My first attempt at self publishing was a simple 18 page booklet that lived at the back of my masters dissertation folio. Within weeks of submitting that for assessment I was running a tiny support group for women and was photocopying and sending that booklet out in exchange for a stamped addressed envelope and £1
Since those early days of getting batches of 10 at a time photocopied I’ve learnt a lot about what makes a writer a publisher and I’ve come to realise that it’s not just about books or booklets. Instead it’s what happens every time we share our inner world of words. Whether that’s through a book, an ebook, a web page, blog post or social media update; whenever we put our metaphorical pen on the page we are self-publishing.
And today I want to share an overview of the process I use to make sure whatever I’m doing will meet an audience’s needs.
What’s my objective? Do I know why I’m doing this particular piece of writing? Who am I creating it for and what do I want to happen as a result of making it available?
For example; if it’s a book do I have or need ISBN numbers for each edition, a book information sheet and a CIP record? Have I set a publication date and the right price? If it’s not a book have I got the right links, are they still valid. Are my references correct, if I’m using them and do I know what I want people to do after sharing? Have I decided on the printer, publisher or platform? Have I checked their templates or am I crafting my own template?
Are my words at their best or could I improve them? Have I checked with a friend or an editor? Have I got the right images and do I need to check copyright? Have I checked the dimensions of images work with my template? Do I need to modify or rework my images to make them fit? Is my work laid out correctly? Have I got the page numbering right? Is my layout style consistent? Do I need to add a table of contents or index? If it’s a book what formats will I use and do I have correctly laid out and edited files for each format?
If it’s a series of books or posts are they are all referenced and linked correctly? Have I got the right cover image? Have I created all the blurbs? Have I thought about and applied SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques to any blurbs, introductions, social media updates or blog posts? Do I have or need an appropriate author bio? Have I added my front and back matter to the book?
Have I reviewed my proof copies? Have I checked the article, update or post for last minute errors or changes to any relevant news? Did publishing take place on time to meet other deadlines? Do I need to make any changes or amendments?
On Wednesday I’m releasing The Art of Self-Publishing course ready to start on 27th October, so keep an eye out for the updates so you can grab your place as soon as they become available.
Over 4 weeks through online interactive meetings, workbooks and other activities you’ll learn everything I know about how to make self-publishing – in it’s widest context – work for you too!
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