Fresh Tips about Self Publishing, Marketing, Life
In California recently my friend Nazli Ghassemi, author of Desert Mojito (a fictional book about Dubai) recommended a fresh book about self-publishing. The landscape of this world is changing so fast that most books about the topic are obsolete if they are more than a year old.
The book is titled APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book, by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. At $2.99 for the e-book version, this is a steal. The book covers all aspects of self-publishing, but is certainly geared for e-books, an avenue that wasn’t available on a practical basis when I published my own first book in 2004. The book includes practical editing advice (hire an editor, first, then check yourself for copy editing; one chapter explains the correct use of serial commas, hyphens, and underlining). It also discusses marketing, e-book formats, how to sell your book on Amazon, B&N, Google and Kobo, as well as how to market your book.
Another book that addresses book sales, but it is really about how the internet is changing YOUR world, and how you can use it to change yourself is Trust Agents – Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. (Thanks again, Nazli!) This book will change the way you think about how you choose to navigate through day-to-day life, and work. It basically says that most humans can spot a fraud, and those who use the internet often spot the bull&%$! floating around. This book (and some websites listed below) highlight a truth amplified by the ubiquity of the internet – that to succeed in your chosen field, you have to be genuine. Otherwise few will visit your website, buy your product, or want to communicate with you.
Until recently, many self-publishers were regarded disdainfully by New York publishers, as well as by some authors (one author refused to write a testimonial for my first book, claiming that professional publishing equated with higher standards of editing quality; he should read the latest ‘blockbuster’ Dan Brown novel, complete with multiple and egregious editing errors). Nowadays, who cares? Enough authors have found that scaling the walls of Fortress New York Publishing Houses is a waste of effort when there are lush, economically fertile publicity pastures elsewhere. If you want to self-publish, read these books.
I almost attended a three-day internet marketing conference in Boston during vacation. Before going there I decided to contact an Irish friend who recently started up a new e-commerce business in London. He told me to hold off on the conference, and instead check out the sites listed below. Hope you don’t mind that I am sharing some (not all) of these, Howard Kingston (of Future Ad Labs HQ, 42-46 Princelet St, London, E1 5LP).
One of the key lessons shared is that if you attend a conference, forget about sidling up to ‘key’ and well-known people and faking that you like them. Instead, find some buds – whoever – who are the type you want to hang out and drink a beer with. You’ll feel comfortable, spend time with people who share your interests and values, and good things will start to happen.
This podcast is not cutting edge. But, if you are a novelist and like listening to radio discussions, check this out from PR Insider Radio Show – about the challenges of getting publicity for your novel. It’s engaging and informative. If you want to promote your book – you should try gaining all the knowledge that will help you.