Monday, September 13, 2021

Intro to Self-Publishing with Chris Eboch: Handout #amwriting

Intro to Self-Publishing with Chris Eboch (for SCBWI-Houston, 9/13/2021)

Who Should Self Publish:

           Traditionally published authors who want to make out-of-print titles available again.

           Published authors who wish to release books in a series that a publisher has dropped.

           Professional writers who have a book that doesn’t suit the current market, but may still find a modest audience.

           People who have a marketing platform for distributing their books, e.g. they do a lot of speaking on a professional topic and can sell books at their talks (best for nonfiction).

           Amateur writers who want to make a title available in print form for their family, such as memoirs or family genealogy, or a child’s favorite story.

           First-time authors who have studied writing for several years and gotten professional feedback on their manuscript, who also:

  want complete control of the publishing process

  prefer the work of self-publishing to the work of researching and querying publishers

  enjoy marketing and have experience with it

  and/or feel they don’t have time to wait on the traditional publishing industry



You retain all rights to your work. You can earn more per copy sold.

You get to make decisions about cover art, pricing, content -- basically everything.

If the book does extremely well, you may interest a traditional publisher.

You get to see your book in print in a few months, instead of several years if ever.



You get no advance. You may sell few copies and make hardly any money -- ever.

You have to make all the decisions about cover art, pricing, content -- basically everything.

A poorly written/edited/designed book can hurt your reputation as an author.

To produce a professional-quality book, you will have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars and dozens or hundreds of hours of time. You have no marketing support from a publisher.

Your book will not be available in bookstores.


Steps to Self-Publishing:

            Write and edit a book. Edit it some more. Get professional critiques and edit again.

            Write any front/back matter: title page, illustrated by, summary, dedication, acknowledgments, “other books by,” authors note, bio, etc. (You can follow the format in other books).

            Hire a professional copy editor and approve/reject their suggestions.

            Hire an illustrator. Make sure you understand whether you are getting only cover art, or complete cover design with title and (for print on demand) spine and back of book. What rights are you buying?

            Upload, publish.

            Publicity and marketing.



Download Chris’s Indie Publishing Worksheet:

David Gaughran: books, videos, a newsletter, and a free courses on self-publishing:

Jane Friedman: blog and newsletter with a focus on business:

Darcy Pattison: a blog focused on SP children’s books:

Roxie Munro: a blog focused on SP children’s books (not recently updated):

IBPA: Independent book publishers Association (news, discounts on services): 

Chris Eboch is the author of over 100 books for children, including nonfiction and fiction, early reader through teen. Her novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery in ancient Egypt; The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure used in many schools; The Genie’s Gift, a middle eastern fantasy; and the Felony Melanie series featuring the characters from the movie Sweet Home Alabama as teenagers. Her writing craft books include You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers, and Advanced Plotting.

Learn more at or her Amazon page, or check out her writing tips at her Write Like a Pro! blog.

Chris also writes mystery, romance, and suspense for adults under the name Kris Bock. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. Get a free 10,000-word story set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café when you sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter. Learn more at or visit Kris Bock’s Amazon US page or Amazon UK page. (For other countries click here.)



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