PDF What You Should Know About Self Publishing

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Unfortunately, many authors make the mistake of using a title that has too many other products associated it with it -- and it gets buried in search results. Not good. Basically, you want to get the maximum SEO search engine optimization for your title, so if and when somebody's actually looking to buy it they'll find the link for your book -- not an older one with an identical title. Note : On a more cynical note, some authors are creating titles that are very similar to popular bestsellers.

Also, some authors use pseudonyms that are similar to famous authors' names so they'll show up in search results for that author. Check out this list of Fifty Shades of Grey knockoffs.


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You've written your book and God knows you'd like to just hand it off to someone, have a team of professionals whip it into shape, and get it out there. Well, there are a lot of companies that will offer to make just that happen -- and do it in a fraction of the time a traditional publisher could. These folks can potentially put together a really nice book for you. But I've also heard a lot nightmare stories where people come away disappointed with the process and feel ripped off.

You can do a search in Google for the companies you're considering and find testimonials -- good and bad -- from authors who've used the services. Proceed with caution. Self-publishing outfits are in the game to make money. And since they're probably not going to sell a lot of your books, they make money by with nice margins. That's OK.

12 Things You Need to Know for Self-Publishing Success

Some of the services are worth it -- or at least may be worth it. It was good while it lasted and it helped me sell dozens, if not hundreds, of books. Personally, I'd never work with CreateSpace's in-house editors, copy editors, and in-house design people. That doesn't mean they're bad at what they do I've seen some covers that are well-done.


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But if you can, it's better to hire your own people and work directly with them. Ideally, you should be able to meet with an editor, copy editor, and graphic designer in person -- and they all should have experience in book publishing. Down the road, I suspect you'll see more self-publishers offer high-end programs that pair you with a former editor from a major publishing house.

It's also worth mentioning that Amazon has become a publisher itself, with several imprints that it's either bought or created. Amazon is in the process of developing a new hybrid model for publishing that aims to take the place of traditional publishers, which it sometimes refers to as "legacy" publishers. You can see a list of Amazon's imprints here.

With its flagship Encore imprint , it selects certain "exceptional" self-published titles from "emerging" authors and brings them under the Amazon umbrella so to speak. It's a good gig if you can get it. If you're serious about your book, hire a book doctor and get it copy edited. OK, so I've just told to avoid " packages " from publishers and yet I'm now saying you need editing and copy editing. So, where do you go? Well, before I sent my book out to agents, I hired a "book doctor" who was a former acquisition editor from a major New York publishing house like most editors he worked at a few different houses.

He happened to be the father of a friend from college, so I got a little discount, but it still wasn't cheap. However, after I'd made the changes he suggested, he made some calls to agents he knew and some were willing to take a look. He was part of Independent Editors Group IEG , a group of former acquisition editors who take on freelance editing projects for authors. While I didn't use his copy editor I used a friend of a friend who currently works at a big publishing house , he and other editors in his group can suggest people.

To be clear, this isn't going to be a better deal than what you'd get from a package deal with a self-publisher, but these people are experienced and are going to be upfront and honest with you. They're not just pushing your book out to move it along the line on the conveyor belt, though they are trying to make a living.

Warning: they don't take on all writers. By no means is IEG the only game in town. And there are plenty of others. CreateSpace and other self-publishing companies are always offering special deals on their various services. There isn't whole lot of leeway, but it doesn't hurt to ask for deal sweeteners -- like more free copies of your book they often throw in free copies of your book. It also doesn't hurt to ask about deals that have technically expired.

In sales, everything is negotiable. Remember, these people have quotas and bonuses at stake.

For their sake, I hope they do anyway. That's great, but when you're dealing with a superbasic package, you're most likely going to be doing customer support via e-mail or IM, and get very little hand-holding. It's nice to be able to call up and complain in a nice way, of course directly to a live person on the phone, so take that into account when you're examining your package options.

The biggest mistake people make when it comes to self-publishing is that they expect to just put out a book and have it magically sell. They might even hire a publicist and expect something to happen. It's just not so. You have to be a relentless self-promoter. Unfortunately, a lot people just don't have the stomach or time for it.

What's the secret to marketing your book successfully? Well, the first thing I advise -- and I'm not alone here -- is to come up with a marketing plan well before you publish your book.

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The plan should have at least five avenues for you to pursue because chances are you're going to strike out on a couple of lines of attack. It's easy to get discouraged, so you have to be ready to move on to plan c, d, and e and the rest of the alphabet pretty quickly. These days there's a lot of talk about a "blog strategy," and many well-known authors do virtual book tours where they offer up interviews to various blogs. You probably won't have that luxury, but you can certainly research what blogs might be interested in your book and prepare pitches for them.

There are social media campaigns to wage, local media angles to pursue, organizations to approach, and all kinds of out-of-the-box gambits you can dream up.

1. Don’t make it about you. It’s about the reader

None of this will cost you a whole lot -- except time and perhaps a little pride. Then there's the stuff you pay for. And it's tricky to judge what's a good investment and what's not because the results vary so much from book to book. He's still trying to figure out what impact the ads had, but Facebook does have some interesting marketing opportunities.

12 Things You Need to Know for Self-Publishing Success • Career Authors

And a number of self-serve ad networks are popping up, including Blogards Book Hive , which allows you to target a number of smaller book blogs for relatively affordable rates. The author MJ Rose has a marketing service called AuthorBuzz that caters to both self-publishers and traditional publishers.

She says: "We place the ads in subject-related blogs, not book blogs. For instance, if it's a mystery about an antiques dealer, we don't just buy blogs for self-identified readers -- who are not the bulk of book buyers -- but rather I'll find a half dozen blogs about antiques, culture, art and investments and buy the ads there and track them. It is also better to publish an ebook as compared to a hardcopy or softcopy. Printing is expensive.

Hence, an ebook reduces the cost of printed book. You can go with print on demand though. Here, you print your book when someone orders a copy of it. It better to publish a series and do it frequently as compare to standalone books. Self-publishing a book is not for people who write slowly as the readership might wane as the clock ticks. Self-publishing requires far more marketing effort than trade publishing or vanity publishing. There is a hurricane of books on amazon. You have to work hard so people find your book in the sea of books and choose to read it. Marketing is the arguably one of the toughest part of self-publishing.

In traditional publishing, you work with the publishers. Your only job is to hand in the manuscript and from there the publisher has your back. It pays for the production, sets up sales and exchange for all the work, it takes colossal amount of your profit. This publisher is eliminated in self-publishing. You are the boss of your own life. It is your job to write a great story, edit the manuscript, create a title and genre appropriate cover, craft a blurb to attract potential readers, prepare and format, selecting distributers, identify the target audience and reach out to them and so on goes the list.

And it is a universal truth. Traditional publishers are lucky in this matter since they get professional editing in this matter. Self-published do not. They have to edit it themselves, maybe ask for help from friends of family or hire someone to do it for them.

Self-Publishing vs Traditional: What's best for your first book?

Even the biggest writer has to have to help with editing. While writing they make mistakes they did not thought possible only to discover they did.

2. Capitalize on that New Year’s resolve

The person has to arrange for someone to edit their manuscript for them. They need a set of trained eyes, brain and hands! He has to know what sort of editor he is look for. Developmental editing focuses on story and the craft, Line editing focuses on the words, sentences and paragraph.

Meanwhile copy editor edits spelling and grammar. It is better to do a full-blown research in this matter. You also have to be cautious in case they end up changing the whole plot of your story. Especially Developmental and Line editors. The cost of editing varies from hundreds to thousands. They might charge by word, by page, by sentences or by hour. Developmental editing is the most expensive of all the three types as it requires a lot more knowledge and time.

Line editing is also time consuming and hence, requires more money. Copy editing is the least expensive. You can ask someone you know, particularly your teacher or some educated person to do copy editing for you. There freelancers provide examples and references. Before publishing houses existed, books were printed and sold by the vendor. Before the s, the book publishing industry was predominantly owned by independent companies whose only business was books.

Growing profits made them attractive to larger corporations, and eventually these big corporations also started buying out independent bookshops. With the immense growth of a few major companies, the smaller companies vanished, and the big companies gained control over the publishing industry. While corporate profits increased good news for the shareholders the type and scope of books decreased.

Instead of risking the publication of new titles by unknown authors, publishing corporations tend to stick with known authors and past success formulas. This, of course, made it difficult for new authors with new ideas to enter the marketplace … until now. There are now more resources than ever that help authors publish their own books.

Self-publishing has been around a lot longer than you might think. At first, before large corporations took control of the publishing process, those who owned or had access to printing presses became their own publishers. But as the publishing world changes, the power shifts. Publishing houses churn out millions of professionally developed books, and bookshops liaise exclusively with publishers. Both the publishing houses and the bookshops develop the book market as a precise science, giving readers easy access to quality products to make the biggest profit.

Publishers become the trusted experts of the industry, and readers are happy to put their faith in them without a second thought. Publishing is always first and foremost a business. And generally the public still accepts this as the norm, as how it should be. In theory, the rise of self-publishing made possible by the development of technology is a good thing. This is a problem. This is how self-publishing gets a bad name: poor-quality books are produced that no one is interested in reading and that no one hears about in the first place.