Our guest blogger today is Kristen Eckstein, a book coach, two-time best-selling author, and award-winning international speaker who has started 45 publishing companies and published 133 books and e-books. She is founder of the “I am Published!” program, the Self-Publish On Demand training program, and the “21 Ways” book series. Learn more at her website.
Does quality matter in self-publishing?
By Kristen Eckstein
I’ve heard it from dozens of authors, “I just can’t seem to understand why my book isn’t selling. It sold well at first, but after the first 100 copies sales just… stopped. What can I do to market my book?”
Let me be frank. Marketing will only take your book so far if you’re lacking a quality product. Think about Amazon reviews for products people rave about (5 stars) vs. similar products in the same category people complain about (1 star). Most of those one-star reviews are complaining about the quality of the product.
If you cut corners in quality, you open the big fat door to failure after your family and friends all have copies of your book. The average self-published book only sells 75 copies. Average. Honestly, at first I didn’t believe that statistic since most authors I’ve worked with sell way more than that. And after seeing many poor quality self-published books, now I know why.
Benefits of quality
A high quality book reaps great benefits:
- More sales—Books that look good and feel good make people look at them longer. You have seven seconds to convince someone to look further at your book after they see your cover. Make the most of that time!
- More credibility—If you hope to get leads and new clients with your book, don’t cut corners. Cutting corners attracts the crowd who like to cut corners themselves. To attract higher-end clients, you have to show them a higher-end product. Think about the types of people who shop at Lexus vs. Kia. Lexus markets themselves as having a high quality product and Kia markets themselves as cheap. Who do you want to be?
- More marketability—You can market a horrible book until the cows come home and sell a few copies. Or you can market a great book until the cows come home and become a New York Times Best Seller. The choice is yours.
If you’re on a tight budget and can only hire a professional, here are three things to make sure you outsource:
- Editing—At bare minimum, hire a copy editor to look at your manuscript. Every book needs another set of eyes.
- Cover design—People do judge a book by its cover. Studies have been done that prove this fact! Hire an experienced professional who specializes in book cover design and you won’t regret it!
- Interior layout—MS Word is not a page layout program. This is one of the primary reasons self-published books get poor reviews or fail to sell, because books formatted in MS Word scream, “Look at me! I’m self-published!” Get yourself a professional book interior layout designer and give your readers a memorable experience.
Your book is your dream. It deserves to be treated with the highest respect and given the chance at a long and successful life, so give it that chance and watch your reputation and reach expand to new horizons and open doors to new possibilities!
Do you agree with Kristen? Why or why not?
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