One of the biggest differences about this conference was not only all the successful self-pub authors, but also the information about self-publishing. Here are some of the highlights.
· Self-pub authors needs to invest in distinctive covers as opposed to buying stock art or designing it themselves.
· All covers look good big. Check your cover out as a small size, which is how people will see it when scrolling for books.
· Ask a variety of people to comment on your proposed cover. Often what you think is great doesn’t appeal to other people.
· Unknown or new author books are selected by the cover and blurb only. Make yours count.
· Formatting is a relatively easy thing to do. Have a professional do it the first time, it should not cost more than a $100 and is often as low as $50. Anyone who charges you more is making money at your expense.
· No one can edit his or her own work. A copy editor for a 55,000 word-count book should run between $225-$400 dollars. There are horror stories of sub-par editing by vanity companies that often charge over a $1000. Vanity publishers do not have to employ good publishers. Your best bet is freelance publishers whose reputation is on the line with every book they edit. Get references or recommendations.
· People still love print books. You can make yours with Amazon Create a Space. The merit of this is not only are you talked through it. For a small $25 licensing fee, you can advertise your print book anywhere. You bypass paying for formatting and ISBN numbers. Create a Space also offers stock covers. I would advise against this since it will make your book look like hundreds of other books.
· Your name is your brand. Keep your name in the same size font in the same place on your books for easy identification.
· Self-publishing your own book on Create a Space allows you to buy as many books as you want for promotion purposes at rock bottom prices…usually three dollars.
· Most online booksellers work on a 30-day cycle. With this in mind, every thirty days you have to put out something new are you’re history. This is hard to do. You might wait until you’ve written enough books together to stagger releases. Novellas, short stories, and box sets can be releases to keep your name out there.
· Keywords are very important. Amazon allows you seven. Use them all. Find different categories for your book. Your romantic suspense about horseracing might never make it into the top one hundred for suspense, but might make it for horseracing. Then, in turn, you can advertise it as an Amazon top seller.
· Use sub categories and sub names. Your book's name is The Horse Racing Fiasco. Your subtitle might be An Equestrian Romance. People browsing for romances will be more likely to find your book out of thousands.
· One of the first steps to promoting your book is keeping an active author page on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, etc. Be aware you will have to have a page for each country your book is available. Your page that shows us in the US will not be viewable in the UK.
· Lillian Hart, self-pub author, started her career by releasing five books at once. This made it easy to hook new fans because once they finished one book they started on the next.
· Self-pub authors are in control of their career with this in mind they do all their own promotion. You can seek out reviewers or bloggers of books similar to yours. Make a spreadsheet because you will want to use these people again.
· Develop your own street team. Have them leave promo cards everywhere they go from doctor offices to hair salons.