Make Your Book Work Harder: How To Make Use of Multiple Platforms To Make More Money by Nancy Hendrick and Michelle Campbell-Scott is a great little collaboration between two authors who know exactly what they're talking about. They also do a great job of delivering on the promise in the subtitle.
Here are my take-home points from today's book:
"We need to make each book available in multiple formats - eBook, paperback, audio - and promote it cleverly and inexpensively. Then move on to the next book. Keep writing, that's key."
There is so much good advice in this paragraph. With technology changing and expanding, readers are accessing books in different ways, and we need to get our books out there and available in different formats (this book has a particularly useful section on producing audio books). Then we need to get promoting.
We don't need to spend a fortune on promoting, but note the word 'inexpensively'. We do need to set a small budget for holiday promotions or our books may get lost among everyone else's holiday marketing message.
Then, of course, we need to get back to writing. One of the best ways to market our existing books is still to create a new buzz with a new book.
"Interestingly, Apple report that the iBooks app is downloaded more than the Kindle app."
It's easy to assume that Kindle is still King, especially if you're a Kindle fan yourself (I am). I've told myself in the past that Kindle is 'good enough' because the Kindle app is available for iPads - and many other devices - but it makes sense that iPad owners would be downloading the iBooks app more than the Kindle app. This encouraged me to get my ebooks into the iBooks store, not to mention Barnes & Noble, Sony, Diesel, and others.
"We have come across a surprising number of people who much prefer buying books from Smashwords rather than Amazon."
Who knew? But that's what the authors claim their research showed, and I have no reason to doubt them. My ebooks are now available via Smashwords, in all formats. I quite like the site. It's user-friendly and allows nice little touches such as the Smashwords author interview. Read mine here.
"Don't tell anyone... but once you've created a Blurb book you can pay an additional $10 to convert it to eBook format."
Sorry to the authors. I've told someone. But my blog has a fairly small readership, so I hope they'll forgive me. I'd wondered why Blurb was attracting self-publishers. It offers a great high-quality service for making photo books as gifts, but it's an expensive way to self-publish. I know, however that image heavy ebooks can present all kinds of technical issues, so if this really is the clever little hack it seems, it's worth considering for image based books.
"Perfectionist traits can be very serious. They can make us lesser people than we were destined to be, poorer than we should be, and with a feeling that we could have achieved more if we had but had the immense amount of time that we need to make everything we do perfect."
One of the best quotes about the perils of perfectionism I've ever read. Perfectionists: Read it twice, then read it again. Start putting your work out there no matter how scary that seems.
"Accept the fact that your writing isn't as good today as it will be next week, next month or next year."
This is hard to do, but so necessary. You're improving all the time. That's the way it works. If you only want to publish your best work, you'll never publish anything. Or maybe your family will take the last story you ever write and publish it after your death. Is that really what you want?
"Go with your instincts, edit and polish, and set it loose. If the world isn't ready for it yet, it may be in a few years. Get on with another book in the meantime."
Your writing is never wasted. Once it's out there, it has the potential to find it's audience. Set it loose. Keep writing. Keep improving.
This is a really handy little ebook, full of useful info and reasonably priced. There's still time to get your current books working hard for the holiday season, and you'll pick up lots of interesting tips for future books. Grab a copy here.
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