In Your Corner : Giving Thanks for Self-Publishing

Why am I thankful for self-publishing?  Let me count the ways!

self-publishing bounty

  • I’m thankful because I don’t have to wait for an agent to read and accept my next book.  We just need to write a book in order for that book to exist out there in the world and be read by others!
  • I’m thankful because I get to keep my rights and royalties.  In a competitive market, this gives us both a leg up over authors who are published through traditional forms and processes, and a leg up on an industry that constantly seeks to inflate the profit margin for the publisher or film house–at the expense of ideas and the author at the heart of it all.
  • I’m thankful because I will maintain control over every aspect of my book that I want to, and I have a whole host of options to turn to (including my own employer, Outskirts Press) if there are aspects I don’t want to control.
  • I’m thankful for more flexibility.  We get to work from home, on our own timeline, meeting our own personal goals and performing according to our own expectations–and not racing to constantly measure up to someone else’s designs, or match our schedules with someone else’s calendar.
  • I’m thankful that we don’t live in fear of progress, but rather surf the cutting edge of the digital and silicon revolutions.  We are innovators, ambitious dreamers who make change happen and get stuff done.  Right now we self-publishers are masters of the ebook, including the e-audiobook.  What’s next?  We’ll figure it out.  And we’ll embrace it, I guarantee you, before anyone else in the publishing world.
  • I’m thankful that as a part of my job I get to help others sidestep the “information gatekeepers” who have historically limited access to publication for reasons to do with bias, influence over the industry, and profit.  When has a small group of people determining the parameters of another, larger group of peoples’ lives ever turned out well?  Vive la révolution!  The more voices we hear, the more lives we witness, the more we know of the world and the way other minds work, the better we can live as individuals and a collective whole.  I really believe that.
  • I’m thankful that this has been a big year for breakthroughs in terms of mainstream recognition and presence.  Ridley Scott’s adaptation of self-publishing superstar Andy Weir’s The Martian is still rocking the box office.  A film adaptation of Lisa Genova’s Still Alice received its wide release this year, too, and walked away with an Oscar, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award (among others).  And that’s just two of many self-published works that have been adapted for the big screen (and television) this year–a great litmus test and indicator of mainstream success.  Countless other self-published books have seen more moderate success, too, and the indie industry is as a whole seeing diversification and stabilization.
  • And lastly, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving if I didn’t mention one of my greatest joys: the indie, hybrid, and self-publishing authors that I work with day and day out throughout the year at Outskirts Press. As a company, we are so very thankful for the authors that have made us a leading self-publisher in an energetic and ever-expanding market.  We never tire of learning how we have helped authors realize their dreams, how we have helped author after author to put their ideas and words into beautifully bound books to be enjoyed by others.  You inspire us to better ourselves every day.  You inspire me to believe in the power of the written word, and in the power of helping others sound their voices throughout the world.

 

I hope that you have a splendid Thanksgiving Day today.  As it is at all other times of year, it’s important to remember one simple fact this holiday season: You’re not alone. ♣︎

ElizabethABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 18 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, pre-production specialists, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process 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, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

Top 5 Reasons to Self Publish in July

Been looking for the perfect time to self-publish your book? Well, July is an ideal time to take the leap! Here are five reasons why.

1. Celebrate Freedom.

July is when Americans celebrate freedom.  Celebrate your freedom of speech, and share your writing by finally self-publishing that manuscript you’ve been holding on to.

2. Publishing is American.

Publishing books is a huge part of American culture. If you research bestselling authors or study literature, you’ll see that American authors have been, and continue to be, extremely influential.

3. Declare your independence!

You don’t need an agent or a traditional publisher.  Look to a full-service self-publishing company, and get your book published now.

4. Take advantage of longer days.

With summer comes longer days, which means more time to work on your manuscript. Take advantage of the extra hours by finally finishing your book.

5. Enjoy promotions.

Many self-publishing companies are offering great promotions this month. For instance, Outskirts Press is offering three times the free author copies to writers who self-publish in July. Don’t miss out on the great deals!

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director 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.

Take Your Time Self-Publishing

Many authors I know are anxious to self-publish their book. In fact, many of them choose self-publishing because they can see their book in print much quicker than if they used a traditional publisher. While speed is one of the many perks of self-publishing, I ALWAYS encourage my authors to take their time. If you want to publish a quality, professional book, do not rush! Instead, remember these five tips.

1) Be realistic about deadlines.

It is never a good idea to rush your writing in order to meet a deadline. You will not produce your best work if you are focused on finishing by a certain date instead of striving to write a good book, no matter how long it takes. While it is a great idea to set realistic writing and publishing goals, too tight a deadline can be damaging to the quality of your book.

2) Proofread, and consider professional editing.

No matter how great your story or ideas are, if your book is tainted with numerous grammar, spelling, and style errors, readers aren’t going to take your book seriously. To be considered a professional writer, you need to publish quality work. This means you need to take the time to proofread your book several times, and it is always a good idea to hire a professional editor. It is difficult to catch all the errors in your own work, so it is best to have another set of eyes review your manuscript.

3) Research before publishing.

Choosing a self-publishing company is a big decision. Each company offers different packages, features, prices, and support, and you need to decide which company will best complement your needs and goals as a writer. Don’t just randomly choose a self-publishing company. Spend time researching your options, and pick the one that is best for you.

4) Don’t get too far ahead.

While thinking about marketing and promotion before your book is published is a good idea, don’t get too far ahead of yourself. I don’t recommend scheduling marketing events before you have a book to take with you to the event. Go ahead and create a marketing plan, but wait until your book is ready before doing too much promotion.

5) Just enjoy it.

Self-publishing a book is an exciting adventure. Rather than rush through the process, take the time to enjoy it.

Rushing the self-publishing process will result in a less than perfect book. Take the time to make sure every aspect of your book is exactly what you want. Leave time to allow professional editors and designers to do a quality job, and take the time to enjoy the journey of becoming a self-published author.

 

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps, publishing consultants and marketing professionals; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams and on assisting authors with marketing and promoting their book once published. 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.

Self Publish a Book in 2013: Step 5 – Start Publishing Today

When you are trying to lose weight, you are often told to motivate yourself by buying an outfit, such as a swimsuit, that you hope to fit into after reaching your goal. The idea is that you will be motivated to eat well and work out because you really want to use that swimsuit hanging in your bedroom. The same is true for self publishing a book.

Rather than waiting to buy your self publishing package when your manuscript is 100% complete, purchase it now. Knowing that the package is sitting there waiting for you to use will encourage you to continue working on your project. It will also make you feel more confident knowing that you have a publishing consultant ready to help you with the process; all you have to do is finish the manuscript.

Purchasing your self publishing package is also motivating because it allows you to begin seeing yourself as a real author. You can begin thinking about editing and design and marketing. You don’t have to wait until the manuscript is finished to say you are a self published author, instead you will be a self publishing author who is in the process of finalizing his or her book.

I’d love to know, when do you plan to purchase your self publishing package?

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 Reasons for Self Publishing in November

As the end of 2012 approaches, you may be wondering if now is the right time to begin the self-publishing process. Well, here are five reasons why November is a great time to for self-publishing authors to finally make their dreams come true.

1) An early Christmas gift for yourself – When we write and publish, we often think about the reader, but at the end of the day, publishing is also about the writer. It is a major achievement to write and publish a book. Give yourself the priceless gift of seeing your book in print this year.

2) An early 2013 release – If you start the self-publishing process now, your book will probably be complete in early 2013. The beginning of a new year is a great time to begin marketing a book.

3) The calm after the storm – For most people, November and December means rushing around to decorate, shop and entertain, but January and February are typically slow months. If you start the self-publishing process now, you can take advantage of the after-the-holidays calm and use the slow months to perfect your book.

4) Get an early start on your 2013 resolution listSelf publishing a book is a common task on the New Year’s resolution list. By self publishing in November, you can get a jump-start on your to-do list, and enjoy the satisfaction of completing a resolution in the beginning of the year.

5) End of year promotions – Many self-publishing companies are getting in the holiday spirit by offering great deals on publishing packages and marketing options. Ask your self-publishing company about their current promotions.

I’d love to know, why do you want to self publish in November?

 

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.

Three Types of Copyediting Services Available to Self-Published Authors

Every author needs an editor. No matter how great of a writer you are, it is impossible to review your own writing objectively. Because you know your story and writing style so well, it is too easy to overlook simple mistakes or inconsistencies. Plus, copyediting requires special skills. Copyeditors are experts in the Chicago Manual of Style (and other style manuals). They not only look for grammar and spelling when they review your manuscript, but they also make sure your manuscript meets your industry’s publishing standards. This is essential if you want your book to be taken seriously.

When hiring a copyeditor, you will need to decide what level of editing is best for your manuscript. Often the editor (or editorial staff, if you are hiring through a company) will review your manuscript and tell you which level of editing is best for your book. Before beginning this process, it is a good idea to understand the various levels available to you. Here are the three types of copyediting services available to self-published authors.

Basic Copyediting

Basic copyediting is a good choice for authors whose primary concern is correction of style and mechanics. Basic editing does not include fact checking, sentence restructuring, or suggestions to improve flow, aesthetics, or voicing. Corrections you can expect with basic editing include:

• Typographical errors

• Misspelled words

• Grammatical errors

• Punctuation

• Homophone confusion

• Style consistency

• Standardization of spelling and capitalization

• Consistency of specific or repeated references

This is the most popular level of editorial service and is appropriate for all genres.

Moderate Copyediting

Moderate editing is a good choice for authors who would like to improve the flow and aesthetics of their work as well as improve the basic style and mechanics of their manuscript. Moderate editing will usually include restructuring of awkward sentences, elimination of redundancies, and attention to inconsistencies of tone or voicing. Moderate editing often includes some fact checking, such as confirmation of brand names, proper names of historical figures or locations, etc.

This level of editing can be tailored to your particular needs or concerns. If you are not sure whether your manuscript needs moderate editing, talk to the editor or editorial staff. They can look at your manuscript and make suggestions based on common mistakes they see.

Extensive Editing

Extensive editing includes mechanical and style corrections as well as sentence restructuring, attention to aesthetics, and some fact checking. More than any other type of editing, extensive editing is custom-designed to meet the specific needs of your manuscript and your goals as an author. Extensive editing may include project development, such as tracking and critiquing story arc and character development. If your project is nonfiction, you may want your editor to give input as to the effectiveness of your organization or the strength of your arguments. Your editor may give reader commentary as well as mechanical and style corrections.

Extensive editing is often a good choice for first-time authors who have not had a chance to workshop a manuscript with a writing group. It can also be an excellent choice for authors who are too close to their subject matter to objectively assess the effectiveness of their writing – a challenge experienced by many memoir writers. Extensive editing can also be an acceptable solution if English is not your native language, in which case your manuscript may require a higher level of text polishing.

If you are interested in copyediting services, there are many ways to find great copyeditors. One option is to find out if your self-publishing company offers copyediting services. You can also search for copyeditors online, post a project listing, or ask for references.

I’d love to know, which level of copyediting do you plan to purchase for your self-published book?

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.

4 Ways to Find a Great Ghostwriter

A great ghostwriter can help make your dreams of self-publishing a book come true. Whether you are too busy to finish your book project or need the assist of someone with excellent writing skills, you need to find a ghostwriter who is experienced and trained but who also meshes well with your personality.

When interviewing ghostwriters, be sure to ask about their education and work background as well as writing projects they have completed. Don’t be turned off by a writer who hasn’t completed a book exactly like your project because hopefully, your book is a one-of-a-kind idea. Instead, look for a writer with excellent writing and organizational skills. Having some background knowledge in your subject may also be a good idea, but most writers are magnificent researchers and enjoy learning about new topics.

Even more important than the writer’s background is the writer’s personality. When interviewing ghostwriters, ask about their work habits and expectations. Think of hiring a ghostwriter as dating someone new. You will be spending a lot of time working with this person, so you want to make sure you connect with the writer. There is no perfect way to determine if a ghostwriter is a good fit for you and your project. You just need to trust your gut.

So where do you find the perfect ghostwriter? Here are four places to look.

1.) Ask for references – If you know other authors who have used a ghostwriter, ask for references. They will be more than happy to share their experiences with you. This is a great way to find a writer who will do a great job because you can often trust other writer’s opinions.

2.) Check out your self-publishing company – Some self-publishing companies offer ghostwriting services. They will match you up with a ghostwriter that meets your needs. This is another great way to ensure you are hiring a reputable writer because self-publishing companies will only use writers they trust to produce great work.

3.) Search the web – If you go to your favorite search engine and type in “ghostwriter for hire” or other related keywords, you will find links to various writers’ websites. If you choose to go this route, be sure to thoroughly research the writer. Just because they have a website doesn’t mean they are qualified to do the job.

4.) Post a job ad – There are plenty of websites that allow you to post a listing looking for a writer. Be sure to include as many details about the project as possible and explain your expectations. One great place to begin is the Association of Ghostwriters.

I’d love to know, where did you find your ghostwriter?

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.