Self Publishing for Beginners: Part 3

Our Two Best Marketing Tools

Don’t forget two of the most important marketing tools you have available for your e-books.

Cover Art: Your book cover is a first impression to the world. Take your time and do it right. There are three main methods:

1. Pre-made covers – Some authors find this convenient, just keep in mind most pre-made covers are sold multiple times.

2. Cover designer – Pay a company or individual to design a unique cover for you. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Shop around a bit, there are plenty of companies that offer a cover for $100 or less.

3. Do it yourself – I only recommend this if you know what you’re doing.

Let’s take a minute to examine all three options.

Pre-made covers: They’re cheap and fairly easy to get your hands on. You browse through a selection of covers, make your pick, pay for the cover and submit your title and author name. They then slap on the book title and author name and email you your very own e-book cover. Going to Google and typing in the words “pre-made e-book covers” renders you a large selection of choices.

As I said earlier these are not always exclusive, however I have found two websites that specifically mention exclusive rights. I have never used either website nor am I affiliated with them in anyway. They just happened to come up in a search for pre-made e-book covers.

Fantasia Frog DesignsTheir pre-made covers average around $40

Websites promise: Fantasia Frog Designs creates new and unique covers for each author. Once an image is used, it is taken out of our available files. That way no two covers can be duplicated, sold twice.

Graphicz X DesignsThey offer pre-made covers for $60 with the option of a matching header or banner for an additional $45

Websites promise: Each ready-to-go design is original and, once purchased, is for your exclusive use and will not be re-sold or re-used in any way.

Cover Designer: A professional cover designer can become expensive. Doing a little research I’ve found two websites that offer reasonably priced covers. Both websites also have a selection of pre-made covers.

Wicked Cover DesignsTheir e-book covers start at $75, with package deals starting at $95 which includes:

· 1 book jacket (front, back and spine)

· 1 e-book cover

Kalen O’Donnell Cover DesignsTheir custom covers start at $120, with an All In One package for $220

· Custom e-book cover

· Custom print cover

· Website/Facebook banner

· Business cards/bookmark designs

Do it yourself: If you’re proficient with Photoshop, GIMP or similar image manipulation software by all means be my guest and try your hand. Just keep in mind nothing says “Amateur” louder than poor quality. There are websites dedicated to bad e-book covers, trust me when I say you don’t really want to be on them.

Your cover art is the first thing a potential customer sees. The impression they receive from that cover determines whether they stop for more details. That brings us to the second tool at our disposal.

Book Description: This is a key component in publishing. Every retailer requires a description of some kind. Throw in a short excerpt if that’s what you want. It’s your chance to describe the book to potential readers. The idea is to try and grab the reader’s interest, getting them to purchase the book.

A good length is between 100 and 200 words. Don’t make it to long your potential reader may lose interest. Always write in third person no matter what POV the book is in. Use emotional power words, but sparingly. Don’t deviate into subplots with the description, it’s best to stay with the basics of the story. Try to answer the questions who, what, when, where, why and how. Stay away from asking too many questions of the potential reader.

I found a decent blog post here.

 Remember an advertisement will bring a potential customer to the books profile, but from there it’s your job to get them to click that buy button. If my three part series has helped, even in a small way then it has done its job. If you have any questions feel free to email me through my website. Best of luck with your self – publishing endeavor.