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Showing posts with the label self-publishing

Take a Step Back

 It occurs to me that I should have discussed why people choose traditional or self-publishing, so I'm going to take a step back and do that. When I finished my first book, there were two options for publication, traditional publishing or vanity publishing. Vanity publishing requires that an author pay for her work to be presented to the world. It's been around for centuries, and some pretty important writers started out that way, but it was definitely a no-no for "serious" writers. Traditional publishing, getting an agent, waiting for her to shop the book to publishing houses, and hoping for an offer was, at that time, the only way to get any kind of credibility. I did it that way. It took years, but the result was good. The publisher who signed me up got me reviews from prestigious places like the Historical Novel Society and Kirkus Reviews . I was thrilled that my first review in HNS (For Macbeth's Niece ), got a star, meaning the reviewer thought it rose above

Step Three to Writing a Book: Publishing

 If you decide to self-publish, there are good prospects and bad ones. It's a complicated process, though it's much simpler now than it was a few years ago. It's hard to break it down, and the learning curve is brutal at times. While I've tried to develop a schedule that covers all the necessary steps, I find myself doing what I feel like doing on a given day and neglecting things I should be doing. That's bad, but since I don't consider writing a "job," I give myself a break and do what sounds doable at the time. Here's what I work on in the months and weeks before publication. Cover Manuscript setup Publicity Corrections Ordering Let's start with the cover. The easiest thing to do is hire a cover artist, and ninety percent of experts will tell you to do that. I admit that I don't have the tools, smarts, or experience that a cover artist does, but here's the thing: they don't know the material like I do. I had a really good cover a

Series: What I Wish I'd Known Then

I suspect every writer looks back and wishes things done and undone, and I'm no exception. I write what pleases me, not what I think will make tons of money.  Often I don't know as I'm working on a book if it's a stand-alone or if I'll want to revisit the characters at some point in the future and write them a new adventure. The technology for book publishing has a steep learning curve and requires constant updating. I started my career with a traditional publisher, which meant I didn't have to worry about that end of things. Now that I'm independent, I decide at what point a book releases, how it's presented to the world, and how to make the internet assist. A while back I learned how to make a boxed set of some of my series, so binge readers can get all the books for one price. I think that's a nice bargain for them. Recently I learned that Amazon will let readers know about all  the books in a series IF the information is presented to them co

Oh, Those Publishing Snobs!

I read a very snarky article yesterday about how self-published authors just don't "get it right." The author explained that as a book reviewer she felt it was her duty (yes, she really did use that word) to point out the failings of those who have the nerve to go out on their own. I'll say at the outset that self-publishing availability does allow writers to publish work that simply isn't ready. A reader can figure out who those people are by perusing sample chapters on Amazon (or the book descriptions, written by the author in most cases). I have to admit from listening to readers and writers for years, there seem to be readers for every book, good or bad. I object to someone who sets herself up as a judge of good books based on what the industry says and does. For example, the writer of this article claimed self-published books use the wrong fonts and improper layouts. Her wholesale condemnation and her contention that big booksellers always get it right

Help for Wanna-be Writers

This is an excerpt from my presentation on publishing. It's by no means exhaustive, just a little help to get you started.   There’s a book that tells you EVERYthing about the self-publishing process. It’s around $15.00 but worth it. Let’s Get Digital - Before you get too excited about all the money that’s going to roll in, you might want to read this article: “Everything You Wanted to Know about Book Sales but Were Afraid to Ask”- Site to find free-lance editors, cover artists, etc. Reedsy. You tell them what you need, they match you with someone who can do that. To make Kindle E-books : Kindle Digital Platform- To make paperback books through Amazon : CreateSpace -

Self-Publishing: A Few Thoughts on How Not To

There was an article in the Sunday paper yesterday about a young man who'd chose self-publishing. He had a cute idea for a children's book, and after being rejected by traditional publishers, he went to work and got it together himself. And ordered 1000 copies of the book. I wish I'd met him before that point in his brand-new career. Here's my understanding of the scam some "helpful" publishers use to make money off earnest, unknowing writers: They "help" you publish your book, charging you every step of the way. They encourage you to buy a bunch of copies because "When this thing takes off, you're going to want them on hand!" They often charge the author full or nearly full price per book, so he gets no profit unless he jacks up the price, making dutiful friends and relatives shell out more than they should for a book in order to be supportive. Bookstores don't want them, because people don't want to pay big bucks for a b