New authors often view the publishing process as being largely centered on the completion of their manuscript. Receipt of the galley is a heady feeling that can lull a debut author into thinking little more is left to be done, but to run off several hundred copies of the book in question. The fact is that the galley represents neither the beginning nor end of the publication process. Production of the galley is a process that includes copy-editing, page layout, book cover design and finally printing. Perhaps the word “finally” is also misleading, as the author’s role is far from over once the galley is produced. For it is at that stage that the author must come to grips with the need to revisit the manuscript.
New authors should welcome the opportunity to become familiar with every stage of the publishing process. Understanding the process will help them play a more collaborative role in the publication of their book, and understand the role a publisher plays in producing what should be considered a marketable product. With respect to the editing process, new authors should expect that after submission of a manuscript, a reputable publisher will review it checking to identify any needed developmental and/or copy-editing. This is a good thing, for it is important to not lose sight of the fact that a poorly edited work reflects upon both the author and the publisher.
Publishers determine the interior layout for the book, with consideration of the need for headers/footers, pagination etc. In addition, part of the process of putting a book together requires consideration of both front and back matter. Front matter consists of pages that appear in the front of the book, such as the copyright, page, title page, and the table of contents. Other front matter pages may include for example, a forward, a dedication and perhaps an acknowledgements page. In contrast, back matter pages might consist of an index, a bibliography, and/or an author biography. These are some of the elements that combine to help create the completed work. A publisher will often handle the acquisition of Library of Congress Control Numbers, (LCCN) and ISBNs. The latter known as the International Standard Book Number is a unique 10 to 13 digit number which identifies a specific book or edition of a book. Book sellers and libraries for instance rely on the ISBN for the purchase and sale of books all over the world. The LCCN is the number associated with the bibliographic record created by the Library of Congress for a given book.
Another one of the more interesting and perhaps challenging aspects of assembling a new book is the cover. It’s been a long held belief that a cover can make or break the success of a book. While that assertion may be arguable, it really does stand to reason that an interesting attractive book cover is more likely to lull a shopper than one lacking in any appeal. The cover is no doubt an element of the process an author should consider. A publisher should certainly be open to hearing from its authors about any ideas they may have for the book. However, in the end the publisher fully informed about readers tastes, literary trends, and marketing is in the best position to be the final arbiter of what will work. Here is where collaboration between author and publisher becomes so important. Last, but not least, there is the printing process to consider. In a future article we will discuss the physical aspects of putting a book together.
For many new authors publication of their new book represents a culminating event. The truth is the hard work has just begun. While your book is available for sale at websites like Amazon or at sites like barnesandnoble.com, it is one of thousands competing for the attention of readers. Publishers unfortunately have limited time and resources, for they are largely responsible for putting the book together and making it available for sale. Promotion on the other hand, requires an entirely different effort. As part of its promotional services, Escribe Publishing provides its authors with five media kits, press releases, and Featured Author coverage on our website. Our promotional program is really part of a kick-off designed to create a little buzz for our authors and inspire them to continue the book promotion process.
There are a number of options available to authors interested in garnering the kind of attention necessary to rise above the competition. It is important that new authors prepare a promotional budget, and begin to think of their book as something of a commodity. Like a personal budget, your expenses will likely reflect your financial resources. The good news however is that book promotion need not land you in the poor house, as there are a variety of options designed to fit nearly every budget. Consider the following promotional strategies:
- Prepare an e-mail blast announcing publication of your book to all of your contacts.
- Create an author fan page on Facebook.
- Send copies of your book to local media outlets. Many do book reviews on a monthly or weekly basis.
- Submit your book or individual works to book contests. See http://www.newpages.com/classifieds/writingcontests/
- Get your book reviewed by professional book reviewers, i.e. Midwest, Kirkus, Clarion
- Add the name of your book and a buy-the-book link to your e-mail signature.
- Join the goodreads.com Author Program. This site is a great book promotion tool.
- Sign-up and submit content about your book with Amazon’s Author Central. See https://authorcentral.amazon.com
- Encourage your friends and family to write reviews of your book. Reviews can be posted through your Author Central account.
- Join book clubs. See for example, https://www.librarything.com/
- Submit your book to blogposts. Checkout for example, http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/category/blogging/
- Contract with a book publicist. A publicist can identify and set-up speaking engagements, book tours etc. Ask your Escribe representative for a list of available publicists.
- Join a writers meet-up group; you can find a list of them at www.meetup.com
Please let your Escribe representative know if there is anything, we can do to assist you with implementing your marketing plan.
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