It’s Your Chance to Give Publishing Course Feedback

The Book Creation Success course 2.0 is in beta and launching soon. So, I had to sort through a lot of topics and only pick the ones that were most important to new authors, remembering that self-publishing is new to them. (It also includes funding a book).

I would love some feedback on the Course outline (which anyone can see), the free previews, and whether it needs a Canva demonstration as a bonus. After all, book promotions are one way to create some buzz about your book. (Marketing will be in another course, in future).

This streamlined version is more for those starting with writing and producing their book, finding out about all the things to do, and planning the fundamental pre-launch activities. It is easy to take and fun to do.

Even with an extensive Curriculum guide, it still gets confusing whether something should be included!

Here is the course outline so far:

http://bookcreationsuccess.thinkific.com/

Launch date:

25 February 2022

All current students of Book Creation Success will get full access to this course too, for their 12 months.

How Much Does Publishing a Book Cost?
Photo by Judit Peter on Pexels.com

How Much Does Publishing a Book Cost?

Here we’re talking about how much it costs to self-publish a print book, not an eBook.

There are a million types of book marketing costs, but for production, it’s straightforward. If you want to mainly DIY and write for a sideline, you can use a free layout tool (like Reedsy editor) and buy a cover design from a high-rated cover designer on Fiverr.

Amazon KDP is free to upload your titles but competitor IngramSpark costs US$49.

However, if you want in-store retail distribution, don’t use either, find a book distributor instead. (The costs for this include printing & shipping a bunch of books that may not sell).

Here, let’s suppose you want a professional finish. Editing is usually the largest cost, or writing coaching if you want support from near the start of writing. (This can include structural help). The editor helps to determine whether it will be comprehensive editing or copy editing. You’ll probably have some idea too, for example, if you can’t keep track of repetition and topics are jumping, you’ll know you need more in-depth editing.

The next largest cost is book design, which is a good way to judge a book’s professional standards.

Why Have Professional Book Design/Typesetting?

One day I was at an event and I picked up a book that was about LinkedIn. I looked inside and noticed that all the line spacing, called leading, was all single. That book would be hard to read. It is more usual to have at least 4 points between lines (e.g. 12pt type, 16pt leading).

Points are the standard measurement for line spacing and typefaces. (Note the word ‘font’ means the particular weight (e.g. bold) and style of type, not the kind, like Minion Pro.)

Typical Book Production Costs – Australia

ItemWho?DescriptionUnit PriceLine Total
Book cover  Ngirl Design
———–
Including front, back, spine, 2 mockups, unlimited revision, and 3D shot.You provide graphic image:  $330 incl. GST

Stock graphics cost from $6 – 12.
$330 
eBook DesigningOpal Editing  – Fully designed in easily downloaded PDF (option 1) – With ePub and navigable TOC (previewed) (option 2)Standard $90 or
Fancy $200

$90


Book formattingBAACreation of print book to style (matched to cover). Done in InDesign. Artwork is print ready.$400 – $1,000 quoted, including client liaison
Copy EditingPower of Words  Line editing of all grammar, punctuation, spelling, and help with clarity for reader3 cents per word in most cases. Total words x .03 
Comprehensive EditingPower of WordsStructuring chapters, referencing (style), suggestions to keep to readership level, focus on consistency of message, pages needed (front matter/back matter), plus Line editing on revision round 2.Around 7 cents per word.
$1,750 – 25K words.
$2,990 – 45K words. Two rounds.  
 
Printing (from 1 copy)IngramSparkPrinting includes perfect bound paperback, B&W interior, colour cover. From 64 pp to 250 pp.
(Colour interior: arrange with book printer)
From $3.50 to $7.50 per book, depending on size and print order quantity. Ship & handling varies. 
Proof copy  Proof copy sent to author Averages $30, including P&H   $30
 ISBN reg.Thorpe-Bowker New registration: $55
Each ISBN: $44, pack of 10 $88 – 100
Suggest pack of 10 $143 
These costs can vary a lot, depending on which providers you use for your book and in which country they live. AUD costs.

It could cost around $5,000 to produce a book professionally, using Australian talent. However, you can save some cash if you take up our Diamond Editing Edge (medium length $3,000 – 3,500) + publishing add-on package. This is not featured on this site but the publishing production is described.

The Costs of an Editor

When choosing an editor, it pays to select someone who has done a university course in communications or languages. There are editors on Kindle Community Boards charging 1 cent a word, however, I suspect they are more looking for mistakes rather than creating a solid work, a great work.

There is also the costs of advertising, and some OPTIONS are mentioned here: https://www.myidentifiers.com.au/market-your-book/advertising/advertise-your-book

When I get design done for my books, I try a book cover designer on Fiverr. I can fix it myself but you probably cannot, so contact Narelle (NGirlDesign), Red Raven books or similar.

TL;DR

So, how much does publishing a book cost? It obviously depends on your quality level sought – amateur, fun publishing or professional, career publishing.

How to Improve Low Book Sales, Post Xmas

It’s always hard to get book sales via print on demand or independent bookstores anyway; it’s even harder when you cannot do in-person launches. So how can we improve on low book sales after Christmas, in lethargic January?

First of all, down-under we have the advantage of many parents taking a bit longer break over summer holidays — and getting bored. What do people do when they are bored… they read, of course! Or loll about on the pool or at the beach, often reading while sunning.

Trouble is, the Audible, Amazon, and other book reader feeds are chock full of bestselling books–not easy to get any sunshine there!

Unlike Self-Publishing School, I’m not going to bullshit you and say you can make a full-time income from your books, unless of course you are a talented fiction writer who is subsidised by wonderful traditional or even hybrid publishers.

Still, progress is the main aim, so you’ll have to market your book once it is published. This is because Amazon rewards books who bring in more patrons from other places to the page by pushing it into the recommended reads. In addition, more reviews help to push the book listing up the Amazon book page in search results.

Tip 1: Check out your Book’s Listings across all Retailer Sites

When you have checked out these sites, you’ll notice that descriptions may be lacking some appearance qualities. In fact, it may need much more spacing, funky bullets, and sometimes the cover image is missing.

Use this free meta description generator to make better book descriptions.

Amazon.com.au, .com, .co.uk

Goodreads – claim your own book by being an author there

Booktopia.com.au (Australian retailer)

Book Depository

Kobo

Access the early-bird course page by clicking the picture.

Tip 2: Get Reviews via Niche Bloggers

This one means being nice! After being helpful by pointing out something they could add for better monetisation, or rearrange, the blogger is more likely to pay attention. Find book bloggers that review books on your subject matter (or are likely to) and approach them for review. You’ll give each blogger a free ePub or paperback copy in exchange for an honest review. (Usually it’s only on their website but some give Goodreads reviews too).

You might also arrange a virtual blog tour over a week or two pre-launch or post-launch, across multiple blogs. This means more people listing your book review or article.


This is where you write certain length articles at online zines and news sites. If you’re trying to rank better on a particular bookseller, it’s best if your article links point there. But if you are writing for general credibility, then you’d link back to your own site.

First of all, check the Submission Requirements, including if they give you a byline and allow a link in it to the book page.


Tip 4: Run a Reader Giveaway

I have done this before with some level of ease and reward. Ideally, it’s best with a site that lets you collect email addresses – so you can tell them all next time you have written something amazing. The sites to use are StoryOrigin (best value), BookFunnel and Rafflecopter (paid $15 to have it look much better when sharing my book competition link).

You can do reader giveaways on Goodreads ($129 to do) or Amazon.

We explain exactly how to do a free promotion using ‘Select’ on Amazon in Book Creation Success. Or you can also look up the KDP Help menu, to find the basics.

You cannot run a ‘giveaway’ as such for Kindle books, but you may be able to run one for your own paperback book WHILE logged in. Don’t forget–you must log in first, using the username of your KDP account.

Also, you won’t be able to do any special activities for a book published through IngramSpark.


Tip 5: Ramp up Sales Through Seeding

Seeding is one I wasn’t game to try at first, because it involves sending physical books to literary reviewers, magazine editors, and other notables (okay, influencers).

I relented and after enquiring via email for a yes, I sent my book Power Marketing to a noted brand and marketing blogger. After that, I heard crickets. So not a great result… but in other cases, my client did get a request for a book from a Tasmanian newspaper that reviews books.

As they say, no risk, no reward.

That’s all I can think of today to improve low book sales, post-Xmas.


Get in touch with Jennifer Lancaster (Brisbane, Australia) for a personalised marketing mentoring session.

The Ugly Truth about Distribution and IngramSpark

Independent Book Writers have been trusting the Print on Demand companies like IngramSpark for around 15 years to tell them the truth about distributing books. But are they telling you everything? Let’s find out.

Ingram Group (IngramSpark) claim that your book listing goes to 40,000 distribution points. Print on Demand lets an author distribute without housing stock of books, in return for a royalty of 35-55%. (Most set it at 50 or 55% and still have okay royalties).

So, I built an author-publishers’ support business and own indie imprint based on these fundamentals. Little did I know that we are all pushing sh#t uphill to get any sales at High Street bookstores.

I couldn’t even get ‘The Nile’ or ‘Fishpond’ online retailers to list my books or make them a bit easier to find, if in fact they did. Booktopia charged exorbitant prices onwards for my colour book, but it is a bit better now that Melbourne Lightning Source printery have started printing colour books again.

Most of us have read about how Trad. Publishers don’t want to take on any more new authors’ books or take anything but a ‘formulaic’ approach. But we thought Print on Demand would be different – as we call the pricing and production shots.

opened copybooks placed on school bench
Photo by Katerina Holmes on Pexels.com

A-ha, but one blogger told about an experiment. Her friend tried to buy her self-published book and looking at the booksellers’ screen, it said: 5% commission, not the 25% that it should have said. (She set her royalty at 40% of RRP, then expected them to take a portion for retailer and shipping). The difference was taken by Ingram’s book distribution arm.

RRP = Recommended Retail Price.

Low book sales report – AUD

($10.78 appears to be the retail price made up by whoever the retailer was – no information to that regard).

Just Like a Bulk Bookstore Distributor Agreement

It is almost similar to if you opted to print 500-1,000 books and get a Booktopia Publishing System agreement. In other words, not using print on demand at all. They will want 70% of book RRP and this goes towards shipping/returns, distributor markup and retail markup. You get to wear the cost of printing the bulk books and the subtraction of revenues for any books returned, unsold. What a great deal, not!


The Actual Game of Book Distribution

But if the system does not enable the author to deliver it for a genuine retail markup, we now know why self-published authors have suffered poor sales and practically no take-up of stocking in store.

And that is why when you go into a Big W, a Dymocks or a Target, you will see the traditional publishing houses front-running books. You will see the odd Lisa Messenger book, as she turned into a small book publisher with sales clout, but little else.

We still can sell through library suppliers though, and through our online web-stores with some creative marketing practices. As well, we can sell through KDP (eBooks) and upload to KDP for Print if nicely designed. Then the profitability is all taken care of, because you are not going to lose through returns or poor consignments.

The only thing is, you may need to advertise on Amazon (AMS) and you will want a nice and high click-to-conversion rate to profit wisely.


Below is the Royalty screen for a US $2.99 eBook on Amazon KDP. At least this method is crystal clear and the royalty is either $1.05 or $2.04 USD.


Jennifer Lancaster, author of five marketing or money books and author mentor, has created a members portal to help Australian/NZ/US authors learn successful self-publishing and help market their books. It’s called Book Creation Success program. Learn more DIY and insider secrets in the program!

How will you make a difference through writing?

Why do we need to make a difference through writing a book?

As a multiple book writer myself, I think it’s because I harbour the desire to let people know that the power is in their hands. That they can either create a financial plan and income stream for them, or they can control the marketing that makes their lives easier.

Leaving a legacy is a very big reason people come to me to write their book. It matters to them, like it does to most of us, what form the book takes. They want the writing to resonate (for this they need a good editor) and they want it to be the right topic content too.

Sadly, people like my Uncle Eric – who had many great stories – never get to leave their stories in written form. But we can remember them by their photographs and memories.

Leaving a Legacy – Choices

Creating a book for longevity takes it that bit further – what do you want to let others in the world know? Do you often feel like shouting: just don’t go onto the social media if you feel so bad from it? (I do). What solutions have you come up with for today’s most pressing problems? Or will you do investigations into something we need to know more of? (Like did you know that cows are indirectly responsible for rainforest deforestation in the Amazon).

A legacy can also be left with a gift to charity. Some writers elect to give 10% of profits or simply all of the profits to a charity they unite with. One of my clients gave to White Ribbon Foundation, with a launch that helped them and also highlighted the domestic abuse suffered on many levels.

make a difference through writing

The Types of Stories that Matter

I’d like to briefly mention some books I’ve worked on. One was for a local pioneer history book, which was an amazing compilation of story, ancient history, colour plates and maps (hand-drawn). This book, Two Rivers Run, sheds light on an early settler family (the Andersons) of Gippsland.

Another interesting book was a coffee table book that melded an interior design ‘country’ feel, local history and even a bit of celebrity history. The community profiles helped highlight the non-famous notable people in the area too, along with a Red Cross local history link.

I really appreciate the efforts that authors go to, including paying a pretty penny for editing services, so that their book is actually a legacy and helpful to others.

If you have both life experience and specialist knowledge, I believe this makes a special kind of book. I encourage you to put these life experiences as stories (not lists, not summaries) dotted throughout the book in appropriate places. If you want to underline a point, then you need these stories to make it real for people.

A lot of newer authors have this under-confidence that they are somehow not worthy of putting their experiences to this, so (if writing coaching) I help with encouraging the drawing back of the curtain. You can put the experience into scenes, or using a flashback, or speaking through a made-up person, or whatever the tool might be.

When you want to leave a legacy with a book, choose a professional publishing support service… and learn a few writing tools and techniques along the way.

Creating a Book Sales Page

Today we look at making a book launch page, with no design costs, at BookLaunch.io. It can be free — or for more reach, you can upgrade for a small fee per month.

You need to have your ISBN, book description, Bio, and your front cover design (JPG) all ready. (Change the bio to suit this book).

In addition, you’ll need to gather the URL links from the major retailers – which you’ll pop in the ‘add purchase links’ section, along with the logo for Book Depository, which they don’t currently have.

Don’t forget your new Book Title and Meta – under Page settings!

https://booklaunch.io/powerjen/power-marketing-book


At BookLaunch.io, there is a walk-through set-up guide. On login, you’ll see ‘Discover’, Dashboard, Builder and Analytics. Discover lets you discover other books, and once paying, ask for your title to be there too.

Dashboard is your home space and Builder lets you edit the page. It is very simple to change things, you just use Section Settings (for section colours) or Page Settings, and pick a new colour for fonts or background.

Besides the option of joining up your own custom domain to this page design, you also can use a free plug-in. Their WordPress plugin allows you to seamlessly integrate your Booklaunch page onto your existing WordPress website.

You will still log in to BookLaunch to fix anything on the page.

Fill in the SEO Metadata when Upgrading to Paid Plan

The plan I chose was Plus, at $US6 a month. There is another one, at $10-12 per month (save if paying yearly) that allows authors to have a pop-up to capture reader emails. I will keep the Plus plan for six months.

I immediately filled out every section in Page Settings and ‘launched’ my new book – just a quick 45-minute job all up.

Then I claimed it by going to Discover section and emailing the team with the book page. Then they can add it to their busy little Discover new books section.

You could feasibly add just ebook retailer links to purchase, if you only have ebook version available.

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Remember the Reason for Book Sales Pages

Remember that few find these pages just by being curious. I did get a number of visitors to my other BookLaunch sales page (Creative Ways with Money) from my own blog, but I did not really capitalise on it as two crucial images were missing!

These book sales pages are best when used in campaigns. So, if advertising on social media portals, send the people to a one-stop book page rather than a busy website. That way, they have just one choice to make: buy or don’t buy!

Also, make sure you give value first by sharing snippets of your book on social media. Plus make a longer sales page, full of value-adding points!

Go to: Book Launch.io

Remember to support Book Creation Success by tweeting our pages or buying the course!

Nurturing Readers & Leads via Email Marketing

You’ve heard that an author should be capturing their readers’ email addresses, particularly before book launch day. But have you got to it yet?

To interest and nurture new readers, marketers tend to offer them something called a Lead Magnet. You use lead magnets for lead generation and email capturing for later use.

Yes, I know lead generation is a dirty concept to some writers. However, what I’ve found is that book writing and publishing does not provide enough income for my family (maybe the cat only), so working out what my readers want and using different earning opportunities helps this. You may find the same.


What’s the Best Type of Lead Magnet?

The study found that Video content is the preferred lead magnet type among solopreneurs in this 2020 Lead Magnet study.

It’s interesting that 47% of marketers who participated said that video and text-based lead magnets performed best as incentives, with short-form video content slightly preferred (24%).

If a video marketer you are not, never fear. Second highest in ‘conversions’ (opting in) was written content, with 22% preferring it. Yah!

I wrote a 4-page guide on How to Write a Memorable Book. This is a nice, consumable size. It was offered as a pop-up offer on my other blog.

lead nurture masterclass

Show me the Way with Nurture Email Funnels…

As many authors don’t know the advantages behind offering a lead incentive and automating these emails, we can easily give more information in Book Creation Success program… or on a video-based author mentoring session. (I will put the 30-minute Nurturing Readers with Email Marketing video in the program soon!)

This is a practical strategy that many business-oriented authors use for selling courses or merchandise to their book readers, as well as their own books. It should not be overlooked.

Once you have a list of targeted people who know your name, you can also promote other creators’ products to get paid a commission. This all helps support your authoring activities and, if chosen carefully, reflects well on your online reputation.

These days, we can’t just rely on the ‘today’s news’ marketing on social media. Mainly because we don’t run Meta or LinkedIn and have no say in what is shown to whom or how often.

Two Choices for Learning about Nurturing Readers and Email Funnels

You can either go your own way with this all-in-one marketing tool… (This link is from our affiliates and the writer will get a bonus if you subscribe):
GetResponse partner

Or, you can sign up to our FREE Masterclass and learn all about the reader welcome strategy we endorse.

What You Will Learn in Woo New Readers…

Some of the topics we’ll cover:

  • Why you can’t rely on Amazon to sell books
  • Why Lead Magnets?
  • Mistakes authors make when selling a book
  • Mistakes solopreneurs make when getting interest
  • Parts of a Lead Funnel
  • A system for new friend nurturing
  • Typical Email Marketing features
  • Benefits of creating a Lead Nurture Funnel in a system
  • Parts of the welcome email series
  • Use it for your website
  • FAQs

We also supply marketing training, if you want to take it up.

To sum up, after the lead magnet is created, a welcome series is required in order to nurture new readers and find out more about other things you offer.

How to Finish Writing Your Book or Course

Do you ever feel like it takes you for-ever to write a book, finish a course, or set up your videos? Then read on.

Ask Yourself: Is What You're Doing Today Going to Get You Closer to Your Goal?

Tip 1 – Assess your actions

The first tip we’ve got for you is to align your actions with your intentions. In practical terms, this means self-assessing:

Use Niche Marketing Techniques to Sell More Books

Novice writers, pro authors and business owners alike need to focus on their marketing plan, particularly with limited time available. But, which elements do we need to work on—and why?

Ironically, you should first work on your Why: your reason for writing.

Coming from a ‘why’ perspective, it gives any author a strong motive to move past their comfort zones. I lived my fear-of-being-seen for ten years, so I know first-hand how this inhibits sales. Therefore, identifying a good reason to spread your message is imperative.

As you undertake self-publishing lessons, you will be learning about author brand, reader benefit writing, landing pages, keywords, and teaser lines. These may be outside your comfort zone as well, but are all helpful for attracting the right people to any book.

Besides, planning your writing from an audience perspective has three other benefits.

Turn Your Spare Time into… a Book!

A lot of people right now want an escape from reality. The stop-gap income of Federal government support is finishing, the economy is not so grand, and many are looking for a new job. Writing a book which fulfils several goals and triggers our own creative genius… is the best escape ever invented! So let’s focus on how to turn some spare time into a book.

Should I Advertise my Book?

It’s a common question, with the number of book launches today: is advertising a good option. Moreover, should I use Amazon Ads?

In AuthorU, a LinkedIn group, I posed this question to expert in book publicity, Sandra Beckwith. Here’s what she replied to whether a newbie should use Amazon Ads:

“Nobody — regardless of whether it’s their 1st or 10th book — should be buying ads until they have a lot of positive reader reviews. If it’s the former (authors doing it themselves), authors can manage their own advertising, but should learn how it works first. There are a lot of courses available that will help with that. Just as authors shouldn’t self-publish until they spend time learning how to do that, they shouldn’t spend on ads until they truly know what they’re doing.

The Content Wizard: How it Helps Professionals
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

The Content Wizard: How it Helps Professionals

It’s just fine to do indie publishing on your own, but here at Business Author Academy, we’ve found that there are so many elements to get right. The process of self-publishing a quality book can be both daunting and time-consuming, particularly for businesspeople.

There are subsidy publishers and editors of all kinds, and some plainly don’t care about results… so what makes our offering different?

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