Monday, February 8, 2010

Before You Self-Publish - Part 1

Part 1: Steps 1 and 2

With today’s oversaturated and tight publishing market, it’s difficult to find even a small publisher for the manuscript you’ve slaved over. Many authors have taken the matter into their own hands and are going the self-publishing route. But, remember, have vision! This can be a worthwhile venture…if you first know a couple of things:

1. Self-publishing and co-publishing will cost you money

This is an absolute when venturing into the self-publishing world. How much money will depend on the company you choose and which of the various services they offer that you buy into. And, there will be many aside from printing your book: editing, cover design, copyright, distribution, press releases, promotion, and so on. Each of these additional services will cost you more money, although most of these companies do offer package deals. I know writers who have spent under a thousand dollars and others who have spent over five thousand dollars to publish their book.

In addition to this, selling books is a TOUGH business. Just because your book is in print or digitally available, it does not mean you will recoup your money, or make a profit.

It may sound a bit harsh, but I’ve seen writers spend money on self-publishing hoping it will bring a return on their investment - this is not always the case.

2. Join a critique group before actually publishing

You’ve decided you want your book published no matter what. Well, that’ fine, but before you start think about which company to use to self-publish, JOIN A CRITIQUE GROUP; it is essential. I do reviews, editing, and critiques, so I read a number of self-published books and manuscripts, and what is evident, is many authors are unaware that they need to have an edited, polished manuscript before they think of going the self-publishing path.

When choosing a critique group, be sure there are new and experienced (preferably published) writers as members, and it needs to focus on the genre you write in. In a critique group, you’ll quickly begin to see, through critiques of your work and that of the other members, how writing should be done. You’ll begin to spot grammatical and punctuation and storyline errors – you will begin to hone your craft. The group will help you polish your manuscript – you’ll be amazed at the difference.

At this point, it is advisable to have it edited as a final insurance. Often, the company you go with to self-publish will offer editing services. Just price it compared to hiring your own editor.

Part 2 will be here Wednesday, February 10th, with steps 3 through 6 of Before You Publish

Karen Cioffi, Online Platform Instructor


Stephen Tremp said...

I'll be following your series. One cannever know enough about this business. The more cost saving tips, the better.

Stephen Tremp

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Hi, Stephen,

I know what you mean. I've been working with a couple of writers who weren't aware of the possible obstacles and costs involved with SP. Just want to shed some light.


Karen Cioffi

Mayra Calvani said...

Thanks for the tips and great article links--off to check them out!

Karen Cioffi said...

Jonathan said...

Great Post. Thanks for sharing your valuable information. I went through a long process when I published my first book. But now I publish eBooks and it doesn't cost me that much and I reach millions of people on the Internet. I didn't understand the concept of eBook until I bought a step-by-step training course. It has been really helpful and I saved a lot of time!
February 27, 2010 10:51 PM

This post had a link to purchase a product, and the author does not have a Blogger profile or name tag url, so I edited out the link.