So you've published a book and you're ready to sell a million copies? Before you hop on your horse and ride off to conquer the world. You may want to make sure you have a few important items/services at your disposal. I warn you this list is totally biased and comes from my working with authors over the past four years and helping to publish several titles. There seem to be a few key things to think about when becoming a published author, whether its self published or even when you sign with a publisher. Consider these the basics:
1. A smart phone that allows you to check email
This is necessary as your pr team or you should always be on the lookout for media opportunities. Sometimes the best opportunities arise at the last minute and require a quick turnaround. You need to be able to seize the moment and respond quickly. If you have a manager or PR team they should be able to respond quickly as well so they absolutely should have this function. If you don’t have it call your cell phone provider and find out if it can be added to your phone, if not, time to upgrade. What media opportunities you say? Subscribe to Pitchrate.com for a daily feed of opportunities to comment on articles.
2. Square Payments Account
I’ve evangelized about this one before. It’s free, convenient and works with almost any smart phone (thus the smartphone requirement being #1). Its perfect if your doing conferences, speaking engagements or someone quickly wants to pay you for a book. Even when you don’t have a book you can take payment and have one shipped quickly so you never lose the money! Once a payment is made with Square the money is deposited in your bank account the next day. So you have a stress free commerce system. You only pay for the sale (about a 2.7% rate). (www.squareup.com)
3. Google Alerts Account for you and your title(s)
I do this for each author, client, competitor etc. I call it the digital equivalent of looking in the mirror each day. Google Alerts searches the web for any mentions of you in press releases articles and any other news regarding you or your title. You need to know how you and your brand (yes you are a brand, and you became one when you decided to become an author) are being portrayed online. http://www.google.com/alerts
4. A Plan to give away one book per month to someone deserving (or strategic)
When we first started I was very much against this..but that’s because you are protective of anything you launch and I wasn’t into freebies unless they were seriously giving me instant return on investment (that’s the curse of being a publisher and running a business you count everything as a cost). But as we’ve learned in our interaction with media, bloggers and readers sometimes a strategic comp can go a long way. Don’t get me wrong I’ve sent books to so called “bloggers/media types, etc” that didn’t pan out at all and I made sure to call them on their B.S. But for all the suffering through we are slowly starting to see some traction with book clubs and a few reviewers who are providing some good Amazon and Goodreads.com (soon to be an Amazon property) feedback. I only recommend doing this once a month so you can really put some thought into who gets the book and you don’t blow out your budget on comps.
5. A Twitter Account (one that you actually use )
As a published author, you should be engaging readers and the best way to do this is through Twitter. Case Study: One of the authors we've published under our 220 Publishing imprint Dee Stokes (Author of Experiencing Grace) has commandeered 2 trips to Scotland as a result of her Tweets. The second will be to keynote a women’s conference in 2014. The connection would never have happened had she not decided to Tweet daily inspirational messages both original and from her book.
As I warned you at the beginning, this is a totally biased list, I’m sure there are tons of other suggestions for published authors but these are the ones I see missing the most. Wishing you much success with your release and I’ll be on the lookout for you.