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Self-publishing FAQs

June 29, 2017 7 comments

I get these same questions so often that I decided to turn this into a blog post:

  1.  I have a manuscript. How do I self-publish it?Before you self-publish this:
    * If you have writer friends, get them to beta-read your manuscript.
    * Get your manuscript edited.
    * Get your manuscript proofread.

    Then:
    * Commission an cover for ebook (print/paper book cover will be separate).
    * Get the book formatted for ebook (and print/paper book, when you’re ready for it).
    * Create an account on Amazon and upload formatted ebook file.
    * Set a price and make it ready for sale with a click

  2. Do I publish as an ebook, or a print book?* Start off with the ebook.
    * Get it formatted as an ebook.
    * Upload to various vendors like – Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, pronoun.com etc. You cannot upload to many international vendors (like Apple) directly.
    * When you’ve learned more about the process, learn how to upload the files for print/paper books.
  3. How do I pick an editor?Ask around. If you’ve read a book you liked, check the acknowledgment section. The author will often thank the editor.

    Talk to multiple people. Ask for sample edits. Maybe the first three chapters, to see if the editor and you are on the same page.

  4. How much does it cost to have a book edited?Prices vary widely, but between Rs. 20,000 – Rs. 25,000 for every 100,000 words.
  5. How much does Amazon charge to sell my book?There is no charge for you to upload your book and sell it. The royalties they share with you will depend on the price you set for the book.
  6. What is ‘genre’?Each book needs classification in order to find a category to sell it under. Some examples of genres are: Romance / Horror / Thriller.
  7. Give me the formula to make my book a bestseller.No one can give you that, not even traditional publishers. If they could, they would ensure that every book of theirs was a best seller.
  8. Can you suggest a ‘banner for publishing’?I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Self-publishing is when you, the author, create an account on Amazon, Apple etc, and upload your own book. You set the price, and you collect the royalties. If you give control of this to someone else, they will be the ones controlling this.

    At various self-publishing workshops I conducted, I heard horror stories of stolen copyrights, and stolen royalties.

    Do the research. Spend the time learning about what you’re getting into before taking the next step.

  9. I have a ‘package deal’ from a prestigious company. They are asking for money. Or: they want to share the printing costs.Money should flow from the publisher to the author, and not the other way around. Anything else, you need to be careful.

    Lot of reputable traditional publishers are trying to cash in on the self-publishing phenomenon. They’ve tied up with not-so-reputable vanity publishers. Since the vanity publisher often approaches the new author under the banner of the traditional publisher, understandably, authors are confused.

    A good rule of thumb: if they are asking for money to publish you, be careful. Traditional publishers do not need money from you – they already have your work.

  10. Can I get help with self-publishing?Lots of “publishers” will be desperate to sell you their services. Don’t buy packages because you don’t know the quality of editors, cover designers, book formatters etc. Join writers’ groups. Ask questions. Learn everything you can, before jumping in.
  11. What about ISBNs?Ebooks don’t require ISBNs. When you upload your book to Amazon, for example, they will assign their own proprietary ID for your book.

    When you do a print book, the vendor (like CreateSpace, pothi.com etc) will assign you an ISBN. If you want your own, apply from the government of India, though I have not bothered to do this.

  12. How do I get my royalties?When you upload a book, you set the price. If your book is priced between $2.99-$4.99 you can keep 70% of your sale. Otherwise 35%. No other charges. If your bank account is linked to Amazon, your royalties will get deposited there.
  13. I’ve self-published my book. Can I submit it later to publishers for traditional publishing? What happens to the ebook then?

    Unless you have cracked the Amazon/NY Times bestseller list, no, you can’t. Unless you can get creative and generate demand for your book, there will be a limited number of buyers for your book. Once you exhaust those, no publisher will be interested.

    In the extremely unlikely event that a trade publisher offers you a contract after you’ve self-published, what will happen to your ebook / printbook / audiobook etc. rights will depend completely on how much clout you have. You might be able to negotiate to keep certain rights though, honestly, I don’t see that happening because trade publishing contracts have gotten extremely restrictive. They are claiming rights to everything, and in perpetuity.

 

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#TraditionalPublisher #contracts and #LiteraryAgents

May 22, 2015 3 comments

Here’s an extract from a must-read article on HuffPo:

“One of the things I learned is that publishers often change their contracts to give themselves more favorable terms. Agents who are paying attention pick up on the differences and understand the ramifications. Agents who aren’t, don’t.”

AND

“… … a few year ago, Simon & Schuster removed four sentences from the end of the rights reversion clause. These sentences defined the sales threshold, which states that rights will revert to the author if the number of sales drops under a specified amount. Removing these sentences meant that if the publisher also bought digital rights, the book would in effect never go out of print, and the publisher would own the rights to the work in perpetuity.”

The article states that you can’t necessarily depend on your literary agent to catch these for you, so be vigilant about what you’re signing away.

Click here for the rest of the article.

#IndieRecon 2015 and #TheIndiaReadathon

April 14, 2015 Leave a comment

There are a couple events this week that I’m part of. 

The India Readathon which aims to introduce the reader to self-published books set in India. You may register as a reader if you wish to read, free of cost, the latest in Indian self-publishing (not to be confused with vanity publishing). Authors are also invited to register their books. All we require is that your book have some Indian connection. The nationally of the author is not relevant.

BRB Banner Final Option 2

The second event is The Indie Recon 2015.

Stealing this from The Book Designer (since I’m also part of this event. — Rasana)

Is this the online event of the year for indie authors? It just might be.

What is IndieRecon?

“Three packed days of advice and education about self-publishing and reaching readers. PLUS this year: a live-streamed Indie Author Fringe Festival, from the London Book Fair.”—IndieRecon.org

Who else is involved?
IndieRecon is being run this year in conjunction with the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), one of the best of the author-centric groups for indie authors.

Who will be there?
Organizer Orna Ross has put together an unbelievable group of almost 50 successful indie authors and publishing industry insiders. See the whole lineup here: IndieRecon 2015 Speakers

What can I expect?

Nitty gritty details on self-publishing basics like pricing, distribution, and formatting from top industry professionals.
Learn to build your marketing and publicity skills.
Chat with NY Times bestselling authors Barbara Freethy and Belle Andre.
Fun contests and HUGE giveaways. (Hint – Begins with a KO and ends with a BO)
You can attend in your PJs. Need we say more?!
Discover some great new indie authors to read.
Learn about all the fab communities and tools out there for indie authors.
What does it cost?
It’s all free. Did I mention it’s free?

When is it?
April 15th-17th
The online conference is scheduled for April 15-16th 2014 with online seminars, workshops, discussions and master classes culminating in a reader-centered Indie Author Fringe Fest live from The London Book Fair’s Book and Screen Week, on Friday 17th April.

How do I find out more?
Complete Schedule: IndieRecon 2015 Event Schedulehttp://indierecon.org/events/

Register here: IndieRecon 2015 Registration http://indierecon.org/

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Also, don’t forget to register at The India Readathon for the India-centric ebook readathon

#Ebook #Formatting for £10 GBP

Ebook bargains UK is offering ebook formatting & conversion from MS Word doc – Mobi, Epub and Smashwords-Friendly Epub – for £10 GBP.

info.ebookbargainsuk@gmail.com.

They say — We just need the MS Word file and the largest cover image the author has available. We can email right back with a Paypal invoice and start work immediately

 

Can Indie Authors Afford to Quit Their Day Jobs?

July 2, 2014 8 comments

One of the questions I was asked in a recent interview –  Can a newbie writer hope to make decent money out of self-publishing?

I was startled to see this question because it seems very obvious to me (and to a lot of other Indies, I’m sure) that self-publishing is where the money is. Where else can you expect to get royalties of 65-70%?

In traditional publishing the superstars – the Stephen Kings and the Nora Roberts –  are the ones making serious money. Everyone else is obliged to hang on to their day jobs.

This is quite different from self-publishing where even mid-list authors – people you might never hear about – are quitting their day jobs because they are able to pay the bills. The reason you might never hear of them is that  they need to sell a mere 75 ebooks each day at $2.99 in order to make a living.  The amount people seem to agree is a  living wage? $50,000.

But I guess all of this may not be very obvious to a lot of people, so I thought I’d point you to a couple excellent blog posts. You can decide for yourself.

The Passive Guy: Indie Authors Are Quitting Their Day Jobs.

The second post is by the amazing Hugh Howey: Newbie Author Declines $120,000 3-book Deal

#self-publishing Advice on #ALLi #blog

February 28, 2014 1 comment

I wrote a blog post on ‘Self-publishing In India’ for selfpublishingadvice.com (an ‘Alliance of Independent Authors’ blog). Click here for the link.

Resource List of book #coverdesigner #editor #proofreaders

Dan Poynter has compiled an amazing list of resources. Worth a look. I have my own list in the self-publishing basics section.