After many of your own revisions, you finally submitted your manuscript to a professional editor. Now you don’t know what to do with yourself! My colleague, Tanya Brockett of Hallagen Ink, and I, the Founder and Creative Director of PathBinder Publishing, know you worked hard writing that book, but this is no time to slack off. There is still much yet to do! We compiled a list of actions you can take while your book is in the editing and design phase.
If you are seeking the traditional route, we will provide a follow-up article to address actions specific to you. But for those who are working with hybrid publishers or are publishing independently, you will want to pay close attention here.
While your book is going through the editing mill, the following will prepare you for a successful book launch:
· Write your author bio—As stated in Heather Hummel’s HuffPost article titled “10 Tips on How to Write an Author Bio,” many authors cringe at the idea of writing their author bio, let alone the three versions most authors will need. For ideas on writing your best author bio, read the 10 Tips by clicking here.
· Take your author photo—Along with the importance of an author bio comes the relevance of your author photo. Heather Hummel also provides information on author photos in her HuffPost article titled “The Relevance of a Professional Author Photo.” Take the time to hire a professional and read other tips by clicking here.
· Write and edit your book description—Create a juicy description for your book that will hook readers. This description will be used across various platforms in marketing your book, such as your back cover, Amazon book page, website, and speaker introductions (for book signings, readings, and more). Use keywords that capture attention and keep the word count down (250 words or less).
· Write your book marketing strategy—You wrote your book to share it with the world, so spend time researching and writing down the best ways to do that. Every author (regardless of publisher) is expected to market her book and share it with her networks. You can refer to old standby resources like John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Market Your Book (http://www.TanyaLoves.me/1001ways) or connect with bloggers like Carla King at AuthorFriendly.com or Jane Friedman at https://www.janefriedman.com/best-book-marketing-advice-2017/. Plan to include: a press release, e-mail messages to your list, review copies to top bloggers, lining up speaking/book signing engagements, and writing blog posts with/about your book’s content.
· Decide on book trim size—There are standard trim sizes for each genre of book. For example, a popular trim size for trade paperbacks is 5” x 8” to 6” x 9”. Novels and memoirs tend to be 5.5” x 8.5” and manuals/workbooks are generally 8” x 10” or traditional letter-sized. As an independent publisher, use your own discretion, but industry standards exist for a reason. Also, your print source may determine what is possible for you—many only offer standard print sizes due to certain production and distribution limitations.
· Work with your cover designer—Readers do judge a book by its cover, so hire a cover designer to write your back cover copy, identify design elements (color palettes/photos/illustrations/images), and layout a marketable book cover. For additional guidance, see Tanya’s blog post at http://www.TanyaLoves.me/backcover. Don’t forget to have your editor proof the cover before production.
· Boost your social media presence—Whether you are media savvy and or not, it is in your best interest to start engaging with followers on social media. Instead of creating everything from scratch, you can post “sound bites” from your book to prepare readers for its arrival. Create a spreadsheet to schedule your posts. Start gearing up on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn (if professionally related), and perhaps Twitter. Post consistently (at least twice weekly).
· Create or update your website with a book pre-order form—An author website will help you to market your book and engage readers. Even if you are publishing through Createspace and will have your book on Amazon with an Author Central Page, you still need to have an author website. This site should include at least a home page with your book cover and description with link to purchase, about the author page, a press/media page, and a contact page. Other ideas can be found in the Bestseller Launch Planner at http://www.TanyaLoves.me/booklaunch.
· Secure ISBNs and LCCN/PCIP—Your book’s ISBN is a unique, numerical identifier for your book (like a social security number for media). It is acquired in the US through Bowker (www.myidentifiers.com) and you need one for each format of book you produce (e.g., print, e-book, and audio). Learn more about ISBNs at www.TanyaLoves.me/ISBN. LCCNs and PCIP data help librarians to catalog your book (and learn about it to buy it!). The LCCN is a unique identifier by the Library of Congress for cataloging, and the CIP data creates bibliographic data for books likely to be widely distributed in US libraries. See https://www.loc.gov/publish/ for more information.
· Prepare for copyright submission (await edited draft before submission)
· Create list of reviewers for blurbs (bloggers, etc., prepare to send uncorrected proof or ARCs)
And you thought you were done when you submitted your manuscript to your editor! While some of these items cross over with traditional publishing, there are some items that are unique to each situation. Stay tuned for our next article with tips on preparing for the traditionally published route. Still looking for help? Click here for more in depth author guidance.
Questions? Leave questions in the comments and let us know how you’re doing!
Heather Hummel is the founder and creative director of PathBinder Publishing, where it is our belief that every author’s book represents an accumulation of an author’s experiences and wisdom that is meant to be shared. Additionally, Heather is a ghostwriter who has penned dozens of books for clients. Connect with Heather at www.HeatherHummelAuthor.com or www.PathBinderPulbishing.com and on Facebook.
Tanya Brockett gives authors, experts, and entrepreneurs the confidence to write and edit a quality, bestseller-ready book that their readers will love while empowering authors to live a life they love. She is a speaker, editor, writer, and mentor to awesome clients around the world. Connect with Tanya on LinkedIn (), on Facebook (), and through her website at www.HallagenInk.com.