You are going to be working on it for awhile so choose something interesting, with enough focus to be doable, but not so narrow that you cannot find enough information to work with.
I originally published the article back in and have updated it a few times, most recently on June 13, This article primarily addresses self-publishing a print book, though many of the tips apply to e-books as well.
For specific information about publishing an e-book, see my companion article, " How to self-publish an ebook. This is a column about cutting-edge electronics. So, apologies to gadget-heads as I take a brief sojourn into the land of self-publishing, which has become a lot more high-tech than a lot of people realize.
A few years ago I wrote a book. Publishing Perspectives Its short history is this: I worked on it for several years, acquired a high-powered agent, had some brushes with major publishers, then, crickets.
I could have tried to go for a small publisher, but I was told mine was "a bigger book" with more commercial aspirations and prestigious small publishers were interested in more literary tomes.
I also learned that many small publishers were being wiped out by the "self-publishing revolution," a movement that's not so unlike the "citizen journalism" or bloggers' revolt of recent years that's had a major impact on mainstream media, including this publication.
The basic premise is anyone can become a small publisher. You call the shots. You retain the rights to your book.
And you take home a bigger royalty than you'd normally get from a traditional publisher--if you sell any books. Against the advice of my agent, I began perusing the big self-publishing companies' Web sites and evaluating what they had to offer. Then I started poking around blogs and message boards to get customer testimonials.
What I found was a veritable minefield with roads that forked in every direction and very few clear answers. For those new to self-publishing, it's worth noting that CreateSpace is considered a subsidy press or author-services company.
The key to these companies is that books are printed only when someone orders a copy; neither author nor publisher is forced into buying a bunch of books and having to hawk them. Royalties are better than what "real" publishers offer, but there are caveats, and true self-publishing pros prefer to cut out the subsidy press which takes a cut and go straight to a POD printer like Lightning Source to maximize profits.
But I was less concerned about making money from this venture and more interested in putting together a well-packaged product that I wouldn't be embarrassed to sell and some strangers might be willing to buy.
If I did it right, I thought, and managed to get it some attention, some "real" publisher might come along and discover what a gem those 20 some odd publishers had passed on.
Well, thanks to a little publicity courtesy of Apple and a rejected -- then accepted -- free iPhone app, four and half months after I self-published "Knife Music," my agent sold it to The Overlook Pressan independent publisher that put the book out in hardcover in July A few months later it came out as an e-book and did very well, rising to as high as No.
Later this year Overlook will publish my second novel, "The Big Exit. But most of what I learned along the way and what I picked up from other people who've also self-published, applies more than ever.Video Aided Instruction's brand new "Writing a Great Research Paper" DVD series helps middle school, high school, and college students master essential research techniques, develop crucial study habits, dramatically improve their writing, and learn the value of /5(2).
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