Tips for Publishers
- Do involve authors as much as possible.
- Do co-ordinate sales and publicity.
- Do keep up-to-date with online developments.
- Don’t rely on Richard and Judy – spread your targets.
- Don’t assume marketing is bolt-on. A book’s concept, format, price, publication date etc all feed into the process.
- Don’t cut corners on editing, the cover, or the inside page design – first impressions count.
Tips for New Publishers
These tips are adapted by kind permission of White Ladder Press.
- Get your ideas down on paper. That way you can see them clearly. And you can always adapt them later; indeed you almost certainly will.
- Talk to everyone you can.
- Get your hands dirty. No one but you can do your market research.
- Remember that your website is a big part of how you promote your brand. If you need a website, build it into your initial design thinking.
- When it comes to website design, it's that ‘keep it simple' rule again. Unless you're in an industry where it's de rigeur, don't use fancy graphics and animations – they cost too much and people get fed up waiting for them to download.
- Learn everything you can about your industry.
- Listen to your gut feeling. It may not be right every time but it often is. So you need to follow through your gut ideas and find out if they're really as unworkable as they may seem at first.
- The smaller you are, the more professional you have to look.
- Keep it simple. Don't waste money on fancy stationery and the like. Put what money you have into the product or your customer service, where it will actively encourage sales.
- Set up and integrate your database right from the start. If you're starting the kind of business where you're ever going to need a database, you need to find the money to get it in place from the start.
- Plan your PR well in advance.
- Contact journalists by phone as well as in writing.
- Think creatively about who your customers might be.
- Look ahead. You have to juggle your current demands with the future demands of the business. If you focus entirely on the present, in a few weeks or months you'll suddenly find your business starting to fail.
- Read everything relevant you can get your hands on.
- Look after the details. A brand is largely built on detail – as is good customer service, a high-quality product and all the other things that matter.
- You're not selling, you're offering a partnership. If you find the prospect of hard selling daunting, remind yourself you're simply offering people a deal which will benefit them as well as you.
- Keep your printing simple. If you only pay for something simple, you can afford to do it smartly and well. Don't spend your budget on unnecessary colours or quantities and then have to economise on quality.
- Don't be afraid to ask. You can't possibly know everything. If you're stumped, think who you know who can give you the answer, or at least point you in the right direction and ask them.
- Where all else is equal, aim to use smaller suppliers. There may be other factors here but, if you have a choice of good suppliers, you'll get more empathy from fellow small businesses and you'll be more important to them.
- Don't be afraid to ask for endorsements. The right person can add immense credibility to your product and people don't mind being asked. The worst they can do is politely decline and you'd be surprised how many will say yes.
Any tips you have found useful – submit here.