Design Your Book to Sell

buy my book its awesomeWhether you design your own book exterior and interior or are working with a professional, here are a few precepts that will guide you towards a better product, and thus more sales.

Lesson Number One: Think of the Reader’s Experience

As you write your manuscript, in the back of your head you consider the emotional experience the readers will have as they progress through the story. So when you design the look of the final product, you should likewise take careful account of the process the buyers go through, from the first awareness that the book exists to that final, “Yes, I’ll buy it!” Which is about 2 – 15 seconds, so you’d better do a good job of it. Continue reading “Design Your Book to Sell”

Anatomy of a Copyright Page

copyrightIndie publishing is full of learning experiences. One of them involves what to put on the copyright page of your book. (The copyright page, to be clear, is the page on the flip side, or verso, of the title page at the very beginning of your book.)

People put all sorts of junk on this page, but really, there is only one thing that’s pretty much required to be there: your copyright notice.

I’m going to digress for a moment and talk about copyright, because I’ve seen some bad info floating around the interwebs. As the creator of the work in question, you hold the copyright. Period. You can fill out a form and pay $35 to register your copyright with the U.S. gummint, or you can do any of the other things I’ve seen mentioned (e-mailing a copy of the work to yourself, mailing yourself a hard copy, etc.), but none of them are required. They will not grant you the copyright to your own work. You already own it. Continue reading “Anatomy of a Copyright Page”

Foreword, March!

shakespeareForeword, preface, prologue. We’ve all seen one or the other of these at the front of a book, and many people think they are the same thing. They’re certainly very similar, but there are definite distinctions between them. Do you know what they are?

A foreword is a short introductory statement, especially when written by someone other than the author. It’s not unusual to see the writer of the foreword lauding the author of the main work, or telling a bit about how the work came about or how it came to his/her attention. Note that the definition describes it as a short introductory statement. Usually a foreword is a few paragraphs and less than a page.

The opposite of a foreword is an afterword: a concluding section or commentary or a closing statement.

A preface, conversely, is a preliminary statement by the book’s author or editor, usually setting down its purpose and scope, expressing acknowledgement of assistance from others, etc. Very often we will see an acknowledgment page used for this purpose instead.

A prologue is described as a preliminary discourse, an introductory part of a poem, novel or play. It can be an introductory speech calling attention to the theme of a play, as Shakespeare often did. In Romeo and Juliet, the prologue is as follows: Continue reading “Foreword, March!”

IU Survey: Do Reviews Belong in the Book Preview?

We get a lot of requests to feature books here on Indies Unlimited. As time allows, we like to preview those books before we commit to showcasing them here for a couple of reasons: If there is an obvious mistake (such as a typo in the book description or even the title), we can let the author know and give them an opportunity to fix it; and,
Since we don’t cover all genres of writing, we like to make sure the submission is a good fit for our site.
Lately, we have noticed a lot of authors seem to be using a large percentage of the front matter that makes up the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon. In some few instances, there was so much front matter, that none of the actual story was included in the preview.

You end up with a preview that consists of a title page, a page of boilerplate copyright info, an acknowledgements page, a dedication page, a list of other titles by this author, a poem, song lyric, or quote that author likes, a couple of pages of excerpts from pre-release reviews and then you’re out of space.

Is this a clever use of yet one more space to deploy marketing, or does it deprive the prospective buyer of the promised sample? Is it a deliberate attempt by the author to hide a weak start to an otherwise good book? In short, WTF?

We’d like to know your thoughts.

Is including reviews in the preview section of your book a good idea?

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