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February 2013

What Authors Need to Know About Self-Publishing - Part 2

By Bobbi Linkemer

In Part 1, I shared some of the basics of self-publishing you should be aware of if you plan on become a self-published author. What follows are some additional thoughts on what you should know and do to be successful.

  • Download or send for copyright forms. You can file with th U.S. Copyright Office. Even though your work is automatically copyrighted when you write it, this is an added protection.
  • Secure an ISBN. You can secure an International Standard Book Number from R.R. Bowker. If you obtain one through a publisher, be sure it is in your name so that you will be the publisher of record.
  • Have your manuscript edited and copy edited.
  • Request testimonials to include in your book. You'll need these for your book cover and promotional materials.
  • Send your book to peer reveiwers. Take their critiques to heart and make changes.
  • Send out review copies of galleys. You don need to send printed books.
  • Go over the printed book with a fine tooth comb for appearance, quality, pages, and printing. Check everything. Don't settle for less than perfect.
  • Do a promotional mailing. This is when all of your hard work on brochures and creating mailing lists pays off.
  • Write articles on your subject...and submit them to print publications and online sites.
  • Think of book promotion as an ongoing, full-time job. The more you do, the more successful your book will be.

There is little doubt that being your own publisher is a big job but one that can bring creative autonomy, satisfaction and profit. Before you tackle it, be very sure you can afford the time, effort and money. If so, go for it!

[Bobbi Linkemer is a book coach, ghostwriter, editor and author of 17 books. Her clients includeFortune 100 companies, entrepreneurs and individuals. To visit her website, go tohttp://www.WriteANonfictionBook.com.]

What Authors Need to Know About Self-Publishing - Part 1

by Bobbi Linkemer

Self-publishing is the subject of entire books, and there are many available on the subject. Check the resources section of your local bookstore, search for "self-publishing" in your favorite search engine or Amazon, or go to your local library. If you plan to go this route, you should spend some time learning about it.

What follows are the absolute basics of what you need to know, do, or have as a self-publisher.

  • Start with a great title and subtitle. This is harder than it sounds, and it's important enough to hire an expert to guide you. There are two kinds of writers; one who can turn a title into a book, and the other can capture the essence of a book in a few pithy words. You need the latter.
  • Have you book cover designed by a graphic designer who specializes in books. Go to your favorite bookstore and look at book covers. What grabs your attention, turns you off, is boring, feels good in your hand? Share your impressions with your book designer.
  • Write a book marketing plan. In its simplest form, a book marketing plan starts with an overal goal for what you want to accomplish, strategies for how you plan to do it, and specific tactics or actions you plan to take, with target dates and estimated costs.
  • Create a promotional piece or brochure.
  • Put together a book mailing list. A solid mailing list is a must have for authors.
  • Develop a website for your book. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but should entice and inform. You can add to it as you progress.
  • Create a blog to keep people informed of you progress. There are a host of blog sites to choose from that make fairly easy to set up your own blog and customize your message.
  • Choose a name for your book publishing company. Expert Dan Poynter suggests that having a book written, published and distributed by the author may detract form the book's credibility.

In a future post (Part 2), I'll provide some additional absolute basics to help your self-publishing efforts.

[Bobbi Linkemer is a book coach, ghostwriter, editor and author of 17 books. Her clients include Fortune 100 companies, entrepreneurs and individuals. To visit her website, go to http://www.WriteANonfictionBook.com.]

What Do We Mean By "Book Branding?"

by Karen Hodges Miller

Have you every thought about developing a brand around you and your book? If not, you should. What is book branding anyway? Book branding is creating an image that comes immediately to mind when your name or the title of your book (or book series) are mentioned.

Here are a few tips to help you in your book branding efforts.

1. Brand your title. The title of your book cannot be boring and generic. It needs to be catchy, easily searchable on the internet, and something for which you can obtain a URL. Ask yourself, does my book title attract the right audience?

2. Brand yourself. Whether you are writing nonfiction or fiction, you are the brand. Your bio should reflect that. It should talk about you and your accomplishments in a way that makes the reader want to learn more about what you have to say. It needs to be about what makes the reader want to buy your book.

3. Brand your website. If you are writing one book and never plan to write another, your website URL should be the title of your book. If you want to use your book as a springboard for your career, your URL should be your name.

4. Use social media to show your expertise. Don't just make connections and friends on the various social media sites, get to know the people. Actively participate. Offer advice and help to others.

5. Think abundance, not scarcity. Sharing your knowledge with others not only helps to increase their awareness of your expertise, it brands you as a person who cares enough to share. Part of branding is becoming known as someone willing to share his or her knowledge.

6. Be approachable. People will often buy books based upon their perceptions of the author, not just his or her knowledge, writing style, storytelling ability and expertise. Make sure your brand is that of a friendly, helpful, approachable person.

If someone reads and enjoys a book, chances are they will probably pick up the next book that author writes. That's what branding as an author is all about. It's trusting that the author will continue to supply high quality, interesting, informative material. Your brand should stand for quality and professionalism in everything you do.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Sell Your Book, written by Karen Hodges Miller. In addition to being an author, Karen is an editor and founder of Open Door Publications.]


Here's A Great Self-Publishing Checklist To Use Just After You've Finished Writing Your Book

With your book finally finished, you're ready to think about some of the physical aspects of your book - things like page count, typeface, design and artwork. You also should start thinking about your specific marketing, promotions and distribution strategies. The following offers a great checklist for you to follow.

  1. Research your chosen title to see if it is already in use.
  2. Get any needed permissions.
  3. Wrap up last-minute research and verifications.
  4. Ask competent friends or associates to read/critique/edit your manuscript. Revise accordingly.
  5. Have your manuscript professionally edited. Make changes and proofread them.
  6. Plan the interior design and mark the manuscript for typesetting.
  7. Gather any interior artwork, such as photographs or illustrations. Size them.
  8. Write captions for any interior art.
  9. Prepare a castoff to determine preliminary book length and specifications.
  10. Get author photo taken.
  11. Get professional help to design your cover.
  12. Request price quotations from book manufacturers and typesetters.
  13. Determine a tentative retail sales price.
  14. Establish your publication date.
  15. Photocopy your manuscript or save it as a PDF, and send it out to authorities on your topic and key reviewers for advance comments and perhaps a foreward.
  16. Assign an ISBN.
  17. Complete and submit the Advance Book Information form.
  18. Complete and submit the LCCN form.
  19. Typeset your book or send it to a designer/typesetter.
  20. Obtain a Bookland EAN Scanning Symbol.

[The posts was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 5th Edition, co-authored by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.]