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Self Publishing Quick Start Guide


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This quick start guide is a very brief overview of the publishing process. Please read books on the subject, attend workshops/conferences/classes, and consult a literary attorney, if necessary. Publishing is a rapidly changing industry. Hopefully, this reference guide will help get you started in the "write" direction!

Monica “Dr. mOe” Anderson
Prescribing Success Daily™

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
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Self Publishing Quick Start Guide

  1. 1. Dr. mOe Anderson’s Self-Publishing Quick Start GuideStep 1: Professional Editing There are many good editors who will evaluate your manuscript’s spelling,punctuation, plot, character development…and make suggestions on how to improveyour work. Spell/grammar check or your cousin who taught English at the junior collegeis not enough. Get a referral from a published writer or look in the back of any writingmagazine for advertisements. I recommend:Step 2: Hire a Book Cover Designer Unless you have a background in graphic design, use an experienced designerwho will produce a professional look the chain stores won’t reject so readily. Remember,you must write (or hire someone to write) the copy for the back cover. All designers do iscreate the artwork. The simplest approach is to find covers you like and read theacknowledgments or the back cover for the name of the designer. Prices vary.Step 3: Apply for a Copyright from the Library of Congress (LOC) • Fee $35.00 (online) or $45.00 (paper). The book doesn’t have to be printed before you apply. Do this early on. You must mail them a copy after it is published.Step 4: Apply for a Preassigned Control Number (PCN) or LCCN from the LOC. This goes on the copyright page. It must be acquired before the book goes to thetypesetter and printer. (See the FAQ’s on their website for an explanation of thedifference between a PCN and LCCN.) • Set up an account and get a password. Don’t lose this information. You may need to update or change it later.Step 5: Apply for a Cataloging in Publication (CIP) number The CIP number is a descriptive data block of your book. It is not required, butlibraries use it for the Dewey decimal classification. It also describes features of the booki.e. African-American males, fiction…You can get this done by the LOC or QualityBooks. Quality is faster. You will also need to provide them with your ISBN and PCN /LCCN, but you can email this information to them later. Go ahead and apply. It takes afew weeks. • The LOC supplies the CIP for free, but they don’t accept self-published books. You must mail them a copy after the book is published. • Fee $100.00 for first editions • Twitter: @drmoeanderson • Austin, Texas©2011. All rights reserved. Monica F. Anderson
  2. 2. Step 6: Apply for an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) logbook and a EAN-13 bar code from Bowker The ISBN goes on the copyright page and the back cover. The bar code is only onthe back cover. Most bookstores require a bar code because they scan it for the price. ISBNs cost $30.00+ to register your account, plus $125 for a single ISBN or$245.00 for a block of 10 ISBN’s. You need a new ISBN for each book or revised editionso if you plan to publish several books, go ahead and get a block of ISBN’s. You do nothave to have an ISBN for e-books because the retailers like Amazon will assign one but itis a good option if you think you may want to print your book later. Bar Codes are $25.00 each. You only need a bar code if you plan to printbooks. • Visit You can link to all of their publisher services from the home page. • Also, when you’re finally ready to sell your book, register your title with the Books In Print Database that bookstores, online retailers, and libraries use to locate your book for customers. It’s free! • Use the Books in Print database to see if anyone already has your title.Step 7: Contact book printers and obtain quotes Generally, quotes are only good for thirty days. Contact several companies to seewhich one is best for you and your budget. Remember to request inside and residentialdelivery. Otherwise, they may stack them outside. Not good if you have several 30 lb.cases. Also, there will be additional sales taxes on the total. I learned this the hard way.And get extra copies of the cover (“cover overruns”) to use for marketing or framing. Finally, digital printing is much less expensive than offset for small print runs. Askabout it because some printers conveniently forget to mention all your options. I suggestan initial print run of 500 books, maximum 1,000. Then, you can make corrections whenyou reprint. Ask a lot of questions. Here are two companies I’ve used: • Central Plains Book Manufacturing • Transcontinental Metrolitho in Canada 8: Typesetting/e-Book Conversion This is the person who designs the interior of the book. They do not edit. Theyselect chapter headings, fonts…. Prices vary from $1.50 to $3.75 per page on average.Ask for a final version in: pdf, epub, and Word files. You need .pdf for printers. Youneed ePub and Word files for digital/e-Books upload. (You will not get good results ifyou upload .pdf files for Nook or Kindle. The lines will not flow properly on theeReaders.)Recommended e-book conversion companies and software:,, • Twitter: @drmoeanderson • Austin, Texas 2©2011. All rights reserved. Monica F. Anderson
  3. 3. Step 9: Find a Distributor (for paperbacks only) Most large bookstores won’t purchase the book directly from you. This minimizesthe number of checks they have to write every month. You need a national or regionaldistributor for the larger, chain stores. I suggest asking the bookstore managers who theybuy their books from first, then contact the distributor. If the stores do get the bookdirectly from you, they retain 40% or more of the price and give you the rest after thebook is sold. Sometimes it’s months after the book is sold! So keep your day job.The largest distributor in the U.S. is Ingram. They do not accept titles from small or self-publishers but they do provide a list of their reputable partners that take small clients 10: Set Up Your Business While everything is being designed and printed, select a business name, get acompany logo, PO Box, website, business cards, sales tax permit (yes, collect and paythe sales tax or go directly to jail), home-based business permit or license…Check withthe SBA or local Chamber of Commerce in your city for specific requirements. Andremember, start from Day 1 with good accounting software and keep a record of allbusiness-related expenses and income.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Finally, here are a couple of very helpful, highly recommended books and websites onthe subject that provide more detail and expert advice about every step of the publishingprocess: • The Complete Guide to Self Publishing by Tom and Marilyn Ross • The Self Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter (highly recc) along with his website, Para Publishing: • 40+ Free Tools for Authors by Piotr Kowalczyk: kowalczyk/: • Writers’ League of Texas • Independent Book Publishers Association • Twitter: @drmoeanderson • Austin, Texas 3©2011. All rights reserved. Monica F. Anderson
  4. 4. Disclaimer: This quick start guide is a very brief overview of the publishing process.Please read books on the subject, attend workshops/conferences/classes, and consult aliterary attorney, if necessary. Publishing is a rapidly changing industry. Hopefully, thisreference guide will help get you started in the write direction!Monica “Dr. mOe” AndersonPrescribing Success Daily™Professional Speaker & Bestselling Author of: Sinphony, I Stand Accused, When ASistah’s FED UP, Mom, Are We There Yet?, and Black English Vernacular. • Twitter: @drmoeanderson • Austin, Texas 4©2011. All rights reserved. Monica F. Anderson