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What's Your Biggest Challenge with Your Book?

I'd be interested to learn what authors/publishers on this network think their biggest challenges are with their book. I wonder if there's any common, pervasive challenge we all face.

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The experience of most of the successful book authors and Internet marketers I know is that their focus has always been on creating relationships - with media, with websites, with bloggers, with social media, with book buyers. That seems to be a universal requirement of success.

Wow!  great question and some really helpful answers... My book will hit the shelves (and Kindles, etc) by Dec. 1... The hardest part form me is the marketing.  I very much want to have a company buy my book to use as a give-away perhaps to help their employees de-stress... My book is Being Well Within: From Distressed to De-Stressed .  I have ideas as to what companies to target, but getting in there is an unknown.

I''m very excited but am learning now that not only do I have to market my book in ways I never knew existed, I have to seek out reviews... didn't think of that before.  Doing PR and marketing is really challenging for me, and I remember reading that we should "pay someone to play at what I would have to work at..."  I look forward to really learning so much more from being part of this group.  Thanks, Loren

Getting reviewed by a mainstream publication

my biggest challenge is the attitude of people in my region towards reading!

My biggest challeng is contacting senior readers about my book without bugging them. My books -- How to Have Fun with Retirement; and Being a Senior Citizen are both lightheated and informative.

Pat Kennedy

I totally agree!

Amazon or Bust?  This author's take on the uproar over Kindle Select.

The two biggest challenges for eBooks:

1) A design that is professional

2) Code errors introduced by the KDP translation software.  Annoying things like dropping italics, changing long dashes to hyphens, and little bits of html code appearing randomly in the text.

My solution was to use a design firm Butterflies & Hurricanes in Prague.  See my other forum post for examples:


Since many e-readers now allow for color, are you adding color to your ebooks? If so, in what way? With paper books we've been trained to have completely black and white interiors, so I'm wondering how we should rethink color for e-books.

Hi Steve,

That is a really good question.

So far we have maximized for the standard black and white Kindle.  But have been looking into the software for using color for the Kindle Fire and iPad and so on for a new multimedia project.  but for books sticking to B&W for now, as we are focused on text novels and getting them out ASAP. 

Butterflies & Hurricanes in Prague has not yet done a color book, so we will be learning the color elements together.

Personally I'm a bit wary of getting into the whole color thing, as I don't want it to distract from the reading experience.  Some of this comes from also having been in education for 20 years and see as many drawbacks to doing multimedia things on the web as there are benefits (see chapter 7 of The Shallows, by Nicholas Carr: when you start getting more than simple B&W text more of the brain gets involved which fundamentally changes the experience).  The more bells and whistles, the more distractions there are.  As a teacher I remove hypertext from documents.  But, there were people who were against color TV too, so . . .   Really it comes down to what your purpose is.  The magic of reading happens in the mind's eye, not the eye, which is what color starts to do. Once you get color you have a different medium. 

If you are going to go for color, I'd keep it minimal, just chapter headings if it's a novel (not a magazine or GN) unless it's a children's book.


Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I write almost exclusively nonfiction, often trying to untangle complex issues. I've thought that color headings might be a way differentiate a new line of thought, etc. Also, having some ADD and Dyslexic kids, if they see an entire page of text, they tend to groan. For this reason, I like to have lots of white space and text boxes to divide up text, much like a "For Dummies" book. I thought that splashes of color might also help with the reading experience. 

But your thoughts as a teacher give the other side. It may indeed be more distracting than enhancing, sort of like an ill-done powerpoint that distracts from an otherwise good presentation. 

Well for ADD and dyslexia and so on there are some benefits to having color and all that, but you'll need to research it, as it is often counter intuitive.  Often the best for those difficulties is to alter the text on the page: as you say, more white space, text broken up into bunches, and SHORTER LINES.  Diagrams and so on like the For Dummies books are fine, you just don't want too much.  Main thing is avoiding mixing media, and hyperlinks.

Ar you writing text books or articles for students?  There's lots of interesting research going on.  They treat dyspraxia now by giving kids glasses with colored lenses, and no other changes need to be made, so if you made the titles the same color as the glasses it wouldn't work out too well.   And much of the problems with ADD and so on can be aided greatly by prereading exercises and Constructivist-style motivation.

I kind of got off your original point.  But if you are trying to untangle complex issues in your writing, the more simple the text presentation, the more cognitive space the reader has for the issues.  Keep text simple and use visual diagrams.    I have not read enough on the use of color yet to know, but David Foster Wallace (R.I.P.) had an article in Atlantic Monthly a few years ago titled "Host" with a creative use of color for his many footnotes, unfortunately the online version doesn't have them and the color has been replaced by hyper text.

I'll attache a sntiched copy of some of The Shallows, if you are short on time (who isn't) look just at chapter 7, there's some highlighting .



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