CompletelyNovel has a fair few non-fiction writers who have used the site to self publish their work. In many ways, print-on-demand is well suited to non-fiction works. Here are a few reasons why it might suit you, examples of users who have published their books on the site, and a couple of hints on how to maximise your success:
Keep your book up to date and relevant.
The speed of publishing on CompletelyNovel and the option to easily make revisions means that you can keep your book at the cutting edge in its subject area. Furthermore, you can improve your manuscript according to feedback you receive. This feature is particularly important for technology or business-based books, such as Alan Rae’s Social Media for Real Business, which often need to be recent to be relevant.
Publish for a niche audience.
If your book has a limited but highly interested market, print-on-demand is a more economical option than a large print-run which may be costly to produce and store, or send to out to many retailers. Customers are often willing to pay that extra bit more for a book that responds to their particular interests and needs and would rather have the book come to them than have to go out searching. Andrew Jones published his book about sporting shotgun performance on CN and has seen his book reach a global audience through sales on CompletelyNovel.
Let your book leave an impression.
Increasing numbers of professionals, consultants and trainers use self publishing as a way to give their customers a take-away piece of info, or to promote their services. Definitely more impressive and durable than a pile of photocopies!
Self-publish to share your ideas, philosophies and wisdom.
A lot of people feel like they have something important to share to help others improve their lives or see the world differently. Self-publishing is a chance to share those ideas, make sure they don’t go to waste or even just get them down in hardcopy for yourself. Among other self-published works, Tom Evans has shared a whole series of his thoughts about thoughts …which has given lots of people plenty to think about!
Include diagrams, pictures and experiment with the book size.
CompletelyNovel allows you to include high quality grayscale images and have a full colour cover for your book. You can also go for the Crown size which gives it more of a text book feel and means that tables and diagrams are more easily accommodated.
Targetting for success.
Putting a little time and thought into marketing your book will definitely improves its success If you are a well known expert in your field and are able to market your book through your current contacts and reputation then you will be off to a great start. But if you don’t have that yet, then there’s lots you can do to build up interest. You can get involved in online and offline communities who might be interested, thereby getting to know your audience, and letting them get to know you too. You can use social media and see if there are relevant publications that might want to publicise your work. This page gives some tips on how to promote your book and this article from a few weeks ago gives a great example of how you can be creative with your publicity.
Great article George!
I think the point about marketing to a specific audience is important. Everyone can take something away from that whether publishing fiction or non-fiction.
If you are not a well known thought leader in a space it is harder to convince people to purchase your book. If I were looking at a book and didn’t know the author I would be much more willing to give it a go if the book quickly convinced me that I was interested in the topic.
I think portraying the specific interest area of the book as quickly as possible is therefore very important. In my opinion it is why the cover and blurb are so vital – A good cover can build an instant bond between the reader and the book. This is the case whether the book is a manual for a Renault Espace’s exhaust system or a story of adventures of a group of twenty-somethings on a ski resort.