Steps in Publishing

 

1.  Write your manuscript. Just let it flow without worrying at that point about how smooth or error-free it is. It may take three years, or you may write it in three weeks. That doesn't really matter, just get it done. There are millions of half-written manuscripts out there that never, ever see the light of day.

2.  Get your manuscript edited. Maybe you trust your parent, your spouse, or a friend to proofread it and make any improvements necessary. Or you may contact someone like me, perhaps with a little more experience. Whatever you do, don't allow anyone to change your project into something completely different. And don't allow them to take out the most honest and real parts. Those are the very best in the entire manuscript.

3. Fill out the online form for Outskirts Press or a publisher of your choice. Then they'll probably ask you to send it to them as an email attached file. Let me know if you don't know what they're talking about. If you wrote the manuscript longhand, you'll need someone to type it on a computer file.

4.  When the publisher approves it, decide which of their publishing packages you want. A staff member there will be happy to discuss that with you, or you could email me.  Then the publisher may ask you to write a little bio about yourself and a bit of sales copy for the back cover of the book. They'll probably show you a few possible designs for the front of the book, etc.

5. Eventually they will send you galleys of the manuscript right before it goes to press. This is the last time you can read through it and catch any last minute problems or errors. Once you approve the galleys, it goes to print.

6.  Viola! Weeks later, you'll get the terrific message. Your work of art is published! You will get a certain number of free copies, and will be able to buy future copies at a great special discount. You can spread the word among your vast network of family and friends that your book is available for sale. Then, at gunpoint, you will force every one of them to buy at least one copy or else! (just kidding).  Congratulate yourself as someone who stuck to the job until you finished it and made it available to the world.

Why You Should Write and Publish!

    

    Dear Author,

 

      This is a personal message between you and me. You're part of a select group of people on this planet. You are a writer. You don't need to have perfect spelling, punctuation, or grammar. You may never have people flocking after you for your autograph on the flyleaf, but who cares?  All you need to be a writer is a desire to write and the determination to be real. I'll describe the "real" aspect in just a minute.

     The truth is, you have written something you really wanted to write. It may be a children's story, a devotional book, a novel, a how-to manuscript, or maybe a memoir or autobiography. Why did you do it? You were excited that other people would know the insides of your brain and enjoy your thoughts. Maybe you wrote a memoir to immortalize yourself---to be remembered by your children and grandchildren. Perhaps you have something to say that will be instructive or inspirational to others in some way. Whatever your motivation, I congratulate you for acting on it.

       The finest writing of all is not necessarily written by intellectuals or college graduates, by poets, by those acclaimed by the critics, or even those who have the advertising power to sell tons of copies. I've read some pretty dull stuff written by people like this. The greatest writing in the world is the most honest, the most clear and simple, the most real and true-to-life. Write down those thoughts---those experiences--- that spelled the scariest, the happiest, the angriest, the toughest, and most powerful times of your life.  Don't sugar-coat the words or try to sound cool or eloquent.  Whether you're writing your life story or writing about fictional characters in a short story or novel, just pull  up  the  deepest  matters of your heart and your emotions. That is the most remarkable writing in the world---the pure, honest stuff from deep inside.

       I can't promise that you'll then find a top agent or send your book to Random House and be given the red carpet treatment as their next best selling author. That sort of thing happens to maybe one percent of all writers, and most new books by such publishers are from those they've already published successfully. However, even if you don't hit the "big time," you can still publish your book and bring reading enjoyment and, perhaps, benefit to hundreds of people.

      There are a number of publishers like Outskirts Press, the one I feature on this website. I happen to think that Outskirts is one of the better choices. In any case, for a reasonable fee, these publishers will print your book with an attractive cover, fine quality paper, your illustrations, and your full manuscript. There are few thrills that rival the one you feel when that first published copy of your book arrives in the mail and you hold in your hands---a part of yourself that you've perhaps labored over for months or years.

     Your publisher then submits your book to Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. They begin to coach you regarding how to publicize your book. Remember, people cannot buy your remarkable book unless they know about it. Depending on the package you choose, the publisher can also help promote your book through other avenues. However, whether it sells 10 copies or 10,000, there will be a brilliant, honest piece of you out there where anyone can pick it up and read. And if humans still populate the planet three hundred years from now, long after we've passed on, there will still be a record of your heart and your life where people can find it.

     Bottom line, I want you to know that, no matter what people might say or not say about your writing, if you write honestly from your heart and soul, then you are a fine writer, and no one can ever take that away from you. I wish you the very best in your writing ventures and am available to assist you in any way possible.

God bless you,

Steve Fortosis 

     

What to do after Publishing!

You thought that all the effort and hours you put into writing your book was half the battle. You may have a terrific book on your hands, but you were wrong.  Writing the book was only the beginning.  What most writers don’t take into account is that if the right people don’t hear about your book, no one will buy it.
1. For starters, four factors are extremely important in drawing people to your book:  the cover design, the hook paragraph on the back cover, book reviews, and word of mouth.  I will expand on these factors in some of my points below.
2. Months before your book is published, you must send out galleys to book reviewers. Find them on the internet. You can also send out galleys to well-known individuals, experts in your field, people you respect,  even friends and relatives if you can’t find anyone else.  For book reviewers, make sure you send exactly what they ask for.  You can put the positive reviews on the back cover of your book, on the first few pages inside the front cover, on fliers or post cards you send out, even on blogs and emails.
3. Invest the time to think of the perfect title and invest the money to acquire a custom-designed book cover.  Experts say that the book title and cover design sells a book 80% of the time. Also, work hard on your back cover blurb about the book. It needs to hook the potential reader and make him or her really want to read it!
4.  You now need to create a buzz about your book.  This is easier said than done, but other authors have done it and you can too. People telling people is a huge secret to selling lots of books.  Even the huge commercial publishers will only promote a book for a couple of months before they move on to the next book. If  that first push doesn’t create some serious word of mouth sales, the writer is in trouble.Study the internet. Find all the magazines, websites, and ezines that reach your target audience.  Then begin publicizing your book to them.  Send galley copies to them and ask them for a review or a plug.
5. If you’re a public speaker, you’ve got a huge advantage over the person who doesn’t speak to groups.  But your book basically has to relate somehow to your audiences.  In other words, you may be a fine speaker, but if you’ve written a literary novel you’ll have more trouble grabbing an audience than if you wrote a book about “how to turn your part-time job into a very profitable enterprise.”
If you’re one of those writers who loves writing in various genres and takes pride in just writing from the heart, then this point may not apply to you.  However, the sad truth in the book market is that if you don’t write about something people really want to read, you may not earn much income as a writer. Sorry---I don’t like it either.  But, if you can, write books that have a long shelf life.  In other words, a cookbook will have a much longer shelf life than a book about Obama’s Afghanistan policies.  Also, if you write a series of cookbooks, you’ll have a better chance of building a readership than if each book is on a totally different subject.
7. It really helps if your publisher gets your book listed on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.  Then participate in methods on these sites of letting readers know that your book exists. (Check a book like Brent Sampson’s Sell Your Book on Amazon).
8. Explore the possibility of offering your book as an e-book.  Find e-bookstores that will offer your book, and then put out key chapters of your book as ezine articles to attract potential readers. Again, you will have more success with this if your book is a how-to title as opposed to a romance novel.If you can create enough of a buzz and several thousand copies of your book sell, you may get a larger commercial publisher interested in acquiring the rights to sell your book.  Then they will help promote the book and it could really take off.
9. Above all, don’t give in to discouragement.  Okay, so after two years of promoting like crazy, let’s say your book only sells 100 copies.  Don’t worry about it.  That’s at least 100 people in this world who cared enough about your book to devote precious hours, days, even weeks, to reading a piece of your heart and soul on paper. And that makes you pretty remarkable. Believe it.

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You Are A Writer

 

There is definitely an ideal situation for using print-on-demand. If you’re short on time or don’t possess the know-how to do all those details involved in producing your own bona fide book, then you may want to consider Print-on-demand.  If you don’t want thousands of books molding in your garage you may want to go POD. If you want ideas for things like book cover design that you can just pick and have  implemented immediately then choose POD.  If you want a higher profit per book than commercial publishers offer, then POD might be right for you.  If you like the idea of having marketing methods available right now for the choosing  and you’re willing to pay for them, then go POD.  If you know there's a ready-made market of interested buyers you can tap for book sales, then go POD. If you want your book automatically listed on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers, go POD. If you want your book distributed by one or two of the larger book distributors, then go POD.