I didn’t get a chance to read this book until this morning and then, I did not read the whole thing. It’s almost 500 pages long. However, just skipping through the chapters I could tell it is an exceedingly comprehensive book on publishing. I wish I’d read it twenty years ago because as they say in Chapter 2, A World Wide Wonderland, “. . .these days it’s imperative to start assembling an audience long before you’ve written a word.” To someone who’s been writing as long as she can remember that’s like saying “assemble an audience before you’re born.” Sheesh. My first book Flipka was in final edits before I even knew about twitter accounts.
The chapter on blogging contains some interesting factoids I did not know, for example, you’re supposed to post pictures of yourself at various stages of life. Readers love family pictures. Really, what do you think?
If you’re going the traditional route, there’s gobs of information on dealing with agents, how to get a larger advance from a publisher, and how to conduct yourself on television interviews. Ah, not my big worry right now.
The chapter I spent most of my time reading was Publish Thyself which, as the title suggests, focuses on self-publishing. Here are some things I learnt:
- It’s not uncommon for writers to spend up to $50,000 to self-publish if they avail themselves of all the so-called “writer services” available. (so word to the wise)
- Upgrade to off-white paper instead of white. It looks more professional and is easier on the eyes.
- If you’re listing yourself as the publisher, get a PO box and use it for contact information on the copyright page. (amazing to think people would actually list their home address as contact info but apparently it’s been done.)
Regarding item 1, writer’s services include editing, proofing, layout, cover design formatting, ISBNs, website design, bio help (professionally done head shots), marketing, distribution, etc., etc. The book contains many stories of writers who’ve gone the whole hog versus those who’ve flown by the seat of their pants. In the end success generally came down to perseverance on the part of the author, no matter how much money was spent.
Regarding item 3, to list yourself as a publisher all you need to do (in the US) is register your name as a business with the county clerk. For about $50 JT Twissel became a business with me, Jan, as the President. Now if I could only afford an admin.
I want to thank Krista over at Krista at the Heart of It All, for the recommendation of Silverwood Books. I did check them out (even saw your book listed!) and they seem exceedingly professional. Their packages seem competitively priced and a good deal but I’ve already gotten fairly far along in the process thanks to my previous publisher. I will probably go with CreateSpace. Now thanks to Cinda I have a good idea what to look out for and which services to spurge on. Maybe I’ll actually get started tomorrow. Ya think?