It seems like so long ago already, but this time last week I was immersed in the London Book Fair. The fair brings together the book industry over the week, open to the public for three days, for everything book related.
Back in January I made the decision to attend with the aim of discovering more about the industry, and boy am I glad I went. Along with giving me some great confidence, meeting people who I had only before seen in the virtual world and a famous indie, it also gave me great ideas for the future.
In this post I hope to relay some of the key information and advice I absorbed.
Large Print Books
One of the surprise aspects I had never looked at is publishing my book in a large print format. This allows those who are visually disabled to enjoy your books and it is a completely different market to the standard market. Plus as an indie using print on demand the only cost is the time to set up the new document and perhaps make a few alterations to the book cover.
I’ve included a great link an article on the ALLi website for more details of what is required. In summary:
- Large Font between 16 to 18 point for 100% of the type
- Use a sans-serif font, avoiding bold, underline and italics
- Use 1.25 to 1.5 spacing instead of single
- Block paragraphs instead of indentation
- Wide margins, at least 25mm
- Left Justified, including headings
- Hyphenated words should be on the same line
Most of these changes should be able to be made by updating the document settings in Word rather than making line by line adjustments and therefore will be pretty quick.
I will be doing this in the coming months and reporting on the progress. Once produced I will advertise within special groups for large print books. I haven’t looked but I can guarantee there will be some on Facebook. For more information check out the link below.
I was already planning to go wide with Kobo when my current Kindle Select rolling agreement ends in June, but after listening to a talk by a representative I am sure this is the way to go. Here is a summary of publishing opportunities on Kobo:
- The author platform is called Kobo Writing Life
- Ebooks only (epub format)
- They process Word documents to epub via their interface
- Worldwide distribution
- Price promotions
- Pre-ordering allowed
- Provides the ebook service / catalogue to Walmart in US. Your books will automatically be presented to Walmart ebook customers
- The Dutch are a very large English market and Kobo are doing a lot of work to increase market share there.
- Genre based promotions – They run periodic promotion of genres and you can submit your book into the promotion
- Affiliate programme
The advice from ALLi when going wide is to go direct to Apple, Kobo and Amazon and to use aggregators for the rest of the ‘wide’ distributors
There was a lot of discussion and advice for authors, indie and traditional, about mailing lists. The following tips were given out to help grow your list:
- Pre-release first chapters of your new books exclusively to your list
- Provide free content to your list, short stories, novellas etc
- Give a behind the scenes peek to your author life that you don’t necessarily share elsewhere.
Kindle Direct Publishing
A great bit of news came out of a question by an audience member put to the head of KDP UK. When are we going to see the ability to advertise via the KDP platform to the UK Amazon marketplace? The representative confirm Amazon will be providing this ability within a year, however he did not seem confident that it would be a smooth ride. It’s a welcome step in the right direction.
Podcasts were hailed as a great way to provide soft advertising for your work. These could be interviews, short stories or other audio based promotion. 5.9 million people listen to podcasts in the UK and that accounts for 11% of all adults. You could even consider short audio files to share across social media. I’m going to be looking into my audiobook narrator producing some of my short stories into audio files.
I attended a presentation with book publicists and they offered the following snippets of advice:
- Interviewers are more interested in your story than the book you have written. Give them something compelling to talk about
- Spend time preparing the answer to ‘Tell me about your book.’
- Make sure you have a one line elevator pitch ready
- When being interviewed, don’t wait for the interviewer to ask the perfect question. Turn the interview around to where you want it to go by bridging the questions. They call this the ABC technique
- A – Acknowledge the question
- B – Bridge to the question you want to be asked
- C – Provide the content of the answer you want to give
- Always take a copy of the book with you
Instagram & Social Media
This platform was talked about a lot. It is the considered the rising star out of all the social media platforms and the following tips were given out which also apply to the other platforms.
- Check out how other authors are using the platforms, the example of Will Dean, Author of Deep Pines, was given as an great example
- Don’t always broadcast about selling
- People are more interested in you. When they find something interesting about you, they will probably try your work
- Figure out the best time of day to post for your audience. What time of the day do you get the most likes and engagement? This is a great tip for all the social media platforms.
That’s it for me for now. More interviews coming soon and a jam-packed My Publishing Journey at the end of the week!