The number of copies that a book sells is a very accurate way of judging its success, but it is not the only way. How you use the fact that you are now a published author to raise you profile, and how your book helps to position you as an expert in your marketplace, is also an important measure of success.
Increasingly, knowledge marketers use their book as an ÔÇÿethical bribeÔÇÖ to encourage people to register for their email marketing list, so that they can develop a relationship with them and turn them into customers over time.┬á┬á Books used in this way are often not sold through conventional channels and often just online. Many are self published and, as a result, do not always have the attention to detail that a publisher would bring to them.┬á Often errors creep in which can detract from an otherwise excellent work.
In my email inbox today came an email from a very experienced and well known knowledge marketer promoting his new book. It read;
ÔÇ£In my excitement, I pressed the printer to get the book out FAST. They said the only way they could meet my deadline was to not send a proof copy for review. ┬áI told them not to worry about the proof copy, just start printing.┬áLetÔÇÖs just say that wasnÔÇÖt the smartest move IÔÇÖve ever made.
Unfortunately, the book didnÔÇÖt turn out exactly how I wanted it toÔÇªÔÇªwhich is totally my fault.┬áThe good news is that while the formatting isnÔÇÖt exactly what I wanted it to be, the content is perfect.
While I canÔÇÖt wait to see my book on bookstore shelves, I canÔÇÖt do that until we fix the formatting and it looks exactly how I want it to (IÔÇÖm a perfectionist).So what am I going to do with all of these books that IÔÇÖve already printed (and I had THOUSANDS printed)?Well, IÔÇÖm hoping that YOU are the kind of person that doesnÔÇÖt judge a book by itÔÇÖs imperfect cover, but rather by the information contained inside. ┬áSo, if thatÔÇÖs you, IÔÇÖm going to make you a special ÔÇ£scratch-and-dentÔÇØ offerÔÇªÔÇØ
The lesson is that Speed is the enemy of Quality. In fact, every printer can provide a proof as a PDF document which, when time is short, can give you the opportunity to double check the page layout, without holding up the process.
The day that you receive your books should not the day that the book is published. You will need stock well in advance of that to use for review purposes and to get it into all the dark corners of the supply chain so that on publication day it is shown as ÔÇÿin stockÔÇÖ and able to be purchased.┬á As a general rule allow yourself a minimum of twelve weeks from when the manuscript is complete before publication day.┬á You’ll be glad you did – and you won’t have to spend your time apologising for error!
Always use members of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders who can assure you of a very professional service. Not to use a proofreader can be vastly more expensive than using one!
Founder of Filament Publishing Ltd ┬á┬áchris@filamentpublishing.com