Self-Publishing Week in Review: 10/07/14

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

DIY: Building an Author Website

There’s a range of options for creating an author website — everything from DIY custom sites to hiring a web developer. This informative article covers everything you need to know about creating a great author website.

Digital Comics, Digital Payments

This article takes a look at three services for distributing self-published comics online. This is an interesting read for authors self-publishing comics.

eBook Authors Rejoice, Crowdsourced Editing has Arrived

Quality editing is essential to self-publishing success. The start-up Advance Editions is offering a new type of editing services to authors. While I still recommend a professional editor, this article is an interesting read for writers.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

What Not to Do When Self-Publishing

There are a few things that separate successful self-publishing authors and could-have-been-successful self-published authors. If you want your book to succeed, avoid these common mistakes.

1. Formatting

There are specific requirements for properly formatting your book. Authors who try to do the formatting themselves may be disappointed with how their book turns out. To ensure your book is formatted properly, enlist the help of your self-publishing company. They will tell you exactly what to do and provide assistance to make sure the formatting is done right.

2. Front Cover

You may be tempted to save money by using a template cover. This can be very costly to your success. Despite the cliché “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” most readers do! You want a unique, professionally designed cover that captures the essence of your book and encourages readers to buy it.

3. Editing

Another area authors often try to save money is editing. They think that self-editing is the best option, but even the best writers can’t rely on self-editing. It’s just not possible to catch all of the mistakes and issues when you are so attached to the project. Always have a professional editor review your manuscript before publishing to ensure your book is the best it can be. Too many mistakes can be costly to your reputation as a professional author.

4. Back Cover

The back cover is just as important as the front cover! Do not rush through this step. The back cover helps hook the reader and plays a role in online search results. A professional copywriter and editor can help make your back cover copy great.

5. Time

Do not rush! I know self-publishing is exciting and I know it’s important to many authors to have their books published by a certain date, but successful authors know the importance of taking their time to do it right. Spend time revising your manuscript. Put a lot of thought into the title and cover art. Be patient enough to allow an editor to review your book. Spend time planning your marketing strategy. While I don’t want you to get so caught up in making everything perfect that you never finish your project, I don’t want you to rush the process and regret the quality of the book you produced.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

5 Self Publishing Mistakes You Can Avoid

Unfortunately, some people have a negative perception of self publishing. This is because some self publishing authors make detrimental mistakes that prevent their books from being taken seriously. If you want to be seen as a professional author with a successful book, be sure to avoid these five self publishing mistakes:

1)Doing the interior yourself –  You’re a writer; not a book designer.  Leave this task to the professionals and focus your time on writing and promoting your book.

2)Using a template cover –  Most readers judge a book by its cover, so having an eye-catching, quality cover that professionally represents your book is essential. Most template covers will look and feel like a cookie cutter design, even if you make small changes to it.  Invest in a professionally designed, dynamic custom cover unique to your book.

3)Editing the book yourself – No matter how great of a writer you are, you cannot edit your own work! It is too easy to miss mistakes because you are too familiar with your work. This task requires a professional.  Pay for top-notch editing services – this means using a professional editor and not your sister-in-law or next door neighbor.

4)Skipping the back cover –  Once you are ready to self publish your book,  one of the first things you’ll be asked for is your back cover synopsis and author biography. Don’t just throw something together without much thought!  Readers will look at this and determine whether or not they should buy your book.

5)Rushing – Sure, you are anxious to self publish your book, but don’t rush. Producing a quality book (one with a great cover and copyedited pages) takes time. Be patient now, and you will be glad you did once you have a book to be proud of.

There are many great self publishing success stories! You can be one of them by avoiding these mistakes.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

What Book Reviewers Look For

Book reviews are a great way to boost your credibility and market your self-published book. However, a bad review can ruin your reputation and potentially damage your book’s success. So what do book reviewers look for in a good self-published book? Here is the answer.

Book reviewers aren’t just considering your plot or characters. They look at EVERYTHING, including the content, cover, grammar, writing style, plot, characterization, flow, clarity, consistency, and more. This is just another reason that hiring a professional editor is so important. You may have a great story, but a poorly edited book can result in a poor book review.

It is also important to remember that most books should follow the Chicago Manual of Style rules. These may differ from the rules your learned in school or see in newspapers and magazines. Book reviewers are often aware of these style issues and look from them in your book. If your book is not consistent with this style, it may be perceived as unprofessional.

Don’t worry. You don’t need to be an expert in Chicago style, although you should be familiar with it. If you want your book to appear professional, hire a professional copyeditor who is trained in Chicago style. You can find an editor online, through references, or through your self-publishing company.

 

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

When to Edit Your Self-Published Book

One of the questions I am frequently asked is “when should I have someone edit my self-published book?” There are two things you need to keep in mind when deciding when to hire an editor: how is your book formatted and what type of editing do you want. Here is why.

Formatting

A manuscript should always be edited before it is designed into book format. If you plan to have the editor work on the hard-copy version of your manuscript, it has to be in standard manuscript format; that is twelve-point Courier or Times New Roman type, double-spaced, with margins of at least an inch on all sides. This format is standard in the industry and gives the editor room to work. If the book is already designed, it won’t be in standard manuscript format; it will be in book format.

If you plan to have your editor work on your electronic file, the format won’t matter, but it must be in a word-processing document, not a design program or a PDF. Most editors are not designers and won’t have the design program used to design your book. Even if the editor has the capability of opening the design program or manipulating a PDF (which some do), editing a book after it is designed will still interfere with the design. After the file is edited, you’ll have to return it to your designer to get it redesigned, and there will certainly be an additional charge for that service.

Type of Editing

There are basically two types of editing: copyediting and developmental editing. Copyediting should be done once your manuscript is complete. The editor will polish your manuscript by looking for grammar, consistency, clarity, and style issues. If you plan to add or delete large portions of content, you are not ready for a copyedit because it will result in extra fees due to the editor  re-editing portions of the manuscript or cost more than it needs as most editors charge based on the length of the manuscript.

Developmental editing should take place in the beginning stages of writing. This type of edit offers feedback on elements such plot, structure, character, etc. While many editors will point out obvious or frequent grammar and style issues, those types of mistakes are not the  main focus of this edit. If you decide to hire a developmental editor, copyediting is still recommended before publication.

Hopefully this answers some of your questions about the editing process. If you have other questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I will try to address them in future posts.

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.