eBook Pricing and Why It Matters Even More

20 Aug
August 20, 2014

ebook mrgIf you’re even flirting with the idea of writing an eBook, you probably have heard about the war between Amazon and Hachette. While we feel that Amazon, like other big publishers, isn’t always the right approach (selling your eBooks on your own website allows you to keep 100% of the profits), we do believe it has brought to light some important arguments about eBook pricing.

The Cost of a Print Book

When you publish a print book, there are a number of costs that go into it, from typesetting and binding to the cost of paper and ink. That doesn’t even cover the cost of putting physical books in boxes and shipping them around the country. With gas prices as high as they are and the cost of labor what it is, it’s no wonder print books can sometimes be quite high.

The Cost of an eBook

An eBook also requires an investment, but it requires no investment that a print book does not (a tool for writing the book, be it laptop or typewriter), proofreaders, typesetters or formatters (or the time it takes you to do the formatting yourself), and a cover design. But when delivery can happen at the push of a button, cutting out ink, paper, shipping, and labor, there’s simply no comparison.

Should eBooks cost less than print books? Absolutely. Next time, we’ll explore price points and how they can affect your sales.

The Benefit of Starting Your eBook with an Outline

15 Aug
August 15, 2014

file0001265772805Sometimes, we all just want to get to the fun part, and for authors, that can be sitting down and writing the eBook. But if your eBook is more than 10 pages long, is a fiction eBook with a plot and characters, or offers how-to advice, you might be better off beginning the eBook writing process by writing an outline.

An outline is like the big black lines on a color book page: it gives you the big picture of what the story is going to look like. Then you can go back and fill in details (color).

How to Write an Outline

Whether you use Word and rely on their outline tool or use a notebook and turn your scribbles and arrows into something intelligible, an outline begins with the subject. The subject can then be broken down into sub-topics and details. If you’re writing a fiction eBook, it can be very helpful to start by developing the characters fully even if you only reveal a bit of detail at a time.

Depending on the type of eBook you are writing,  your outline will change. A memoir or autobiography may have a linear or chronological outline to help you remember the big events you want to write about, where a fictional romance eBook may have more of a spiderweb outline that indicates the different connections and relationships between the characters.

Regardless of the type of eBook you are writing, an outline can be useful in making sure you’ve answered all of the questions and included all of the details that your readers will want to have.

 

Soliciting Editorial Reviews for Your eBook

13 Aug
August 13, 2014

book reviewBefore you even publish your eBook, you can send advanced review copies (ARCs) to people to review. Not only will these people provide you with excellent feedback that can help you improve your eBook, but these reviews can actually help you sell more eBooks.

Take a Risk

Editorial reviews or advanced reviews are reviews that you can advertise on your website. Don’t be afraid to reach out to authors you admire who write in your genre to ask them for a review or endorsement, but also reach out to established bloggers and other professionals who might be interested in reading and reviewing your eBook. Go for the longshot – the worst someone can do is say no.

The Benefit of Editorial Reviews

Because buyers rely heavily on reviews and word of mouth recommendations, having editorial reviews on your website to promote your eBook can make others feel safer about taking a chance on it, especially if you are a new author. If you’re not sure where to start or how to obtain reviews, you can hire someone to help you promote your book through social media, book and blog tours, and reviews.

If you are an EditionGuard client, you can also reach out to us for a review of a published or upcoming title. EditionGuard reviews books and promotes them through our blog and social media at no additional cost to our clients.

The Cover Reveal

08 Aug
August 8, 2014

1397162277s13szBuilding Excitement for Your Upcoming eBook

If you will be publishing your eBook within the next few months, there are many things you can do to market your eBook and build excitement before the eBook is launched. One of the ways you can build buzz and excitement is by holding a cover reveal event.

 Make Your Cover Reveal Event a Success

To ensure that your cover reveal event is a success, you must ensure these three things:

1. Your cover image needs to really rock.

Make sure your image is high quality, looks fabulous, reflects what your eBook is about and loads properly.

2. Use the cover reveal to communicate with potential readers.

Make sure readers know when the book is out and where they will be able to buy it.

3. Sell your eBook.

Getting your reader’s attention with a cover reveal event is your primary objective, but once you have their attention, you need to give them something to make them want to buy your eBook, so share an excerpt from the eBook and other details to help entice them.

Where to Host Your Cover Reveal

Unless you know all of your readers are coming to you from one location, we recommend hosting the cover reveal on all of your platforms. Just time your event so that it launches everywhere at the same time: your website, your Facebook page, your Google+ page, your LinkedIn page, on Instagram and Pinterest and wherever else you to go regularly.

Be sure to build excitement in the days leading up to the reveal. Send a note to your newsletter subscribers; hold a countdown, or even slowly reveal pieces of the cover over a few days. Remember: The idea is to build excitement.

Next time, we’ll talk about soliciting editorial reviews for your eBook.

 

Cover Reveal, Editorial Reviews and Launch Party

06 Aug
August 6, 2014

What You Need to Do before Your eBook is Published

1406335329z60hlThe big day is finally more than a distant hope. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel and you know you are close to finishing your eBook. So, NOW is the time to start promoting the eBook. Don’t wait until after the book is published. You should be planning cover reveal events, soliciting for editorial reviews and planning a launch party.

Market Your eBook Now

You can begin to market your eBook before it is published – up to a year prior to publishing, in fact. But when you’re in the home stretch, you need to make sure to put as much focus and effort as you do anything else into making your potential readers aware of the eBook. Since you need to focus on writing, it may mean that you must outsource your eBook marketing. We recommend having a professional branding-and-visibility person help you market your eBook.

Building Excitement for Your eBook: The Cover Reveal

There are a number of different ways you can build excitement for your upcoming eBook, from holding a cover reveal event to hosting a blog tour. A cover reveal event can be a great way to build excitement for the eBook, like allowing your readers to peak behind the curtain. But that means you need to have a cover worthy of attention. If you have not yet done so, start working with a designer to create the perfect cover. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune. Publishing Insider has a great article about the importance of eBook covers.

Next time, we’ll talk about how to create excitement about your cover reveal.

eBook Pricing Revisited Again

01 Aug
August 1, 2014

ebook-pricingWe have been talking about eBook pricing and the challenges it presents to indie authors. In this post, we’ll discuss how certain factors can impact eBook pricing.

eBook Length

Readers are likely to be willing to pay slightly more for a 400-page fiction eBook than they are for a 30-page how-to eBook. In a way, page count does impact your sales price. However, if your 30-page how-to eBook is something everyone wants to read, you may be able to demand more. Alternatively, if your 400-page eBook is long because it’s never been through an editing process, you may have issues getting the price you want.

New Indie Authors

If you are a new indie author trying to sell your first eBook, you may want to offer the eBook at a lower price to incentivize people to take a chance on you. While too low a price can devalue your eBook, you can offer specials, advanced review copies and other incentives to help get the eBook noticed.

eBook Purpose

If you are using your eBook as a lead generator – a way to capture contact information from people to add them to your email list – then selling your eBook for a lower price (or giving it away for free) may benefit you.

Loss Leader

If you are planning to publish a second eBook, dropping the price on the first eBook can be a smart marketing move to help you get buyers to grab both eBooks.

Have you experimented with eBook pricing? What do you think the optimal price is for your eBook?

eBook Pricing Revisited

30 Jul
July 30, 2014

saleWouldn’t it be nice if every eBook was priced based on how much blood, sweat and tears the author put into creating it? Of course, for some indie authors, that might mean that their eBook is priced somewhere out of the market for most readers.

Instead, it’s up to you as the indie author to determine eBook pricing based upon what the market will bear. How do you decide where to price your eBook? We think it depends on multiple factors:

  • the length of the eBook
  • the purpose of the eBook
  • the investment you’ve made in creating the eBook
  • your visibility as an eBook author
  • the marketability of your eBook
  • the target audience

The price of your eBook can also change over time, and likely will. Even if you offer an introductory price on your eBook to entice readers, you may want to align the price with other eBooks of the same genre if it becomes popular. You may also lower the price of your eBook to help promote subsequent publications. eBook pricing can be one of the most challenging parts of selling your eBook, and it’s okay to experiment with different prices and offers. In our next post, we’ll discuss specific pricing approaches

Content Curation: Enhancing Your Visibility

28 Jul
July 28, 2014

curationWhile this isn’t a tool exclusively used by indie authors, curating content through one of the popular content-curation tools can certainly work for indie authors who are trying to enhance their online visibility.

What is content curation?

Content curation is collecting content based on specific search, keyword or hashtag search keys and compiling that content into a newspaper or blog-style publication. One of the most popular content curation tools is Paper.li. Paper.li works with Twitter and other social media platforms to collect content on a specific topic or topic group. For non-fiction indie authors, curating content in the area of your knowledge base can help to establish you as a thought leader.

Other content curation tools

Other popular curation tools include Scoop.it, Storify and Curata.

Do you use content-curation tools to enhance your visibility? Which ones do you recommend?

There are Many Indie Author Groups to Choose From

25 Jul
July 25, 2014

file000909879658We have been discussing the many benefits available to indie authors who join author groups. From collaboration opportunities to the support of other authors, indie author groups can take you out of your isolated world of writing alone. The groups listed below are some of the most prominent, but we’d love to hear from you if you are aware of other author groups worth highlighting.

The Independent Author Network

The Independent Author Network is probably the largest author group around, and lifetime membership at the basic level is only $25. Membership values increase from there, with platinum membership costing $19.95 per month, but they offer quite a bit of ongoing promotion for your eBooks at this level. Even at the basic level, however, you get an author page, the ability to list up to six eBooks with purchase links, a bio and book excerpts.

Worldwide Indie Novelists

Worldwide Indie Novelist is a Yahoo group. It is open to all indie authors and provides a platform on which authors can promote their eBooks, websites and blogs. Indie authors in the group provide support and advice to each other and assist each other with promotions.

World Literary Café

World Literary Café is a community of authors, along with dedicated readers and reviewers, who help to promote authors. Joining is free and there are a number of resources available on the website, but there are also paid advertising services available.

Celebrating Authors

Celebrating Author is a Facebook page that encourages “shameless self-promotion.”

When considering which groups to join, remember that it is better to choose two or three and really become an active member than to join every group out there.

Should I Join an Indie Author Group?

23 Jul
July 23, 2014

file5401330566286Indie authors benefit from the digital publishing revolution by being able to bring their eBooks to market without the hoop-jumping required of print book authors, but being an indie author can feel rather isolating. Instead of having agents and publishers at your beck and call, you are pretty much going it alone, and that can be frustrating. Writing is already an independent effort, and devoid of outside support, it can be easy to feel disconnected from the rest the world.

Why Join an Indie Author Group

Joining an indie author group is one of the best ways to overcome feelings of isolation as an indie author. In fact, there are several indie author groups designed to provide support and guidance so that you can have better success with your independent publishing.

Connecting with other indie authors can help you realize you’re not alone. You may discover opportunities to collaborate; you may discover indie authors who have experienced the challenges you are facing and have ideas and suggestions to help. You will definitely discover that it is easier to keep up with trends, find encouragement and have access to more promotional opportunities by being involved in author groups. Next time, we’ll go over some of the more prominent indie author groups to help you decide which one(s) you should join, should you choose to do so.