18 – How to self publish your own book

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Welcome brand builders this is rediscover your brand podcast episode #18 brought to you by ArtVersion interactive. I’m your host Kip Russell. I’m a social media manager for ArtVersion, multiple brands a marketing enthusiast and I’ve even wrote a TV theme song.

This week on rediscover your brand podcast we are E-books and self publishing.
This week at the ArtVersion offices a client of ours asked us to assist him in self publishing his book. He had no idea where to begin so while going through the steps and educational process with him I thought this would be a great topic to discuss with our brand builders.

So have you dreamed of writing a novel, children’s book, a comedy, poetry etc. The days of saying if ONLY someone would publish my book are gone. Yes it still great to get upfront advances to dedicate time to your passion but today with the internet you can display your writing talent to the world and who knows where it will take you. If what I’m saying applies to you or excites you well let’s get you started on your self-publishing journey.

Back in the day or really about 10 to 15 years ago a single editor could acquire a book, but today they need a whole board to sign off on a project, especially when a big advance is involved. We all know much like the music biz, traditional book-publishing business has fallen on hard times, with layoffs and news that vaunted old publishers such as Houghton Mifflin have literally put the freeze on acquisitions. In short, it’s ugly out there, particularly for new fiction writers.

With all that doom and gloom out of the way let’s talk about where to begin:
The most challenging part of this process is the creative work. Once you’ve written your masterpiece and selected the artwork you want to use you need to make sure it’s in the correct format that will get your book on all the current E-Publishing platforms.
Some things to consider: How to books, Current trends, writing on your expertise and so on.

If you’re using a apple computer or ipad you can use their free service called “I-book author” and you need at least snow leopard operating system. This system is fairly easy to use and pretty much just drag in drop in terms of adding text and art work.
Or you choose a size for your book, format your Word manuscript to fit that size, turn your Word doc into a PDF, create some cover art in Photoshop, turn that into a PDF, and upload it all to a self-publisher of your choice and get a book proof back within a couple of weeks (or sooner) if you succeeded in formatting everything correctly. You can then make changes and swap in new PDFs.

After you officially publish your book, you can make changes to your cover and interior text by submitting new PDFs, though your book will go offline (“out of stock”) for a week or two.

Here are some things to take into consideration before you get started with an aggregator:

Cover Image. You will need a quality book cover image (JPEG) and it must be a vertical rectangle shapes at least 600 pixels tall. The cover should include both the title and the author name. It cannot be a greyscale image and it cannot contain hyperlinks or web site addresses. Also, keep the image PG-13 (no nudity).

Content Restrictions: You must be the original author, or exclusive digital publisher or
distributor. Apple strictly forbids content that encourages illegal activities, promotes intolerance or discrimination, invades the privacy of any person, or that slanders or libels a person or organization. Erotica that depicts underage people engaged in or witnessing sexual acts is totally off-limits, in addition to being just plain wrong.

Pricing. Apple prices ebooks in 99-cent increments, so you are encouraged to do the same. Lulu has a service that will run a special ePub checker and then convert your book into the proper format that is guaranteed to pass Apple’s strict guidelines. You can also submit the ePub file yourself using any number of ePub services as well as Apple’s own Pages program. If you want a speedy process, I would suggest using the aggregator’s services to avoid any technical holdups.

1. Cover image. You will need your cover image to upload along with your ebook in ePub format. HTML and want to convert their HTML, XHTML, XML (OPF/IDPF format), or ePub source.

1. Most aggregators will do this if you upload a pdf but some other good places are, I-tunes book author, Red-Staple.com and see our list.

2. ISBN. Lulu will assign your book an ISBN as part of their regular service. ISBN. You need to get an ISBN for your ebook. Most aggregators have services that will automatically assign you one.

3. Upload. You can now upload all your files and supply all of the necessary information about your book.

4. Get Paid. Apple retains 30% of all revenue from sales on the iBookstore. The publisher (that’s you) receives 80% of the remaining revenue and Lulu receives 20%. Or you can pay Lulu a one-time fee and you won’t pay them any additional commissions.

The list of Current aggregators/self publishers are:

https://itunesconnect.apple.com/WebObjects/iTunesConnect.woa/wa/apply

Currently the choices are:

  • BiblioCore
  • Book Baby
  • Constellation
  • INgrooves
  • Ingram
  • LibreDigital
  • Lulu
  • Smashwords
  • iMac C2D 2.16, iMac
  • Epub 3

Some other cool places to check out before you go ahead are…

http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/pubit_app/bn?t=pi_reg_home

https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin
For DIY e-book authors, who don’t want to take the time finding or creating are you may need to outsource the production work to a creative service like ArtVersion.
Also another service you may to need to outsource to is a freelance editor who can make sure you work is the best it can be both I recommend if you have the budget or maybe you raises a little funding by kickstarter, indiegogo.com or just by asking family and friends.

Additionally, self-formatting can create issues with margins, indents and other minor mistakes so it may be best your first time to seek a professional for guidance.
Once you’ve uploaded your product it should only be a few weeks until your competing with James Patterson, J.K. Rowling and Michael Connelly. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s not a level playing field and readers will expect the same quality from you. Whatever your goals are for your book and you should have specific goals you’ll still get to pursue your passion and get a feel for what your dream profession feels like.

I hope this episode of Rediscover your Brand has been helpful I learned a lot while researching this topic. Good luck branders and I look forward to seeing you guys on the top of the Amazon charts very soon.
That’s it EPISODE #18 of REDISCOVER YOUR BRAND. If you enjoyed this episode, please take a minute to rate the show on ITUNES.

Also, don’t forget you can follow us on TWITTER – twitter.com/ARTVERSION or connect with and LIKE us on facebook.com/artversion.

If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to send us an email, we would love to hear from you. To get more information on ARTVERSION, visit our website at ARTVERSION.COM.

Next time on the REDISCOVER YOUR BRAND podcast stay tuned for episode 19# next Friday. That’s next time, until then, Thank you for listening – I’m Kip Russell helping you REDISCOVER YOUR BRAND.