Simplifying the technical

Self-publishing requires some technical skill. But, even the most basic word-processing software offers what you need.

I came across this 197-page manual written specifically to teach writers how to self-publish. Not only is it poorly done, this is the third edition.

My goal is to help you avoid this kind of publication. It is embarrassing.

Plus, this type of book gives self-publishing a bad name. If this author knew as much as she claims to know, her own book would not look like that. I will help you avoid these pitfalls.

The other criticism I have with this book is that it is largely a sales tool. The dollar sign appears 73 times in this alleged “book.”

I don’t consider that a book. But, you can certainly make a 197-page advertisement if you want.

Just, please, learn to make it without unprintable characters. Let me show you how. Register now at EventBrite.

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Making self-publishing exciting and profitable

Ages ago, my first teaching gig was at a university. I did not teach students. I taught faculty and staff.

One of the courses I taught was PageMaker. A number of faculty wanted to publish their workbooks and textbooks. But, paying someone to publish them wasn’t practical.

So faculty would attend. Or, they would send their clerical staff who would actually be the people typing, doing layout and actually getting words on paper. At that time, the campus print shop was the usual option. Not pretty, but it got the job done.

I’m excited to see Glasstree Academic Publishing come into being. They offer what all those instructors needed: well-crafted original textbooks.

This is also a boon for anyone interested in creating print products for academia. Your skills are needed. Work with faculty who provide content. You edit. You do layout.

Bonus

There is a bonus to Glasstree. They pay 70% royalties. That’s a LOT.

Academic publishing is going to be a bit different than publishing a novel. There is a different process.

Selling academic textbooks may not seem like an exciting field. But, this is a seller’s dream. The average textbook sells for nearly $100 each. Multiply that times the number of students in your class who are required to buy that textbook. Now calculate 70% of that income. You keep that. Well, the author keeps it. They may have to pay for editorial staff, artwork and other services. But, this still stands to be a higher profit than any other kind of publishing.

And, there is a captive audience. Every time someone signs up for your class—cha-ching. You just sold another textbook.

Time is running out. “Glasstree is currently in a limited free trial period until December 31, 2016. During this time, authors can publish as many titles as desired, free of charge, receiving a range of complimentary services.”

Take a look. Give it a test run. Now, THIS is exciting!

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Self-publishing: hat #4

Every self-publisher wears six hats. Six. It’s not an option. That’s how it is.

  1. Writer
  2. Editor
  3. Graphics
  4. Technical Layout Designer
  5. Marketing
  6. Coordinator

Even if you plan to provide self-publishing services for others, you need to know the process. You need to wear six hats.

Hat #1: Writer

Hat #2: Editor

Hat #3: Graphics

Hat #4: Technical Layout Designer

The technical layout designer is the one who makes it all look pretty and function well for the reader. There are specific parts to a book. Readers expect to see those parts. The designer incorporates text, graphics and photographs to build a book.

The one rule most people break is the rule that stipulates whether the first page of a book needs to be on the right, or the left. Yes, it does matter. One new self-publisher on the scene forces your book to begin on the correct page, regardless of whether you created it to do so, or not.

That matters. That matters tremendously.

Moving the first page, either forward or backward, one page, means all your layout will be in mirror image when the book is printed. Your page numbers will be on the “wrong” side of the page. Pages you have left blank intentionally in order to keep your pagination attractive, will suddenly be on the wrong side.

Graphic Layout

Once you have graphics, put your Designer hat on. Where do graphics go? How do you make text wrap around an image? What graphics resolution does the printer need? What graphics mode do they require?

Page Layout

Publishing companies provide you with a template. But, a savvy designer quickly learns to understand and adapt the template to create a beautiful book. Making those adaptations requires unique computer skills.

Layout includes choosing fonts and embedding them. It requires a keen understanding of fonts and font decoration, deciding what margins to use, how many spaces equal a tab, and so much more.

Never select text and change the font.

Never use menus to apply fonts, font sizes, font colors, font styles, paragraph or alignment, or lists.

Always apply styles instead.

And, then when you are done, save your template and copyright it. Protect your work.

CONCLUSION

Six hats. One book. Let me show you how.  Register today.

Next time …Marketing

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Self-publishing: hat #2

Every self-publisher wears six hats. Six. It’s not an option. That’s how it is.

  1. Writer
  2. Editor
  3. Graphics
  4. Technical Layout Designer
  5. Marketing
  6. Coordinator

Even if you plan to provide self-publishing services for others, you need to know the process. You need to wear six hats.

Hat #1: Writer

Hat #2: Editor

Spellchecking is not editing. It is just that. Spellchecking. That is something your computer does. Editing requires human interaction.

An editor ensures that your message flows. They fact-check for you. They know rules of writing like when to use specific characters and how to create them. If you don’t know the difference between a hyphen and an em dash and en dash, you need to hone your editing skills or hire an editor.

Add to the mix the fact that every field follows a specific style of formatting. That style has to be followed in every instance. The final product will be judged by your reader and by retailers debating over whether they should carry your book. If you are not familiar with the various style manuals and when to apply each one, you need to hire an editor.

If you didn’t know your word processing software can do this or if you have never seen this menu, then you need to attend my upcoming workshop, Learn to Self-Publish Like a Pro.

A good editor is your guide to safe travels. They can prevent you from making embarrassing mistakes.

 

“Great minds think alike” is a common quote. But, most people don’t know that is not the complete quote. The rest of it is, “…and Fools never differ.” You might want to think twice before using that quote as a compliment!

CONCLUSION

Six hats. One book. Let me show you how.

Next time …Hat #3: Graphics

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