The appeal and popularity of physical books have hardly gone down. If anything, during the pandemic, there has seen a surge in book readers. However, with numerous published works gracing bookshelves, how do debut authors go up against seasoned, published authors?
The answer lies in the strategy you use to write a book and how you have it printed, published, and distributed. All these factors greatly influence your book’s readability and reach.
In this article, we discuss the steps and tips from industry specialists to shoot your novel into the next NY Times bestseller list with the help of PODs or print-on-demand services.
1. Find Your Purpose and Plan
It is essential to ask yourself why you want to write a book before you start. For example, you may want tangible proof of all the hard work you put behind writing the book.
Books also serve as glorified business cards in conferences, press events, and educational courses. You can also use books to make connections and build a solid fan base. Furthermore, by selling your books at events, you will not only recover your costs behind publishing but also make a profit.
In addition to your purpose, you need a structured plan to determine your writing schedule. The plan should include adequate resources to research your topic, publishing essentials and marketing strategies for your book, the timeline to write your book, and the budget.
2. Write an Amazing Book
The next step is to shape your ideas and imagination on paper. Writing a novel is a great accomplishment and here are some tips to help you stay on the right track:
- Read carefully through writing prompts to decide what to write.
- Work out an outline for your book to work quickly.
- Use writing software to write more efficiently.
- Determine the average word count for your book.
- Make sure your book has a strong introduction.
- A strict writing routine will keep you motivated and make you write faster.
- Remember to celebrate any milestones you achieve!
You can write a splendid book by following a strict schedule and adhering to the guidelines you set for yourself.
3. Choose The Distribution Channel
After Createspace was bought out by Amazon, there are only two major self-publishing means available for authors – Amazon and IngramSpark.
Book printing services like Palmetto Publishing have gained popularity as they provide both print-on-demand and eBook distribution services in addition to cover designing and formatting services.
Even if you think that the easy choice is to publish the KDP paperback, Kindle online publishing may seem like the better option. However, both Amazon and IngramSpark print and distribute them on their parent site, Amazon.
Paperback printing involves direct sale-to-print and shipping out of books from their warehouses. Nevertheless, the biggest advantage with IngramSpark is that it actually prints hardback copies of your book, whereas Amazon only prints paperbacks.
4. Design a Book Cover
“Never judge a book by its cover” may have been drilled into our minds from a young age. However, book covers play a crucial role in hooking potential readers.
Your cover should convey the writer’s creative vision as well as display elements of the story. This is where meeting with a designer can help you.
Some design elements you’ll need to consider are:
- Cover style: matte or glossy
- Book’s spine design
- Font of title, body, and subtitles
The rule of thumb is that books with less than 101 pages should have a completely blank spine whereas longer books can include titles on the spine.
Furthermore, remember to give special attention to the often neglected rear of the book. Additionally, the back cover design is just as important as the font and front cover. Here are some pointers for the back cover:
- Book description in brief.
- Author headshot with a short bio.
- Optional barcode and ISBN placement.
5. Determine the Cost of Producing a Book
From book cover design, formatting, and editing, indie authors have a mountain of struggle ahead of them when self-publishing. This is in addition to the hours of labor which is billed to you.
You might be concerned about the costs related to the production of the book. Multiple factors contribute to these expenses, including but not limited to:
- Book formatting
- Hiring a book editor
- Ads or marketing services
- Hiring a cover designer
In summary, when it comes to profit, eBooks are the most profitable followed by paperback and the least profitable are hardback copies. For professional writers yet to make a mark in the industry, audiobooks may be a better option compared to paper books, although they have additional costs.
6. Format Your Book
When you are preparing to format a book, be sure to keep these in mind:
- Page numbering
- Page size
- Font size and font type
- Paragraph composition
- Line spacing
- Margins, bleed, gutter, and page breaks
There are also some basic printing terms you should be familiar with. One such example is the trim size which is basically the size of your book. This will greatly affect the printing costs involved; the larger the print size, the greater the costs.
You will also need to be aware of the publishing guideline in regards to formatting your files which may change for each distribution service.
Alternatively, you can save a lot if you choose to format the book yourself. However, the expertise and dedication of publishing services like Palmetto Publishing will save you far more time to work on your book which will benefit you more in the long run.
Lastly, font size is another factor to take into account. Both the font and font size can greatly impact the readability of your book and interior formatting so pay special attention to this matter. Type 11 or 12 point serif fonts like Georgia and Palantino are the standard for books.
Here are other suggested font types:
- Minion Pro
7. Check Out the Competition
With so many budding authors and publishing means, it is difficult to stand out. In order to reach your audience, you must be able to offer something new that will leave a mark on your readers’ minds. That’s why it’s important to find out what your competitors are writing.
You can do this through proper research before you start writing. Read books on the content you wish to write on to gain different perspectives on the matter.
8. Feedback and Writing Partner
It is only natural to stumble on your first attempt at something new. A friend or an experienced mentor is a valuable critic and supporter in these times. A ghostwriter or freelance copywriter can enhance your ideas and organize them into words.
Proper feedback is crucial to writing a good book. To know if your content is engaging or not and also to know which areas you need to focus on for improvement, take feedback from people you trust – for example, your coach. They will also be the support system through the lengthy and emotional writing journey.
9. Find Your Perfect POD Match
With services such as print-on-demand, better-value printing can be provided by printing a less expensive, exclusive batch of copies.
However, a local print specialist is a better choice for debut authors as they provide sound advice, paper samples, and respond to your needs giving you a more personalized printing experience.
10. Paper Samples and Proof
Before your final print, look over the paper samples to get a feel of the book. Make sure it’s not too thin to avoid a cheap or flimsy feel.
You should also determine the spine of your book which will influence the cover artwork and book title. Use spine calculators online to get a rough idea but don’t use them as the final version. Your print specialist or POD service provider will be the best judge of that.
Finally, request a pre-press-free copy of your book. This will enable you to screen any typos and finalize any changes you wish to make in the book as well as assess the printing quality. This is the result of long years of hard work so make sure that you are satisfied with the proof before you give the printer the go-ahead.
Armed with these helpful steps and tips, you will be better equipped to write and publish a bestseller book. You will also be able to create a paperback or hardcover version of your eBook by utilizing proper tools and having a useful support system.