Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Lessons Learned Through Indie Publishing...So Far

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 learned:

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?

As promised: Links to donate and links to buy!

The Thomas R. Waters Memorial Scholarship for Ergonomics Research 

Yep, that's my hubby! Good looking guy, huh? And he was one smart cookie. Donations are tax deductible. And if you do give, be sure to have them notify me and I will mail you a thank you!

Click HERE
Purchase these books to boost your writing business. Each book is $2.99. $2.00 goes to the scholarship fund.
Click HERE
Click HERE


Leave your comments here. I look forward to hearing from you.