Tag Archive: self publishing advice


The Free Rooster is alive and well

Commitment.

I recently listened to a back episode, Episode 36, of the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast by Simon Whistler where he was interviewing Beverly Kendall about her writing, publishing, and the survey she had done on what self publishers are earning.

Beverly said that she had purposefully targeted places where “committed self publishers and writers” gathered in order to get the best responses for her survey – responses which completely trashed the popular idea that self publishers were earning nothing.

It was this distinction of “committed” that was the real key. That caught my attention.

What was the difference between a self-publishing dabbler and a committed self publisher?  Well, for one thing, the income.

I had been serious about my self publishing and certainly had the time commitment dialed in, but I started to think… and read… and listen… and follow… and like… and pin… and subscribe… about what I could do to really commit to my writing and self publishing. About what that would mean.

I took a simple first step. I went (online) to the places where “committed self publishers and writers” gathered (twitter, hashtag #selfpublish, find and follow the industry gurus)- and I listened.

Hundreds, maybe thousands, of voices were saying the same thing – which made it astonishingly easy to hear amidst the crazy babble that is twitter.

Engage: with readers, with industry gurus, with other self publishers, with my local community. Maybe writing is an activity that an introvert can successfully do all alone in a garrett – but publishing requires connecting with this huge peopled world. And self publishing means personally connecting.

Publish Great Content Constantly: blogging, tweeting, pinning… my content has to be out there and it has to be valuable, interesting and preferably accurate. If I can’t do “constantly” I can do AFAP (as frequently as possible.)

Pick a Genre and Stick With It: because readers do not generally leave their favorite genre to follow you, the author, to your next book. I muffed that one already. My aviation history biography is mysteriously not as interesting as I thought it would be to the fans of my family memoir chicken-raising homestead adventure. Aviation history fans love it – but chicken moms are meh. The income lies in an excellent and riveting series within a single genre.

Do All That While Still Writing All The Time: ah, jeez. (screeching tires on pavement sound.)

The unspoken, “and don’t quit your day job” was not as prevalent in these streams because many of the authors had actually quit their day jobs. These were the full-timers, the mid-listers and more who were making enough or more at self publishing for it to be their day job. So I was going to have to improvise in order to do all this while nurturing my day job.

My biggest challenge was going to be managing the time it takes me to write and self publish my books. The two I already have on Amazon, which sell even though I still need to market them, each took over a year to produce, and that’s too slow for where I want to be as an author – and what I want to earn.

I needed to find out How To Get More Efficient In My Writing And Self Publishing, and that answer was out there in the twitter stream as well.

Which brings us to SCRIVENER, and my next post.

The Horned Lizard of Self Publishing demands a book proposal on each of her own books before she will consider publishing herself.

The Horned Lizard of Self Publishing demands a book proposal on each of her own books before she will consider publishing herself.

I’m in the book proposal stage of my book proposal chapter of my Step-by-Step How To Self Publish A Book series.

I’m whining about it.

“Why do I have to do a book proposal?”

“Because I’m your publisher and I need the book proposal,”

“But I’m a self publisher. I’m not going to submit this around  because it’s How To Self Publish – though that would be kind of ironic,”

“And as yourself, your publisher, I insist on the book proposal. I need the information you will find and summarize in it,”

“Then why don’t you do it, and let me get back to writing?”

“No way, I’m too busy doing Self Everything Else in your life,”

…. My previous blog post says it even better than I can….

Beautiful Hybrid

Beautiful Hybrid

When I started with self publishing in 2009, I did it because I had a book I knew would sell if I could get it to market quickly. And it did, because I did.

There were a lot of traditionally published authors at that time telling us aspiring authors that self publishing was a “kiss of death” action. Do it and risk never being taken seriously by the traditional world.

I did it anyway, largely because I couldn’t get the attention of the traditional publishing world and again, I really believed in my book.

I had hoped that my book sales would later attract a traditional publisher, as has happened for some self-published authors. What I didn’t expect was for many of the traditionally-published authors to start coming over to self publishing, attracted by not only the book sales some self publishers are scoring, but also by the money.

Hear for yourself what these authors are saying – and what exactly the new word “Hybrid Author” means to them on the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast by Simon Whistler. Episode 36 is particularly interesting as Beverly Kendall talks about the survey she completed last year studying what self publishers are earning.

We need new language for this new world of self publishing.

For one thing, we need to figure out if it is self publishing or self-publishing. I say it needs a hyphen when it describes, and otherwise should stand as two words.

There needs to be a different word for an author who owns her own ISBN and does it herself versus someone who accepts the ISBN from the upload site (do not accept the ISBN from the upload site), versus someone who buys a package from a “vanity” press site.

There are indie publishers, (independent publisher) which my kind of self-publishing business actually is, but if I don’t intend to publish work by other authors, I don’t feel that indie publisher is a fit – though I’ll use it anyway.

And I’d like a nice, encouraging piece of language to describe authors who are truly self published, and own their ISBN and have print and ebooks available – but aren’t yet doing it full-time because it isn’t yet earning full-time. Not a penalizing piece of language – an “on the way there” piece of language.

My wish list wouldn’t be complete with wanting a piece of language – preferably colorful – for the kind of author who self publishes crap – and another similar word for traditional publishers who publish crap. And a place to apply for a refund.

 

Time To Blog Again!

Time To Blog Again!

My blogging time-out is up and it’s time to blog again!

I’ve wrestled my next book into a lumpy approximation of a manuscript and I’m ready to take it through my soon-to-be-finished self publishing step-by-step series, all the way to self publication.

My next book IS my soon-to-be-finished self publishing step-by-step series, so this is a kind of Mandelbrot thing, only a lot less intricate. Kind of a matryoshka doll thing, only more pronounceable.

It’s all about taking a systemic, guided approach to the process of self publishing from an author’s do-it-yourself-and-do-it-really-well position and spending time instead of money – therefore reserving the money for services that really should be hired out, like professional editing and book cover creation.

It’s about beginning with the end in mind (high five Stephen Covey) and self publishing the right way – the “independent press” way instead of the vanity press way.

It’s about taking a finished – or nearly finished – book project through the preparation, design, formatting, upload, and publication process in a way that sets me up to market the book, while getting busy writing the next book.

This book (series) had to be written because I got tired of self publishing backwardsly.

I published my first book in 2009, learned everything the hard way, but still managed to put out a decently popular book.

My second book  taxied down the runway in 2013 with a nice polish on those hard-earned lessons.

By that time, I knew what I had to do, why, and in what order, but I yearned for a nicely organized, clear thinking step-by-step process that matched the way I thought (… ping pong balls on mousetraps image… ) and the time I had available to complete one of the steps ( … the hour after happy hour if by hour you mean half hour …) and my budget (… image of desert, tumbleweed rolls by…)

This book is the true step-by-step How To Self Publish A Book.

If you’d like to be notified when it is ready for release, just sign up here or keep tuning in! And Welcome Back!

Self Publishing Advice Sky's the LimitI am a big fan of How To books, but I also have a big pet peeve regarding the genre…

They talk too much!

And as an expert at talking to much, I know alot about this issue.

When I buy a How To book, it’s because I already know that I want to know how to do whatever it is the book is talking about.

So I get really frustrated when the first several chapters of the book are telling me why I should buy the book. Because I already bought it!

I wanted a how to book that got straight to the point. That explained to me what I needed to know, then what I needed to do, and explained it in order.

And it would be even better if it contained a checklist of items that I could accomplish in the fifteen to thirty minutes I have to accomplish it in.

But I didn’t find any such “how to” books in self publishing, although I did find a lot of good self publishing books.

So I decided to write my own, in exactly that format.

I went one step better. I separated the “how to” books into small volumes that are targeted to specific parts of the self publishing process, like preparing a book proposal, the actions of self publishing, marketing a self published book, making a website to support a self published book.

These books, together, create a valuable step by step resource for anyone stepping into self publishing a book, and I plan to have them available as print and eBooks soon. Sign up for my newsletter if you want to be informed when they are ready!

Finishing up with your copyright obligation is just like a walk on the beach. A walk on an Oregon beach, which requires a warm jacket and an umbrella.

Finishing up with your copyright obligation is just like a walk on the beach. A walk on an Oregon beach, which requires a warm jacket and an umbrella.

While it is not legally required to register your copyright with the US Government, it is highly recommended. I register my copyrights once I have completed my manuscript – before I self publish.

This allows me to upload an electronic copy of my manuscript – which by then, I have formatted as a book – and costs me $35 (in 2013).

Once I self publish my book, I have to follow through with the copyright registration process by mailing two good copies of the book to the copyright office.

“Mandatory Deposit in Brief

• All works under copyright protection that are published in the United States are subject to the mandatory deposit provision of the copyright law.

• This law requires that two copies of the best edition of every copyrightable work published in the United States be sent to the Copyright Office within three months of publication.”

This requirement is beautifully described in Circular 7dMandatory Deposit of Copies or Phonorecords for the Library of Congress.

I copied the quoted text from www.copyright.gov and I’m not sure of the copyright of that copyright info… so I’m trying hard to be clear about where I got that… but I’m the one who made “within three months of publication” bold, because I think that’s quite an important point.

These two copies become the property of the US Government and will not be returned. You also have to pack them nicely so that they don’t get blown up by Homeland Security on their way to the Library of Congress.

There is no additional fee for this step, other than the postage.

Not only does this step complete your copyright registration process, and protect your work for a couple hundred years (or less), it also ensures that YOUR book is one of the dozens – well, bizillions – of books on the shelf in a way-cool library. Or stacked in a basement somewhere; who knows.

Library of Congress
Copyright Office
Attn: 407 Deposits
101 Independence Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20559

 

Unlimited numbers of copies of When No One Else Would Fly, by Corinne Tippett are available on Amazon.com... and if it says out of stock, just check back the next day.

Unlimited numbers of copies of When No One Else Would Fly, by Corinne Tippett are available on Amazon.com… and if it says out of stock, just check back the next day.

There’s a new aviation pioneering biography in town, and it’s really good. Worth ordering on Amazon.com!

And when you order, you can get the book in about three days!  Which is quite incredible considering everything going on in the background.

It is a symphony of electronic publishing, distribution, and delivery that has changed hugely in just the last three years – since I published my first good book, titled  Just A Couple Of Chickens.

One reason the book has recently been going in and out of stock – although never out of stock for more than 48 hours – is because I am mucking about with the cover.

One reason I am mucking about with the cover is that this Print On Demand super-fast-mega-cool print system has a small amount of fluctuation in the cover placement on the book. It’s less than a quarter of an inch, but that can mean a line gets out of place, or a forehead gets stretched.

It all started with my correction to the back matter on the book. I wanted to say that Tip piloted more than ninety-eight different aircraft models, (instead of types of aircraft) and when I made that change, things started to color outside the lines in very minor ways.

The overall print quality, however, is way way way better than it was three years ago. My latest stack of author copies had NO flaws…and three years ago, it was 2 in 10.

My book does not sit in a warehouse, or garage, waiting for orders. It exists as an electronic file within Amazon’s extensive distribution network and when you order a copy, it prints at the nearest facility near you, and ships out fast.

There is no waste. No stacks of remaindered books going into the landfill or shredder. No trucking heavy books over miles of interstate. No packing material wrapping pallets of books in cardboard, binding, plastic, and more cardboard.

It looks to me like some of the early bugs in the Print On Demand system have been solved, and more. Big changes, big improvements – just in time for a Tip’s big story.

If you go online to get When No One Else Would Fly and it ‘s out of stock, check back the next day.

 

Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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