Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Ruby’s top ten tips for ebook publishing

    1. You’re going to need a good book, one you believe in, one that has your author’s voice. That unique voice communicates your individual talent as a writer.
    2. Test your book on honest people before you consider releasing it. Make it the absolute best you can. Don’t regret, be proud.
    3. Ready to publish? Forget about it until you’ve considered the next two marketing steps of platform and brand. You can ignore them and still be successful. That will make you into a folklore hero whose name is on everybody’s lips, but they’re few and far between (and I’m not one of them).
    4. You need a social networking platform. Ebook readers are internet users. That’s where you need to focus (and make sure you start that ball rolling before launching your ebook).
    5. Brand is to an author what location is to real estate. Make your name your brand. Everything you do needs to enhance that brand. Exert caution at this point because, if you do it wrong, retracing your steps is difficult.
    6. Now let’s publish. A cover, title and description that tells a potential reader what’s inside is worth reading. A digital manuscript that won’t cause that reader to trip over systemic errors in prose, grammar or format. If you baulk at any of this then pay someone who can do the uncomfortable parts for you (it can be less expensive than you might think). And keep backups and version control for everything that you write.
    7. Aim to build a readership that will provide reviews, recommendations and support. Don’t be precious about initial pricing.
    8. Leverage your social networking platform to gradually increase exposure of your book. Use subliminal marketing and influence strategies when you enter into the mêlée of the marketplace.
    9. Build your brand team. Remember at every step that each virtual friend, follower and reader is your team. Never alienate, even when in receipt of negativity. Radiate positivity and calm confidence. People don’t just read your ebook, they also digest your blog posts, forum comments, tweets, facebook updates, everything that you write on the internet. Those readers read, enjoy and recommend. Word of mouth sells ebooks. This is the key.
    10. Are you writing the next book? Never stop writing creatively. Always have a project in the first draft or edit stages. Blogging, tweeting, chatting and whatever is new, all good but you are an author and you must write. Allocate time for making friends and marketing. Ring-fence time for creative writing. Do both, in parallel, with an element of self-discipline. A satisfied reader asks for more. The reader market is effectively infinite and so is their appetite for good books.
      You’ll find useful and proven content in the 44,000 words of The New Author by Ruby Barnes to help you with all of these ten tips.

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      1. Wonderful tips. Would it be okay for me to post your link to this blog entry on my blogsite? I'd love to share this with my readers.

      2. Hi SR. Yeah, sure. Happy for you link on your blog ;-]

      3. Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

      4. Really helpful, Ruby, thank you.

      5. @Louise and @Joanne, glad you found it helpful. I'm nearly ready to release The New Author which will put flesh on those bones.

      6. This is good advice, but not many writers are this organized. The skills described here sound more like the skills of a business professional. Not all creative people possess the skills of a businessman or businesswoman. Things like not alienating anyone, preparing in advance, recruiting a bunch of people who will review your book. These are the skills of a CEO not a Faulkner or a Hemmingway. Those two creative souls don't strike me as the types to manage a business. It seems to me that if you can do the things mentioned in this blog, you should, but if you don't, don't let it discourage you or stop you from writing. And as far as getting it perfect the first time you self-publish, good luck with that since nothing is ever perfect and perfectionists often get stuck in neutral.

        1. Agreed, Anthea. It's an aspirational list but the key thing, as you point out, is to write and write and write.
          On perfection, we all make mistakes and sometimes better to go for the 'good enough', but we will be judged by our readers. The hardest part can be to go through that MS one last mind-numbing time, publish and still find that pet mistakes have stayed in there. Great thing about digital publishing is, of course, mistakes in a published work can be remedied in the same day they're spotted ;-]