(Note: This blog posting is an abbreviated written transcript form of the audio podcast)
PUBLISHING YOUR BOOK; To Self Publish or Not
Much like the big record labels gone are the days when a writer is at the mercy of the big book publishers. There are lots of people who successfully published, marketed and distributed their own work. That’s not to say that the traditional way to get your book published is not good, on the contrary, if I had my way I would prefer that a big publishing house….and depending upon the publishing house maybe even a medium to small publishing house…..publish my book. There’s a lot that goes into publishing a book and I would prefer that someone else have that chore. But, as many of you know, getting your manuscript into the hands of a really good publishing house is near to impossible for up and coming unknown writers. With the advent of tools such as Microsoft Word and other desktop publishing tools we can not only write books but we can also publish eBooks, brochures, newsletters, websites, and more.
While it’s great to know that you can publish your own work it is important to note that you will be doing just that publishing your work and doing lots of WORK.There is a lot that goes into self publishing, it really is a business in and of itself. You need to weigh everything out to see if this is a road that you really want to travel. Bar None the absolute best book that I have even read (and listened to via audible) is Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch book entitled APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book. Believe me if you are interested in publishing your own book this is a must have and if you purchase the eBook the authors promise to periodically update the eBook version with new and timely information. This book goes into dept about the authors roll in publishing; the publishers roll of self-publishing and the entrepreneurial aspects of self publishing.After you’ve written your book and if you decided that you want to go the route of self publishing there are a lot of things to do and to consider and as I said earlier please refer to other books for in-depth information but these are some of the things that I would definitely want to research.
Things To Research and Look Into When Considering the Publishing of Your Book
1. How will you produce your manuscript; what tools are needed?
Word is an excellent word processor. You can write out your manuscript in Word which is the industry standard for most editors. There are other word processors but none can compare to Microsoft Word (at least in my opinion). If you have been writing for a while I’m sure that you are already accustom to your word processor of choice. I have heard a lot of talk lately about a word processing software called Scrivener. Based on what I have heard and read this is a word processing software that caters to professional and amateur writers, novelists, Hollywood scriptwriters, students, and virtually anyone who works on long and difficult writing projects. From what I understand from hearing others critique; it really is a pretty good program if you have some serious writing to do however there is a bit of a learning curve, meaning it will probably take some time to learn and it cost more than your average word processor. If you have the time and the money it might be worth your wild to check it out. You can visit their website and look at a few of their videos that explain what it is used for. https://literatureandlatte.com
OK so now that you’ve typed up your manuscript you want to make sure that it’s reviewed by a qualified editor.
2. Where will you find a good Editor?
I don’t care how proficient you think your editing skills are you’re really going to have to take the time to find a good copy editor. Someone to make sure that the grammar; punctuation; style etc, etc is on target. Unlike my horrible unedited blog post; when you; the writer completes your manuscript that you intent to sale to countless millions, you had better set aside some of your production cost to hiring an copy editor. In the book APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book the author says that “There are four methods to obtain both kinds of editing: enlisting friends, family, and coworkers; tapping niche communities; crowd sourcing; and hiring professionals”. Of these four I think that the community writers and crowd sourcing sounded like the best Free First step in having your work reviewed however you are still going to inevitably have to hire a professional copy editor if you are serious about your work. Some other sources might be your local librarian or scholastic English professor.
3. Should you do an eBook in conjunction with your printed book?
Per Wikipedia an eBook is an electronic book (variously: e-book, eBook, e-Book, eBook, digital book, or even e-edition) is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on computers or other electronic devices. Although sometimes defined as “an electronic version of a printed book”, many e-books exist without any printed equivalent. Commercially produced and sold e-books are usually intended to be read on dedicated e-book readers, however, almost any sophisticated electronic device that features a controllable viewing screen, including computers, tablet computers, and Smartphone’s can also be used to read e-books.
E-book reading is increasing in the US, since by 2014 28% of adults had read an e-book, compared to 23% in 2013. This is increasing because 50% of Americans by 2014 had a dedicated device, either an e-reader or a tablet, compared to 30% owning a device at the end of 2013.
Once you have completed your book the toughest part is over. I would invest just a little more time and money into getting an eBook if at all possible; especially in light of the fact that your audience and potential customers and consuming electronic books on cell phones; computers and tables like never before.
4. Where will you find an illustrator?
First impressions can be lasting impressions and when you set out to have your book cover done; the same rule holds true as did for hiring a copy editor; you should also be sure that your cover looks nice. I personally have seen artwork done by individuals who don’t consider themselves to be professionals yet they do fantastic work. If you have a friend, relative, neighbor, coworker or school mate that is good at graphic design then I would check them out first because professional illustrators don’t come cheap. Don’t know of anybody personally who has the skills then try social media; send out a few blurbs to friends and fans; tell them what you need and maybe someone will assist.A good cover and title could be all that stands between your book and the person you are hoping will give it a read so do it up nice.
5. Where can you find investors and seed capital?
Looking for the money to get everything you need to publish your book the right way? How about exploring some of the following:
- Kick Starters like Go Fund Me
- Grants (if yours is an educational or research book perhaps you would qualify for a grant)
- Barter (you exchange some of your talents and skills in exchange for say the use of an editors skills)
6. How will you promote and market your book?
- Social Media
- Give aways
- Guest Blogging
BONUS TRIVIA QUESTION
What famous writer in 1857 at the age of 21 went to work for the Keokuk Iowa Daily Post and hired to write a series of comic travel letters. After writing five, then decided to become a steamboat captain instead? Was it………
A) Jack London
B) Samuel Clemens
C) Louis L’Amour
If you answer was B…..you are correct.
His writer’s pen name is Mark Twain. It appears that young Mark Twain quit his very promising career as a writer even before it began.