So the time has come when you can look at your finished book after months – maybe even years – of hard labor and say, “I’m done.” When you say these two magical words, you better actually be done. By that, I mean that you’ve let several people read your earlier drafts, you’ve made a few rounds of edits, you’ve had a proofreader check for spelling and grammar (it cannot be the same person as your editor, they’re two different people), you have a properly designed cover that catches the eye, you’ve read your book out loud to catch any last-minute mistakes and your manuscript is formatted according to the standards demanded by the eBook marketplace.
Before we go any further, I want you to check every single one of these and make sure you’re really finished. I’ll wait.
Okay, good. So after you say “I’m done” and I say “Congratulations!” now you’ll go through the various steps on Amazon to get your eBook online and ready for purchase. You would have decided whether or not to enter your book into the KDP Select Lending Program (it’s up to you, my book is and I like that Amazon Prime members can borrow it for free and I get a higher commission than my sales), you have a price in mind for your eBook if you aren’t putting it on the free list and you would have your copy prepared for your product description.
Now, what exactly will you say for your product description? I learned that the best way to approach this is like a movie pitch. Producers love high-concept, low word count. Try to get the essence of your story down to 25 words or less and use that as your description. Don’t
worry about the “About the Author” section. If this is your first book, then nobody knows who you are yet. They want to be convinced you can tell a good story. Save the “About You” for the last part of your eBook, after your reader has been introduced to what you have inside your mind. However, if you have any pre-release reviews from anyone,
surround your product description with quotes from the reviews and boldface your description text so it stands out.
So the book’s now online, your price is set, your product description is short and sweet and you’re ready to let the world know that your book is ready for purchase. However, this doesn’t mean that your work is done. Far from it. Now it’s time to play the marketer, and there are a lot of different people, books and websites that break down the marketing game much better than I can. My book’s as much of a work in progress as yours is, it’s been out for almost two years and it’s just now starting to pick up momentum.
But I can safely say that if it weren’t for the people behind the Indie Book Collective – Carolyn McCray, Rachel Thompson and Amber Scott – I wouldn’t have known to tighten up my Amazon product description. I wouldn’t have known that 99 cents is an ideal price to use for your first book. And I wouldn’t have known how Facebook and Twitter can become wonderfully effective marketing and networking tools. So if you want to go down my path and connect with the IBC, you’re more than welcome to do that. If you want to look elsewhere for even more marketing tips, that’s up to you as well. They can be reached at http://www.indiebookcollective.com target=new>IndieBookCollective.com</a>.
Just remember that we’re all writers and we’re all in this together. Tearing others down doesn’t help and only talking about yourself doesn’t help. This is not a competition. There’s plenty of room for all of us to succeed. Following the few hints I’ve provided will help you get started, and hopefully you’ll find the right people that will assist you for the next lap.
George H. Sirois began creating his own characters in 1985 and has since written various short stories, screenplays and one-act plays. He co-wrote the book to “Halloween at Belvedere: A Monster Musical Adventure,” which was performed in New York City’s Central Park on Halloween weekend from 2002 – 2004. His first novel, “From Parts Unknown,” was published by iUniverse in 2002, and it is currently being re-written for a re-release exclusively as an eBook.
George joined the pop culture web site 411Mania.com in 2004, writing over 100 news reports and 200 weekly columns, and contributing to the Movies Zone’s weekly podcast. His news posts can be seen every Monday, Thursday and Saturday.
A New Yorker always in his heart, he currently lives in St. Louis, MO with his wife Cheryl.