What to Expect When You’re Expecting . . . to Self-Publish

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1106 Design

May 27, 2013

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_dropcap]H[/fusion_dropcap]aving been in the publishing business for longer than I care to admit, I forget how complicated the self-publishing process can be for new authors. What seems second-nature to me is actually a scary endeavor for most people. And that’s why one of the first questions asked of me when calling to discuss self-publishing is: So…what does all this involve anyhow?

Basically, the steps to self-publishing your book are: Cover Design, Editing, Interior Page Design and Typesetting, Proofing, Printing, and Marketing. At 1106 Design, the process from cover to printing takes between six and eight weeks.

The first thing you should know is that it’s helpful to have a completed manuscript before you start. Our professionals will delve into your manuscript to learn about your topic, style and genre before, for example, designing your book cover. Designing your cover is an interactive process between you and your designer. You will discuss and select images and your designer will create some cover concepts from which you choose a final cover design.

At the same time your cover is being designed, your book can be edited. It’s a good idea for the editor to review your manuscript beforehand to give an honest assessment of how much editing will be required to get your manuscript in tip-top shape. A thorough copy edit may suffice, or you may need an editor to do a substantive edit if there are areas of your book that you feel are weak and need the assistance of a professional.

After editing, your book moves to the interior page design stage. Your designer will once again develop some concepts for you; you should have sample page formats from which to choose your final format. When you review the sample, make sure the designer is taking care of such critical formatting issues as “rivers of white” (when words fall in a pattern so that the spaces between them look like a river, which is distracting to the reader), “ladders” (too many hyphens in a row), and “word stacks” (when the same word appears one above the other in a stack).

Once you approve your page format, the designer will typeset the book. After typesetting is complete, the book must be proofed. Don’t assume that just because the book was edited that proofing is not required. When you fixed your book to correct the issues your editor pointed out to you, you probably caused more errors. In addition, typos and formatting issues can arise due to typesetting, and can only be caught after typesetting.

After the book is typeset and the cover is finished (complete with your author bio and great back cover copy that compels readers to buy your book), your book is ready for printing. You may choose to produce an eBook, or a printed book, or both. Most people still opt for both; some readers prefer an eBook while many still prefer the printed version, and others will purchase both! If you decide to print books, you can do so using the services of a “print-on-demand” printer. This type of printer will print only enough copies to meet demand. On-demand printing services are something that you can set up yourself with, for example, Lightning Source.

Throughout the above steps, you should be giving a lot of thought to marketing and distribution. Where will you sell your book? Amazon? A bookstore? Will you do book signings? (If so, you need actual printed books to sell at the signing.)What materials will you need to support your marketing efforts? Will you have a website? Will you sell your book through your website? Consulting a marketing expert is a good idea, as he or she will help you think through these issues and others you haven’t yet thought of.

Here comes the shameless self-promotion, but I do this out of a genuine desire to help you bring your book to the eager hands of your readers, and a dedication to ensuring that your book is the most beautiful it can be. I suggest that you read my book Publish Like the Pros: A Brief Guide to Quality Self-Publishing, which can be downloaded for FREE by clicking here. In this book I expand upon the steps outlined above and give you many tips and tricks for self-publishing. Armed with the knowledge you will gain by reading my book, you will be more than ready to navigate the waters of self-publishing with confidence.

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