Draft One is Done!

Writing/Editing 6 Comments »

Can you hear me whooping and hollering?! 🙂 Somehow, by God’s grace, I have reached the first milestone toward the completion of my book. I finished the initial writing phase this afternoon with a page count of 257. Here are the steps I plan to take at this point:

1. Read through the whole manuscript and see what gaps need to be filled, what thoughts need to be clarified, what sections need to be reordered and what extraneous content needs to be deleted. (Ideally, I want the finished book to be 256 pages, because of the efficiency it will lend to the printing process.)

2. Distribute manuscripts to the family members and friends who have offered to help with editing, proofing and critiquing the book. (I’m still debating whether to also hire a professional editor to go through the book once we finish this stage…)

3. Do a small initial print run of Advance Review Copies (ARCs) to send out for reviews and endorsements.

4. Incorporate suggestions and endorsements into the final manuscript and proceed with the first printing.

Of course, there are many other details to tend to that relate to other areas of publishing – like website design, marketing strategies, acquiring the ISBNs and Library of Congress number, etc., but this is an outline of the steps that pertain to the book writing/editing/printing. I’m probably even forgetting things in that area anyway! There is surely still much work to be done, but it’s exciting to finally be at this point!

Book Publishing Lessons from the Web

Marketing 1 Comment »

Business Week has an interesting article on the future of book publishing and how book publishers can learn a lesson from the success of the web and various social networks. Definitely some important considerations for self-publishers.

Interview with Brian Bischoff

Networking No Comments »

Morris Rosenthal, of the Self Publishing Blog, posted an interview with Brian Bischoff, author of Crystal Reports. Brian shares a bunch of things that he learned from his experience self-publishing his books and it was very instructive just to read his thoughts. I wish I could find more interview formats like this to learn from the self-publishing experiences of others…if anyone knows of any, please do share!

Using Google Alerts

Publicizing No Comments »

Google Alerts is a great way to keep up with the latest news related to the topic of your book or even self-publishing in general. I set up a gmail account specifically for this purpose and signed up to receive alerts for several keywords related to my book topic. I also set up alerts for the words “self-published” and “self-publisher” to get an idea of what news outlets pick up stories or do book reviews of self-published books. Another handy tool from Google!

Book Promotion Advice from Annette

Marketing, Publicizing No Comments »

Annette’s Paper Trail has a list of 14 Random Bits and Bytes of Book Promotion Advice for self-publishers.

1. Write about something you have a passion for.

2. Connect with your target audience.

3. Don’t rely on someone else to do your publicity.

4. Develop a diverse promotional plan.

5. Maintain a blog.

6. Use Amazon to your advantage.

7. A book is only one part of your platform.

8. Repurpose your content any way you can.

9. Get proper speaker training.

10. Post an audio excerpt on your website.

11. Become a shameless self-promoter.

12. If you are selling a story instead of information, ask: What is in this…?

13. Keep your eyes on the news.

14. Don’t let your books sit on the shelf.

In her post, Annette goes into more detail about each of these points, providing self-publishers with lots of practical tips.


Designing, Networking 1 Comment »

Last Sunday, a friend from church told me about the Elance website. I looked it up the next day and have been exploring it off and on to get a better feel for how it works. The tagline for the company sums up nicely what the overarching objective of Elance is: Where businesses hire and work with qualified professionals [to get work done]. Elance allows an entrepreneur to conceptualize an idea and then employ a qualified professional to help make it a reality. Whether it’s design work, logo development, writing or software programming, there are numerous professionals that may be accessed through Elance.

The way I understand it is that you post a project and specify what you need and then receive bids from professionals who are willing to meet that need. You select the bid you want and then work with that person to see the project to completion. Here’s one of their recent blog posts about a successful company that got off the ground by utilizing the services offered through Elance.

I can see this being valuable to self-publishers in a variety of ways:

* book cover design
* book interior design
* website development
* written contributions in areas that an author may need further expertise

I’m looking forward to exploring the site in more depth, but it sure seems like a great tool for self-publishers who desire to present a professional image and product! If anyone has any experience with Elance, I’d love to know what you think!

The Importance of Reading for Writers

Writing/Editing No Comments »

Scot McKnight has a short post reminding writers of the importance of reading good writers. I think it is helpful to consider deliberately and intentionally selecting books and authors based on acquiring a particular writing style or improving my writing in an area where I know I am weak. I’ve never really thought about it from that perspective before. McKnight’s post is worth checking out even for the comments contributed by many others articulating their favorite authors. Lots of great suggestions there!

HT: Andy Naselli at Between Two Worlds

Writing at 30,000 Feet

Writing/Editing No Comments »

I’m sitting in the airport terminal getting ready to board my flight and relishing the thought of spending the next couple of hours writing. Preparations for my trip this past week have resulted in a total of zero pages of writing, so I’ve fallen significantly behind schedule. I’m hopeful that my time away from a lot of my regular responsibilities will allow me to make a lot of progress on my book. And maybe, by the time I return – in 2 weeks – I’ll be ready to officially anounce my title and reveal the cover design… 🙂

Enlist Friends to Help Promote Your Book

Marketing No Comments »

Here’s a list of 10 ideas by Cynthia Polansky of ways to enlist your friends to help promote your book. I am already finding out how valuable it is to have friends with expertise in different areas to help with the preliminary steps of writing, editing, designing and marketing my book. Self-publishing is such a huge job – there’s a reason that there are whole publishing houses devoted to the task. 🙂

A Biblical Approach to Marketing – Part Six

Thinking 1 Comment »

A Biblical Approach to Marketing Series: Intro | Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six

Mark 10:17-23And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

Insights for Meditation:
Jesus’ command for the rich young man to sell his possessions was only a means to a greater end.

Jesus gave clear direction as to how the profits should be used – to give to the poor.

The great wealth of the young man kept him from obeying Jesus’ command. He was so blinded by his love of riches that he didn’t perceive the greater value of eternal life.

Trust in riches/financial gain is a hindrance to entering the kingdom of God.

Principles for Application:

Honestly evaluate my motivation for selling and consider how the profits will be used.

Be cautious about pursuing marketing strategies that appeal to my greed or that convey an attitude of desiring to enrich myself.

Look for ways to use my financial gains to help the poor. Consider partnering with charitable organizations to sell my book and benefit their causes.

Determine not to let financial success divert my trust in the Lord to trust in money or effective marketing strategies. Realize that success is ultimately from God.

Questions for Consideration:

If my book generates substantial profits, what will I do with the money?

How can I guard against developing a spirit of greed?

What principles does God give in the Bible for the use of money that I need to take into consideration?

What organizations might be interested in partnering with me for the benefit of their charitable causes?

Do I have a passion for a need that I could better meet by establishing my own charitable cause, foundation or scholarship fund?

Steps for Implementation:

□ Write out a proposed plan for the use of profits generated from my book.
□ Compile a list of organizations/charitable causes to contact regarding partnering to promote my book and their causes.
□ Look into guidelines for establishing scholarship funds and foundations.

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