When looking for ways to attract new customers to your business, writing and publishing a book may not the first thing you think of. However, the team here at Rowanvale firmly believe that you could be missing out if you don’t seriously consider it! After reading the five reasons we give below, you’ll be tempted to pick up your pen and write!
Struggling to get people to recommend your book to others? We might be able to help! We offer a popular ARC and Beta Review Service which can help you generate a buzz for your novel. Gaining book reviews is one of the toughest aspects of book marketing and can be highly time-consuming. One of the ways we felt we could help our authors was to bring motivated readers of their genre straight to them!
Don’t believe us? Check out what one of our existing authors thinks:
“Reviews are such an important element for raising the profile of any author, and I have been impressed with how Rowanvale incorporate this service into the publication package” - Neil Rushton.
Not sure what magnet you could use? Check out these ideas!
For further help with creating a mailing list, check out our advice here.
Although writing a book should attract more media attention to your business, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start with publicity. If you feel in need of any guidance, check out Rowanvale’s PR services! Using our strategic alliance with UK and US publicity companies, we can provide you with excellent marketing services to boost your book sales to the max.
If you’re now considering publishing a book to help your business, why not do so with us? Visit our publication services page to learn more.
Congratulations! You are now a self-published author! Many authors dream of seeing their books in bookstores across the world. So, you might be wondering, ‘how can I sell my self-published book to bookstores?’
Before answering this, it is important to keep in mind that every bookstore has a limited amount of space and a set budget to spend per month. Each store will have their own decision process for buying books. Many bookstores are helped to make this decision by representatives of publishers. These representatives will brief book buyers on new books and provide a marketing plan. This plan will include why they believe it will sell on the shelves and the promotion the publishers are willing to put behind the book itself.
Here at Rowanvale we can help you to transform your manuscript into a physical book. Publishing a book in paperback or hardback means you have a physical product to market and hopefully see on the shelves of bookstores! One of the online retail outlets for your book will be Rowanvale’s online Book Store, as well as big names such as Waterstones, Amazon and more. Do you want help distributing your book to Waterstones? If so, our PR services can help you every step of the way.
Since the creation of eBooks and Amazon, self-published authors have increased their revenue and have become more widespread in reaching readers around the world. However, it is important to remember that bookstores won’t sell your book for you. It’s also increasingly difficult to compete with bestsellers, especially those that are supported by the bigger publishers like Penguin and RandomHouse.
To avoid this here are seven things you can do to ensure that you will sell your self-published book to bookstores and sell your book within the bookstore!
is a great period for gift giving books. However, being a new author means it may be a tricky time to sell your new book due to the volume of generic authors that booksellers push towards consumers buying books as gifts for family members. Marketing your book at Christmas might seem overwhelming. To help we have created a guide to see your through the busy Christmas period!
To find out more about our self-publishing services, you can get in touch with a Publishing Advisor through clicking here. Alternatively, to contact us directly, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 029 2128 0200 where we’ll be happy to answer any of your queries.
Audiobooks are growing more than any other publishing mode right now. While the paperback will always have a place in our hearts, there is something to be said for the convenience of the audiobook. What’s more, the unique aspect of hearing the story performed can make it just as cherished as its written counterpart, and therefore a vital addition to any authors published works. Though the process of turning your transcript into an audiobook is a fairly simple one, for first timers it can be daunting, so we’ve created a guide to help those setting out on turning their books into audiobooks.
What are the benefits of having an audiobook?
Believe it or not, a lot of people only listen to audiobooks. Nowadays, most people don’t have time to sit down and commit to reading 300 pages of a novel. Without an audiobook option, they are excluded from engaging with your work.
However, there is also a significant market who will buy a written copy, usually an eBook, specifically to complement their audiobook copy either as a pacesetter or comprehension aid. Similarly, features like Amazon’s Whispersync encourage this dual-medium method by allowing you to switch between kindle and audible formats seamlessly. If you don’t yet have an eBook publication to pair with the audiobook, this may also be a worthy investment which offers a potentially lucrative double sale.
How can I get my audiobook produced?
The first important thing to decide is whether you want to produce the recording yourself or hire someone else to do it for you. While this could be any company with access to professional recording and editing facilities, most mainstream audio publisher companies offer access to both editing services and voice actors themselves.
If you decide to outsource the production of your audiobook to a publisher, you don’t have to worry about the quality of your recording. Often, publishers hire their own narrators, and while it might be ambitious to expect Stephen Fry to voice your work, big audiobook producers have access to some serious acting talent. Bigger names of course come with higher fees, but the payoff for this is that they can bring some of their own audience to your work.
The core advantage of producing completely off your own back is that there are more options for budgeting, as you can source your own narrator, whether professional or not. On the other hand, going through the wider channel of using a company like the brand leader ACX opens the opportunity to link with a larger pool of voice actors.
Unsure of where to start on your recording journey? A few examples include ACX, PublishingPush and AudioFactory.
What happens in production?
Whether you produce your audiobook yourself or outsource the task, there are a few things worth considering. You might need to edit the transcript for changes, such as removing anything visual based. It’s also not uncommon to do an abridged version for the audiobook for particularly long texts. You will also need to decide whether you want just one narrator or multiple (this is most common for novels with various perspectives). Hiring multiple actors for specific dialogue inclusions can be pricey, but if hiring only one it’s important that the actor has the required range for the whole performance.
If you decide to self-record, it may be worth renting out a recording studio as opposed to buying the recording equipment yourself (unless you’re planning to record multiple books). It’s also worth considering how long you’ll need to rent out a studio space for. It takes about four to six hours to produce one hour of completed audio. In a finished audiobook the average reading speed is 9300 words an hour or 55 words a minute. This means the average audiobook length of 100,000 words makes for an average running time of 11 hours.
When using an outsourced means of production, for example ACX, it typically takes 3 to 8 weeks to get the audiobook finished depending on the length of the book and the producer's schedule. With this avenue the narrator and the publishing companies will do most of the work for you, but you will need to be responsive to approving and informing whoever is selected for narration.
What will I pay and how will I be paid?
When producing with ACX the payment will usually be covered in the royalties they take, which will typically be 40% for exclusive distribution with audible and 25% for a non-exclusive deal. We recommend you go with the exclusive distribution as this will be where most of your sales come from, ultimately leaving you with more profit. However, if your work has already proven popular in other markets, it’s a good idea to partner with a brand like PublishingPush who offer you 100% royalties--provided you can pay for their high-end production.
What after that’s all done?
Like any published piece there will be some extra work to be done in terms of marketing the audiobook. Besides that, it’s time to sit back with a cuppa, put your earphones in and enjoy.
Are you trying to write a memoir or an autobiography? Unsure of the difference between them? Do you want to learn some tips about how to write them? Continue reading if you want to find out more about both subgenres!
Memoirs: Is there a distinct moment you have lived that needs to be described to the world? A special experience that feels like a story? Maybe it’s time for you to start writing your very own memoir. Memoirs are a non-fictional, first-person compilation of events and memories extracted from an author’s real life. Here are our top tips on how to write a great memoir:
Autobiography: This subgenre allows you to explain the events of your entire life up until the moment of writing. As a writer, you must recollect all your memories from your life, follow your own point of view and be honest about the events. Here are some key elements to consider while writing your autobiography:
What Should I Write—Autobiography or Memoir?
If you’re still unsure about what to write here are some quick-fire questions to help you decide:
Which is more important to you, facts or emotions? If you answered facts, an autobiography is more suitable. If you went for emotions, try writing about them in a memoir.
Is chronology important to you or are you more focused on a specific subject? If you want to write more freely and stick to a theme, go for a memoir; if you’d rather stick to chronological order for your story then it’s probably an autobiography you’re after.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what genre you choose as long as you enjoy it! And if you start with one, but it doesn’t feel right, you can always change to the other. If you’re struggling to find your voice, you might find our blog on finding your voice useful.
You just have to find the genre that feels good for you! If you’d like some help deciding what genre best suits your writing style, we offer Pre-Publication Services such as our Writing Advisor Service that can help you with any aspect of book-writing, whether you’re at the very beginning stage of drafting up an idea, stuck on a plot, or starting to consider that final polish. Happy writing!
Whether you are writing your first book or your third, a writing grant is worth considering.
Here at Rowanvale we have put together some questions and answers to help you understand what exactly a writer grant is, what it can be used for, and examples of writer grants you can access.
What is a writer grant?
In short, a writer grant is a sum of money that can help support your journey as an author. Obtaining a grant can provide you with a salary while you embark on your next project. Grants are essentially free money!
What can I use the writer grant for?
Grants are generally put towards anything that will help fund your writing project. Writing grants can give you the time and money to dedicate yourself to your work. This money could cover the time it takes to sit down and write the book, or it could help go towards the costs of advertising and printing. You could also use the money to help you cover the costs of maintenance whilst starting your next project. However, note that some grants specify exactly what they can be used for within the application process.
Am I eligible for a writer grant?
There is nothing worse than getting halfway through an application and realisation hits! You do not meet the awarding body’s requirements. Some grants are solely for unpublished authors, whereas others remain open only to authors with works that have been published previously. Some may not extend these grants to self-published authors, and others may only include self-published authors. Make sure to carefully read the eligibility requirements on any grant you apply for.
What are the different types of writer grants?
When looking at what writer grants will work for you as an author and writer, it is important to do your research. Make sure to thoroughly read through and research your sought-after writing grant. To save you some time, we have compiled some information on 4 different grants for writers and their application processes:
You have decided to take the first step of writing your book, congratulations! While it might be tempting to get your book out into the world as soon as possible, it is very important that your journey as a writer starts with a great book proposal.
To write an incredible book, you need an equally incredible book proposal. While you may have already written and completed your manuscript, a book proposal can help you focus on all the important details.
Ultimately, this document is your business plan. These proposals are often submitted to traditional publishers. However, proposals are equally significant if you decide to self-publish. It is imperative to create a book proposal not only for the person who will read and review it, but also for yourself.
Writing a book proposal allows you to deeply analyse your book, and may help you form decisions or changes for your manuscript as a result. You may also decide to sell your book to bookstores. By creating a compelling proposal, you are putting yourself ahead of the game when it comes to showing bookstores why they should include your amazing book within their stores! A good proposal should ultimately summarise your book’s aims, goals and main features.
Writing a compelling book proposal may seem daunting. When planning out what to include within a book proposal, many publishers such as Bloomsbury and Routledge offer tips and tricks to help writers narrow down exactly what they want to include. To write a compelling book proposal it’s worth including specific things and asking yourself the right questions. Here at Rowanvale, we have compiled our own list:
Your book proposal should include the name of your working title. This alone can help to grab the reader’s attention. Your header should also include contact information such as your name, email and phone number.
There are two different ways of approaching your overview: you can keep it sweet and simple with a one-sentence synopsis, or write up to five paragraphs with a description of the project. Whether you decide to keep it short and snappy or include a more in-depth overview, one thing that should be clear is that you make every word count. This should be your main pitch, and what makes the reader want to keep reading. Set time aside to edit and polish your overview.
About the author:
This section will help to highlight who exactly you are as an author. This will not only be helpful to others reading your proposal, but also for yourself. This may prove useful in helping your development as a writer and will help you clarify exactly what you want to achieve with this project.
Some questions to get you started may be:
This portion of your proposal will help you to really zoom in on what sets you and your book apart from others. Some questions you may ask yourself could include:
This is a section in which you can ensure you cover all questions that will interest those reading. Your book proposal should be something you think about thoroughly. This will allow you to question what you want out of your book. By completing this document, you are giving the reader (be it yourself or someone else) all the information necessary to give your book the consideration, guidance and feedback it truly deserves! Don’t just focus on the content of your book, also question yourself as an author and ask the simple questions. Sometimes these are the hardest to answer. To help you here are some you may want to ponder:
To summarise, the more information you can provide in your book proposal, the better! However, keep in mind that to write a compelling book proposal you need to set time aside to write, draft and edit. Your book proposal is just as important as the book itself! You may find that you discover changes you would like to make to your writing, or develop questions that will help illuminate your overall goal of becoming a writer!
To find out more about our self-publishing services, you can get in touch with a Publishing Advisor through clicking here. Alternatively, to contact us directly, e-mail us at email@example.com or give us a call on 029 2128 0200 where we’ll be happy to answer any of your queries.
So, you did it! You’re a published author, congratulations! Now you need to seal the deal and make it official with your very own author website. But first, you probably have some questions:
Should I even have an author website?
This first question has an obvious answer: yes! You want to provide a strong point of first contact for people just hearing about your work, to offer a sneak peak behind the scenes for avid fans and a convenient way to explore your whole bibliography. An author website is a must because it acts as a business card for the authorship world.
How do I set up an author website?
There are many sites that will walk you through this process, from setting up a domain name to customising the layout of your site. Squarespace, Wix and GoDaddy are the brand leaders for this service, and they will charge you an annual fee for the support of the site. Alternatively, there is Pub Site which is less established, but made specifically for authors. Alternatively, if you don’t want to compromise on your site, but rather have it tailored to your needs from the ground up, you can invest in independent website developers--but this is more expensive.
What makes a good author website?
A good first thing to consider is what an author website is really for. Simply, its main purpose is to support you, the author. To do this, it has to be complimentary to the personal brand created by your work. If your bibliography is serious and dramatic, your website should be too. This may mean, for example, a sombre colour scheme and formal presentation. For tailored help developing and understanding your personal brand, Rowanvale offers a range of marketing advice found here. Most importantly though, to retain reader engagement you want all website inclusions to be structured around anticipating their needs, whether they be relevant to all authors, or personalised to your intended demographic.
What should I include?
It’s a safe bet that if users are interested in your website, they’re interested in your books! The titles of your works, their covers and a sharp synopsis of what they are about should all be easily accessible. Perhaps users may have read one of your works and want more, or they may have just heard of you and are looking for a good entry point. By all means, you should lead the way. A top tip employed by all serious author websites is the quick graphic link that takes users straight to where they can buy the book, such as at Amazon or an independent retailer. We actually do this ourselves at Rowanvale for each of our authors, see an example here. If you do have any upcoming works, be sure to advertise these to retain that crucial engagement between book publications.
It may be that you have yet to establish yourself and do not have the luxury of glowing reviews from recognised or revered sources, but if you do, this should definitely be included on your site. This is especially true if you are still building your name, as a string of positive reviews will help affirm for users why you’re worthy of present and future engagement. If your good-review bank is a little low, Rowanvale can actually bring motivated readers of your genre to you with our ARC service. Or, for a pre-published book, we provide beta-readers in order to round up that credibility you need and deserve. Remember that the key support your website is providing also extends to sales figures, and this is an easy way to bump them up.
An “About Page”
Perhaps your work has autobiographical elements, so it makes sense to reward your followers with a rundown of your life and the key moments manifested in the work they can’t get enough of.
Recounts of Research
Alternatively, your work may be deliberately detached from you as the author, in which case your site may instead prioritise other inspirations behind your writing to connect readers to the DNA of the work.
Social Media or Blog
If you can see yourself committing to regular posts and enjoy the act of discourse in and outside of your work, this could become the highlight of the site. This is also worth considering if you have controversial talking points in your work, as this would provide a platform to harness that buzz and boost your overall relevance, even if it is as something as seemingly trivial as supporting team Edward or Jacob.
Ask the Author
Many author websites include some form of contact information for users. This helps connects you with the reception of your work, not just increasing reader engagement with you, but you with them, further aiding future projects.
Throughout the process of writing a book, it’s likely you’ll come across the term ISBN when starting to think about publishing. Although it’s only a small part of your writing journey, there are multiple options for ISBNs, and it can seem confusing for first-time authors to navigate. Luckily, our team have answered some of the most frequently asked questions to help you learn about what an ISBN is, how to use it and whether or not you’ll need one for your book.
What is an ISBN?
An ISBN, short for International Standard Book Number, is a thirteen-digit unique identification number which will help your book and its information to be recognised worldwide. Found in the barcode, it helps to differentiate your book from any other, and most books will have one on the cover.
What information does it include?
An ISBN can include a variety of information about a book, including:
Do I need to have one?
If you’re planning to sell your book through traditional hardback or paperback formats, you’ll need an ISBN number so that retailers, libraries and distributors can identify your book amongst others. However, if you’re planning to sell your book in an eBook format, this will not require an ISBN number for publication. In fact, around 43% of eBooks published through Amazon KDP do not have an ISBN number.
Will I need multiple ISBNs?
To avoid copyright violations, ISBNs cannot be reused on more than one form of a book. Therefore, if you plan to release your book in more than one format (hardback, eBook, paperback) each will need a different ISBN.
Can I get one for free?
It is possible to get an ISBN for free from various online distributors, including IngramSpark and Amazon KDP. However, if you use a free ISBN the imprint associated with it will be that of the service provider, not your own. Only an ISBN you purchase outright will contain your publisher imprint, so bear this in mind if you’re considering getting one for free.
Alternatively, if you are considering publishing options, we offer ISBN Assignment as part of our eBook and Paperback Publishing Package. As part of this service, we will provide your book with its own unique ISBN as part of the publication process. The ISBN is the legal labelling of a book and is the way of identifying each individual book from all other books by libraries, bookshops, etc.
Where can I purchase one?
If you opt to purchase an ISBN outright, you would do so from the official ISBN agency in your area--in the UK, this is the Nielsen Book ISBN Agency.
When will I need to get one?
Your ISBN number must be ready to use before you design your book cover so that the placement of the barcode can be decided, so make sure that you’ve secured one before this point. If you’d like some help with book cover design, why not try our own services?
My book has already been published. Will I ever need a new ISBN?
If there are any significant changes to features such as content, size or language in the book, you will need a new ISBN. However, one is not required for minor corrections, such as a new cover or price.
Hopefully our FAQs will have provided you with a bit more clarity about ISBNs, meaning that using them for your own books should be much easier! New to publishing? Feel free to check out our other top tips for new authors here.
Reading slumps. We’ve all had them. We all hate them. We all wish there were a magical solution to pull ourselves out of them. Unfortunately, they are here to stay. It is natural for our interest in our hobbies to come and go over the months and years, but when you find yourself in a reading slump it’s hard not to feel frustrated.
For me, the best way to get out of a reading slump is to pick up something short and fast-paced. The satisfaction of finishing a book is the perfect way to get motivated to start reading regularly again.
Here are our top five books to get you out of your reading slump:
This beautifully written historical novel is based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, a prisoner in Auschwitz given the task of tattooing incoming prisoners with a number. During his time at the camp, he meets Gita, with whom he falls in love. This book is heart-breaking and very tense at times, but Lale’s resilience and charming personality will make you unable to put it down.
Beth and Jennifer know that their emails are monitored at work, but they don’t take this seriously and continue to send personal (often hilarious) emails. Lincoln hates his job monitoring emails, but when he stumbles across Beth and Jennifer’s conversations, he finds himself falling in love. This book brings an entertaining twist to your regular romcom. It’s easy to read, and the email format adds another level of interest to this novel.
If you’re more of a non-fiction reader, Adam Kay is the ultimate author for breaking a reading slump. Written in the form of a diary, this book is filled with short, snappy, and ridiculously funny anecdotes from the ex-junior doctor. The short chapters and writing that will literally make you laugh out loud make this book the perfect read for when you’re lacking motivation to get reading.
Crime fiction is always a great way to beat a reading slump. The classic “whodunit” genre is nearly always impossible to put down. Lucy Foley takes this one step further in The Hunting Party as she keeps both the murderer and the victim’s identities secret for most of the novel. I couldn’t stop reading this from the moment I picked it up. Foley expertly introduces the character’s backstories, weaving an intricate web of connections, resentments, and secrets between her group of protagonists.
If you’re the kind of reader who prefers realistic contemporary fiction, this is the book for you. In this excellent debut novel, Emira Tucker, a 25-year-old black woman, is wrongly accused of kidnapping a white child, Briar Chamberlain, who she is babysitting while at a supermarket. The story follows the relationship between Emira and Mrs Chamberlain after this event. It’s a fast-paced read full of complex characters and challenging issues such as performative anti-racism. You will speed through this book and put your reading slump behind you before you know it.
All of these books tell captivating stories, skilfully written in a way that will be sure to keep you reading till the very last page. However, the most important thing to remember when choosing the right book to get you out of your reading slump is to choose a book that truly excites you. Don’t read something that you think you should read, or the book that has been sitting on your shelf unread so long you can’t bear to look at it. Read something that will remind you why it is you love reading.
We’ve all heard of, and potentially even set for ourselves, the classic goal of reading 52 books in year, aka book a week. This might seem impossible for some or barely scratch the surface of a year’s reading for others. The team at Rowanvale Books are here to remind you that both of those options are completely okay! It’s 2021 – everyone has too much going on to worry about arbitrary metrics like how many books they read. That being said, we of course still believe in the power of books and what reading can do for you. Be it a quick escape from the world around us, a chance to learn about something new, or a social activity, time spent reading is always time well spent.
Here at Rowanvale, we understand how overwhelming it can be to set yourself a goal for how many books you want to read in a year. The scramble towards the end to find as short a book as possible to up your count may leave you reading books you’re not actually that interested in. Reading in your free time should never feel like homework, which is why we’ve put together a list of alternative goals and challenges for the new year to keep you excited and, most importantly, to keep you reading! Here’s our list for 2021:
We also want to highlight the importance of diversifying the books and authors you’re reading in terms of race, class, sexuality, gender and disability. Developing a better understanding of people from backgrounds different to our own is one of the most effective ways of building a better, more empathetic world in 2021. We felt that this deserved a separate post with links and resources to help you, which can be found here.
We really hope these ideas will help to spark some inspiration over the next year and help you avoid and overcome any reading slumps! At the end of the day, Rowanvale Books firmly believe that reading is for everyone and there’s no right or wrong way to do it, whatever books you choose to read, and wherever you choose to read them.