What? Me Publish?


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This presentation accompanied a talk I gave at the Ann Arbor District Library on February 27, 2013 on my adventures in self-publishing.

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What? Me Publish?

  1. 1. What, me publish?Dan Romanchik, KB6NUhttp://www.kb6nu.comcwgeek@kb6nu.com
  2. 2. Am I lucky or what?• Trained as an engineer, i.e. I never really learnedhow to write.• After 12 mostly unsatisfying years as an engineer,mostly as a test engineer, I lucked into a job withTest&Measurement World magazine.• After six years as a writer and technical editor,became a freelance writer and website developer.
  3. 3. Am I Lucky or What?• Lifelong amateur radio operator, but not veryactive until August 2002.• Began amateur radio blog - KB6NU.Com -November 2002. Now, has nearly 2,000 postsand loyal readership.• The first “No Nonsense” amateur radio licensestudy guide - 2007.
  4. 4. My books• “No Nonsense”Amateur RadioLicense Study Guides• Technician, General, Extra• 21Things to Do AfterYou GetYourAmateur Radio License• Having Fun with Ham Radio: LettingMy Inner Geek Out
  5. 5. Creating your e-book• My first attempt: Calibre/Sigil• Calibre is an e-book managementprogram. Capable of converting e-books from one format to another.• Sigil is an e-book editor.• This approach worked, but thetwo-step process took a lot oftime.
  6. 6. Creating your e-book• Jutoh is a program designedspecifically for creating e-books.• Jutoh works on all major desktopplatforms:Windows, Mac, Linux.• Not free, but costs only $40.• Great support via the Jutoh mailinglist. Program author participates in list.
  7. 7. Creating your e-book• Other solutions• Adobe In-Design -VERY expensive.• Smashwords: Online e-book creation, will alsosell book for you.• Some word-processing programs now exportePub files.• A bunch of others.
  8. 8. Editing• A good editor WILL make your book better.• They’re not cheap, though.A good editor couldcost anywhere from $200 to $2,000.• Another problem is finding one that you canwork with.
  9. 9. Covers• While it may be true that youcan’t tell a book by its cover,your book will be judged byits cover.• Expect to pay at least $200for a professional cover, moreif you’re doing a print cover.
  10. 10. Selling your e-bookAMAZON!
  11. 11. Selling your e-book• iBookstore• Smashwords• Direct from your own website• Leanpub• Specialized websites:AmateurRadioSupplies.Com
  12. 12. Marketing• No paid advertising.• I do send out press releases.• Rely heavily on my blog, social media (Twitter),mailing lists, word-of-mouth.• Free advertising: 2600 magazine•AMAZON!
  13. 13. Your “platform”• What is a platform?• My platform:• Blog• Mailing lists• Speaking• Teaching• Create your writer platform : the key to building anaudience, selling more books, and finding success asan author
  14. 14. Should you offer a print version?• Ann Arbor is the world capital for short-runprinting: Edwards Bros., Cushing-Malloy, more• Print-on-demand (POD)• U-M Espresso machine• Lulu• Whether or not you offer a print versiondepends on what type of book you’re publishing.
  15. 15. I’m not getting rich (yet)• I’m definitely not getting rich, but sales areincreasing.• The money I’m making is more than paying formy amateur radio hobby.• I plan to write and publish more books. In theworks are books about learning and using MorseCode and digital multi-meters (DMMs).
  16. 16. Do you have a book in you?• If you have ever considered writing a book, I’dencourage you to do so.• The barriers to publishing are so low now thatthey’re almost nil.• There are lots of good reasons to do so.• What do you know about? What is your passion?
  17. 17. QUESTIONS?Dan Romanchik, KB6NUcwgeek@kb6nu.com734-930-6564