The 4 Cornerstones of a Professionally Published Book
If you haven’t already, check out The Miracle Morning for Writers. Steve Scott did an incredible job of crafting a fully comprehensive resource for writers, and I know you’ll love it. Here is an interview the three of us did for Examiner.com, and here is the Achieve Your Goals Podcast episode where Hal interviews Steve.
I had breakfast with a new friend who is writing a book. He wanted to know what he had to do for sure to have a bestselling book. There’s some hardcore pre-work to do before you consider writing a book (which I share here). But let’s suppose you’re mostly done with your book, and you want to ensure it’s going to do well. Okay, I’ve got you. In addition to writing a fantastic book, here are the 5 most important boxes to check to greatly increase (and even multiply) your chances of success:
Have an amazing cover. A great cover says, look at me, buy me, I’m awesome. A crappy cover does not get seen, or bought, or read. In essence, your book is destined for obscurity, no matter how fabulous the content. If you have a bad cover, you know it because your book isn’t selling. Try 99Designs.com or ask me for one of my resources.
Hire a professional editor (who only does editing for a living). Typos, incorrect grammar, missing words—all of these create a bumpy ride for your reader. Additionally, you’re an author which means there’s a certain standard a reader expects when they pick up a book. In addition to your cover, editing is the largest and perhaps the most important investment you will make in your book, and worth every penny. (Don’t use your neighbor who used to be an English teacher or someone who “thinks they can edit.”) Of course, I have a few recommendations when you have a need. And…
Do a final proofread. Not part of the editing process, the final proofread is nevertheless an important piece of the puzzle. It doesn’t cost much to have a professional proofreader go through what you think is your final version and catch those pesky misspellings, missing and extra words, and any previously-missed typos (I can assure you, they are there!). Be sure to use a different person to proofread than the one who did your editing. At some point, we just can’t see the errors that exist anymore and a fresh set of eyes is crucial.
Get some top-notch copywriting. Also known as sales copy, this is the description of your book on the back cover as well as on online retailers. For around $300, you can get a top-shelf book description that will sell books. Yup, I’ve got a couple of professional copywriters in my back pocket if you need ’em. Just ask!
Get your book’s interior professionally designed. To ensure a smooth ride for your readers, your layout should look amazing. You’ll pay around $400-700 to ensure your ebook and paperback versions look professional and read well. And if you want customized designs, it’ll cost extra but I promise you, it’s worth every penny. I have someone I highly recommend, all you need to do is ask. Check out You Must Write a Book for an example of a beautifully formatted book.