Write It, Work It, Publish It™

Here’s a great post my friend, Jerry D Simmons of WritersReaders.com wrote that  précis main points about the book writing and the publishing world.

Book publishing involves several components working together to maximize the opportunities for selling copies. Success requires alignment of the 8 Pillars in a way that gives the title, author and publisher the best chance of achieving their goals. Coordination, timing and professional experience provides the very best opportunity for both initial and long term success. What follows are the 8 Pillars of Book Publishing.

[1] Writing – Anything is possible if the manuscript is marketable. If the author can keep readers engaged by telling a good story or sharing information in a manner that keeps pages turning, then consider the manuscript marketable. That does not mean the eventual publication will be successful but I can guarantee it will not be if the manuscript does not convey a story or message to the intended audience.

[2] Editing – Once the manuscript is finished a professional editor needs to read and offer feedback. If the cost of a complete content edit is not possible then at a minimum the writer needs an editorial critique. Where a professional editor reads, evaluates and offers a written critique on how the writer can improve the manuscript. Friends or family will not be sufficient and line editing for grammar, spelling and punctuation is not enough. Unless the writer has extensive experience an editorial critique is the very least that should be acceptable.

[3] Marketing – Starts early and continues for as long as the publication exists. Marketing runs parallel to the entire publishing process and never ends. With subsequent books the marketing overlaps to include the new and older titles. There are many forms of marketing but the point to make here is that marketing is as important as writing proficiently and publishing correctly. Never underestimate the power of sustained book marketing.

[4] Packaging – Getting the right cover design on a book matters. Consumers judge books by their cover and they will make a purchasing decision in a matter of seconds based on the package. If the cover does not make a statement instantly then a sale is lost. The jacket copy or sales blurb is important and considered part of the package as well as the title and subtitle. Do not underestimate or overlook the importance of proper packaging.

[5] Pricing – The single most important consideration on almost everything we buy is price. Readers shop by price and make most book purchases based on price. This is especially important for new unknown authors since infrequent buyers of books will most likely not take a chance on someone they are not familiar with. A single dollar or two below the price of an author the reader is familiar with will not typically make a difference since the cover price can be the deciding factor. Remember a price can almost always go up but rarely can it go down.

[6] Publishing – The demise of the print edition makes this a major factor in the success or failure of a publication. The production quality of the end product speaks volumes about the author, publisher and quality of the writing. The result of poor publishing decisions is invariably loss of credibility among readers, booksellers and the eventual loss of sales. Who publishes your writing and how is critically important to the perception of the reader.

[7]Distribution – The reference is to the booksellers that market and sell copies of your book. Whether your own website, online retailers or local bookstore, distribution is the means of how titles are offered to the public for sale. Every title needs distribution beyond their own website and the more outlets where your book is offered the more opportunities to sell copies. Don’t confuse distribution with the physical shipment of books to a retail location, distribution refers to how and where your publication is offered for sale.

[8] Sales – Roll all of the above together and hopefully you end up with sales. Anyone can publish a book today but not everyone can be successful at selling books. The market is crowded and difficult, authors and publishers who skip any of these 8 Pillars will greatly diminish their chances at being successful and selling copies of their book.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive nor detailed. The 8 Pillars are meant to provide an over view and insight into the basic requirements of publishing a product that has potential to sell copies. For further explanations or evaluation consult a professional with experience. That is the best way to avoid mistakes, save money and not waste time is to research and consult before making decisions.

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