Self-Publishing: Make It Your Business

Nature At Her Best

If you hope to succeed with self-publishing as with anything else, you’ve got to get your act together. First, relax and use your noodle.  As I’ve pointed out here, study the field thoroughly, take the time to familiarize yourself with the good guys and the bad guys.  Make use of your Better Business Bureau; they’ll point out the rotten ones.  Go to your library, google, check out Amazon, but somehow get the so-called bibles of self-publishing.  There are few, but they’ll save you a lot of trouble.

An excellent place to start is with Wheatmark.com.  That excellent  publishing company offers you a free series of pamphlets for downloading.  Reading them, you’ll find out if self-publishing is for you.  Better to find out early than late.  And too, they have an excellent book for free downloading called Marketecture.  That one book transformed my life, and I’ve been a published writer — by good publishers — for 20 years.  It is well written, clear, concise and to my mind, one of the best I’ve read.

Too much information and your mind is going to sleep.  Please mull this over and come back for more which I’ll share with you often.  I just wish I’d had someone to offer me more tips in a blog, but little was available when I became hooked years ago.  Now you’ve got me and I’ve dug deep and found much.  I’m willing to share because I want your ideas and your experiences. So, stay tuned!

Happy self-publishing!

Self-publishing: Some Pitfalls

Earth and Sky

I will begin again today to discuss self-publishing and what it can and cannot do for your books.  I began to be interested in this very useful form of publishing more than 20 years ago.  At that time, it wasn’t very well regarded, results were so-so and it could be expensive.  Today, it’s all the rage, and the results are beautiful.  But look before you leap, and study, study, study the field.

Stay away from the companies that don’t answer promptly, give you short shrift when they do answer and who give evasive answers.  It wasn’t quite a horror story, but a woman I knew was in tears because her book was more than halfway through the printing process when several new costs came up that she hadn’t been carefully told about.  So, a year later, still no book.  Check to see if their total cost quoted allows for a Library of Congress Control Number if your book is fortunate enough to get one.  You’re going to have to have an ISBN.  You’ll want your book to be listed with W.W. Bowker.

It will be helpful to have a See Inside The Book feature with Amazon.  How much does company charge for extra copies?  It’s to your advantage to check all this out before you begin.  And whatever you do, check and double check your contract.  I would advise legal assistance.  It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.  Universities in your town or nearby have law schools whose students can and will help for a nominal fee.

Thus you begin on firm footing and you won’t be crying later.  Most companies do a good job putting out books.  It’s no longer difficult, so that leaves time for getting a good market and editorial analyses, then superb editing and proofing.  The list isn’t endless.  It just seems that way.  And, with your brainchild in hand, and few or no disappointments, you’ll be glad you published with care.

Self Publishing: Learning to Market What you Write!

Things of Beauty

Things of Beauty

You may think I’m skipping steps here, but first-rate marketing is one of the first things you need to begin to master when you have a book to publish, and long before. You really need to think deeply, study and know what audience you want to reach even before you begin to write.  But if you’ve already got your book done, it’s not too late.

Ther’re a lot of companies out there that will help you self-publish and will do a bang-up job with it.  Far fewer are able to do a creditable job of helping you to market your book.  But just as certain companies specialize in self-publishing, so others specialize in helping you market.

Get used to the idea that the load is going to be yours to carry, no matter who you get or how much you pay, and you can pay plenty.  I no longer take the time to put websites and info in my blogs.  I tell you to google.  They’re better at it than I am.  But a word of caution: learn to phrase your questions carefully.  It can mean the difference between getting the answer you want and something that makes you cry.   And Google can be wrong.  From time to time, check other sources.

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