How to self publish


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Any author who is considering self-publsihing will appreciate these tips on Self-Publishing. The presentation includes basics of book preparation, publication, distribution, and marketing, assembled by Merrimack Media, a one-stop-shop for your publishing needs.

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How to self publish

  1. 1. THE PUBLISHING LANDSCAPE Once upon a time, self- publishing used to be called vanity press. It was viewed as the last resort of desperate writers who had no choice but to subject themselves to predatory companies who would produce a mediocre book, which could be presented to the author’s family and friends. However, now the ePublishing world is full of opportunity for authors to distribute their work in an environment that has never before been available at their fingertips and for a There are success stories: Of 150 titles on the 2011 USA Today’s Best-Seller List, 15 were self-published! However, if your book is really mediocre, don't expect it to take off. Even if it's a masterpiece, there is a good chance it won't fly off the shelves (virtual or real) by itself. Only 10% of self-published authors earn a living off of their books, so do not quit your day job yet. However, if you have the expectation that it will take some effort, over time you can do well. Remember, self-publishing gives you total control over your book, including the joy of sharing your work and the creative satisfaction that is priceless. In the following pages, we will outline the basics of what you need to succeed.
  2. 2. Preparing Your Book Big Picture: Copyediting Copyediting looks at the manuscript as a whole. When you put on your copy editor hat, you are asking yourself questions about the big picture: Does my book flow from beginning to end? Are the beginning, middle and end parts of my story as tight and clear as possible? Can my sentence structures be more concise? Does each chapter or section have its own beginning, middle, and end? Are there places where I have left out necessary details? Are there places where I have left in too many details? Is my ending or conclusion as powerful as it can be? Does everything I set up get paid off later? Do your best to read as objectively as possible, and take notes as you answer each of these questions. It can also be helpful at this stage to re-outline your book. Bringing it back down to its “skeleton” can help you make sure your structure is sound. The Importance of Editing For a lot of writers, editing is a frustrating, but necessary exercise. It requires constant jockeying between the creative right-brain and the analytic left-brain. For self-published authors, the stakes are even higher. If a reader finds flawed grammar, flimsy structure and spelling errors, they’ll often assume your story is not worth reading. We have outlined a few editing tips here to help you make sure your book shines. Make the writing tight, engaging and professional, which means no unnecessary words, clichés, or redundancies. If you need an editor or book doctor, it is nothing to be ashamed of. Have someone else proofread your book in order to find mistakes that you may have overlooked.
  3. 3. Preparing Your Book Cover Design and Illustration Make sure your cover is done by a professional. If you do not have the skills to do this yourself, it will be money well spent to give your book its best chance for success and it is true that people will judge a book by its cover. If the book is inviting and interesting, you stand a better chance of having someone want to buy and read it. Your colors, fonts, illustration and use of space on the cover should reflect its contents. If you have any testimonials, it is a good idea to include one on the cover as well as a good marketing copy and a biography. Book Design: Pagination The design of a book’s interior is called pagination and the way it is laid out can make your book look professional or not. Here are a few guidelines used by professional designers: 1. A book must have an even number of pages. 2. Chapters should start on odd numbered pages which are facing pages. 3. Put the title of the book on one side of the top page and possibly the author’s name on the other page. 4. Include page numbers. You may not want to start the numbering until the introduction of first chapter.
  4. 4. . Where Do I Publish My Book? Amazon KDP Kindle Store’s self-publishing dashboard. Your book will be offered in the largest e-book catalog, available on many devices for users in over 100 countries. Smashwords A true multi-channel digital publishing solution. Publish a book at Smashwords and it will be available at Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Sony eBookstore, Diesel and iBookstore. More than 40,000 books have been published so far. PubIt! Self-publishing platform of Barnes&Noble. iTunes Connect Use this extended procedure to get published exclusively in Apple’s iBookstore. Lulu An easier, friendlier alternative to get published in iBookstore. Feedbooks Although you can only offer free books at Feedbooks, you can use it to check great stats features. It is also the easiest possible way to have a book published. No file is required for upload. You just copy & paste a text into an HTML editor. Goodreads The popular online community of readers also lets authors upload e-book files, so they can be read right after they are discovered. Scribd Also called YouTube for documents� – the largest reading social network lets you share book files in pdf or txt formats and send to many mobile devices. XinXii Europe-based marketplace for all kinds of written work. You can upload content in 15 file types. More than 10,000 titles have been published so far. iUniverse iUniverse is a self publishing company that makes it possible for writers to achieve the dream of becoming a published author.� iBook Author App can be downloaded to your ipad and you can self-publish directly to iPad. This is easy, but you must get your own ISBN and your book is locked into this system and does not allow you to distribute it other eReaders. Merrimack Media Merrimack Media helps you prepare your book and then distributes it to Amazon, Smashwords, ITunes, Barnes and Nobles, and The Ingram List as well as all epubs such as Nook, Kindle, and Kobol and then helps you market it.
  5. 5. . Where Do I Publish My Book? Figment Figment is a community where you can share your writing, connect with other readers, and discover new stories and authors. Whatever you are into, from sonnets to mysteries, sci-fi stories to cell phone novels, you can find it all here. LeanPub Writers - Get your work out there without a publisher or agent. Publish as you write. Technical Writers - Whether it’s Ruby or recipes, get your technical content to readers fast. Protagonize Collaborative story and creative fiction writing community with almost 16,000 members from around the world. Great place to discover exciting narrative forms and find new readers. Audioboo Mobile and web platform that effortlessly allows you to record 3-minute sound clips. Let your readers hear your voice! Broadcastr http://beta.broadcast... An exciting social media platform for location-based stories. Invite readers to your stories in a way they have never experienced before.
  6. 6. How Do I Promote My Book? Through Social Media, 57% people “talk” online. 10% of all consumers research online before purchasing. 1 in 4 searches results in links to user generated content. Social media helps you reach groups of people interested in your book. Where? Blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus are all popular and useful social media outlets. However, instead of using multiple resources at the same time, you can save time and connect with all of them through Social Media allows authors a platform to promote their writing in a variety of ways. Authors should take advantage of the media in the forms of websites, YouTube, radio, TV, and reviews. Blogs are also useful because they give authors a voice, an audience, and a trail in Google to help promote their work. Make sure your publisher can put your book in trade shows to help further distribute and promote your book. In addition, it is important to have your book reviewed. Some examples of power-house reviewers include: Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, Booklist, and ForeWord, but there are also numerous other alternatives. One of the biggest influences in this trend has been, a one-stop shop where an author can find reviewers and is the greatest resource to target viewers, in any genre. Paying for book reviews accomplishes two things, both of them negative. It compromises the credibility of the review (and the reviewer), and it wastes your money. a useful source for obtaining reviews. You can send your book release notices, press releases, news announcement, etc., via e-mail and a reviewer or reporter will contact you. Contact Eric Colson at Book Slut. Authors must e-mail for invitation to submit review. Book Reporter. Compulsive Reader. This site also accepts article submissions. Historical Novel Review. This reviewer specializes in Historical Fictions novels and perspective reviewers must be Historical Novel Society members. Metapsychology Online Reviews. This reviewer is especially helpful to fiction, self-help, and popular psychology authors. Authors can request more information using feedback form. Mostly Fiction. Reviews specific to the fiction genre. Social Media, Blogs, Readings, Press TV & Radio appearances….
  7. 7. How Do I Promote My Book? Once Written. This site is particularly helpful for first time writers in the fiction genre. Reader Views. This site offers authors the opportunity to be interviewed. Roundtable Reviews. The reviews from this site are based on the question: “Would I be willing to pay list price for this book, why or why not?”. Science Fiction & Fantasy. This site also accepts film, game, and article review submissions. Science Fiction. This reviewer accepts small press titles. The Romance Reader. This review site seeks paranormal, erotic, and category romance reviewers. Your first step is to develop a marketing plan, hopefully before your book is published. Develop your audience through blogging and social media ahead of publication and you will have an audience who will want to read your book.
  8. 8. How Do I Promote My Book? For many authors, the most overlooked aspect of the self-publishing process is promotion. Some people feel they only want to be writing, that time spent promoting is time they could be writing. While understandable, this is a self-defeating viewpoint. Promotion reaches potential readers, and readers lead, ultimately, to more writing. Sometimes a writer is willing to dabble in promotion, but is not sure how to maximize his or her efforts. For any writer, having a website is the proverbial “square one.” Simply put, it is essential. An author’s website is the first place reporters will go when they receive a press release. It is the first place readers will go if they like the book and want to find out more. If an agent reads a stellar query letter, he or she will go to the author’s website to read more. And, without a website, authors would miss the traffic naturally generated online by people all over the world searching for a book on a particular subject. A good website helps generate sales. A basic author website can be made with free blogging platforms such as WordPress or Blogger. On a simple page we recommend a photo of the author and a photo of the book cover(s), along with biographical and background information. Those who wish to delve further, can also set their website up with an internal blog, allowing them to update their own page with news and events information. How authors organize and design the content on their website is important. For those of you who are intimidated by that aspect of the process, consider hiring Merrimack Media to design your website for you. We can build it from scratch with provided content or with content we generate. We can also take an existing site and upgrade it. We do everything from graphic design to welcome videos. We can also show you how to maintain your site and/or blog so you can take it over with confidence. We use WordPress because it has blogs built into the sites which can direct traffic to your website, and generate more interest for your book. Every author should honor themselves and their writing with a smart-looking, informative site that makes a reader come back for more. Author Websites and Blogs
  9. 9. Empower Your Writing Career Merrimack Media exists to help you publish painlessly, offering information, self-publishing and promotion services for authors, producing a book that you can be proud of. For a personal consultation on writing, editing, publishing, promotion, or just developing your marketing plan, contact Jenny Hudson: (978) 710-8075