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Susan Cross

Good article, Mark. People don't realize that e-readers allow the reader to change font size, etc. so formatting changes with their preference.

The marketing tips are valuable. It's important to find your market and form a relationship with them. This can be done not just on the social networks but by searching the web for organizations that share a common interest with the author. For every contact you make you increase the possibility of book sales exponentially.

Fiona Ingram

Great tips, Mark. Your points 1 and 2 are most pertinent. I review books and find that e-authors often rush into e-print leaving glaring errors or else many times an amateurish cover spoils one's perceptions of the entire book.

Anne Cain

As a designer and illustrator with several years experience in the field of creating cover art, I just wanted to add a little something to point #2. A book's cover is definitely the face of the story and it has the potential to leave a huge impression--good or bad--with readers. But that $40 figure is only about half to one-third the price of quality design/illustration services for ebook covers, and that's quoting on the low side. Forty bucks barely covers the cost of stock photos and--maybe--a font for a project, and it most certainly doesn't even begin to compensate for the time and creative effort that goes into the process. The cost of art and design services is something an author will have to take into consideration when it comes to marketing their book, but art is no less involved and creatively challenging a project than writing. It's unfortunate if artists/designers are underselling themselves, and it's equally unfortunate if an author is not doing the best they can within their budget to give their novel the strongest cover art possible.

Larry Gray

Thanks for the tips. As a writer wannabe I appreciate all the ideas I can get.

Toni Sciarra Poynter

Thanks for your candid and succinct assessment of the issues on both sides of the table (publisher and author). As an editorial consultant, I sometimes feel ambivalent about discussing the benefits to authors of working with a qualified outside editor, so I'm glad you have! An editor who functions as a stand-in for the reader and helps the author spot areas of confusion or awkwardness that are likely to throw readers off and inhibit the irreplaceable velocity of word of mouth is a terrific ally for authors to have. Thanks again for your article!

Dana Lynn Smith

Thanks everyone for your comments! It's so important to create a quality product and to make time to promote it.


Excellent tips. As a publishing professional used to print media, it took me a while to work out that ebooks are different. I'd designed my book, Nail Your Novel, to look like an exciting read in bite-size pieces. It does - in print. When I came to do the ebook version, I didn't have the range of fonts and sizes - which caused major headaches!
I also second your point about editing and cover artwork. All of these need to be professional. Publishing houses split these roles into separate jobs because they are specialisations of their own. It's very hard for a writer, no matter how good, to be a jack of all trades.
I'm tweeting this!

Sue Ann Bowling

Yes! I've avoided straight self-publishing for just the reasons given, but even with assisted self-publishing (print on demand) editing before sending the manuscript in was critical. An author has an extremely hard time seeing ambiguities--the author knows who's speaking or to whom a pronoun refers. A reader frequently won't. A good editor catches ambiguities, points out when more or less is needed, and more.

Supra TK Society

With all good wishes for a brilliant and happy Christmas season. Hope things are going all right with you.

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