You probably recognize the name Dr. Carl Sagan, the brilliant astronomer.
Many historians regard Sagan as the most important planetary scientist of
His accomplishments ranged from directing daring, ambitious satellite
projects that explored our solar system—Pioneer, Mariner, and Galileo to
name a few—to theorizing about moons orbiting Saturn and Jupiter
possessing liquid, life-giving compounds, including water. (Later space
missions proved these and many more of Sagan’s cosmic theories to be
correct.) He even briefed NASA Apollo astronauts about the challenges
they would face on the moon.
Back on earth, Sagan co-wrote and narrated the award-winning 13-part PBS
television series, Cosmos:
A Personal Voyage, which became the most widely watched
series in the history of American public television.
He had a rare combination of skills: A brilliant theorist who could also
skillfully communicate his mind-expanding ideas to fascinated audiences
around the globe.
While most will remember Sagan’s work in helping humankind solve some of
the mysteries of space, today I’m more grateful for how this intellectual
giant expressed his sense of wonder about another human achievement:
“What an astonishing thing a book is,” marveled Sagan. “It’s a flat
object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots
of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind
of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the
millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head,
directly to you.”
“Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together
people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break
the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working
I used Dr. Sagan’s quote last night at the opening gala for our
Independent Authors Conference (IAC18). The conference officially opens
today. If you’re reading this email before one of our sessions, track me
down and let me know what you thought of Sagan’s statement.
I think it sums up the power and potential of the written word, and
self-publishing is its newest and most ambitious experiment to bring more
books into the marketplace. Our research continues today at our IAC18.
Self-publishing can feel like navigating a maze while
blindfolded. You extend your arms in search of the next turn. You take
baby steps, in fear of pitfalls. And even if you’ve already been
through the maze, you still tread lightly because you know this time
around some things will be different.
Whether you’re starting your first book or finishing your tenth, it pays
to have guidance along the way. And now there’s a comprehensive book
that simplifies the entire self-publishing process.
5 Steps To
covers topics such as:
are the benefits of self-publishing?
information about editing your book
your book cover can mean hero or zero
importance of publishing printed books and digital books
to excel in the marketplace with social media and metadata
Read this today
This is the roadmap to self-publishing success for both beginners and
experts, filled with insights from fellow independent authors and
self-publishing specialists. Download it now.
Here’s an eye opener: Book marketing expert Brian Jud says you should
stop selling your books. What? Come again?
As Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales(APSS), Jud knows a thing or
two hundred about marketing books. His point is that authors should try
to better understand their readers’ motivations and needs. "As an
independent author, you will become more successful at marketing when you
stop selling your books
and begin selling what your books do
for the people who read them," Jud writes in a recent
BookBaby Blog post.
It’s a familiar message for professional marketers. It’s all about
highlighting benefits and not features of whatever we’re trying to
promote. Authors should do the same by asking themselves: What’s in it
for the reader to buy and read my book? The answer to that question is
your very best marketing message.
Jud is one of the 25+ self-publishing experts traveling to Philadelphia
next weekend for BookBaby’s 2018 Independent
in Philadelphia. A few tickets
the only writing conference dedicated to indie authors and
self-publishing. Should you be unable to attend, we will be live
streaming portions of the event on Facebook.
Speaking of dedication: Here’s an article about the extraordinary
"book women" of the Pack Horse
delivering reading material to Kentucky's isolated mountain communities
in the 1930s.
What if there was an association of self
and indie publishers that would give you:
on publishing resources & services
and discounts on marketing, publicity, and advertising
and in-person ‘best practices’ education
and access to experts
community of your fellow self-publishers all year long
There is! The Independent Book Publishers Association
(IBPA), more than 3,000 members strong!
Director of Marketing and Programming Lee Wind will be at The
2018 BookBaby Independent Authors Conference, and we hope you’ll
meet him there. Lee will be leading “How Do You Measure Success,” a
fast-paced meet-and-greet networking event, on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 4:00 PM.
IBPA is pleased to be offering $30 off IBPA membership through November
2018 to the BookBaby community! Use the coupon code BOOKBABY+IBPA
when registering for your membership.
This morning, I’m talking about a topic that
authors love to loathe:
Metadata. Even as I’m typing that word, I imagine your eyes glazing over.
Here come the yawns.
But here’s a thought that might snap you out of your bored daze: Metadata
can be the difference between achieving the dream of having a best seller
on your resume and producing a book that’s practically dead on arrival in
Play along with me here. Let’s imagine that J.K. Rowling is rushing to
get her first Harry
Potter book to market. She pays little thought to writing a
great book description, so in her haste, she writes:
A wizardly kid, his
nerdy pal, and a know-it-all sidekick attend a very old school, fly
around on brooms, and discover the secrets of a jagged bit of rock.
And what if Andy Weir carelessly scribbled out a quick recap of The Martian that
stranded on Mars, survives by becoming a farmer, and thinks up 100 ways
to cook potatoes. Runs out of ketchup.
Or, perhaps, Dan Brown devoted only a few seconds in summing up The Da Vinci Code
gets mixed up in messy murder at Louvre, hides out from an albino monk,
and hangs out with Jesus’ great-great-great…granddaughter.
These famous authors—and their publishers—spent the time and effort to
create great metadata for their blockbuster hit books. Sadly this is
where a lot of self-published authors are falling short. In my recent
BookBaby blog post, “Realize Your
I point out how authors spend months to perfect every last detail to
create great books and then handicap themselves by producing sloppy or
That’s why so many authors have invested in our Metadata
service. We edit your book description, find the best keywords for Amazon
search, and optimize every data point—even the tricky ones like BISAC
codes. It’s like an insurance policy for your book! This service is
available only for BookBaby-distributed authors.
So rather than wasting your time running around buying lottery tickets
for a one-in-a-trillion chance of winning a billion dollars (before
taxes), spend some time crafting your book description and packing your
book metadata with the right stuff. Well, heck, why not do both? If you
lived in Wales, you would have had a chance to combine your love of books
with the thrill of the lottery.
author platform takes time, and you won’t get far if you wait for some
magical moment. But you have the freedom to focus on the activities you
like, so spend time doing things you enjoy. Read
Setting is the
context in which a story or scene occurs and includes the time, place,
and social environment. It is important to establish a setting in your
story so your readers can visualize and experience it. Read
Amazon may be one of the best places to distribute your
book—but it isn’t the only place. The greater your reach, the more
success you can enjoy. Here are four ways publishing with BookBaby gets
you the benefits of distributing your book on Amazon and other leading
retailers around the world.