I read several self publishing blogs and groups always with an eye to learn more since I believe learning is a lifelong endeavor. Recently I ran into a long exchange in one of the groups regarding which was the best tool (Word, Wordperfect, OpenOffice, Scrivner, Etc) for writing a book. From the gist of the discussion it was really about formatting and layout as opposed to writing. Since it was a self publishing blog, that makes sense but it was obvious to me that many people confuse writing with publishing and to me they are two different things.
I have used many “tools” for writing my books including Word, Wordperfect, OpenOffice, and even Wordpad. I find the tool that I used for writing is unimportant because I don’t do any formatting or layout when I write, I just write. I keep writing in the plain vanilla Normal style until I finish the book. Then I edit several times myself and have others take a shot at it until I finally arrive at a final manuscript with which I’m comfortable. Then I switch gears, or is it hats, and become a publisher. Once that happens none of those writing tools, which are office productivity not publishing tools, is acceptable unless you are just producing an ebook. If you are going for a printed book I advise the use of a good desktop publishing software. My favorite, which I have used for a dozen books, is PagePlus from the Serif software company in Britain. The latest version is X7 but X4, usually available for a fraction of the cost of the new version, does a great job as does version X5. Even if you went for the newest version and paid full retail it would cost only $99.00, an absolute bargain for a fine application.
No, I don’t sell the product nor do I benefit from it’s sale either from the new version on the Serif web site or older versions from Amazon. I just know it’s a great tool for publishing any book. So, no matter what software you choose to write your book, once you are ready to publish it’s time to find a publishing tool.
I find the comments in blogs and groups regarding how anyone can now write and publish books or ebooks, and the negative impact this is having on the publishing business, disappointing. Some comments even mention that many would-be writers really have nothing to say. Even if there is some truth in those comments, it’s not relevant. Writing and publishing is a business and if I have an idea for a book, wanting to write it is reason enough. When published as a book, an ebook, or both, the market will decide if it has value.
Whether the books I choose to write become financial successes or total failures, all the choices, risks, and rewards are mine not those who choose to disparage books or self publishing because they don’t meet some perceived standard.
The many writing and self publishing blogs and groups provide a unique opportunity to learn and share valuable information. They would be of much more value if we stop concerning ourselves with the actions of those we may consider less talented and focus on producing the best possible books and ebooks.
Biscuit Joiner: A Woodworker’s How-To Guide To Biscuit Joinery is available for prepublication orders right now at: http://biscuitjoiner.woodworking-business.com/ . The book will be published and available worldwide on June 1, 2013 and sell for $19.95 plus shipping. Until then you can order your copy for only $15.95 with free shipping anywhere in the USA.
The newest book from Positive Imaging, LLC, written by Bill Benitez, includes complete instructions on using Biscuit Joiners to built quality cabinets and furniture easier, faster, and more profitable.
There are photos and descriptions of many projects built using a Biscuit Joiner, drawings of all the joints that can be made easily with the Biscuit Joiner and exactly how to make all of those joints.
Biscuit Joiner: A Woodworker’s How-To Guide To Biscuit Joinery also includes four complete project plans with photo, drawings, and instructions to help you practice using the Biscuit Joiner.
The projects plans are perfect to build for family and friends. The chair and table are the perfect size for kids. I built several of them for my grandchildren. Get complete information now at: http://biscuitjoiner.woodworking-business.com/ .
Can you handle every aspect of self publishing your books? The answer to that question depends on the individual. I believe you can and I have done that for almost all my books. I have used photographers rarely and a graphic artist once or twice but mostly I do it all myself.
It’s a lot of work but it does save money. For me the savings are important but what I value most is the direct control of every aspect. It allows me to make absolutely certain that I attain the level of quality I want and deliver the message clearly in my own voice.
You can get help for many aspects of publishing a book but it’s important to have an in depth knowledge of every aspect so you can evaluate the quality of the work. After all, you are the publisher and fully responsible for the end result, no matter who does the work.
Spending some time browsing self publishing blogs and lists indicates there are varying viewpoints regarding the topic. Most self publishers see it as a business and publish with the intent of profit. That is my motivation for every book I write or simply publish for someone else. As a one person business it’s critical that I handle every step as efficiently as possible and that’s why I use POD (print on demand) printing. I handle all my books using Createspace as a POD printer. I handle the writing and the publicity but Createspace handles the printing and the fulfillment of all my book orders leaving me free to do what I enjoy while still selling books.
Does self publishing still involve a stigma? It would be great if the answer were no but, in spite of the ever growing popularity of self publishing, it’s still a negative to many. A good friend of mine still seems pessimistic about self publishing even after publishing his own book. I helped him publish and it turned out quite good. He is very appreciative of my publishing help and the quality of his book. Still, he seems to view self publishing as a stigma.
At dinner recently, after complimenting my wife on her children’s book, which I published in 2007, he said she needed to find a traditional (real) publisher to market it successfully. I know he meant well but, as publisher of the book, it bothered a little. Since it was high praise for the book and a wonderful evening, I avoided starting a discussion about self publishing.
Obviously, my friend really believes a traditional publisher would do things with my wife’s book that we didn’t do, perhaps not realizing that traditional publishers do little marketing for books by unknown authors. After a few preliminary actions they turn it over to the author to market alone, unless he or she is famous.
I was learning when I published my wife’s book and we both learned fast and worked hard to get her book noticed, including sending out press releases, contacting media, and conducting book signings. Because my wife is a retired educator, we went even further and collaborated with a reading specialist to create a Teacher’s Guide which we made available for download to teachers at no cost. We followed that by contacting every school librarian in the state about the book and the Teacher’s Guide. We did manage to sell quite a few books but it wasn’t a big seller.
I don’t believe her book, “Lottie’s Adventure: A Kidnapping Unraveled,” suffered because it was self published. Perhaps a professional publicist could have done more with it since I was just starting out at the time and lacked first-hand experience, but another publisher was not the answer and still isn’t.
As long as even some who self publish view it negatively, self publishing will face a stigma. Nevertheless, if done professionally, self publishing can equal and even exceed traditional publishing and some, admittedly few, self publishers have already become millionaires and famous, in some cases receiving substantial offers from traditional publishers because of the fame. As I write this there are four Smashwords, self published ebooks on the New York Times Best Seller list. So, in spite of the stigma, it would seem that the most important thing about a book is still the quality. If it is informative or entertaining and well marketed, who published it isn’t important.
In my new book, Self Publishing: Writing A Book and Publishing Books and Ebooks For Yourself and Others, I include a great deal of information and specific instructions on how to use PagePlus X4, an excellent desktop publishing tool, for creating a print ready file for any POD printer. I also indicate that Amazon.com has some good pricing on this great software.
Today I ran into an extraordinarily low price on a later version of this software, PagePlus X5. A discount seller name Nothing But Software has it on sale for only $9.95 plus $2.99 shipping. It may only be available today (8/7/12) but perhaps longer and it is a great bargain for this product. If interested, check it out at:
I have no interest in Nothing But Software but I have purchased bargains from them in the past. I highly recommend PagePlus X4, X5, or the new version X6.
My new book Self Publishing: Writing A Book and Publishing Books and eBooks For Yourself and Others is now available on Amazon and other book sellers for $19.95 plus shipping at Amazon.com and other resellers.
This book, based entirely on first-hand experience, is basically a complete course on how-to write, edit, and publishing books and ebooks.
Nothing is overlooked. Every step is covered with concise instructions and clear screen shots to you can create successful books and ebooks.
This book shows how to create a great title for your book and then use that title to create a great looking cover.
It even shows you how to create the web site to tell everyone about your new book and how they can get a copy.
You can get complete details and your copy of Self Publishing: Writing A Book and Publishing Books and eBooks For Yourself and Others at: http://selfpublishingworkbook.com .
The free ISBN is no bargain when you consider that by purchasing ISBNs 1,000 at a time POD publishers can get them for $1 each. And, the larger POD publishers who purchase 10,000 or more can get them for even less than a dollar. When a POD publisher gives you an ISBN free, they are purchasing your right to take your book to another printer for under $1.
This can be important and it saved me $3 per book on my first POD project. Had I not owned the ISBN I would have been stuck with the higher price and reduced profit.
To protect your investment of time and money in your book, purchase your ISBN for Bowker, Inc. at: https://www.myidentifiers.com/isbn/main .
One ISBN will cost you $125 but for $250 you can get 10 ISBNs and for $575 you can get 100 ISBNs. As a small publishing company I purchase 10 at a time and if you have any intention of writing more than one book or ebook, I suggest you do the same.
My new book Self Publishing: Writing A Book and Publishing Books and eBooks For Yourself and Others will be published on July 31, 2012 but is available in prepublication for a 25% discount and free shipping anywhere in the Continental USA.
This book, based entirely on first-hand experience, doesn’t show you a half dozen plus ways to write and publish a book. Instead, it contains in-depth, step-by-step, instructions and clear screen shots on one proven method that works for writing, editing, and publishing your own books and ebooks successfully.
Writing and publishing a quality book can be a complex, costly, and difficult job. The idea is just the beginning followed by a long list of tasks including planning, outlining, and then actually writing every chapter, making certain it is well organized and easy to read.
After all that, the manuscript has to be edited carefully and then you have to create a print-ready file for the POD printer.
Part of the process includes creating a great title that will draw potential book buyers and be easy to read on an interesting cover even as a small image on a web site. Then you need to create the web site to tell everyone all the details about your new book and how they can get a copy.
This is a long list of steps and handling each one professionally will contribute to creating and selling a quality book. Self Publishing: Writing A Book and Publishing Books and eBooks For Yourself and Others carefully details a step-by-step proven method for creating a quality book to help you publish successfully.
Buy it now, before publication on July 31, 2012, for the special price of only $15.00 with free shipping in the Continental U.S. That’s 25% off the $19.95 retail price and no shipping cost. Offer ends July 31,2012.
Complete information at: http://selfpublishingworkbook.com