This is a guest post by Kindle Marketing Jedi, Dave Chesson. I'm thrilled to have him on SmartAuthorsLab and highly recommend you grab a cuppa and settle down to absorb everything he has to say - Dave knows his stuff!
The standard way of doing things rarely produces the best results.
Self-publishing is no exception. Like most creative pursuits, those who do average things, in an average way, are doomed to get average results.
As ever, it’s the innovators and original thinkers who tend to prosper. Writers who are prepared to reject the default way of working and seek out something better.
Often, the upgrades we make to our writing and publishing process result from trial and error. We do things in a less than optimal way until our frustration eventually builds up to the point where we have to make a change.
To my mind, smart authors are those who proactively seek out the best and most effective way of doing things. I’d like to share with you four of the most beneficial upgrades I made as an author in the hope they improve your own way of working.
Have you ever worked really hard on a writing project, only to lose your progress due to a technical error or crash? Ever lost a phone or laptop with valuable files on?
There are few things more frustrating for a writer than witnessing your hard work amount to nothing due to a technical error. While we may be able to remember the gist of what we lost, we can never be sure of capturing the true spirit of our original work.
By writing directly in the cloud, or ensuring the device you write on syncs with a cloud backup system, you eliminate the risk of losing your work due to a crashed or lost laptop.
Another advantage to working in the cloud is painless collaboration. If you’ve ever experienced the tedium of emailing new versions of a file back and forth, you know the frustrations and inefficiencies that can occur.
Cloud collaboration instead allows you and your co-creators to work on a single version of a file. All of the changes, and the person who made them, are clearly displayed, so there is never any doubt about which version of a document is current.
Some of the best options for writers wishing to collaborate in the cloud include:
If you haven’t already made the switch, you really should consider making your writing process cloud based. Doing so protects your valuable work and makes it a breeze to collaborate with those that bring out the best in you.
Self-publishing is a complex process requiring a lot of different skillsets, or at least enough knowledge of them to outsource appropriately.
So much needs to happen before, during and even after a book’s publication. Keeping track of it all is tricky even for experienced authors, let alone newcomers.
There is often very little room for error in the project management side of your publishing. A delay in one part of the process can have a serious domino effect on your entire project.
Miss a book cover creation deadline? There goes all of the advanced promotion you scheduled! Didn’t contact your advanced reader team with enough notice? Your carefully thought out review plan for launch just went out the window! Not to mention having enough time for marketing even if it all goes to plan.
Thankfully, a number of awesome tools exist to make the project management side of publishing a lot easier than it would be otherwise. Your options include:
No matter your choice of tool, it’s vital to have a system in place for managing your self-publishing projects. There are just too many moving parts with potentially serious knock on effects to risk anything slipping through the cracks.
I’m fully aware that many writers are ferociously loyal to their chosen method of writing. Any suggestion to change it is treated as taboo and rejected outright. However, hear me out!
Imagine for a moment that you needed to hire a graphic designer. Perhaps to design your next book cover. How would you feel if the artist cheerily informed you they would be using Microsoft Paint for your work? Probably less than thrilled.
However, many writers use equally basic and inappropriate tools for professional work. While it’s possible to write an epic novel using nothing but MS Word, or even a physical notepad and pencil, it’s often not the best way.
It’s worth considering whether specialised novel writing software or book writing software would benefit your writing process. Some of the major reasons for making the switch to a specialist option include:
It’s worth carefully considering the best writing software for your own needs and situation. You should never upgrade for the sake of it. Instead, only take the time to learn a new piece of software if you stand to experience clear benefits by doing so.
Two of my personal picks for specialist writing tools include:
While it can feel annoying to make the switch to a specialist writing app, it usually pays off in the long run. Any time spent learning the new software is likely to be saved many times over by the superior organisational and creative environment offered by the specialist tool.
For many authors, the real grind begins after hitting publish and watching their book make its way into the big wide world.
Finding the most effective way to promote your work to the right readers through the most appropriate channels is an artform in and of itself.
In a nutshell, book marketing comes down to getting your work in front of readers who will benefit from it. Simple, right? If only!
To promote your book properly, you need to have a full, unbiased perspective on your own work. You need to know its purpose and its intended audience. You need to know why your book is the right choice over other options. Only then can you set about introducing it to the right people.
For many new book marketers, the temptation to dabble in as many marketing methods as possible is difficult to resist. This is understandable. It’s so hard to know exactly which book marketing methods will bear fruit, so a lot of authors try to check as many off the list as possible.
The problem with this scattergun approach is, more often than not, no one method is pursued fully enough to produce worthwhile results.
Instead, it’s better to go deep with a few tried and tested methods in order to really understand and benefit from them.
Some of the most effective include:
Even with the above advice in mind, book marketing still involves some trial and error. However, by choosing to focus on a few relevant tactics only, rather than attempting everything under the sun, you stand a far greater chance of seeing real results from your promotional efforts.
If you have ever made a big change to your self-publishing process, and seen real results from doing so, I’d love to hear about it.
Perhaps you know another super effective upgrade that would make authors’ lives a lot easier.
I’m a firm believer that smart authors constantly seek to learn from others and apply this knowledge to their own writing life. Whatever your perspective on author upgrades, feel free to connect with me in the comments.
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