Tag Archive: The Self Publishing How To Series

Yes, the world needs another self-publishing how to book.

Yes, the world needs another self-publishing how to book.

Does the world need another How To for the self-publishing process? YES!

Because even the most helpful step-by-step how to self publish a book resources are not as step by step as I need them to be.

I honestly need a true step by step. I have so many things going on in a single day – not even counting my full time job – that I find it overwhelming to try and get the short pieces of time that I have available to add up to a large piece of progress on my writing project.

My book series does not seek to convince an author to self publish. There are many  well written books out there for that purpose.

My books don’t try to teach why an author should take the steps I list in my series. The books listed below, among many others, are the best way to learn why.

My series takes a complex and challenging process and breaks it down into tasks that I can accomplish in an hour. Those hours add up over time – and I put them in order- which saves me an impressive amount of time and stress.

After I’ve read and re-read Dan Poynter’s “Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book”, and Carla King’s “Self-Publishing Boot Camp Guide For Authors: Step-by-Step to Self-Publishing Success, I still am left with the overwhelming and often action-stopping stress of where to begin. That’s with two self published (and selling) books already under my belt!

I know I am not the only person wanting this kind of true step by step resource. I have to write it for myself – so I will write it in a way that I can share.

I’m up to the “research similar titles” part – always interesting – and I’m finding that it is more important than usual to watch the publication date because Self publishing is a quickly-changing field.

If you’d like to be on the book release notification list, just sign up or keep watching this site.

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.


More Than Twenty Tips for Self Publishing A Book

Book design is where we authors put all of our eggs in one basket… for a classy and cohesive presentation.

Book design is an important step in self publishing a book. It is the setting that showcases the polished jewel of your story. Designing your book is where you figure out what you want to do with each of the pages, headers, chapter breaks, and more.

Book design can be a great opportunity to express the message of your story in unique ways, or reinforce your message. So far, I don’t get too weird with my book design because I’m aiming for a polished and professional look… but I can literally do anything I want within the page margins of the book size I’ve selected and the content guidelines of the service I’m working with. But, what do I want to do? Where do I start?

I had no idea how to design my first book, and my friend Sue Waterman was a tremendous help. She did a lovely book design for “Just a Couple of Chickens”, and that was a huge boost. With her fundamental design in hand, I went to the library and checked out ten books, one each from my favorite authors. I lined them up and studied how they designed each of their pages. Then I decided how I would approach it. I also considered the fact that some of my favorite authors have fancy full-time book designers on staff, so their books look pretty swish. I opted for simplicity.

I found a wide variety of left page, right page, headers. Many books had the author’s name on the left and the book title on the right, with page numbers left and right with the header at the top. But some books had the book title on the left and then each applicable chapter title on the right. That takes either a lot of careful design or some fancy programming. It’s super helpful from a reader’s point of view, becasue I can tell right away what chapter I’m in, but it’s more than I want to take on right now from a designer’s point of view. I discovered that I prefer a page number on every page, although most books omit the page number from the first page of each chapter. Books that only listed the right hand page number were not popular with me. I don’t want to go looking for a page number. And I love book dedications, especially the creative ones. I discovered that many of the things I love as a reader, I don’t love as a publisher… like an index, for instance. Lotta work!

I’ll be posting in more depth on individutal book design elements over the next several weeks, and my soon-to-be available book series on How To Self Publish will have even more info, but in the meantime, using other books as a guideline is a great place to start.

Not every page is applicable to every book project, for instance, a fiction novel probably won’t have a bibliography. I feel that book design should always favor readability over fine art, but otherwise, it can be a powerful asset to the book when done well.

This, however, is an enormous amount of work… just when we thought we had “finished” our book!



Rocks of Self Publishing Advice

The rocky road of getting it edited.

The correct self publishing advice regarding editing is:
Hire A Talented Editor To Review Your Manuscript.
No question, it is worth it. Choose carefully, research the going rates properly… and TAKE  their editorial advice.

Two places where hiring services for a self published book is well worth the expense are: An Editorial Review and a Professionally Designed Cover….

With that said, what about using family and friends?

Some of them may be sitting on Bachelors or Masters degrees and they may be avid readers. What about them?

Many writing professionals I have studied have discouraged the use of family and friends as editors “because they won’t tell you the truth about your writing…”
And a paid professional will.

Those writing professionals must have a different breed of family and friends than I have, because my posse tells it to me straight. They are a tough crowd and it takes guts to pass out my Readers Draft to my Peanut Gallery. They are professionals, engineers, executives, managers, business owners, educators, academics and they love to read. They know what they like and they know what they don’t. Nothing gets past them and it takes both SPF 100 plus a Kevlar vest to open up those reviewed copies when I get them back.

But my writing is SO much better when I listen to their advice. I cherish their work. Their help, plus a page crawl through the Chicago Manual of Style, sets me on the road to a readable draft.

Family and Friends are a significantly valuable resource and should be treated accordingly. Acknowledgment in the book is a minimum, but the biggest respect for their effort is to take their advice. If one of my test readers has a problem with something in my book, I do not argue with them. I go back to the keyboard and fix it, even if I really want to defend my prose. Because I am not just the author of the book anymore. It is no longer just my work of art. I am now the publisher… and I need this book to sell. I need word of mouth recommendations, good reviews, kudos, prizes, accolades. I need readers to want to read it…

So, since I became a publisher… I would argue that the term “a well-written book” is truly more accurately “a well-edited book”….


Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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