Do you want to be a writer? Join me as I write. I share the good, bad, and ugly of putting the story together, getting it published, and learning how to promote it. I share my thoughts and feelings, my good ideas and bad ones, what works and what doesn't.
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Before we address the lessons
learned, we must answer this question: What
is Indie Publishing? Indie Publishing is the term used by authors who
“independently publish” their own manuscripts. You will sometimes hear people
speak of it as “self-publishing,” though that term is falling by the wayside.
It differs from “vanity publishing” in that the burden of publishing is on the
author. In vanity publishing, the author has paid someone to take the manuscript
and go through all of the steps to put it in print and so forth.
This post is for the serious
author who wants to publish something without going through a traditional
publisher or a vanity publisher.
Why I chose to “go Indie”
I recently published three
titles in a series to help new writers. I put them under the Writing to Publish umbrella. I prefer to
write fiction, but my blog is aimed at helping new authors go on the writing
journey with me.
I could have submitted these
three handbooks for writers to a traditional publisher, but I had an ulterior
motive. I want to raise money for a scholarship fund created by the CDC
Foundation in my husband’s name: The
Thomas R. Waters Memorial Scholarship for Ergonomics Research.I didn’t want to share any profits with a
publisher. I want every penny I’m due to go to the fund. That means for every book purchased, $2.00 will go to
the scholarship fund.
WARNING: I will
put links to those books as well as a direct link to the scholarship fund at
the end of this post.
To make sure I did this right
I consulted fellow authors and read
A.P.E. Authors, Publishers, and Entrepreneurs by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn
Welch. I downloaded the free book Building
Your Book for Kindle from the Amazon site. Here’s a bit of what I’ve
1. Make sure your manuscript is professionally edited. More eyes…
2. Read the guides on publishing an e-book carefully and at least
twice before you start.
3. Make no assumptions about formatting. Format as you go. Then check
your formatting when you finish. Formatting for a Kindle is different than
formatting for a print copy. Someone reading your book on their e-reader can
change the font size and so forth. It won’t matter that you have a single
sentence or phrase extending on the next page. It will matter in your print version. Another difference is that an
electronic version does not have page numbers whereas a print book needs them.
4. Search similar titles/ topics for the keywords used before you publish.
5. Spend as much time on your single paragraph book description as you
would a full chapter in your book.
6. Create an eye-catching, high-resolution cover. And if you are
writing a series make sure the covers relate.
7. Name your publishing company. I know everyone doesn’t do this, but
I also know having a name for your company looks more professional. I knew one
reviewer who would not review a book that had the look or feel of an indie
publication. I chose to name my company Short
Iron Press. I’m a golfer. (Note: I didn’t claim to be a great golfer,
but I do like the activity.) My husband and I enjoyed golfing together. In
golf, you have a drive and a putt. You use a driver for your drive and a putter
for your putt. That is pretty much a given for most golfers. Between the drive
and the putt you have choices. You choose certain short irons or wedges to
achieve distance or accuracy.
Life is like that. Drives and
putts. But I figure it’s those decisions you make in the middle that define
you. Hence, Short Iron Press.
Is there more? Yes. Publishing, like life is a learn-as-you-go process. What do you think?
Would you consider going the indie route?