Saturday, August 24, 10 am to 12 noon, “Agents, Query Letters, & Synopses” with Nancy J. Cohen, Florida Author’s Academy, Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore, 104 West Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444. Phone: 561-279-7790. $25 fee for class. Advance reservations requested. http://www.flauthorsacademy.com/
Final Thoughts on Indie Publishing
Here are my final words on the topic of indie publishing.
For Backlist Titles
Once you have your rights reverted, you can reissue these titles yourself. Follow the steps in this series. I always make sure to say it’s a reissue in my promo posts and to mention the original publisher on the copyright page. Since I do a new round of editing, I call these my Authors Editions. Your other choice would be to find a new publisher but it depends on what books you’ll have available and how much control you want. It’s gratifying to improve and launch these titles yourself. You can add your own front and back material, hire your own cover artist, and choose the formats and distributors of your choice. Plus, you can set your own price, and that’s an important benefit considering how high the trad publishers price their e-books.
Allow a few hours or a day for this book to show up on your Author Central site. Sign in again to Amazon Author Central. Click on Books. Find your new title and click on it. Scroll down to where it says, not finding what you need, contact us. Fill in form and say “Please link this revised paperback edition with the Kindle and other editions.” Or, “Please link this newly revised Kindle edition with my previous mass market edition.” Provide ISBN numbers. Once linked, your customer reviews will show up on all editions. While on this page, you can add your author bio, improve the book description, or add editorial reviews.
Consider bundling your published backlist titles into box sets. Add a special enticement for fans who’ve read these books before, such as a new short story, craft tips, recipes, or character interviews. Make this bonus material exclusive to the box set. Offer a discount so the set costs less than if a reader bought the books individually.
For Original Titles
If you’re writing a series, make sure your series title is consistent at each distributor. Prepare a cover reveal notice and a book launch party. Solicit reviewers with advance reading copies. Consider offering your digital arcs through BookFunnel. You can format your book for free at Draft2Digital without having to publish it there. Use these files for your ebook ARCs. Midwest Book Review offers a pre-published review for a $50 fee. This site is well worth it but be wary of other paid reviews. Look on your social media sites for book review groups where you can post your offer. Ask your FB friends and newsletter subscribers for advance reviewers. If you ask other authors, don’t be pushy and understand that published writers have busy schedules and may have to turn you down.
This concludes our series on Self-Publishing Made Simple. If you want more information, both BookBub and IngramSpark offer excellent blogs that you’ll find helpful, as do many other authors out there. Do your homework, present a professional product, become active on social media, and you’ll be headed in the right direction.
Did you miss our earlier posts on Self-Publishing Made Simple Blog Series? Go here to catch up:
Part 10 – The Library Market, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qq
Part 9 – How to Use IngramSpark, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qn
Part 8 – Why Choose Ingram, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qk
Part 7 – Print Book Distributors, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qh
Part 6 – E-book Distributors, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qf
Part 5 – Book Production for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4q6
Part 4 – Buying and Assigning ISBNs, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pO
Part 3 – Adding Front & Back Material, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pz
Part 2 – Manuscript Preparation for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oX
Part 1 – Getting Started as an Indie Publisher, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oQ
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Buying and Assigning ISBNs for your Indie Published Books
This is Part 4 in my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series.
You’ve prepared your manuscript as per Part 2 and Part 3 below. Now decide if you’ll want to publish your work under your own imprint. If so, create a publisher name and do an online search to see if the domain is taken. If it is available, reserve the domain name.
Register with your State as a “Fictitious Name” or a “Doing Business As” company. You can do this online. Or establish an LLC. Check with your accountant to see which one is right for you. It looks more professional for your book to be published by “XYZ” Press than by the author.
Apply for a county or city business license/tax receipt as required. Note: if you’re 65, you may be exempt from fees but you still have to apply. Check your local regulations.
Open a business bank account. Consider if you’ll be selling your own books and will need to collect sales tax. Otherwise as sole proprietor, you don’t need an EIN number. Use your own SS number as an individual proprietor. Again, check with your accountant or attorney for what’s best for you.
ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. Why own your ISBNs?
- Control over metadata
- More professional – Your imprint is the publisher
- More availability to retailers, booksellers, and librarians
- You need an ISBN to get a barcode, which may or may not include pricing information.
- You need one ISBN number per format. So for an ebook and a paperback edition, you’d need two ISBNs. For a hardcover, you’d need another one. You do not need an ISBN to publish an audiobook through ACX. You may need one for audiobook distribution elsewhere.
- Certain book distributors will require you to have your own ISBN.
- Resource: http://www.ingramspark.com/blog/owning-your-own-isbn-in-self-publishing
Where can you buy them?
Sign in to http://www.Bowker.com It costs $295 for 10 ISBN numbers. You DO NOT need to buy a barcode or a QR code. You can get these free online by searching for free barcode generators or free QR codes. Otherwise, distributors such as Ingram and KDP Amazon supply their own barcodes. Sign up for emails from Bowker.com so you can be notified of sales.
How to Assign Title Data to Your ISBN(s):
- Sign into https://www.myidentifiers.com/ with your username and password
- Go to the My Account dropdown menu on the right side of the navigation bar at the top of the page.
- Click Manage ISBNs.
- Click Assign Title next to the ISBN number you wish to assign.
- Complete all fields marked with red asterisks. Be sure you have ready your book’s description, format, price, and author biography.
Book title, subtitle, main description, original publication date, language, copyright year, optional Library of Congress Control Number, cover image.
Your author name goes here along with your bio.
Format and Size
Medium, i.e. Ebook, Digital, Print, or Audio
Format, i.e. Electronic Book Text
Primary Subject, i.e. Fiction, Mystery and Detective, General
Secondary Subject, i.e. Fiction General
Editions and Volumes; Title Volume Number – number of book in a series; Total Volume Number – number of products in a multi-volume work (i.e. box set)
Previous Edition ISBN or New Edition ISBN
Sales and Pricing
Where is the title sold? United States
Publisher and Imprint. Here is where you put your LLC or fictitious publisher name.
Title Status: Active Record
Publication Date: Fill this in; you can change it later if necessary
Target Audience, i.e. Trade
Price: Currency (US Dollars), Price (3.99) Type (Retail Price)
Series Title Info (name of series) and Series Volume Number
Hit the SUBMIT button.
You can change or add any of this material, except the ISBN number assignments, at a later date.
If you have another format for the same title, you can click “Clone” next to the first one, select the next ISBN number, and change the data accordingly for the new title.
If this site isn’t working work well for you, switch to a different browser.
Keep your ISBNs handy. You’ll need to add them to your copyright page before formatting and to fill them in when you upload your book to the various distributors.
Do you have any tips on this topic to add?Buying & Assigning ISBNs for your Indie Published Books #indiepublishing #amwriting Click To Tweet
Coming Next: Preparing for Book Production
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Self-Publishing Made Simple – Adding Front and Back Material
This is Part 3 on my Self-Publishing Made Simple series. Today we’re discussing front and back material that you might want to add to your manuscript. In terms of Front Matter, less is better. Some of these items under that category you can move to the back. You want readers to access the first chapter as quickly as possible for the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon. Some authors include a brief story blurb here so ebook readers will remember what the book is about if they don’t get to it for a while.
Front Material may include:
• Copyright Page
• Cast of Characters
• Family Tree
• Table of Contents
• Character Timelines
• Map of Setting
• Story Blurb with Review Quotes
• Call to Action for Newsletter Sign-Up
Back Material may include:
• Author’s Note
• Call to Action for Reviews
• About the Author (Bio + Social Media Sites)
• More Books by [Author]
• Excerpt of Next Title [Note: Don’t call it Chapter One since you already have this title in the book.]
• Bonus Content
• Call to Action for Newsletter
• Buy Links or Website Link
After your story ends, you’ll have the chance to add bonus materials, a list of your books, an excerpt of the sequel, reader discussion questions, and more. Here again you can put a Call to Action for your newsletter. Regarding buy links, keep in mind that certain vendors don’t like you to mention other online distributors. You’re always safe if you give the books page on your website. Otherwise you’ll have to change the buy link for each book distributor.Self-Publishing Part 3 - Adding Front & Back Material #indiepublishing #amwriting Click To Tweet
Do you have any tips to add regarding front and back material?
Do you want to send an agent a query letter but have no idea what it should include? Or perhaps you’ve sent out several queries and you keep getting rejections. What could you be doing wrong? Here are some steps you can take to put yourself on the path to success.
· Check the guidelines for submissions on the agent’s website. This will tell you what genres the person represents and if they prefer email or snail mail submissions. The guidelines will also state if you should include any sample chapters.
· Make sure the agent does not require an exclusive submission. If so, you’d lose months while waiting for a response. See if the agent mentions their expected response time.
· Write a one-page snappy query letter introducing yourself, giving the word count and genre for your book, a catchy story blurb, and your writing credits. If possible, include a hot premise or marketing hook that makes your story stand out. This means using keywords such as “paranormal” or “dystopian” or “domestic suspense” or saying your story is “Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone.” If you can compare your style to similar published authors, do so without bragging about how your book is as wonderful as Ms. Bestselling Author.
· Be careful not to sound as though your writing is all over the board in terms of genres. Be clear about your focus. For example, don’t give the genre as a suspense novel and then mention that it takes place on another planet and your next book will be a vampire story. You’ll want to build your author brand by focusing on one genre as you grow your readership.
· Do not describe your life history or any personal details unless they relate directly to your book. Do include if you belong to a critique group, have won writing contests, or if you’ve attended writing workshops and conferences.
· You can also mention why readers might want to read your book. What is the value in it for them? Again, don’t brag and say it’s the most exciting book they’ll ever read, or it’s a fast-paced thrill ride. This is for readers to determine. But if it helps them appreciate family values or learn about how you can rise above past mistakes, this could be useful to include as a theme.
First Paragraph – State your book’s title, genre and word count. Here you can put if you’re a published author seeking representation or a new author seeking an agent for your first book.
Second Paragraph – This is your catchy book blurb. Write it like a log line for a TV show or like the back cover copy of your book. You’ll want to engage the reader’s interest.
Third Paragraph – Here offer your biography as it applies to your writing, including works you’ve published, memberships in professional writing organizations, writing workshops you’ve attended, critique group participation. Mention any expertise or work credentials that apply to your book. You can also make marketing suggestions or mention your proposed target audience. Mention if your story is book one of a series.
Last Remarks – Thank the agent for their consideration and offer to send the completed manuscript upon request. Do mention if this is a multiple submission.
Signature Line – Here is where you can add your social media links. Doubtless the agent, if interested, will look you up to see if you have an online platform.
If you hear nothing back from the agent for a couple of months, send a follow-up email to ask if she’s received your query. Be courteous and respectful of the agent’s time. Be aware that some agents won’t respond at all, and this can be taken as a rejection. But follow through at least once to make sure your email was received. As an alternative, you can request a return receipt for when the agent opens the message.
If you receive a rejection letter with detailed suggestions for your work, write a thank you note. Remember, an author-agent relationship is a two-way street. Just as you want to hire the ideal agent, the agent wants to land the ideal client. Be courteous, professional, and savvy about the industry. Also respect that while the agent might offer suggestions for improvements, this is not an invitation to resubmit your work unless the agent says so in her response.
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