Thursday, January 19, 2017

We don’t know what we don’t know about publishing memoirs

If you plan to self-publish your memoir (rather than publish in the traditional way), do your best to make it professional. (Too many self-publishers fail to do so nowadays.) Promise yourself you’ll publish a memoir that’s of professional quality!

Writing coach, publisher, and author Brooke Warner says, “There are so many things authors omit…because they don’t know what they don’t know.”

To remedy that, Brooke says those who wish to self-publish “must be a student of publishing.”

It takes a long time to become a pro, but we all can be students of publishing. The more we study and apply what we learn, the more proficient we become. With the help of others, we can publish a book of professional quality.

And Brooke Warner helps writers do just that in her blog and her book, Green-Light Your Book: How Writers Can Succeed in the New Era of Publishing.

If you’re serious about being a student of publishing, you’ll appreciate tips Brooke shared in a recent blog post, The Top 10 Mistakes Authors Make and How It Costs Them. She writes about the following:

  1. Bad book cover and interior book design
  2. Foregoing editorial work
  3. Pricing books too high
  4. Not purchasing ISBNs
  5. Making books non-returnable
  6. Setting the wrong discount
  7. Omitting metadata that matters
  8. Using fake blurbs or endorsements
  9. Not embedding the price in the barcode
  10. Omitting things that matter to book industry people

To study Brooke’s post, click on The Top 10 Mistakes Authors Make and How It Costs Them.

In Joel Friedlander’s recent post, 7 Signs Your Book is “Professionally Published,” he writes, “As the movement to self-publishing has grown…publishing industry insiders urge authors to take the time and trouble to make sure their books are ‘professionally published.’”

He points out that if we fail to do so, others will surely notice that “it’s an amateur production, and that won’t speak well about the care you’ve taken with your book.”

To avoid publishing an amateur product, Friedlander offers the following seven tips, along with helpful links to additional important tips. (Don’t miss them!)

  1. Proper editing
  2. A cover that works
  3. Text that’s readable
  4. Market positioning
  5. Distribution that’s appropriate
  6. A marketing plan
  7. Metadata

You can study Friedlander’s post by clicking on 7 Signs Your Book is “Professionally Published.

Publishing your memoir might seem like a lot of work but be encouraged: Stories are important. That’s why we work so hard to publish a book that’s professional in quality.

Think back: Whose stories, written or spoken:
  • brought you to a major turning point? 
  • Gave you courage to do the right thing?
  • Revolutionized your life?
  • Shaped your values and goals?
  • Kept you from doing something stupid?
  • Kept you from ruining your life, and maybe other people’s lives?
  • Brought you healing and hope?
  • Led you to new opportunities?

You know from personal experience how powerful other people’s stories can be.

Believe this: Your story can impact your readers in the same way.  

Someone, or probably several people, need to know your stories. Make them as professional as they can be. You can do that by networking with pros and being a student of writing and publishing.

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