What New Authors Should Know About Self-Publishing

Word PlayThis is a guest post by Vivian Lee Snodgrass, author of “Word Play“.

Vivian Lee Snodgrass is the author of, Word Play: A New Approach for Understanding. She is a powerful and resourceful thinker. She proved this when she was graduated from high school at the age of 14.

Vivian’s father taught her the basics in installation of electronic surveillance equipment. She worked many years installing/troubleshooting burglar and fire alarm systems in Los Angeles, CA.

She currently resides in Spokane, WA and is an active member of her community. She has a passion for animals, and has been a part of many local rescues. She is an ordained minister who offers a new approach for understanding God. This can be found in her manuscript.

Vivian Lee Snodgrass

Author

After years of writing, I had finally finished a manuscript. I was excited and thought my work was finished. Now it was time to deliver my baby to the world. The next step was to get published. Silly me, I thought writing the book was the work. Little did I know, there was much more yet to be done.

While writing my book, I had gone online to research different self-publishing companies. I chose the one I thought would best suit my needs and pocketbook. The cost of self-publishing can run into the hundreds, even thousands, depending on which type of package you choose.

Unlike a traditional publishing company, who would handle the many facets of publishing and marketing, self-publishing requires the author to do each part. There are many different self-publishing packages to choose from. It is important to pick the basic package because it includes a few “critical for success” features.

New authors should know there are specific things they need from a  self-publishing company. One of which is an ISBN. The ISBN, International Standard Book Number, makes it possible for people to locate your book. In the vast array of books, the ISBN is essential.

The main ingredient for your book’s success is the copyright. When you self-publish, you need to make sure to choose the package that makes it clear, you retain all rights to your work. I worked hard on my first completed manuscript. so I wanted to make sure I owned it.

Retaining the rights to your book has many good aspects. Mainly, the copyright protects your work from plagiarism. Also, you never know if in the future there might be a time when somebody wants to buy the rights to your book for a movie.

There are many other pros regarding self-publishing. There are certain freedoms by having yourself as the one in charge. One freedom is the cover picture. Most self-publishing companies offer an excellent team of designers to assist with the cover. In the end, you get to decide which is best.

Another freedom is the editing. With self-publishing, there are no editors requiring you to make changes to your work. This can also leave authors open for errors. If the author can afford to they can hire somebody to proofread their work. I used an online academic editing program for mine.

Once the editing phase is completed, the manuscript is sent for production. When the book is sent for production, there are many other tasks. One of which is typesetting. Another is formatting the typesetting into the dimensions of each page.

When completed, the book is sent to print. Once the book is sent to print, it “goes live,” and is available to the public. Self-publishing companies will release the book to online bookstores like Amazon. The book also becomes available to brick and mortar bookstores. If you are an unknown author chances are a bookstore would have to order your book when requested by an interested purchaser.

The next challenge is to make the public aware of your book’s existence. Self-publishing companies offer several marketing tips and visual aids, but the true work has to be done by the author. This is where the cost really comes into play. The more you want from the self-publishing company, the more you will have to pay.

After all of the time, and money invested into making your book into something real, and tangible, you are going to want the public to know about it. How else will they read it? There are many different ways to market your book.

One way is to host a book signing event at a bookstore. You can purchase posters and announcements for the event from the self-publishing company.  It is also a good idea to purchase business cards for your book as well. Having business cards for your book provides another way to share your book with people you choose at random.

Another way to market your work is to advertise with social media via the Internet. Personally, I use Facebook, but there are others like Twitter and Snapchat. The creation and maintenance of these groups are left to the author.

Creating a website for your book is also a good idea. It is like a home base you can direct Internet traffic to. You can hire a webmaster to create the type of website you want, or if you know how to, then you should create one yourself. Self-publishing companies also offer to make your book available on certain search engines like Google.

Distribution and accounting are all handled by the self-publishing company. For a first time author, this was important to me. My lack of knowledge in this industry made it possible to make many mistakes. When using a self-publishing company there is little to no guidance throughout the process, especially after production.

If an author wants to get their work out into the world right away, then self-publishing is the way to go. It is pretty much the only way for new authors to get published. Barring the cost of self-publishing, it is a relatively easy process with many rewards. Most of all, after publishing, there is a feeling of accomplishment I believe all writers should experience.