BookCoverZone Blog - Covers Makes Books - Getting published

5 Compelling Book Promotion Ideas for Self-Published Authors

Writing is writing. Publishing, however is marketing. Once you have your book out, you will seriously need to start thinking about ways to promote your title. A good cover design goes a long way, but is by no means enough. There are millions of books out there and so as not to get lost there, you need to find your target market and set realistic goals for yourself. Here are 5 ideas worth thinking about:


Create A Blog

And fill it with relevant (but always interesting) information aimed at your target market segment. You do not need to openly talk about your newly published title here, as people who will find your articles interesting will definitely want more and therein comes the book into play. A few simple links to Amazon will do the trick, once you have some readers hooked.


Use social media

The idea here is basically the same. Social media won't create miracles but is an excellent means to spread the word out. Again, do not just advertise your book. Make interesting posts that will eventually lead the observer to your book.


Get reviews for your book

You do not need to be reviewed by Stephen King. All kinds of reviews are useful and helpful. Amazon's review section is a wonderful place to make this happen. You can also promote your pre-release book in Goodread’s network of over 60 million members through a featured giveaway. Reviews are a wonderful means to get people to be interested in your title. While paid advertisements are good to get the word out, the best advertisement is when others speak highly of your book.


Write an appealing book blurb

The blurb is the readers second contact with your book (the first one being the front cover). A catchy blurb will do wonders. Pay attention to write about what makes your book interesting, different, worth the read, worth paying for. Are you answering some serious questions, ask the questions. Is the finale breathtaking, let them feel it (without giving away too much).


Get a professional cover

While this one is obvious, it should never be underestimated. An amateurish cover will give the impression that the content is also amateurish. A boring cover will mean that the content is boring. Get a catchy, but genre-friendly cover for your book. Being too experimental on the cover can also lead to the readers expecting something experimental. And readers are generally more conservative than you will imagine.

Where to publish your next novel and how we can help you while designing your book cover

Over the years the publishing alternatives have skyrocketed. Today you can opt for both an e-book and a printed book through these services. Below you can find some of the alternatives that you can go to. As BookCoverZone, we have over the years worked with all of these companies and rest assured we will create a cover that is not only catchy, but also one that is technically ready to be uploaded directly to any of the services listed below.

1. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

Still the leading self-publishing alternative on the market Amazon KDP (with it's recent merger with CreateSpace) account to more than %60 of all self-published books worldwide. About 80% of all English-language ebook sales occur via Amazon, and self-published titles alone account for 42% of this figure. 

2. CreateSpace

It's slowly winding down and transferring it's entire catalogue over to KDP. However it's still a solid system that's worth checking out. Just bear in mind that CreateSpace does not offer the hardcover format, however their paperback quality is top-notch. But bear in mind that Amazon takes a 40% cut from every standard sale, and a whopping 60% from sales that are done through their Expanded Distribution program. Royalty is paid after deducting Amazon’s commission (40% or 60%), a fixed charge, and a per-page charge from the book’s list price. ISBN's are provided free by their system.

3. IngramSpark

As we're working with hundreds of authors each month we can easily say that number 3 on our list for the most popular self-publishing services is Ingram Spark. Their quality is on par with Amazon and they also offer hardcover versions. IngramSpark is a servcie established by Ingram, the world’s leading distributor of print books, connected to 39,000 bookstores, libraries, and online retailers in more than 150 countries. IngramSpark also distributes ebooks to all the top online retailers, including Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. So it should definitely be on your list!

4. Lulu

Lulu is one of the oldest players in this industry. One can easily say that they are the ones who started the whole self-publishing craze. Lulu offers both hardcover and paperback formats and their e-book conversion, publishing, and distribution services are free. However you would still need a book cover before paying them a visit. 

5. Bookbaby

Over the years more and more authors have come to us to prepare book cover designs according to Bookbaby's specifications. It's safe to say that this company is growing. Printed books generate royalties between 10% and 30%. E-books earn 100% royalties after deducting the retailer’s commission. Sales made through Bookshop, however, earn 85% royalties. Bookbaby also has a print-on-demand service that is worth checking out. 

Honorable mentions: iUniverse, Xlibri - these are respectable players in the market and we will write more about them in the future. In the meantime good luck preparing your next book! 




What's the Marketing Rule of 7

Today we're going to talk some about the art of marketing. Remember your book is the product, the book cover is the package. And before people start using your product (ie reading your book) they will judge everything by the package. But what makes an unforgettable package? 


Of course obtaining a catchy and interesting cover for your book is important. (That's what we are here for.) However no matter how good your cover is, it won't matter if no one is there to admire it. Marketing is not about selling stuff – not directly. It’s for making your book so familiar to consumers that they will decide they need whatever it is you’re selling. The Marketing Rule of 7 is the basic idea that for someone to finally purchase your book, they will need to see it for at least 7 times. Every experienced marketing expert knows that it takes seven contacts with a potential customer before any results will come. In other words, one single view (or ad) will not make you sell your book (unless it's directly a topic that the buyer is after). Two-three "views" will only carve a small place in the memoryç But the golden number of 7 is when the consumer starts getting interested in your book. After having "bumped into" your novel 7 times, you just might have a customer.

However the number 7 is disputed and has been disputed for quit some time now. In 1885 Thomas Smith wrote a book called Successful Advertising in which he claimed it takes 20 views of an ad before it makes a difference. According to Smith the phases were as follows (credits to Lynne Cantwell):

  • The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
  • The second time, they don’t notice it.
  • The third time, they are aware that it is there.
  • The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere before.
  • The fifth time, they actually read the ad.
  • The sixth time they thumb their nose at it.
  • The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it.
  • The eighth time, they start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
  • The ninth time, they start to wonder if they’re missing out on something.
  • The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve tried it.
  • The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
  • The twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
  • The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value.
  • The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time.
  • The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
  • The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
  • The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product.
  • The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product.
  • The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully.
  • The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what is offering.

So remember this when you're planning a marketing strategy for your book. Showing in one time to a million people won't matter, but showing it 20 times in a row to a focused group might make the big difference.


Before sending a book to the publishers, this is what you should do

Welcome to our blog. Our first post will not be about book cover designs (we'll have plenty of time for them in the future!), but laying out to aspiring authors, a successful road map to getting published.

How to send a book proposal


Your book might be the next great American novel, but no publisher will have the time to read it when you send it to them. To the established publisher your manuscript is just a manuscript - and they receive hundreds of them every month. So writing a book proposal is a fundamental step to the path to get published. Your book proposal is your opportunity to sell your book to the publisher. They will expect you to have done some research into your genre and your target audience. You need to tell them why your book will appeal to them, and why people will buy it.

Ironically this step is a good practice for you too. Try asking yourself the following question:
Why is my book important? Be not just objective, but also self-critical. Not just readers, but agents and publishers too, need to be convinced. Imagine someone looking at you, shrugging and saying ‘so what? who cares?’ That’s what you are up against. You need to get attention! Typically, your proposal should also include a synopsis and sample chapters from your manuscript. 

Secondly, think strategic and be organised when sending your manuscript. Make a list of all the publishers that are right for your manuscript. Sending a childrens book to a publisher that focuses on scientific papers is not going to be the best approach. Keep in mind it will take them many months to get back to you, so be patient. You don't need to send to one publisher at a time though. Send it to a group of publishers to begin with; if it turns out negative, try another group of publishers.

And when one of them gets back to you, just don't forget, you only have one chance to impress. If necessary, have a professional editor read the manuscript before sending the entire work. After that, if the publisher asks for amendments, keep an open mind.