Believe it or not, the back cover blurb for your novel — essentially a synoptic teaser — may be the most important bit of writing of your self-published book.
Some readers might buy a book based on the title and cover art, so your book’s cover design is hugely significant, but the vast majority will read the book’s back-cover blurb (or overview if they’re purchasing online) to see if the storyline sounds interesting.
Indie authors account for at least one in four of the titles sold by Kobo in their major markets over the last year and the firm says this is a growing trend worldwide. It says 27% of Kobo sales in the US last year were for titles published through Kobo Writing Life, the indie figure for Canada was 25%, upwards of 30% of Kobo titles sold in Australia were from independent self-published authors, and 20% in the UK.
For many self-publishers, this is something they either ignore, or don’t do well. Unfortunately for anyone in the industry but also educated readers, this is an immediate sign that you aren’t professional. Being a self-published author still means you need to adhere to what industry standards are, as well as reader expectation.
This article is a great checklist for you. If you’re not sure how to format a Copyright page, simply look at one of your favourite author’s page. Try and get yours looking as close to that as possible. (Even putting your own publishing company as Publisher, instead of just your own name).
When self-publishing, it is vital your book is comparable to traditionally-published books.
Because the reader is looking for a professional product. They don’t want to find mistakes (grammar, spelling), and they don’t want to feel they are buying something that only one person may have worked on. A traditional book is professionally proofread, copy-edited, final edited, and formatted. It is then given a professional cover and printed properly.
As a self-publisher, you must appear to be a professional. Therefore, the front material of your book should look similar, and provide the same info, as a traditionally published book.
This article from BookBaby has great info on what that should be and what it should look like. Click here.
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) recently announced changes to their publishing program. One of them is placing images in documents which has been a challenge in the past. Here’s their announcement:
“We are excited to announce the availability of Early Access features for Kindle Create. With Early Access you can opt-in to try out pre-release features and provide feedback.
The first Kindle Create Early Access features include:
Image support: Support for sizing and placement of images in your books. You can now insert, resize and delete images in your book and use alignment options to place them in the way that best suits the theme of your book.
Guided View for comics (Windows only): You can now import a PDF Comic book, create panels, specify mask color for Guided view transitions, and preview instantaneously.
You can enable Early Access by following the prompts after you update to Kindle Create 1.7. You can also enable or disable it at any time by going to Settings and once you’ve tried out the feature, you can share your feedback by going to Help->Provide Feedback. Your feedback on Early Access features will help us make improvements before launching these features to all authors.”
Draft2Digital is one of our promotion partners, allowing books to be sold in various formats (Kindle, Kobo, Barnes & Nobel, Nook, etc.) They are constantly updating their site to improve their service to authors. Here’s a recent one about Author pages.