If you’re an author or publisher seeking the best way to sell your crime fiction content, think globally. Crime fiction is one of the most popular genres in demand around the globe. As of 2022, crime/mystery titles ranked second as the bestselling book titles on Amazon. They’re also ranked second among audiobooks overall. Below are all the steps you need to know on how to distribute crime fiction globally, quickly, and easily – from draft to market.
4 main steps to know:
- Now is the time to publish one of the most popular book genres, crime fiction, around the globe.
- With your formatted book file, cover design, and metadata, all you need is a solid distribution and marketing plan for success.
- Use a single book aggregation platform (like PublishDrive) to reach every market possible while saving administrative time and costs.
1. Writing Crime Fiction
If this is your first time drafting a crime fiction book or short story, let’s go over some pointers. (If you already have your completed manuscript, skip to the next section.)
To start off, you got to know about the most common tropes that make up this enthralling genre:
- Suspense that arises from conflict. The main issue in crime fiction takes center stage. Maybe that’s solving a murder mystery or going against police procedural to take down an international mafia.
- Use of red herrings. These are clues that intentionally mislead your characters and readers, commonly used across crime mysteries and thrillers.
- Sense of urgency. Crime fiction incorporates a ton of action, especially true crime. Choose a timeframe that creates high stress and heart rates.
- Blurred lines. This genre is not for the faint of heart. Motivations are not clear-cut, just like the cold reality of life. Perhaps your lead character feels compromised, whether it’s morally, legally, or even romantically.
After finishing your first draft, make sure to edit it like crazy. Invest in a professional book editor to work through your draft. Costs can start as low as $10 per 1,000 words. Look for editors on marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr. You can also assemble a team of beta readers. Definitely ask your network to give your book a read. Or post in online forums like Reddit’s Writers group to swap reviews.
When you’ve polished all that you can, you’re ready to package your book for market.
2. Packaging Your Book
Packaging your book involves three main components:
- Designing your book cover design.
- Formatting your book in the right format (ebook, audiobook, or print).
- Prepping your book’s metadata.
Designing Your Book Cover Design
If possible, hire a talented designer to create a cover design that looks professional and fits industry standards. As one of the first things people see, it’s super important to have a cover design that’s appealing and convincing. If you’re under a tight budget, you can use DIY options like Canva (an easy-to-use tool for non-designers.) Here’s a helpful guide on how to design a book cover that stands out.
Do your research as well. Look at bestselling titles under your genre and see if there are any best practices or trends to grab for yourself:
Formatting Your Book
Formatting your book involves turning your manuscript into a reading file that’s acceptable for bookstores and readers. There are three types of book formats to consider, including ebooks, audiobooks, and print books. (To reach every audience possible, offer your book in all three!)
Ebooks are for reading devices like the Kindle or Nook. It’s the most popular digital book format in publishing. To distribute your crime ebook, you’d need an epub or mobi file. See this guide on how to format an ebook. The process looks like combing through your manuscript and editing several items, such as headers and paragraphs. After that, you can generate an ebook file by using a free ebook converter.
Audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing right now. To develop your own, you'd need to hire a narrator. You can also use AI-generated narrations that are becoming more available, such as Apple Books Digital Narration. You have the option to narrate the book yourself, too. See this guide on how to self-publish an audiobook.
Print books used to take more time and money to publish. However, with print-on-demand technology, you no longer have to order a bulk of prints in advance. Print-on-demand gets your book printed and shipped only when an order gets made. This is a popular choice for indies as printing and shipping logistics are handled by many POD-integrated retailers like Amazon. See how to make a print-ready PDF for your book.
Like other steps, you can format your book yourself or outsource to a professional.
Prepping Your Book’s Metadata
Book metadata are the fields you fill out when uploading your book to various stores. It holds information about your book, such as author name, title, subtitle, description, categories, and keywords. Accurate metadata helps search engines place your book in the right places.
Here are some metadata tips:
- You want a book description that appeals to your ideal crime readers from the very first sentence. Check these book description examples.
- Your author bio should share your credentials, any awards, and whatever else to show off and validate yourself as an author.
- Research the different book categories available within the crime fiction genre, such as science fiction or cozy mystery fiction. The more niche you can get, the better.
- Research the most common pricing options in your genre. In general, the most common options for digital books are temporarily free, perma free, or prices that are slightly cheaper or more expensive than others (to stand out from competition.)
By this point, you’re ready to launch your book!
3. Distributing Globally
Why publish in only one market or store when you can easily reach a global audience? Plus, publishing wide is how you’ll maximize your earning potential by reaching every market possible. This is the way to go, especially with such a popular genre as crime fiction.
If you’re thinking about going the traditional route and looking for publishers accepting manuscript submissions for crime novels, here’s a list of crime fiction publishers accepting submissions:
Do know that pitching to traditional publishers will require patience as it can take years to publish (or get that initial yes).
💡 See self-publishing vs. traditional publishing to get a better gauge of what’s right for you.
When it comes to self-publishing, there are lots of major book retailers that accept self-published books:
- Amazon is the #1 marketplace for books, capturing most of the book market worldwide. With its publishing channel, KDP, you can upload your book files and start selling in no time.
- Apple Books’s reading app is pre-installed on every Apple device, which is a pool of over a billion users in over 50 countries.
- Google Play Books’s reading app is pre-installed on every Android device, a pool of over 3 billion users in over 75 countries.
- Barnes & Noble is right behind Amazon as one of the largest bookstores in the U.S., with a reach of millions of book lovers.
To maximize your reach, distribute to all the major retailers along with libraries like Bibliotheca and more niche channels like Dreame. However, it will be a hassle to handle these multiple stores one by one. The easiest and quickest way to distribute crime fiction globally is to choose a book aggregation platform that takes care of everything for you.
A book aggregation platform allows you to distribute your book to numerous channels from one place. Especially for publishers working with various authors and book catalogs, using a single platform helps cut down administrative time as well as costs.
PublishDrive is an online self-publishing platform that uses a subscription-based aggregation model. This means you get a single platform to take care of global distribution WHILE keeping 100% of the royalties you earn.
💡 See how published authors earn more with subscription-based book aggregation.
So, how many stores can you reach with PublishDrive? Over 400 bookstores and 240K libraries, to be exact. We’ll send you our entire store list with detailed info, like royalty payouts and more. ↓
How to Distribute Crime Fiction Globally With PublishDrive
With your formatted book, cover design, and metadata info ready to go, it takes just four steps to distribute globally to every market possible:
- Sign up for PublishDrive. It's free to create an account and try for 14 days.
- Upload your book files for ebook, audio, or print format.
- Fill out your metadata information.
- Enable all the stores you’d like to sell in, then hit submit for a quick review by PublishDrive’s industry experts!
4. Marketing Your Book
Distributing your published work globally and successfully requires a solid marketing strategy. That’s why this is the final (and ever-evolving) step in ensuring your path to success. I suggest prepping your plan before you launch your book. Bookmark this in-depth guide on how to create a book marketing plan. It goes over how to develop your plan, choose various promotion tactics, and put together a final timeline.
Here’s a rundown of the process that’s split into three main steps:
- Create your main strategy. This is where you conduct market research in your genre, define your target audience, and narrow down your objectives and constraints, such as budget and timing.
- Choose your tactics. This is where you learn about the many marketing tactics available (especially the most effective ones) and choose the ones that best match your strategy. Tactics include using social media, paid ads, or networking activities.
- Finalize your timeline. This is where you lay out all your chosen tactics to a realistic timeline that aligns with your release date. Maybe you want to set a pre-order period two months before release. Or, perhaps you’d like to run sales days every month. Here’s an example timeline –
There are a handful of marketing services you can access with PublishDrive:
- A running list of featuring and promotional spots with big retailers like Apple Books and Scribd.
- Paid ads with sales channels and newsletters that reach millions of readers.
- Tools for collecting book reviews, scheduling price promos, setting up pre-orders, and more.
- AI support for running Amazon ads, choosing book categories, and more.
Check out PublishDrive’s book marketing success stories to see real-life results with our indie authors and publishers. Cheers!