Recently, the subject of self-publishing was mentioned in my post, ‘So You’ve Written A Book. What Next?‘ to which I had a tremendous response from writers who had considered this path, but hadn’t the faintest idea where to start.
Worry no longer. Ellen Dean, author of the best seller ‘Beautiful Strangers’, is an expert in this field, and kindly agreed to be my first guest blogger, and explain a little of what’s involved and how to get started:
“When you make the decision to publish your own book/s (something I did just over two years ago) you will need to be focused and willing to spend many hours setting up your platform. But hey, it’s your baby, you’ve delivered it. It’s up to you to nurture it’s growth, and celebrate it’s birthdays.
Below are some basic points I hope you find helpful.
If you are in a relationship then I suggest you talk things over with your partner and explain to them as much as you can before you start out on your publishing road. Get them behind you. Invite their help. Many hands make light work and sometimes two heads can be better than one.
The first thing you will need is a publishing name. If you haven’t decided on one already now is the time to do so. Do some research to ensure your choice is not already out there. It’s surprising just how many publishing houses there are.
Once you have chosen your publishing name then you are on the first rung of the ladder.
You will need to buy ISBN’s. These can be bought from Nielsen Book Data. At the time of writing you can buy a block of 10 or 100.
You should inform the Inland Revenue – if you haven’t already done so.
You will need to set up your own accounting system.
Next you will want to consider ways of printing and producing your books. I use Lightning Source UK – a subsidiary of Lightning Source USA. I believe there are other companies who offer a similar service, but as I haven’t used them, and don’t know anybody who has, I can’t comment.
I find that Lightning Source (LS) are good to deal with. They produce a quality product, and their printed books automatically link to Amazon – this is a great plus.
You can also set up an ebook service with LS but I chose to do my own.
LS printing system is POD (print on demand). It is a digital system. It does away with the need to fund expensive print runs, and having a garage full of books. You, and/or, distributors only order the number of books required any one time. You order whenever you need to. There is no limit to the number of books that can be ordered nor is there a minimum order which means that single books can be ordered.
So, if you are book signing, the book store can order books in readiness. On the other hand if you want to book sign at writing groups, or anywhere else, or hold a small stock, you can order the books yourself and LS will have the books delivered to you.
If you’re not technically minded and have problems uploading your manuscript to LS (they do give you the required format) there are options available. I don’t upload my own manuscripts. I use a company in the UK called Commercial Campaigns. They are excellent and understand LS requirements. There is another huge plus here too. Commercial Campaigns will design your book cover. You could, of course, do this yourself but the book cover is your invitation to the public to buy your book so I recommend you invest in professional help and use the experts.
Publishing your own work is exciting . . . and a huge learning curve. You will have to wear many different hats. And, never ever lose sight of producing a quality product.
Marketing is vital to your success and it is time consuming. You should start marketing your book months before it is due to be released.
Be prepared to work hard if you want results. But, as I always say, if you love your ‘work’ then you’ll never ‘work’ another day in your life.
N.B Publishing Seminars:
Because publishing one’s own work can be a complex business Ellen is considering holding some Publishing Seminars in the UK. If you are interested and would like more information then please email Ellen at email@example.com
Ellen is currently writing the sequel to Beautiful Strangers
entitled ’BEYOND MIDNIGHT’
which will be published by Colbere Publishing in 2011
Beautiful Strangers can be purchased through Amazon.