Thanks for visiting this page to learn my tips for authors. Following my tips might help you increase book sales.
General Book Writing Tips
• Before you get started writing a new book, outline or write down notes on what you want to do on a flash card or something else handy, especially if you have a lot of material and ideas to organize and you don’t want to omit anything important. Another nifty thing you can do is write in notes in bold type below the regular content for your book, and delete those notes once you write about something pertaining to those notes in your book or story.
• Write your books in Microsoft Word, pay attention to prompts from the spell check feature and thoroughly proofread your manuscript and make the necessary edits before publishing your book if you don’t want to hire an editor. I recently passed up buying a book because it had too many errors in the first chapter, notably words in which the first letter of a word was separated from the other letters.
• For easier reading, use a 12-inch font, double-space your paragraphs and keep the paragraphs short. Using a tiny font plus writing too many long paragraphs and making them single-spaced can cost you sales and in some cases where you make a sale, it can lead to a negative review.
• I don’t buy books which have too many long, single-spaced paragraphs and 10-inch font, and thus provide an unpleasant reader experience; the fact I find most books like this is the main reason I have only bought roughly five books online the last two years, approximately. Remember that readers can preview your book before buying it in most cases, especially on Amazon.
• Make sure your readers won’t get confused. For example, you shouldn’t create a scene where there’s a confrontation and someone is attacked then jump to a scene where the assailed person is hanging out with a friend or partner unless you make it clear both of these people are being held hostage by the person who made the attack in the previous scene. Any confusion in your book may lead to a missed sale, or in the event of a sale, a negative review. If you opt to write a fiction book in first person, let readers know who the main character is at the beginning of the first chapter.
• Let some of your dreams guide your book creation decision making. After waking up from a scary or inspirational dream, consider whether you want to write a novel or short story on it; if the answer is yes, mentally go over everything you remember about the dream immediately then do this again about five minutes later to permanently lock in what you remember. By following this step, you’ll always have ideas for your next fiction books and prevent writer’s block.
• Once you begin writing a book, maintain whatever pace you’re comfortable with over the next several weeks or so.
• Save your work during and after each writing session. I save my work onto a file in my flash drive then email a copy of what I have completed to date to my email.
Action, art, blurb, research
• When you write a fiction novel or mini-novel, it’s critical to provide action in your first chapter – the closer to the beginning of that chapter, the better.
• Surely you’re familiar with the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Many readers do in fact do this; if any book you self-publish doesn’t sell well and you think your cover may have something to do with this, change your book cover. If you don’t want or can’t afford to pay someone to design your cover, you can find artwork you can download for commercial and personal use free of charge through Pixabay.
• Having a great cover can help get more readers to notice your book online but they may not be persuaded to look inside your book, let alone buy it, unless you “sell” the book to them. Solid book summary copy is just as important as the cover. Your blurb, or book description, is the place to encourage people to purchase your book.
Make this summary exciting and highlight the strongest points of your book without giving away too much information. Paying attention to the back covers of traditionally published books you read or browse can help you hone this crucial book copy writing skill; it’s more critical to have such a powerful blurb for fiction books than it is for nonfiction, self-help books.
• Constantly conduct research to find out how to have more author success.
• If you don’t do anything to promote your books you likely won’t get anywhere past a few steps at the most and will therefore have wasted your time writing the books. A powerful way to promote your books is through your own author website. I recommend creating your site through WordPress.org and paying about $2.59 a month to host your site through Dream Host. Make sure to start an email list through your author website and make sure to offer a free content magnet to persuade visitors to give you their email address and sign up for your newsletter.
• Other book promotion avenues include using book promotion websites, promoting your works to friends on social media and participating in Facebook writers groups.
Where to publish your works
• If you wish to self-publish your work, submit each book you complete to Bookrix or the Amazon DTP program.
• If you wish to traditionally publish your work, please read “Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book publishers, Editors & Literary Agents” first.
• If you want to have your work turned into a movie, acquire movie script writing software and buy a copyright for your completed manuscript through the Library of Congress before submitting it to film producers.
Selling your books in multiple formats
• The more avenues you provide readers to buy your books, the better – this includes e-book, paperback, hardback and audio book formats.
• I sell my books as e-books through Bookrix and as paperbacks through Amazon DTP.
• Anytime you self-publish a book, please make sure there is a book preview or book sampling option available to readers before linking to your book and marketing it.
• It isn’t smart to risk losing a sale to someone who can’t preview your book.
Avoiding unforgivable errors
• Some readers such as myself can’t let certain errors slide.
• For example, you don’t want to get “their” and “there” mixed up and use them in the wrong context.
• An instance of this I found while reading a book was “tears streamed down there faces”. “Their” should have been used instead.
Avoiding profanity in your books
• If you use a cuss word, especially the F word, just once in your books, that may cause some readers to drop your book.
• You may be thinking, “What do I care if a reader stops reading my book altogether. I got his/her money and that’s all that counts.” Well, that reader will likely buy no more of your books and may even write a negative review.
• If I find too many instances of profanity in a book I buy online, I’ll write a review containing fewer than five stars.