The Product. Let me state right from the start; as with marketing any product, the time, effort and expense you put into marketing your book will all be for naught, if the product you are selling is not professionally prepared and presented. Your book must be desirable, it must capture the imagination of the potential audience. This is not to say you can’t do it yourself, you can, but you must take the care needed to produce the best product possible. Good Marketing can put your book in front of an audience, but if it doesn’t grab their attention, they won’t pick it up.
Note Successful Authors Products – As a writer, you would no doubt be a reader as well, with a good idea of what is expected of a well-presented book. So, if you’re going to do it yourself, measure your product against the best. Observe bestselling Authors’ layouts and presentations, and ensure you are up to those standards. If you are fortunate enough to attract a publisher, they will do most of the heavy lifting for you. But, if you are a mere mortal like most of us, you may wish to go down the Independant Publishing path.
Independant Publishing – If you choose to do it yourself, as I did, there is a lot of work involved and it will take you away from your writing. But for me it is not a chore, I enjoy the process of getting my books ready for sale, almost as much as I enjoy the writing, and as Marketing is my second language, I have a passion for that as well. There are a few platforms you can use to self-publish, but after some research, it didn’t take me long to choose Amazon’s Create Space . It’s a very comprehensive free service, with a lot of help along the way if you need it. Although if you contract someone’s assistance, naturally there is a cost. HOWEVER, Amazon has since forsaken Australian Authors. If you want to purchase your books from Amazon and have them shipped to Australia, you now need to pay full retail price, where once you could get an Author’s price. They are still good for publishing in the US, however I have now moved to Ingram Spark.
Ingram Spark: Where it was free to load your books for sale on Amazon (Create Space), Ingram Spark charges fees for setting up your title with them, and you will need to buy an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). You can purchase one from Thorpe-Bowker in Australia. If you are intending to publish more than one book, I would recommend purchasing a block of ISBNs. Amazon provides free ISBNs, however you cannot publish through anyone else with that ISBN, whereas if you own your own ISBN you can publish anywhere with it.
Ingram Spark provide distribution channels for your books as do other POD providers. Once you publish with them, your book will appear on multi online sellers sites, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, along with being available to libraries and bricks and mortar stores. They print in Australia and if you buy 10 or more books, the price (including freight) is comparitive to the old Create Space price to Australian Authors. They also produce eBooks for you, but you will need a separate ISBN for this. I’ve left my eBooks with Amazon, as there is no freight involved, a reader can download from anywhere in the world, and they distribute to the same channels as Ingram Spark.
Professional Help – If you don’t see yourself as an editor, page layout expert, cover designer or proof-reader, you may wish to contract a professional to help get your book ready for market, so that you can get back to your writing. A very good service in Brisbane is “Brisbane Self-Publishing Services”. They will help you through sections of, or the entire process, at very reasonable rates, even if you don’t happen to be in Brisbane. If you need help with marketing or a website, click my “Digital Marketing” image at the top right of the page, for details of my services.