Tag Archives: epublishing

Marketing Services – Books Don’t Sell Themselves

Marketing Your BookBuying Marketing Services – Books Don’t Sell Themselves

The publisher, iUniverse, has published my book. They provided all the editorial and production service covered by my publishing agreement with them and they have been most satisfactory. I have blogged regularly, posting progress reports and reflections on the processes involved as they unfolded. Now books need to be sold in a highly competitive market. An audience for Through a Lens of Emptiness is out there for sure, but the target audience for a book is both ephemeral and elusive unless an author can reach out to it. This is a daunting task for a début author, so all the support he can get in this endeavour is welcome. Unless he is particularly well connected with individuals that know the ropes, purchasing useful services are essential.

I’ve tried to build a bit of a following on my own over the last two years through blogging and the twitter-sphere. I’ll discuss that experience in the next blog post. I provide the following reflections with an understanding that which supports an author purchases are determined by $$$ available and not the desire to purchase quality services. Please note, I never name the support services purchased nor the prices paid in that everyone’s choice in services and service level will vary. The only service I will name is Google Ads, since everyone who uses the Internet knows what they are and who supplies them already.

I was informed about marketing services available to me through a marketing representative from iUniverse. These services were carefully explained to me, all my questions were answered in full, and there was no pressure or push to purchase any of them. I had time to think over the possible offerings and made my choices in my own time. The information available on the publisher’s web site provides some information about what is on offer, but direct contact with a knowledgeable individual was essential.

Google Ads looked like the best bang for the buck. This service allows me to define my target audience by age, interest, la gauge, and geographic region. The initial agreement for these ads covers the first three months of marketing. This means that for three months, informing my target audience that Through a Lens of Emptiness is available for purchase will be assured because of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

The second service selected purchases the services of an professional author publicity services to help me create a social media presence. This service is the more expensive of the two, but it is a pragmatic way of filling a big gap in my knowledge and experience. I have been finding my way through the nuance of using blogging and twitter to build an audience and establish a profile, but I still am wondering in the wilderness. Using Facebook to create an author well developed author page remains obscure. I look forward to the support I will receive and the knowledge to be gained from the experience.

The marketing ball is rolling and should gain momentum after I submit the extensive questionnaires that provide the necessary information for these service to move my marketing process along to the next stage.

In my next post I’ll reflect on my experiences with twitter and blogging.

Until my next post, as always your faithful blogger,

L Alan Weiss (Larry) – Author of Through a Lens of Emptiness , now available through Google Books, Amazon.com, and the iUniverse Book Store.

Visit my author website at www.lalanweiss.com

Are professional marketing services actually necessary? Do you use an Twitter based Marketing services? Please comment……..

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In production – AT LAST

Today was indeed a special day. When I logged into my file on the publisher web site, and looked at the tag ‘book status’, I saw the words ‘in production.’ Those words mark the beginning of the end of a pathway I entered on the 29th day of May in 2012, when I purchased my publishing package. Writing a book is truly a long and winding road.

This is a short post to inform whom ever follows these posts, that Through a Lens of Emptiness will soon be a reality. The next step toward completion and publishing my project will be cover design approval. I’m leaving that up to the designers at the publisher, but I am certainly excited to see how it looks.

I have not revealed who I am working with yet, but will make that information public after the book goes live and is available in print. There is more to write about at that time regarding costs and the services provided.

Until next time . . .as always,  you faithful blogger,

L Alan Weiss (Larry) – Author of Through a Lens of Emptiness

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Now the pace quickens

In my last blog post I reported on completing the changes to the third edit version of my manuscript. Believe it or not, I listened and read the manuscript one last time before submitting it for the next stage of the process, the editorial review board. This is important, because this is the group that decides if the book merits their seal of approval. I’m feeling pretty good about the project at the moment.

This last review, reading along with the text-to-voice app generated a few minor changes to improve the flow of language. The advantage of doing so many reviews of the work arises from a familiarity with the text that cannot be achieved in any other way. Now, small glitches in rhythm, language flow and word choice stand out from the now familiar background of the text. This review process takes about six hours to complete when the text is read back at 180 words a minute for a 66000 word manuscript.

The next task is to set up my files for transfer to the person who sets the book into its final form. I will also be working with someone to set up the book cover. As usual, I’m relying on the people the publisher employs to do this. It seems that I can expect to see a completed book ready for release in two to three months.

I had a long conversation with a representative of the publisher re: planning for marketing my book. You cannot sell books without marketing them. Marketing involves a range of activity from developing a web presence, to press releases and possible speaking engagements. It takes an effort to sell a book when the author has no public profile. Ken Follett might sell many copies of an average book just because he is Ken Follett. An unknown author may only sell a few copies of a great book without recognition.

My next adventure is to develop a marketing plan. I’ll keep you up to date as this and other processes unfold

Until the next post

Larry (L Alan Weiss), soon to be author of. . .

Through a Lens of Emptiness

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Manuscript editing completed–now what?

My last blog post followed receipt of the Quality Edit review of my manuscript which presented few things to be addressed. Since then, I have listened to the entire text twice more (using my beloved text to voice application) and made the required corrections. There were still a few areas where the prose lacked flow and there were a few word choices had to be reconsidered. I am just about ready to send the whole thing back to the publisher for the next phase of the process.

At the same time the Quality Edit material was received, a copy of my marketing text copy was included, and that was really a good thing. I had written the original marketing text to accompany the initial manuscript submission more than one and a half years ago. As you might imagine, much had changed since then. Needless to say, a complete revision of the text was necessary.

Marketing text refers to the copy that appears on the back cover of a paperback or the first section of an eBook web advert. It needs to be short and sweet and consists of; an Author Bio of no more than 50 words, a brief one liner Keynote tag line,  a list of Keywords to attract the target audience to your title,  and no more than 200 words for a Back Cover overview. Compared to a work of about 66000 words, this is a trivial amount of copy, but those words were the most difficult to write, and in some ways the most important.

The Author Bio needs to be a quick portrait of the author portraying both qualifications and character. The Keynote tag line needs to be a real zinger that captures a potential reader’s imagination. The Keyword list needs to reflect the content of the book as a reflection of the interests of the target audience. The Back Cover overview is meant to be a “teaser” or “movie trailer” like device designed to capture a potential reader’s interest and encourage them to look further into a book’s content and encourage a purchasing decision.

The other considerations relevant to this phase of the publication process are decisions on whether to pay a professional proof reader and to have the book professionally indexed. This adds some costs, so you have to consider their value. The proof reader reviews the PDF proof copy of the book prior to, a tedious and critical task to be sure, and for a moderate dyslexic an impossible task. An index may or may not be required, but my project is a work of creative nonfiction and has some content the reader may wish to reference while reading, or for future reference. I’m certain to employ the proof reader. Professional indexing is something I need to consider further.

Although I am unable to release any content of a book in the pre-publication stage, I’m sure the title can be mentioned: Through a Lens of Emptiness: Into the Void and Back Again in Search of Understanding. I’m still deciding about including a subtitle or not. I might even alter the word Understanding to Self. Anyone reading this blog is welcome to comment of the subtitle dilemma.

I won’t mention the name of the publishing house that will publish my work until it is actually published, but I will continue to update those following this blog on my progress. I’m thinking about a blog post re: motivation verses motive for self-publishing.

Until then,

Larry (L Alan Weiss)

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The Editing Cycle Continues

At the time of my last post I was putting the finishing touches on my manuscript before sending it back for the final phase of editing. This is the phase where the editorial service  checks over text that was added or modified according to the suggestions made in phase two of the process. I completed my work on the manuscript and submitted it last week. There are a few observations I would like to share with whomever is following this saga.

1.  The editorial service did an excellent job making sure the format of the work complied with the Chicago Manual of style. In the process they also corrected some minor errors in punctuation had missed.

2. They also did a good job of pointing out one repetition in content and several missing endnote citations where I had just placed single words to indicate the content missing but never entered the info. They also indicated a few small gaps in the parallel form of the chapters and sections where I had omitted some sentences of introduction.

3. The editor added a system of numbers that made it easier for the reader, and the author to cross reference info between chapters.

4. The editor did not point out problems with the flow of language that remained. That was my job. I think it unreasonable for an editor to make those suggestions, which would be an intervention beyond their ken.

You may recall that I was setting out to listen to the entire manuscript  once more before submission using my trusty text to voice application. That process proves to be important. As I said previously, the text to voice method of review allows the writer to stand back and judge language usage and the rhythm and flow of sentences and paragraphs. I use this method because of being moderately dyslexic, but I recommend it to all who write. A manuscript of 66000 words takes several days to listen to.

I anxiously await feedback from the editorial staff. It should be complete in another week or so. I’ll keep you all up to date.

Until then,

L Alan Weiss (I thought it appropriable to use my pen name from now on. I hope no one finds this pretentious, but I need to get used to it myself.)

PS One of these days I’ll write about the costs involved. That’s an important aspect of this process.

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