Some Insights on Book Publishing and the New Author (+4 Vital Tips)

Some disturbing insights were gathered while supporting a couple of writers through the publication of their books. One of these insights being the publish or perish divide – an event which stokes the claim that publishing only has little to offer in the way of financial returns.

Many writers have limited the purpose of publishing to a thing of psychological benefit with statements like:

“I just want to prove to myself that I can start and finish something.”

This book has been sitting in me for too long, it’s high time I publish it.”

One question these modest intentions beget is: are writers unknowingly overwhelmed by the task of having to compete the attention and money of would-be readers? Mind you, the said “would-be” readers are getting accustomed to a culture of giveaways and free book downloads (even of favourite authors) on the internet. This is one of the realities you have to contend with, dear author.

By now, you are probably thinking this query is more of a statement of fact than a question. Maybe, maybe not. But what are the odds that monetary gains are not intended, even remotely, as an add-on to visibility? I would say very low! Except the book has been written for promotional purposes (which in most cases ties back to laying social capital to parlay into profit for a future book), or is some government-owned document or scriptural text.

In 21st Century Nigeria, a writer has to do more than write, because books are not Garri which requires zero marketing.

Beyond research skills, explanatory power, empathy, and rich vocabulary, a new set of abilities have moved from being nice-to-have to non-negotiable. This is especially true if you’re going into self-publishing. The modern man, is increasingly becoming incapable of stillness and composure such that whatever information medium appears before him has to dance, or be entertaining in some way. People have little resolve to participate as co-creators of experiences (as reading demands) over the spectator requirement of videos.

Attention has been sold to the highest bidder – visuals. This behavioural bent further raises the bar for what it takes to convert people to book believers. Hallelujah somebody?

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The good news, according to Chapter 5, Verse 2 of the E Go Better Bible, says that ‘nobody creative pass’. Yes, no one singularly has a creative pass. The very techniques that have shot celebrity authors and professionals in other fields to fame, can also work for you if you would put on your thinking hat.

An afterthought promotional advert thrown together upon publishing won’t cut it.

You have to play the long game, gauge (interest) before you engage (with your book). Makes sense?

To that end, here are 4 tips you’ll find valuable in your publishing journey.

Stay in the know of literary events and art spaces

One way to do do is to sign up for exclusive newsletters. Thuse physical events help you better imprint your presence and hence, build a real offline following which is more reassuring than the social media’s equivalent of “a thousand birds in the bush.”

Join a Book Club

Join an active book club that is not the literary version of Tinder. As much as fun is a fundamental part of what book clubs serve to do, also ensure they are a supportive bunch who will have your back when it comes to selling your paperback. In return, reciprocate that support, will you? Here are some suggestions of book clubs in Nigeria to get you started.

Buy the books of authors in your circle

Go one step or two better than an the average buyer by promoting as creatively as you can. (No, indirectly taking selfies do not really count.)

Build an online following

Master the art of dishing out a little of what influences the behaviours of people online – humour,, name it. The end game is obvious for every (Insta) page online, but if you put up enough magnets loosely alluding to your sales goal, then you might be in business. This approach may paint your online persona as distracted or shallow, but business is about meeting clients in the middle. Build a brand and they would pay the Rand (Busta Rhymes, no?)

To conclude, ask yourself: why settle for less when your book can be a master key to fame, influence and money?!

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Books have wings, we can make yours fly. Reach out to us today for your book promotion services.

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