OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
It's fantastic to talk with passionate people who take action on their dreams.
Corrina Gordon-Barnes from You Inspire Me is a coach helping others turn their dreams into businesses. In this interview, I help her with information on self-publishing her first book. It's like a coaching session in public! We have a lot of fun laughs but there's also a lot of valuable information if you are just starting out in your publishing journey.
You can download the audio here => Publishing Interview
In the interview, we discuss:
How I got started with self-publishing
and how The Creative Penn has evolved. How the publishing world is global now and the options are fantastic. Even if you want a traditional book deal, it's good to know the options.
- Self-publishing is not just a negative end-result of being rejected. There are now people actively choosing to self-publish. There are people with Kindle success who have got book deals because of it, and also authors leaving traditional publishing to go indie. It is a fast-moving world right now.
Vanity publishing vs self-publishing/indie and print on demand
- I explain the difference between vanity publishing/assisted publishing and self-publishing/indie-publishing. I'm all for author services but not thousands of dollars for a load of printed books in your garage. Indie publishing does involve partners e.g. book design, ebook formatting, editing
- How print on demand publishing works. You load your book and each sale gets printed and sent, so there is no upfront bulk cost, no postage and packaging, no storage. Options include: Lulu.com, Createspace.com, LightningSource.com or Blurb.com. These all have varied packages for publishers and there are pros and cons of each. I get very excited about print on demand (here, I explain how it changed my life!) All these sites have good help information. You can also order books directly from the site, not from Amazon so you get it cheaper.
- NOTE: It now looks as if Amazon has changed the way they work with other companies and CreateSpace may be the best option. Read this article on Amazon & Lightning Source: End of an era.
- A book designer like Joel Friedlander, will give you print ready files. If you work with a site directly, there will also be wizards and ways they can help you. There are options for all levels of knowledge.
- ISBNs can be bought per country – I mention Thorpe Bowker which is for US and AU, but it is Nielsen for UK. Also, check out this page on ISBN from TheBookDesigner
- On pricing and print books – and we discuss the options for Corrina who wants to include the audios for her book. She was going to include the audio within the book and include it in the price so the book would be more expensive. I suggest perhaps selling the audio package separately so people will pick up the book and may buy the extra.
- Corrina starts by suggesting she will start with print and then do ebook later. I explain my lessons learned and why it's a good idea to do ebook first. (1) People will pick up any mistakes and you can fix them more quickly than with a print book (especially if your print book is in In Design or another package professionally formatted) – but you can upload a new version with any print on demand (2) You can get reviews on the Kindle version early and they will synch with the print book when it's up (3) You can start earning money earlier as the print book takes longer to get ready.
- On cover design. It's good to have some ideas about what you like and go to a designer with some ideas. Do some research in the genre. They may also want to read your book. You can listen to another interview with Joel, my book designer here.
- Get an editor. There are so many things an editor can do for you. A high level edit, a structural edit, down to the line edit. Plus the need for beta readers. All of this makes your book a better product. You can usually send a sample chapter to an editor before you engage them. (I recommended Steve Parolini, the novel doctor).
- We talk about the control an entrepreneur has and how that is a natural fit with self-publishing. You have to give up a lot of control if you give up your rights in a book deal.
- Publishing as a non-US citizen. You need to get a tax number and register to be exempt for with-holding tax. Read this for more info.
- Use Smashwords.com for publishing to any other platform, especially as a non-US citizen. The premium distribution will get your book onto the iPad, Kobo, Nook and more.
For more help on these various topics:
For more information on the Ebook Publishing multi-media course, click here.
For more information on Ebook formatting for Kindle/epub and more, click here.
You can find Corrina at YouInspireMe.co.uk
Everyone has different experiences with self-publishing. Do you have anything to suggest for Corrina?