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Posted in Blog, Self Publishing

How You Can Save Money Publishing Your Book

You’ve heard the saying, “Money saved is money earned.” If you consider it for a minute, you’ll realise how useful this bit of information is when you decide to self-publish your book.

Publishing a book requires spending money, lots of it, and since you’re going it alone, you’ll be responsible for every aspect of the process. You’ll have to create a budget for editing, designing, retailing, marketing and promotions. You can hire a team to with you, but if you have a tight budget, this option may not be the best.

Of course certain aspects of the process should be handled by professionals, but there are some you can take care of — to save every dime you can.

Design

Your book cover is the first thing readers will see when they’re browsing through a bookstore. If the design doesn’t impress them, they’re going to pass quickly and probably never bother having a second look — should they see the book in some other stores.

When I was preparing my book, Not Too Young to Run, for publication, I knew I had to make a strong first impression with my cover. But I didn’t have all the money. This may sound improbable, given the existence of Fiverr where you come across book cover designers who charge as little as $5. Now this is improbable! A professional book cover doesn’t come that cheap.

According to Rocking Book Covers, the price for a professional low end book cover starts from $50 – $200. A notch better is the middle range — from $250 – $600. Then the highest end (which is for big publishing houses) starts from $1000 – $2000.

Imagine being able to save $50 or more. I’m sure that’s a good deal. By the way, here’s the cover I did, courtesy of Canva.

Ebook Conversion and Print Layout

If you must sell your book as a digital product, you’ll first have to convert it into an ebook. Over on the Internet, you’ll find free ebook conversion tools like Reedsy Write, Sigil and Calibre. There are also companies and freelancers that offer ebook conversion as a service, in which case you’ll have to part with your money.

If you were creating a simple ebook, the type that doesn’t contain visual elements, (I doubt if any book lacks visuals.) then the process is straightforward. In fact, if you are publishing with Amazon or Kobo, you merely need to upload your edited manuscript in .doc, docx, .txt or .pdf and their algorithm does the rest. But it isn’t that simple if your manuscript contains tables, graphs, illustrations and other visual designs. Sometimes, in the course of using a free tool, your formatting may be lost. It could even be that you messed with the formatting, and the converter was unable to read your file.

When this happens, you’ll need to hire a professional to do the job. This can cost from a few dollars to hundreds. But you can save this cost if you invest your time to learning how to properly format an ebook.

It’s the same if you are going to print. You’ll need to design a clean layout. That’s going to cost money as well, up to $1000 for a professional design. Most professionals use InDesign, which you can pay for and invest time to learn the curve. It’s worth it, especially if you plan on writing other books in the future.

Graphic Design

Learning how to design cover arts for marketing your book can also help you save money. You don’t need to become a Kate Moss or Chip Kid to this, but you’ll need a good grasp of the elements of design.

Again, websites like Canva. Vexels and Template.net offer free templates to get you started.

In the end, when you sit down again to evaluate your budget, you’ll be surprised at how much money you saved.

Posted in Self Publishing

3 Things You Need to Know before Publishing a Book

In 2018 I realised I was wasting time in publishing my book.

Early on, I’d resolved to do it in 2017, so you can imagine how I felt when I realised it was another year flushed down the drain.

I was frantic and started searching for what I could do to get the book written. I was mostly rummaging through writing blogs on the Internet: “how to overcome writer’s block”, “publishing a book in Nigeria” or “how to become productive while writing your book”. I even joined a writing community on Facebook. And the advice I got, together with the tips I pulled from the Internet, got me to step on the gas.

I was firing on all cylinders, and in less than a year, I had completed my manuscript. I chose self publishing, and in March I was the author of a nice looking-children’s book. Soon enough, when sales figures weren’t going up, I realised I hadn’t thought about publishing well enough.

A lot of new authors make this mistake and end up feeling deflated. But this can be avoided. So in this post I am going to show you three publishing preparations you need to make before publishing a book.

Marketing

There’s no such thing as luck when it comes to selling a million copies of your book. And you would be silly to think that books that sell the most are the most creative from a genre. Even if your idea of publishing isn’t to have your book gross millions in sales, you still would expect to make a decent sale off it.

So, while luck isn’t going to sell your books, marketing will. It’s good to start early on to draw up your marketing plan. I didn’t know this before I published, so it’s come to haunt me. But if you aren’t going to be like me, pay attention to these simple marketing ideas.

  • Get an author website or blog.
  • Get into bed with media people, editors influencers and book reviewers.
  • Submit short stories to literary magazines.
  • Enter writing competitions (paid or unpaid)
  • Create a nice-looking social media page, and keep it up-to-date with your work in progress.

Like I said before, these are marketing ideas to start before you publish if you want to give your book a fighting chance. For more book marketing strategies, read this post by bestselling author Chandler Bolt:

Book Marketing: How to Strategically Market to Increase Book Sales

Reading Habit of Your Audience

Since the advent of self publishing platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing, Kobo Writing Life and OkadaBooks, a lot of writers have gone inept at research. But isn’t this attitude the direct opposite of what self publishing should be? Shouldn’t self publishing make you pick up the shovel and dig through the demographics? Very well it should, but when you are a new writer, you could easily think the self publishing companies will do all the heavy lifting for you.

No, they will not. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this before I published. But that’s not to say I didn’t know who my audience were: I just didn’t understand their reading habit.

For instance, if you’re publishing for children, you will not only make your book available online, but you’ll have to publish paperbacks. The reason is that children do not yet have a well-developed culture for reading books on mobile devices according to a research published on Independent. Again, your target audience’s access to the Internet will determine whether you should just publish an ebook or a paperback or choose a hybrid publishing model.

The Business of Publishing

Writing a book is an art, but publishing is a business. It’s the same for other creative professions, and the business process is what helps you to achieve your desired result. So, once you decide that you’re going to publish a book, you have to be ready to learn how the business works. Here are five publishing business skills you will need to have:

  • Communication and negotiation
  • Networking
  • Marketing
  • Technical skill
  • Financial management

Finally, you have to understand how to work with data. This is important as it lets you create a measurable publishing strategy that works.