Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Well Here I Go.

I have finally decided to stop procrastinating.

Procrastinate me? I’d be ambivalent about procrastinating except I just can’t make up my mind.

I have been tossing up for some time the question of “to self-publish or not to self-publish” well I’ve finally made a decision. I think.

No, seriously, I have been leaning towards the self-publishing side of things for some time now and I am pretty much ready to take the leap.

Except of course the whole thing is not very like a leap. It is more like planning for an expedition than jumping off anything.

So what do I need to do before I go for it?

Here is my list so far:
Work out which POD service to use. Christy Pinheiro uses CreateSpace, her partner in crime Nick Russell uses LightningSource. There are of course others as well (Like Lulu).

Revise the layout of the Manuscript so it is suitable for publishing. In terms of editing I am pretty much happy that the MS is ready to go, thanks to the efforts of a couple of others.

Format said manuscript so it looks like a professional book.

Register a business name. Then I can be a “publisher”.

Register a domain name.

Register with a Web hosting company.

Commission or self-design a web site.

Decide on a marketing strategy for myself and the book. I promise I WILL NOT start spamming people to promote the book when I get to that stage.

Pay for a commercial licence for the art I have used for my cover. (I have a non commercial licence which allows me to reuse the image on the web etc).

While on the cover I need to rewrite the blurb (I HATE trying to condense 100,000+ words into a couple of paragraphs).

Hmm, this list seems to get longer all the time, I am sure there is a heap more but I’ll start with this lot.

So what do you think? Have I missed anything glaringly obvious (so far at least). Any suggestions? To be honest this is a bit scary and I would appreciate any comments.

Now a random photo. This timber slab shack is the remains of a pioneer farm in The Australian Alps at Namadgi National Park.


Amanda said...

How exciting! You are making the first steps and I LOVE the cover. I will definitely buy your book :)

Mari said...

Congratulations for making the decision - I mean this with the most respect. This is a big decision!

I hope you find time to celebrate before moving back to the daunting to-do list :).

Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

I love your cover too! Very snazzy, Al! My $$$ are waiting for your book, too! Just let me know when you are ready!

heidenkind said...

Hooray! Good luck. :)

Lisa said...

Wow! I had no idea there was so much to be done. Congrats on making the leap, so to speak. Can't wait to read it!

Mary Warner said...

Hi, Al - I'm not saying this to sound snarky, but I've been there, done that. Literally. Your list is the same sort of list I made between 2007 and 2009 in self-publishing Greenville: Where Longing Meets Loss.

I chose to self-publish through Cafe Press, but with this service, you have to order your own ISBNs. Before you do that, you should have your business/publishing name registered because you'll need this to register your book with the ISBN company in your country. (It's R.R. Bowker in the U.S.).

I used Adobe InDesign for book layout because I find I can be more exacting with placement and it will do a number of things Microsoft Word can't.

I, too, hated condensing my book into a blurb, although that was easier for me than marketing. Still trying to figure that one out because I'm not naturally outspoken about my work.

I didn't have to worry about licensing for artwork because my husband and I took all the photos we used for the book covers. (I published 3 editions from the get-go - a definite benefit to self-publishing with print-on-demand.) I love your cover, btw, so I'd definitely pay for the licensing. Have you considered putting a shadow effect on your title to see if it will pop out a bit more?

Before I get overly rambly, if you have more questions about my process, you can leap over to my blog and enter "Greenville" in the search box. This will bring up all the posts in which I discussed various aspects of publishing the book.

Good luck to you!

Al said...

Hi Amanda,
It is exciting. I am really happy about the cover as well. I did it just as a bit of fun so it is really good to have a use for it now. Hey hopefully the wait before I can get everything ready for publication won't be too long.

Hi Mari,
Thank you I really appreciate the sentiment.
I never say no to a party, so I'll just have to have one now and when I publish.

Hi Christy,
Thank you!
I'm no artist but the two images I combined to make the cover came together really well. I will let you know when it happens. As you know it takes time to get it right, but at least the MS is almost ready.

Hi Tasha,
I agree Hooray for the decision and thank you!

Hi Mary,
Thanks for a really helpful comment. Not at all snarky!
ISBNs used to be issued by the Australian National Library here. They contracted it out some years ago to a Bowker subsidiary.
I used to have access to decent desktop publishing software, but I can't justify the expense of InDesign at the moment. Maybe for the second book :)
Isn't it hard to compress down for a blurb - I detest it. As to marketing we'll see how I go.
I am really pleased with the cover so I think the $100 (or thereabouts) for the license is well spent.