Monday, March 11, 2013

What indie authors can learn from television producers

Online booksellers often allow shoppers to preview the beginning of a book, and it’s important for shoppers to be able to read something that will convince them to buy the book.

Follow the example of modern TV shows that show ten minutes of plot before the title, theme song and first commercials.

  1. Don’t waste the opportunity to sell your book by including both a half-title and title page or other unnecessary material in an ebook.
  2. Try to condense and shift.
  3. Readers often skip introductory material in a pbook -- but it takes up valuable 'real estate' in an ebook.
  4. Maybe the dedication can go on the top of the contents page.
  5. Maybe you don’t need a foreword, a preface and an introduction.
  6. Maybe you don't need a list of illustrations.
  7. Maybe you don't need to thank eight teachers, five famous authors, the doctor who delivered you, your parents plus a dozen neighbors and friends in the front matter.
  8. Maybe the prologue can become Chapter One.
  9. I often put the disclaimers and notes in the end matter instead of the front matter.

Unless you’re very famous, don’t use your name in the name of your publishing company. Use another name on your books, business cards, sell-sheets and websites.

Try to let the world think that there are at least two people working at your company.

Remington Steele was the name of a detective agency and eponymous TV show in the 1980s. The agency was owned by a woman who had trouble getting clients, so she invented the fake Mr. Steele to be her boss -- and business improved. Pierce Brosnan  (later 007) was a thief and con man who assumed the role of Steele and became a fine detective.

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