Self-Publishing Insights: Interview with Joel Friedlander
An expert opinion is crucial in planning a career path and achieving set goals. It works like a roadmap that highlights the stages for your development.
To help you with this, we’ve recently interviewed Joel Friedlander – a person who holds lots of secrets in the self-publishing industry. His immense experience comprises plenty of practical advice for writing, book cover design, and marketing, which he willingly shares with you in our interview.
Joel, you have an impressive background in publishing. In your opinion, what three things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
First, it’s good to have an appreciation for the longevity of books. The books we publish will be around far longer than we will, and some may last for hundreds of years. Second, remember that commercial book publishing acts as an agent to connect authors to their readership, real and potential. And third, you need to have some idea of the underlying technology: how books are made, and how they get to market.
You’ve created fantastic guides for self-published authors, including your “Self-Publishing Roadmap.” Any roadmap is a detailed plan that outlines steps to achieve a specific goal. A lot of self-published authors ignore it and start writing without having any strategy. Why, in your opinion, is it essential to have a business plan?
Authors write for different reasons. The author with a “story that must be told” or someone dedicated to changing public opinion, are people who will write whether it’s “profitable” or not. For other writers, who aim to fill a need in the market, a well-thought-out marketing plan will be key to their success because it will identify the market research behind the book and the real-world efforts that will be made to reach the right audience.
One of the challenges indie authors face is creating an audience. What are the most effective ways to do this if you’re a novice in the industry?
For fiction authors, the best way to grow your readership is to find every way possible to put an example of your work in the hands of readers who are likely to be interested in your stories. This may mean writing in series, generating free samples of your books, having permanently free books available to introduce people to your work.
Nonfiction authors should look to content creation or content curation to learn how to grow their audience. Content creators multiply their efforts by networking with other writers in the same market and have a vast array of marketing initiatives with which to interest readers. And many of these authors, unlike fiction writers, earn most of their income from non-book sales, and in this case, the books themselves play a significantly different role from the books of fiction writers and memoirists.
What are the most widely-spread self-publishing myths?
That it’s easy and anyone can do it.That “if you publish it, they will come,” that readers will magically know about your book and start buying it the minute they realize how awesome it is. Although it does happen once in a while, almost all books need to be actively marketed to reach their potential.
You’re hosting a well-known Ebook Cover Design Awards. In your opinion, what makes a winning book cover design?
Cover designs are intended to sell books, and that’s the only objective measure to use when evaluating covers. Usually, this requires the cover design to quickly and clearly communicate the type of book it is, as well as a “hook” that will create interest in readers.
We’re grateful to Joel Friedlander for his desire to share these practical tips. You may find more information on his personal website The Book Designer.
I’m sure they will work perfectly well for both novice and experienced writers.
Improve every day, and have endless inspiration!