18 Tips for Making Your Book a Winner
What makes a book a winner? There are several critical factors that cannot be missed. Discover how you can avoid the top mistakes most untrained authors make.
- Successful marketing starts with a high-quality book. Use professional designers and copy editors, even if you have a relative or friend who can do it less expensively. Good marketing will kill a bad book quickly.
- Find a need and fill it. Your content should address a market need. A conversation that begins “I read about a new trend…” will usually yield a better product than will a conversation beginning,” I saw a great manuscript today.”
- Have a product strategy. Translate your overall business strategy into a saleable, profitable product line. Decide how many titles to publish, which form the product will take, and how many products to produce.
- Good enough is never good enough. Do not settle for “almost right,” or “it should work.” Use the best people and test everything before you publish.
- Have a good title. You have fewer than 10 seconds to lure a potential buyer into your book.
- Use a professional editor. Do not edit your book yourself. Even if you were an English major, use the services of a professional editor.
- Deliver on your promise. Your cover copy and content must give the reader all that you promise in your promotion.
- Use a professional cover designer. People do judge a book by its cover. Invest in a high-quality, professional cover design.
- Test titles, cover designs. Use digital printing to create several different cover designs and solicit opinions from educated sources for their opinions. Tell them it is OK to be candid with you.
- Use the rear cover. Give potential buyers all the information they need to buy your book.
- Form is secondary. Ask your target readers how they want your information delivered. Is it as a printed book? Booklet? Ebook? Audio book? Then that is how you should provide it to them.
- Book printers offer high quality, low cost and quick delivery. But they can only give you two out of the three on any one printing job.
- Use Print On Demand wisely. POD is not a printing process, it is a way to get published using digital printing.
- Do not print too many books initially. Each book is different and requires its own unique set of calculations. But in general, be conservative. You can always reprint. If your book is aimed at the bookstore market, never print more than six months anticipated supply.
- Subsequent print runs are more profitable. If you allocate all your production costs to the first printing, you make more money on future sales.
- Re-purpose your material. It is not necessary to recreate new material for different formats. Re-use the information in your book as a series of articles or a series of booklets for a different segment.
- Know your Pub Date. “Bound Book Date” refers to when the book comes off the press. “Ship Date” refers to the time when you begin to ship your books to distribution partners. The “Pub Date” is when you really begin to market your title to the consumer.
- Extend product lines and brands. Extend brands over several formats and product lines through a strategy of product development.
Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, seminar leader, television host and president of Premium Book Company, which sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission-only basis and conducts on-site training for publishers' sales forces.
Brian is the author of "How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns)," a do-it-yourself guide to selling books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He has written many articles about book publishing and marketing, is the author of the eight e-booklets with "Proven Tips for Publishing Success," and creator of the series of "Book Marketing Wizards." He is also the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter, "Book Marketing Matters."
Brian is the host of the television series "The Book Authority" and has aired over 650 shows. In addition, he is the author, narrator and producer of the media-training video program "You're On The Air."