It took a bit longer than I thought it would, but Lost in the Dark is finally available in print.
I’ve learned a lot during this process, which will definitely make things a bit easier in the future. This will certainly not be my last book. And as owner and operator of Crystal Lake Publishing, I’ll be putting together, publishing and promoting a lot more books.
Here are a few tips I picked up along the way:
Don’t spend too much time promoting the book after it’s been released. Get started on the next one. It’s difficult to concentrate on a new project when it feels like the first one isn’t really done yet, but that’s something we as writers need to get used to. Maybe give yourself one week to promote and do blog tours and interviews after the release, but then get back to writing.
If you’re not the most technologically savvy writer (like me), get someone to do the eBook formatting for you. It saves a lot of time and frustration. Time that could be used on writing or reading. Make sure whoever does your formatting can be easily reached in case you need them. Always make sure they’ll be willing to do a few corrections in case reviewers pick up spelling mistakes etc.
Look for guest blogging opportunities or people willing to do reviews. Try not to ask your best friends, as you won’t really get a straight answer from them. At least get them to like or tag your book on Amazon.
Find a reliable source for barcodes, and remember to add the ISBN number onto the barcode. If you’re planning on publishing lots of books, consider buying a bunch of barcodes at a lower price.
Decide early on what the dimensions of your book will be, even before you contact your cover artist. That way you don’t have to worry about getting the dimensions right and sending emails to–and-fro. Remember to inform them that you want a eBook and print cover, as this affects the dimensions of the cover and the artist’s cost.
Don’t be shy to tell people about your book. Make sure everyone knows about it, without irritating them of course. Facebook launch events tend to become a bit irritating for those who said they’d attend. Most people decline, even when they are interested. In future I’ll still do a FB event, but only post minimal updates. Only the most important ones.
Always backup your word file, and make sure you know which one is the most recent, especially if you’re correcting small things like spelling mistakes. You might just end up sending in the wrong document. Trust me, it happens. This could even affect the thickness of the book’s spine, if you added or deleted a couple of paragraphs during a read-through.
Get reliable beta-readers, of which some are writers and some readers of your chosen genre. Listen to them and appreciate them. Without their help you’d probably need to pay for an editor.
And most importantly, don’t expect massive sales on release day. Don’t set yourself up for a massive blow to your self-confidence, because you’ll need it to start on the next book. Being a writer is not about writing one great book, it’s about writing book after book, story after story, and slowly building up a readership. With today’s POD’s and Amazon outlets, every book written will always be available, even after you die. So there’s no rush. As your skills, experience and readership grows, so will your sales. By then you’ll probably have quite a few books available. So whether you’re writing for fame or money, you’ll always need to write another book, no matter how many people read the first one.
You can buy Lost in the Dark or read its great reviews here, or do me a big favour by liking or tagging the book. Won't even mind if you share it with your friends.
All the best,
Tags: "lost in the dark" "joe mynhardt" "crystal lake publishing" "writing fiction" "publish your own book" "promoting your book" "dark fiction" "horror short stories" "ghost stories"
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