Wednesday, May 19, 2010

CHAPTER FIVE: Publishing made easy...step by step

Okay, so if you are looking for a publisher here is some info you might want to consider.

First, what do you want? If you want to have some books for family and friends and have your dream in print by all means go self publishing or POD. Other names for the same thing are short run publisher, vanity press and so on. This said what you get is a book but all the steps are up to you. This means the editing, proofreading, cover art, and so on...

If you want to make this your future then do not do the above unless you have no other choice... and you do. Find a small press and sell them on your work, if it sucks get better, if it will hold water you will get published.

So tonight we will look at the step by step process of doing it yourself or through a POD printer. Again you will have a book and most bookstores will not talk to you but you don't care cuz you just want the darn thing in your hot little hands.

Here we go.

First step after you have the book written is to find a good editor. Believe me i did it the hard way and skipped this step and I am still paying the price... pay the fee and have it done. DO NOT GET A BUNCH OF FRIENDS DO IT!!! This will cost you 200-600 for a good one. More if you want a pro pro... This editor will look for plot story ect... for non-fiction you need this step for flow structure and so on...

As this is going on you need to get a killer cover done. By this I mean this cover has to be good enough for someone who does not know you to want to pick up your book. little details are a review on the cover, a tag line or some little detail lake that. With that you need to know the size of your final cut book and the bleed so it can be set for the printer. The more you do the less it will cost you at the print shop. They will do it for you but for a fee. Also you need to know the exact finish page count so you can set the width of your spine... if this is off you will have a book with the spine wording off to one side and it will look like a self pub book. Just because it is doesn't mean we want it to look like it.

after cover is done you have time to get a ISBN number and a Barcode. you need this if you want to sell your book in a store. If you don't ever want to sell it outside of your family then forgo this step. But remember no Amazon, no online sales other then direct. you can get all this fro about 150 bucks at If you get this from your POD publisher or but one from them with your name as the publisher on it the thing is still registered under them, you want this to be in your name... or if you don't care don't worry about it. This number will be your special number for your book alone.

After you get the first edit back go through the book again and make sure everything is right. Now you can give it out to friends to proofread and get all the typos. After you have thing done do it again... better to have it done now. This should be free...

Your printer will layout your book but again for a price. If you do it or hire someone online to do it for you then you will have the final say in how it looks and save some money. How big do you want the margins and do you want your name and the book name at the top? Where do you want the page numbers? Here is what I recommend...

Top of page left hand side, author name all caps.
top of page right hand side, Book title title case.
Bottom of page center, page numbers.
Margins 1" all the way around.
11 pt on body text, if it is to big it reads and feels like a self pub.
Chapter starts all need to start on the right hand side of the page and need to start halfway down.
Chapter start titles should be like 16pt-20pt bold in a cool font.
First line of each chapter you can use a drop cap or make the first 4 words in all caps.
Use off white paper or a natural paper, stark white is hard on the eyes and makes the reader tired.

The book after it is all laid out and you have your page count have your cover art guy adjust the spine to make it dead on.
Again you can find people online and if you want one I have a good contact that can do all this for you for like 75 bucks. The print shop will take you for 150 or more. The final layout book will be a PDF and you will have this to keep for a 2nd print run, this way you can shop printers for a good deal if you end up hating the one you used in the beginning... happens a lot.

Things to think about having in your book.
A dedication page in the front, a copyright page, a title page, a table of contents, all these pages should all start on the right outside of the copyright page, this should be on the left.

The end of the book should have a author bio. MAYBE A WEBSITE TO BUY THE BOOK OR A BLOG TO FOLLOW MORE AUTHOR NEWS.

You winded yet?

This can be done within 6 month's of the first printing but the sooner the better. Go to and you can print off the form and send in 85 dollars and you will get a certificate back in about 6 weeks. This way it is all yours... If you have this done before printing you need to put the number on the copyright page.

Library control number... again this is a number and it is free but your POD will charge you for it... nice of them huh? This will register your book so all the library's in the country will have it and will know where to order it. I would do this no matter what and takes a minute or so and they will email you with the number and you put this in the Copyright page as well. here is the link:

Here you can again go with a POD publisher or just find a print shop. You want to order 100 books or so but not much more then that. Go with a UV coated cover or if your cover is dark a high gloss but not UV... fingerprints are so bad with the UV and a dark cover. Or better yet go to a nice printer for a UV laminate... no finger prints and a strong cover... let me know if you need some printer names. Off white paper and the lighter the better so make it thin paper. this will make it so the book does not weigh a ton. The printing should cost you from 2-6 dollars per book with no tax... you will charge sales tax so don't let them take you for sales tax. in all depending on the page count out the door with covers binding and all you should end up at the above per book amount. If you pay more kick yourself around the block.

This is based on perfect binding paperback. Hardbacks are more. Most printers will turn around your book in 10 days. And a note get everything in writing and the deadline in writing and the price and all... if you don't you will kick yourself and pay more and wait longer... this process will kill you if you let it. Also do not pay till you have books in hand. Most printers will make you pat 50% down but the rest hold and when you pick up the books go through all of them and look at the spine to see if the cover wrinkled or if the cut in the upper left hand corner is ripped... reject these and the number you end up with make them credit you on the final bill. If the quote was for 100 books and you end up with 87 make them adjust the bill to reflect this. No use paying for a damaged book.

Double check everything... before they print look through a proof copy for chapter starts... are they all on the right side? do they all line up? Is there a header on the chapter starts or on the blank page if there is one on the left? look for these things before you approve them to go to print and after grab a book and make sure they look good.

Gratz... you have a book and now the fun begins.

you can set up a Amazon account one called amazon advantage. This is for you to have amazon sell your book. you set the price and set high, you want to undercut them on your own. But the price cannot be higher then the listed price above your barcode. you will need banking info ect...It is on consignment and they take 55%. after you set up the account you will need to upload all the book info and cover art ect... After this is done you can set up your own store and sell your book on your own and they only take 35%. This is called amazon Seller Central. you have to have your book listed through Amazon Advantage before you can set this one up. Then do same thing and find your book and sell your copy and under cut them by like 3 bucks.

Ebooks. You will need a third amazon account called Amazon digital Platform. This is the E-books account and much of the info is the same. You want to set the e-book price at around .99-6.00 That way you sell a lot, the more the better and it helps you get the book out there. Amazon takes 35-65% depending on the price. To do this you need to convert your book to a ebook ready format. To do this I would hire someone to do it for you. Cost is 35-80 bucks and will save you time and make your ebook look good. you can do a search for these guys or I can refer one to you... if you ask nice.

There is another ebook site called smashwords where you can upload your book and they sell into all the other ebook sites like apple B&N ect... I would do this one as well and your ebook converter guy can convert your book for this app as well. Both have different rules so make sure you look at them.

And you are off... you have a book and ebooks now get out there and sell some books... hope this helps...

This is the process for a self pub or POD way of doing it and does not go into distribution or marketing ect... If you find a small traditional press they will help in a big way on this but you the author are the person to do most of this. Most POD publishers say they will help but are not set up for it and fail most of the time... keep in mind the success of your book is up to you.

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