Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


How To Hit a Self-Publishing Grand Slam

There are literally gobs and gobs of self-publishing avenues, advice, publishers, tech data, etc. out there. If one should have an inkling to try his/her hand at self-publishing a work — they simply can get overwhelmed!

Let’s try to cut through a lot of the thicket tonight and focus on three key elements needed for SP success. I have hit upon the elements in tonight’s subject in prior posts — but, not from this angle. We are going to refocus on just SP tonight, while, at the same time, reveal a great resource for future SP understanding and marketing success.

The three keys for SP happiness are:

  1. Hire your own experienced content editor.
  2. Hire your own professional cover designer.
  3. Buy your own ISBN.

Notice, that was a ‘content’ editor, not a copyeditor or proofreader. (I did a detailed piece on all editors, Editors! — Views from Both Sides of the Editor’s Desk – And then Some, back in May on my Writers Welcome Blog. Feel free to take a minute and learn even more.)

Tonight’s feature article explores a little about the content or structural editor — You will also learn exactly why having your own ISBN protects you as the publisher and not your ‘subsidy publisher’ (e.g.: Smashwords, Createspace etc.)

Published in BookWorks (and featured on Publishers Weekly) by Betty Kelly Sargent, founder & CEO of BookWorks:


Three Keys to Self-Publishing Success


It’s a jungle out there. Anybody who has ever self-published, or even thought about it, knows this. Sure, the opportunities for self-publishing success seem almost limitless these days, but why is it that some self-published authors have sold millions of books while others spend thousands of dollars and only manage to sell 122 copies—mostly to friends, acquaintances, and their mom?

Then there are all those other questions facing the self-published author. For example, right now, e-book prices are all over the place, so how do you figure out the best price point to maximize sales? And, what about digital rights management? There’s a big controversy over whether DRM is a good or a bad thing for authors in the long run. We will discuss all of these issues in future columns.

For now, what is a self-respecting, ambitious self-publisher to do? It all comes down to this: take charge. Whether you’re working with a subsidy publisher like CreateSpace, Book Baby, or Lulu, or you are taking the do-it-yourself route, it is essential that you oversee every aspect of the process. First, you have to make sure your book is the very best it can be. Second, you have to become smart, savvy, patient, and persistent in the marketing department—but we’ll discuss the second part of this equation in another column.

What are the three things every self-publishing writer can do to significantly up the chances for success?

  1. Hire your own experienced content editor.
  2. Hire your own professional cover designer.
  3. Buy your own ISBN. 

Let’s talk about editors first. Content editors are also sometimes called developmental or structural editors, as opposed to copyeditors and proofreaders, who read manuscripts more closely and check for style, punctuation, and grammar. These content editors are the people who often become your new best friend. They usually work with you from the start, with a single goal in mind: to help you make your book the best it can be. You is the key word here. This is your book. Your name is on the title page, not the editor’s. If you ever find yourself working with an editor who seems to be more interested in having you do things her way than your way, dump her. Good editors always listen to the writer and try to understand what it is that he or she wants to accomplish, whether it is to tell a good story or create the first and only history of the American Beauty rose.


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