Monday, October 9, 2017

Self-Publishing Worksheet #PoweredByIndie

Should you self publish? Are you ready to start? This questionnaire will give you an overview on what you need. (Please note that the indie publishing world changes quickly and this is not frequently updated.)

What is your primary purpose for self-publishing? (Earning money, sharing the book with family/friends, sharing a message, breaking into publishing, attracting an agent, etc.)

What are your secondary purposes?

How much time can/will you devote?

What resources do you have?

  • How much money to invest?

  • Proofreading skills?

  • Layout skills (for POD)? Computer processing/HTML skills (for e-book layout)?

  • Cover art/design skills?

  • Interior art, photography, or special formatting (tables, maps) if needed?

  • Publicity/social networking skills/platform?

  • Business experience: accounting, tax, running a small business, etc.?

Who is your audience?

What do you see as your primary sales channel? E-books, print orders from Amazon (print on demand), or direct-sales via author events or your website (in which case consider using a printer for the best price on bulk orders)? (If your answer is bookstores or libraries, focus on traditional publishing.)

How much will your book cost? For POD, calculate price based on size and page count. Will your audience pay that much? How many copies will you have to sell to make back your investment? To meet other goals?

Are you confident that your manuscript is ready for publication? Why or why not?

What steps do you need to take to prepare for self-publishing? Estimate the cost in time and money.

  • Professional editorial feedback.

  • Further editing on your own.

  • Proofreading.

  • Table of contents, index, appendices? Interior art, photography, or special formatting (tables, maps, interior links for e-books)? Include any time/cost for acquiring rights to quotes or images.
  • Interior layout for print on demand.

  • File conversion for e-book.

  • Cover art/design. Will you need illustration or photography? Front cover only (e-book), or spine and back (POD)?

  • Getting an ISBN. (Free to $125 for a single number, free to $250 for 10. Different numbers needed for each version, e.g. paperback, hardcover, and e-book.)

  • Uploading your material for e-book or print on demand, or contracting with a printer.

  • Publicity/marketing. Options include: hiring a publicity firm, sending press releases, e-mailing friends and family, building a webpage, blogging, setting up a blog tour or guest blog posts, developing press kits, sending your work to reviewers or paying for reviews, creating an Amazon Listmania list, and participating in social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon’s Author Central, GoodReads, Library Thing, Shelfari, Jacket Flap, and the Kindle Boards. Social networking in particular is an ongoing time expense—how many hours per week can you devote to it?
  • For children’s books, a teaching guide or lesson plans can be a good marketing tool. These typically cost $200 and up.

Additional Resources/Books on Self-Publishing:
* Anyone Can Make a Kindle Book, by Peter Spenser (easy formatting information): reviewed

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