-of-age, historical tale set at the dawn of the Kingdom of Italy, in 1870, which tells the story of a worker in a machine shop who, by working hard and sacrificing love, manages to become the owner of a factory.

 

Unfortunately, the editor pointed out to Anna that Franco is a flat protagonist, that things happen to him, that he advances by luck, promotion, coincidence, inheritance. He is basically a character who does not experience any exciting conflict.

 

Anna inquires and studies the dynamics that make a character interesting. Having understood the problem, she intervenes and assigns her protagonist a great desire: to become Italy's first race car driver. Not only that, she adds a couple of huge obstacles to him: Franco does not know how to drive and does not have the money to get a car. The story immediately becomes more engaging.

 

Anna publishes the new draft in self publishing and immediately gets some negative reviews: there are errors in historical consistency (cars arrived in Italy 20 years after the time of the novel) and, most importantly, the novel has no climax.

 

This short story helps us understand the importance of not being self-referential in judging our works. Just as we miss small typos because the brain no longer sees them, in the same way we run the risk of not seeing structural errors or considering everything (the text) necessary.

 

The writer or novelist who approaches self publishing, and wants to do it in the best possible way, should always get help from a professional editor. Following in the footsteps of the editor, the self publisher should engage on the same editorial process: scouting (board), editing, proofreading.

 

The role of the editor

An editor is a good traveling companion, a mentor, a technician, a prompter, a language connoisseur, a reader, an expert in the publishing market, a stimulator--and he is also a bit of a psychologist.

 

Each of the definitions is not ornamental, far from it; it is a skill that the editor should possess. Of course, dosages vary from person to person, but that is the recipe.

 

It is essential for the self-publisher to have the manuscript professionally proofread before publishing it. While many self authors might be tempted to skip this step in order to save time and money, the truth is that having a manuscript edited can make a huge difference in the quality and creating the opportunity for book success.

 

Here are some of the reasons why it is important for a self-publisher to consult with a professional editor to improve the drafting of their work before publishing it:

 

1.         Greater clarity and consistency.

An editor can help organize ideas and improve the clarity of individual passages, paragraphs, entire chapters. It frequently happens that some passages are a bit confusing, or redundant. In the head of the person who wrote the work, the concepts or scenes appear clear, but only external reading by a professional can warn of the danger.

 

Sometimes these are aspects taken for granted, other times the author or writer has returned to a description several times, at distant times in the story, attributing one or more contrasting connotations. Example, the first time the garden was bare and unfenced, but ten chapters later it is planted and enclosed by a wall. There are thousands of possible examples.

 

2.         Precise writing.

Effective and engaging writing must be precise. It means that the terms chosen must be the right ones. On the surface this is an obvious aspect, but instead it is in all probability the most difficult task for the writer. We often tend to use the first verb that comes to mind, but sometimes there are more precise ones. Two practical examples.

  • Anna made an omelet with eggs. -> Anna made an omelet with eggs.

  • John heard the roar of the lion in the middle of the night. -> John heard the roaring of the lion in the middle of the night.

 

The same matter could concern the use of adverbs. Example.

  • Marc walked nervously waiting for the news. -> Marc walked up and down the room, his gaze on the tip of his shoes, smoking one cigarette after another, waiting for the news.

 

It is the combination of the editor's advice that provides the opportunity for improvement for the author or writer of the work.

 

3.         Working by subtraction.

There is one thing that most people who write novels or short stories have in common: the difficulty in filing down their text and eliminating what is not needed. We have the impression that every single word is necessary, that if we have written it is for a clear reason, that it is never possible to eliminate a sentence or a passage or, worse, an entire scene.

 

Everything appears to us to be indispensable and consistent with the whole. A good editor will be able to dismantle this idea, highlighting what is unnecessary. Subtraction work will make the text more effective and less scattered.

 

4.         Character development.

An editor can help develop characters fully, making them realistic and recognizable to readers. It can help deepen the motivations and emotions that characters feel, ensuring that they are three-dimensional.

 

In Anna's anecdote, an editor's assessment allowed the author to improve the protagonist's transformation arc even though, in the first draft, she thought it was perfect.

 

5.         Improved rhythm and structure.

An editor can help improve the pace and structure of the story. He can point out slow chapters, scenes, or passages. He can suggest alternatives to add tension and drama and keep readers glued to the manuscript from beginning to end.

 

There are simple cases, in which the pace slows because of overuse of adjective or overly articulate syntax. There are more complex circumstances, in which the drop is due to the succession of thoughts or scattered descriptions.

 

6.         Language.

Another common mistake among those who are new to writing is to use the same kind of language for all characters. Thus the reader is confronted with a ten-year-old girl, a university professor, a rebellious teenager, an unschooled hermit, and a foreign tourist, all speaking similarly, without any difference.

 

Once again the editor will come to the rescue, highlighting when the languages are appropriate for the characters and when, on the other hand, they need to be changed.

 

7.         Reduced errors and typos.

The last, very delicate step, often carried out by an ad hoc professional figure, is proofreading. The cdb (proofreading) is always done at the end of the revision.

 

In simple terms--in other sections of WriTribe the topic will be explored in more detail--proofreading your manuscript by a professional can help eliminate grammatical errors and typos. Proofreaders can catch errors that you missed, that your mind no longer 'sees'.

 

Overall, having the manuscript reviewed before publication is an essential step in the self-publishing process as in the classic publishing process. It can improve the quality of the book and increase its chances of success.

 

Even the big names in literature use editors; so who are we not to need them? Moreover, being supported fulfills two needs: formative and entrepreneurial. Formative because it allows us to understand our shortcomings, to improve and to avoid the same mistakes in the future; entrepreneurial because it gives us a greater chance of seeing our investment of time and money turn into positive feedback, both economic, public and reputational.

 

However, we know that there are also valid reasons why a self-publisher does not approach an editor, and they are usually the time or cost involved. To remedy these reasons, it would be advisable for the author or writer to have the seven points listed above very vividly during the rereading, and to approach the manuscript with great severity by following the guidelines we have proposed in several places on the platform.

 

WriTribe is a platform also created for the purpose of providing writers with the means to question the goodness of their writing, the use of technicalities, and knowledge of the basics of storytelling. Take your time to read the material we have created for you, practice, read and rewrite, and you will see your real potential emerge.

 

 

Pt. III: THE PROMOTION OF THE WORK

One of the most exciting and rewarding moments is when your book is finally published and made available to the world. But as every author knows, getting on a self-publishing platform is only the first step. The next challenge is getting your work noticed and making sure it reaches as many readers as possible.

 

It is essential to know from the start that there is no magic recipe, no foolproof method. You can reach your maximum potential when you develop synergy between multiple tools, with attention to quality, with consistency over time.

 

The cover

The first step, which so many people underestimate, is to remember the impact of a book cover.

 

A book cover is used to make a positive first impression on potential readers. It is the first thing they see when they browse an online bookstore or scroll through Amazon, and it can be a deciding factor in whether or not they approach your book.

 

A well-designed cover can grab a reader's attention and entice them to learn more, while a poorly designed cover can drive them away. Many scientific studies state that it takes 7 seconds to create a first impression, and it will influence the decisions and relationship that follow.

 

Oscar Wilde himself said, "There is no second chance to make a good first impression."

 

So great attention to the cover.

 

In today's publishing market, a book cover has several functions. Its design can help set the tone and atmosphere of the story, giving readers an idea of what to expect.

 

It is not just about aesthetics; a cover also serves a functional purpose. It provides important information about the book, such as the title, subtitle, in the author's or author's name, a particularly favorable review from a magazine or blog. It can also include a brief summary or excerpt to give readers a taste of the story.

 

In short, a book cover is essential for attracting potential readers and distinguishing a book in the crowded publishing market. It is the first step in promoting your work; indeed, it represents your "brand."

 

Would you buy a car with a fabulous interior and outstanding engine, but an unsightly design? Perhaps yes, but still the exterior would not support your purchase intention. The same concept applies to the book.

 

The description

The second step is the description of the book. Create a description that is striking, that sticks and, most importantly, that is not trivial. The description is one of the most important tools you have. It is the second thing potential readers will see (after the cover), so make sure it is engaging and concise.

 

The cover and description are the two engines of promotion. Potential readers will need to meet them in all the steps we describe below, so they must be well cared for.

 

The booktrailer

The third step, which is even more underestimated than the previous ones, is the creation of the booktrailer, which instead will be a very powerful means of communication if used across social media and, like the book cover, will become your brand mark, what makes you visible and distinguishable from everyone else.

 

Creating a book trailer is a great way to promote it on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. A book trailer is a short video that gives viewers a preview of the content. It can be a useful way to show key themes, characters or plot points and grant viewers a first impression.

 

To create a booktrailer, you will need to decide on the joints you wish to highlight. You will also need to think about the tone and style of your trailer. Do you want it to be serious or funny? Do you want to use narration or show only excerpts from the book?

 

After deciding on the key points and tone, you will need to choose the images and audio you will use to tell your story. Depending on your budget, you might turn to an agency, or to a professional.

 

But if you have the skills and want to spend little you could do it yourself. You will also need to choose a soundtrack or create a voiceover to add more depth.

 

Remember that with a quick Google search you can find sites that offer royalty-free short videos that you can use.

 

For editing you can get help from an expert, or, you can use video editing software such as Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro or a simpler tool such as iMovie.

 

Overall, creating a book trailer is a great way to grab the attention of potential readers and give them a taste of what your book is about.

 

The mockups

Mockups are visual representations of a product or design used to show how it will look in a real environment. Mockups are often used in the design and marketing of products, such as books, to give an idea of what it will look like.

 

So if you have curated the cover, you will have every interest in creating an image in which your work appears in a familiar context (a bookcase, a shelf) or in a particular scene (on a remote planet if it is Sci-Fi).

 

They can be created using a variety of tools, such as graphic design software, Two examples among a thousand: Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. But there are many online sites that can help you produce them.

 

Mockups can be as simple as a flat image of a product or be more complex, with lights and shadows to give a realistic representation of the book. Create many of them because they will become an integral part of your promotional strategy.

 

 

Pt. IV: THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA.

Now that the basics are ready and you have a wonderful cover, a perfect description, a book trailer, and lots of mockups, you can venture into the world of social media.

 

We will start with the two best-known platforms-Facebook and Instagram, social media that are essential for promoting your book effectively.

 

Facebook

Facebook is a social media platform that allows users to connect with friends, family and colleagues, share content and interact with others online. To use Facebook, you must create a personal profile, which includes information about yourself, such as name, location and interests.

 

You can use Facebook to connect with others and share content. This can include posting status updates, sharing links and articles, and uploading photos and videos.

 

The platform has a news feed feature that shows updates from your friends and pages you have liked, as well as sponsored content and ads. You can like, comment or share posts to interact with the content.

 

In addition to your personal profile, you can also create and manage pages on Facebook. A page is a public profile that represents a company, brand, organization, or public figure. You can use a page to share updates, interact with your audience, and advertise. And this is the most interesting point for you who want to promote your book: creating the page dedicated to your work, which we will see in a moment.

 

First, create a Facebook page for your book. This will serve as a central hub where you can share updates, excerpts, and behind-the-scenes content.

 

At the time of writing this guide, to create a Facebook page for your book, you should proceed as follows (but check to see if there have been any updates in the meantime):

 

  1. Go to Facebook and log in to your account.

  2. In the upper right corner, click on the minus (the icon with nine dots) and select "Pages."

  3. From the menu on the left, click on "Create newpage."

  4. Select the type of page you wish to create. In this case, we recommend that you select "Author."

  5. Enter the required information for your page, including the title of your book, the author's name, and all relevant details.

  6. Add a profile picture and a cover photo for your page. This could be an image of your book cover or a photo of you as the author.

  7. Click "Create Page."

 

Your Facebook page is now set up and ready to go! You can start sharing updates about your book, interact with your audience, and promote your book to Facebook users.

 

Remember to update your page regularly with new content and to engage your audience to keep them interested in your book.

 

Ideally, we should start in advance of the actual book launch. With small previews, trivia, incidents along the way. People love to find out how a paper works, or a revision, or a cover choice.

 

Instagram

Instagram is another great platform to promote your book. Use visually appealing images to showcase your book cover, quotes from your book, and, again, behind-the-scenes moments of your writing process.

 

Instagram is a social media platform that allows users to share photos and videos as well as interact with each other. There are so many people who use this social network to narrate their work, but very few take advantage of its full potential.

 

Here is the list of its features, each one will be useful to you:

 

  1. Bio: Your bio is where you can share information about yourself and your book. You can also include links to your Web site or other social profiles.

  2. Posts: posts are the photos and videos you share. Use them to share images related to your book, such as the cover, quotes, or behind-the-scenes content related to your writing process.

  3. Hashtags: hashtags are words or phrases preceded by the "#" symbol that are used to categorize and discover content on Instagram. You can use relevant hashtags related to your book's genre, themes, or writing to help users discover your content.

  4. Stories: Instagram stories are short-form photos and videos that you can share on your profile for 24 hours. You can use them to share behind-the-scenes content, book recommendations or other content related to your book.

  5. Highlights: you can save stories to your profile for long-term viewing. Create highlights for different topics.

  6. Reels: short videos that you can upload to the platform by also editing them using Instagram's video editing tools. You can use them to create fun and creative content.

  7. Direct Messages: Instagram Direct is the platform's messaging feature that allows you to have private conversations with other users. You can use Direct to interact with your followers and answer any questions they might have about your book.

  8. Shop: Shop is a feature that allows you to tag products in your posts and stories and link them to a product page where users can purchase them. If you sell your book on a platform like Amazon, you can use Instagram Shopping to link to your book's purchase page.

 

 

Remember that Facebook and Instagram appeal to different age groups, but often overlap: Facebook has an average older audience than Instagram and is more likely to read textual content, while on Instagram image quality wins.

 

TikTok

TikTok, known for its short videos, allows users to create both entertaining and informative content. This makes it a great social to promote your book to a wide audience.

 

If you're thinking that TikTok is only targeting a very young audience, you might want to change your mind about that: young people remain the majority, but the immediacy of the platform is attracting millions of adults, of any nationality.

 

One way to use TikTok to promote your work is to create videos that showcase your book. This can include excerpts, behind-the-scenes footage of your writing process, or even the trailer. You can also use the platform to share interesting facts about your manuscript or to discuss the themes and ideas within it.

 

Fifteen, twenty, thirty seconds may be enough. Remember: freshness, originality, and naturalness of content counts. Think of something interesting to the viewer, or funny, or curious. Just use your cell phone to produce what you need.

 

In addition, you can use TikTok to connect with your audience on a personal level. This can include sharing your writing routine, your inspirations, or even just your daily life. By sharing these personal moments, you can create a sense of connection and engagement.

 

Pinterest

Among the most widely used social platforms in the Western world is Pinterest with over 440 million monthly active users.

 

If you are not familiar with Pinterest this is the time to learn more: Pinterest is a social media platform that allows users to discover and save ideas related to various interests, such as books, fashion, home decor, food, and more. Users can create pin boards to pin images, videos and other content to save and organize their ideas.

 

When you join Pinterest, you create a profile and start following other users, boards, or topics that interest you. You can also use Pinterest to search for specific ideas that interest you. When you search for something, you will see a feed of pins related to your search term, as well as recommendations for other related boards or users to follow.

 

In addition to discovering and saving ideas, you can also use Pinterest to share your content by creating a so-called pin, which is an image or video that represents an idea or concept. You can then add a description to your pin and share it either on your own board or on a public board.

 

Overall, Pinterest is a social media platform that allows users to discover, save and share ideas related to various interests. We list below 14 ways you can use it to promote your book:

 

  1. Create a Pinterest account for your book.

  2. Use relevant hashtags: Pinterest allows you to use hashtags to help your content be discovered by users interested in specific topics. Use relevant hashtags related to genre, themes or writing.

  3. Fix the cover images: as we have seen, the cover is your brand, the first element of recognition.

  4. Share quotes from your book to give users a taste of your writing style and themes.

  5. Share behind-the-scenes content: as we have already seen, "behind-the-scenes" related to your book is a great curiosity builder. Leverage research photos, books that were important for documentation or inspiration, and give users an inside look at your work.

  6. Share images related to the themes of your book to give users an idea of the topic.

  7. Share book recommendations related to the same genre as yours to help users discover new books that might interest them.

  8. Consider collaborating with other like-minded users. This can help you expand your audience.

  9. Pin your book on relevant message boards related to, for example, genre.

  10. Share images related to the setting to give users an idea of the atmosphere and worldbuilding.

  11. Share your images on Pinterest to give users an idea of who you are.

  12. Share pictures of your writing process to give users tips and suggestions on how to write a book through your experience

  13. Share images of your book in use in different contexts, such as while being read in a cozy armchair or in a beautiful outdoor setting. Here you should make synergy especially with Instagram.

 

YouTube

One social media outlet that is very powerful, but for many people still difficult to use is YouTube. Consider creating a channel to share book trailers, interviews with authors with whom you have formed a relationship, and other content that can help you promote your work.

 

There are several ways you can use YouTube to promote a book:

 

  1. You can take advantage of the book trailer to give viewers a preview. You can use it to highlight key themes, characters, or plot points.

  2. Host a question-and-answer session or interview with yourself. This is a great way to interact with your audience and give them an opportunity to ask you questions.

  3. Share behind-the-scenes content.

  4. Consider collaborating with other YouTube creators with audiences similar to yours. For example, if you have written a romance novel, you might contact a YouTuber who reviews romance novels, who creates content about relationships, or who has written a romance novel.

  5. Use YouTube ads: YouTube has a number of advertising options that you can use. You can create a video ad that will be shown to users who have shown interest in similar content, or you can use targeted keywords.

 

 

Overall, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and YouTube can be powerful tools for promotion. By regularly posting interesting content and using advertising options, you can achieve increase your book's visibility.

 

A key element in achieving success is to make social media work in synergy. You should take advantage of the ability offered by some tools to publish the same post on multiple platforms, saving time and energy.

 

Hashtags and community

We reiterate the importance of using hashtags to increase visibility. Search for popular hashtags related to the genre and incorporate them into your posts. This allows your book to be easily found by potential readers looking for similar content.

 

A little tip: avoid hashtags with millions of posts already tagged or your photo will get lost in an ocean of content. Better smaller, niche and very specific hashtags.

 

Let us return to emphasize an important and by many underestimated aspect: social works great when it develops the three ways. Three-way means: you tell something, the audience responds and asks, you respond.

 

So, in addition to sharing updates about your book, use social to interact with your audience. When you share excerpts from your book or behind-the-scenes photos of your writing process, ask for feedback from your followers. This not only serves to promote your book, but also builds community.

 

Influencers and advertising

In addition to posting on social directly, consider reaching out to influencers or bookstagrammers in your genre. They may be willing to promote your book to their followers in exchange for a free copy or other incentives.

 

Check their profiles for terms, some will settle for a copy in exchange for a review or promotion on their accounts. Arm yourself with patience though, bookstagrammers have many requests so you may have to wait a while.

 

Also, use social advertising options to reach potential readers. You can target your ads to specific demographics, such as age, location and interests. This can help increase visibility and potentially increase sales.

 

You can spend very little, even as little as one coffee a day. So although this requires a financial investment, the return on investment can be worth it.

 

 

Pt.V: THE WEB PRESENCE.

There are several reasons why it is important for a writer to create a website:

 

The first reason is that a site offers a professional, accurate presence suitable for presenting and showcasing your work. It gives you a dedicated platform to share your writing, biography, and contact information with potential readers, editors, and agents.

 

You may also have decided not to rely on a dedicated self-publishing platform such as Amazon may be, and in this case the Web site would become an important platform for selling your work. Or, conversely, as your Web site enhances your reputation, you could link it to the purchase page of your book on Amazon or the other online stores.

 

A Web site gives you control over your online presence and how you present yourself. You can decide what information to include and how to present it, rather than relying on someone else's platform or rules. Consider that a well-designed site can help you establish your credibility and increase your professional standing in the writing community. It can also help you build your brand and stand out from others.

 

Tips for your website

Overall, a Web site is an important tool for any artist or entrepreneur who wishes to establish a professional presence, market their work and build credibility.

 

We have prepared some suggestions for you:

  1. No need to spend a fortune: there are dozens of platforms available with ready-made and completely free templates. Search Google with phrases similar to 'Create a free website' and you will discover a world of opportunities, great even for a neophyte who has some time to invest.

  2. When choosing the platform to use, you need to make sure that the site is ready for viewing on smartphones. Most people interested in your book will link to you using a smartphone and not a computer. So make sure that the transition between 'normal' and 'mobile' site is automatic and well done.

  3. Simplify navigation: remember that it should be easy to navigate, with clear headings and visible links to different parts. Visitors should find the information they are looking for within 5 seconds of 'landing' on the site.

  4. Include a biography: a well-written biography is important in establishing your credibility. Include information about your education, writing experience, and any noteworthy accomplishments or publications.

  5. It is important to give visitors an idea of your writing style and skills. Consider including samples of your work, whether they are articles, short stories, or excerpts from your book.

  6. Use high-quality images: visually appealing images can help attract people and make your website more engaging. Use images that are relevant to your work and reflect the way you are.

  7. Allow people to contact you easily: include a contact form or e-mail address. This is especially important if you hope to collaborate with other writers.

  8. Keep it current: updating regularly will help you keep visitors coming back and show that you are active and engaged. Consider adding a blog or news section to share updates and new writing projects.

 

Important would be to make your website work in synergy with your social media. You can add links to your home page, your bio page, or even just include them in the footer of your website.

 

You can choose to share your site's content (or some of it) on social: you can use your social profiles to promote your website and drive traffic to it. When you post new content on your site, be sure to re-share it on your other profiles as well. This way you will create a strong connection between web platform and social presence.

 

PT VI: BECOMING A MERCHANT

In traditional publishing, the writer plays the intellectual role and the publisher (the publisher) plays the operational, commercial role. In other words, the publisher has to sell your book to return the investment. But if you are a self-publisher and you have spent money on book editing, cover art, mockups and more, it is now your turn to become a marketer.

 

As well as social works, other actions need to be added so as not to miss opportunities. The first is definitely organizing a book launch event. A party is a great way to celebrate your achievements and give readers a chance to meet you and learn more about your book.

 

You can host a book signing, reading or Q&A session at a local bookstore or library, in a rented room, and maybe even at the coffee shop. Be sure to invite friends, family and members of the local media to help spread the word. Then set up a small budget to offer something to drink and you'll see your book get off on the right foot.

 

Marketing activities

Giveaways and discounts are a great way to get people excited and encourage them to spread the word. Consider offering a free copy of your book to a lucky few or offering a discount for a limited time.

 

Copies of your book can become a vehicle for free reviews, and many positive reviews create sales. Consider giving your book away to readers willing to leave a review in online bookstores or on their own blog or social media.

 

Write guest posts for other blogs or Web sites related to the topic of your book. Cross traffic can enhance your site's reputation and increase its visibility.

 

Submit your manuscript to awards and contests relevant to your genre. Even if you don't win, being a finalist can be a great way to get noticed.

 

Attend festivals, fairs, and conferences-they are a great way to meet other authors and connect with readers. Make sure you have copies of your book on hand to sell and sign. You can also look for opportunities to speak on panels or give readings at these events.

 

Build relationships with bookstores and libraries: bookstores and libraries are important allies in your promotion efforts. Contact these institutions and offer to do readings, book signings or other events. You can also consider donating copies of your work so that they can be displayed and sold.

 

Get media coverage: draft a press release and contact local newspapers, radio stations and TV programs and offer to do interviews or participate in panel discussions. You can also try to get coverage in larger media, such as online book review sites or podcasts.

 

If it doesn't work the first time, double-check the content of the press release, how you wrote it, whether you addressed it to the right people, then revise it and send it back. Remember: if the press release not only tells about the book but is also an opportunity to invite the journalist to the launch event, it is more likely to work.

 

Use online book communities: online book communities such as Goodreads or StoryGraph are a great way to connect with other readers and get your book noticed. Participate in discussions, share updates, and interact.

 

Attend writing conferences and seminars where you can network with other writers and potentially connect with agents or publishers.

 

Create a newsletter to share updates about your book and its release, as well as other relevant content that can engage readers.

 

The potential of Amazon

Many people think of Amazon as a very convenient platform to sell their book, especially if you are a self-publisher. Less common is the realization that there are several ways in which you can use Amazon to promote a book.

 

Create an Author Central account: this allows you to add information about yourself and your book to the Amazon author page, which appears on the product details page for each of your books. You can also use this account to track sales rankings and receive alerts when customers review your book.

 

Use the Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) tool. At the time of writing, a paid advertising service is active that allows you to create targeted ads. You can select the keywords you wish to target and set a budget for your campaign. AMS ads are displayed on various Amazon pages. It is a great way to stand out from the boundless Amazon catalog, and at a cost that can be very low.

 

Finally, you might consider joining the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select program: when you sign up for this program, your book will be eligible for the Kindle Owner Lending Library, which allows Amazon Prime members to borrow your book for free. This can help increase visibility and lead to more sales.

 

Remember to always follow Amazon's guidelines when promoting your book. Spamming or engaging in dishonest practices is not allowed and could result in removal of your book from the site.

 

The editorial plan

As you can see, there are many activities to accomplish, and you need time and expertise to develop content. If you cannot rely on a professional and want to go it alone, the best method is to prepare an editorial plan.

 

An editorial plan is a strategy for promoting your book on the social platforms we have seen (or on some of them). The plan describes the specific actions you will take to reach your target audience.

 

Here are some steps you can follow to create a publication plan:

 

You should be clear about your target audience: consider the age, gender, interests and geographic location of the people most likely to be interested. This will help you determine which social platforms to focus on and what types of content to create.

 

Determine your content strategy: decide in advance the types of content you will publish. Don't get caught off guard. Create a list of subjects you want to tell about.

 

Now the most important moment: set a schedule. Imagine having a whiteboard on which there are listed the next six months, day by day, all the socials and even events.

 

Well, determine how often you will post and at what times. Consider the best times to reach your target audience and plan accordingly. When creating a posting plan for social media, it is important to set a schedule for when you will post content. This will help you be consistent in your efforts and ensure that you reach your target audience regularly.

 

Consider that you should know well in advance what you are going to publish, on what platform, and on what day.

 

We list some things you should consider when setting up a program:

 

  1. Frequency: decide how often you will post. This could be daily, a few times a week, or once a week. Consider the time and resources you have available and what makes the most sense for your book and audience.

  2. Timing: consider the best times to reach your audience. Different social media platforms have different peak usage times; so do some research to determine when your audience is most likely to be online. In the evening after dinner or in the morning before work?

  3. Consistency: try to stick to a consistent posting schedule, rather than posting randomly. This will help your followers know when to expect new content from you and make it easier for them to interact with your posts. For example: every Sunday a behind-the-scenes feature, on Wednesdays an excerpt.

  4. Monitor and adjust: track the performance of your content and make changes as needed. This could include changing the types of content you publish, adjusting your publishing schedule, or experimenting with paid advertising. So be prepared to be flexible and adjust your schedule as needed. If you find that certain times or frequencies are not working for you, don't be afraid to make changes.

 

Creating an editorial plan allows you to focus your efforts and be strategic. By developing a plan, you can better monitor results and make necessary changes.

 

In your big whiteboard/calendar remember to mark special physical or marketing events as well, so you have everything under control.

 

CONCLUSIONS

The promotion of a book, developed in a serious way, is an intense activity: it starts from the cover and goes through social, website, events, press releases, and community building. Knowing how to harness the synergy of means, having patience, and being consistent are the three keys to increasing the chances of increasing audience, reputation, and general interest around the work.

 

Last but not least, the best thing you can do to promote your book is to keep writing. The more books you have available, the more opportunities you will have to connect with readers and build a loyal following. So keep writing, keep promoting, and keep reaching your audience. With hard work and dedication, you can succeed in getting your book into the hands of as many readers as possible.

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