I’m just about finished answering all the questions I received about
self-publishing. If I haven’t answered either in this space or privately,
please send me another note, and I’ll get on it.
Several of you asked variations of the same question: What is the
“pre-sale” period for a book?
Experienced authors know that the “pre-sale” period can make or break a
title. My feeling is that it’s not first to market that counts, but best
to market. The most successful authors start developing a strategy for
targeting their audience before their book is even complete. They’re not
thinking weeks in advance, but months. The pre-sale period is so
important, in fact, that it should be the centerpiece of your book’s
marketing and promotional campaign.
Recently I contributed a piece on Quora about the benefits of planning
out your books’ “pre-sale” campaign. You can read all about it here.
Finally, if you haven’t made your vacation travel plans yet, have you
considered spending your holiday surrounded by books? Travel + Leisure
magazine found a literary retreat in Wales. Have a look here.
narration lets you pack every moment with personality and explore your
writer’s voice to the max, but it can be a tricky point-of-view to pull
off for the course of an entire book. Read
detail can bring your writing to life, whether you’re writing fiction
or nonfiction, and sometimes the best way to gain knowledge is to seek
a source who’s an expert in the field. Read
If you don’t
know how to write a book, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. After
making a decision—a commitment to share your story—you just need a
process and a plan to start writing your book. Read
Daren Doucet asks: “Which book is more difficult to market? An eBook on
its own, or a Paper book on its own?”
Each format has its particular opportunities and challenges to market,
Daren. For instance, you can give your eBook away for free through
Amazon’s KDP Select program. Giveaways for print would get expensive
But now I have a question for you. Why choose just one format? Why not
both? We now know that the majority of US readers still prefer a printed
book. But there remains a loyal following of 30% of people who prefer
consuming books on an eReader or phone. If you only choose one format,
you’re limiting your potential readership.
I can answer the next two questions with one efficient answer:
Peggy Jean Cramer says: “I think I have two great ideas to write two
great children’s books. How do I start? I would want them to be artfully
illustrated and would prefer an artist I can talk to while standing next
to him/her. I cannot imagine trying to explain details over the phone.
Thank you for all the tips, information, ideas and inspiration you send
with your BookBaby emails.”
And Judy Ackerman requests: “Please send me the portfolios of artists who
can illustrate children’s picture books.”
Here’s where you should start, ladies: The Society of Children’s Book
Writers and Illustrators. SCBWI
is the only professional organization for individuals who write and illustrate
for children and young adults. Their mission is to support the creation
and availability of quality children’s books in every region of the
world. Best of all, they have regional chapters all around the world so
you can make that local connection that’s so important.
Let’s now answer an easy one from Charles: “Where on the BookBaby site
can I find a list of the things I should do and how to do them to promote
my published book?”
The BookBaby blog is chock full of advice, how-tos, and tricks of the
publishing and marketing trade. In fact, I’d recommend you start right
here with a
checklist of the essential book promotion elements.
I’ll leave you this morning with the amusing story of where Ernest
Hemingway escaped the party scene in Venice to focus on his writing. Read it here.
of having my project edited and returned to me was done so in a
timely manner. The price was reasonable and the extra 15% that was
taken off helped tremendously. Also, all of the questions that I had
regarding the editing and publishing process were handled in the most
professional and comforting manner.” — Charlene