"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." -- Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Balticon 2014: Steps to Successful Self-Publishing

Panel members: Alessia Brio, Lauren Harris, Brand Gambin, Brian Rathbone

Quick breakdown of steps:
  • Write a good novel.
  • Share it with Beta Readers.
  • Get the final draft edited.
  • Get good cover art.
  • Select publishing method -- ebook, audiobook, print-on-demand
  • Be prepared to pay for some services.
  • Market your novel.
  • Start work on your next novel.
Write a good novel
Some panelists said just write your story ideas down first without regard to grammar. Others said they take care as they write.

Share it with Beta Readers/Get the final draft edited/Get good cover art
Network, go to writing forums or other social media to find possible beta readers, editors and book cover artists. Once you have selected a cover, have the artist create it in various versions for the web, for ebook publishing and print.

Try to get your cover art in vector graphics because it is easier to resize.

One author gets a painter to create his covers. He uses the image for various forms of publication and then frames the painting to hang on his wall.

Select your publishing method
Will need to get over the learning curve regarding formatting your book for publication. Read the specs for the publishing outlet you select. One caution, graphics can make it hard to format your novel for ebook publication due to software limitations. Plus, graphics can increase the file size of your novel and therefore increase your costs for distribution.

Many authors also published audiobooks of their novels not only for promotional use but as another revenue stream.

Be repared to pay for some services/Market your novel.
During the publishing process, you may need to seek professional services like editing, cover art, audiobook recordings or production of book trailers. Again, balance your expenses with potential revenues and your time investment. Watch your pennies.

Know your audience, find your audience. Create a mailing list. Engage with your readers. Have a website. Go to where your audience goes like science fiction, romance or western conventions but again, balance your marketing time with your writing time -- you are a writer.

Write your next novel
While you market your previous novels.

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