My First Book Adventure. . .Part I (Pre-publishing)

I only decided to write a book a couple of months ago.  I didn’t take a class on writing or publishing.  I just decided to learn by doing.  So, in month 1 (August) I wrote the book.  In month 2 (September), I started getting the book ready for self-publishing.  It should be ready by the end of the month to publish both in print and in digital (e-book) formats.  It has been quite a learning experience.   I might read a book or take a class on how to do it next time.  Or not.  I have detailed my steps so far, including costs below, for those of you who might be considering self-publishing (or have advice to give me!).

1.    7/30 Met with Speaker & Author Mark LeBlanc July 30, 2010—he gave me the “demandment” to write a book mainly for credibility as a speaker.   My topic:  Using small talk to engage with others in a way that could lead to more important conversations.  My audience:  business.  My title (no surprise here):  Small Talk, Big Results!  (subtitle:  Chit Chat Your Way to Success!)

2.    Got material primarily from this blog and presentations (blog started 11/09)

3.    8/2- 9/1 Wrote/revised an average of one hour/day M-F in August 2010. Compiled in an MS Word Document (approx. 13,000 words)

4.   How to publish?  Talked with a couple of people who have self-published.   One suggested local company Bookmobile as a printer.  She also suggested possible self-formatting using software available on self-pub.net.

5.     Decided on 5X8 Trim size after visiting Amazon.com’s Createspace for self-publishing.  Smallest Trim size is 5 X8 (later found out that book of less than about 100 pages can’t have title/author on spine).    Considering e-book/Kindle also.  iPad?  Nook?

6.    Put a job on Elance.com for editing and Proof-Reading $10 cost to register as an  employer.  Received about 40 bids.  Selected one for $200.  Completion 9/16.     $210

7.   Bought a block of 10 ISBN numbers for $250 (one was $125) at myidentifyers.com (Bowker).  I could have gotten one at Createspace for free, but decided to have my own, in case I wanted to publish elsewhere.              $250

8.   Paid $225 for Book cover design self-pub.net (October 13 start).  I probably could have gotten it done for less at elance   $225
9.  9/15 Attended a free How-to Workshop for Publishing Your Book at the Rogers Library (Shane Groth)  –Didn’t learn too much, but got tips on getting endorsements
10.  Editor (from elance) offered to do formatting for free (plan on $100 bonus)  $100
11.  Looked up information and wrote copyright page—the page behind the Title page (don’t qualify for Library of Congress Listing)
12.  Requested book endorsements (for back cover) from 3 acquaintances and from 4 well-known people—wrote out suggested endorsements for them and sent the Table of Contents and an excerpt.  Received 2 back from acquaintances.   On 10/4 got one from Brian Tracy!
13.  Looked at istockphoto.com and bigstockphoto.com for possible cover images.  Selected one and made a mock-up on Powerpoint to give cover designer.  I later made up a couple other ideas for the front and back cover.
14.  Wrote back cover copy and started file to give book cover designer.  I worked on this on and off.
15.  Re-considered retail price.  Mark suggested $10.  I feel $8 is a better price for this short book.  Checked out profitability for buying my own book and selling on Createspace.com–will probably go with “pro-plan” ($39) to increase profits.  I can buy my own book for $2.15 through Createspace.  Will probably sell digital formats at $3.99.
16.  Got a quote on 175 copies from Bookmobile for comparison–$50 cover prep, $24 proof copy, $7.60 interior prep, $10.00 digital storage, $2.23/copy.  Total $481.85 or about $2.75/book for 175 copies.
17.  9/30  Received and reviewed edited and formatted files from editor (3X)
18.  Considered e-book formats (iPad, Nook, Kindle).  Looked into Smashwords as an aggregator for all and started re-formatting Word Document.  Decided I’d rather hire someone to format for 2 reasons–they know more and the finished product will likely look better than through Smashwords.
19.  10/1 Requested a bid for ebook conversion (elance provider in India).     These people are incredibly patient!  $75

They will format in ePub (for Barnes&Noble’s Pubit and iPad, but I will have to go through an aggregator for iPad since I don’t have a Mac–I chose Lulu).  They will also format in Mobi (for Kindle).  The aggregators like Lulu do take a cut.
20.  10/6 Used up 2 more of my ISBN’s–one for the ePub format and one for the Kindle format.  Note:  All of the online publishing services do give a free ISBN, but then they are the publisher (although you do always retain copyright).  Spent several confused minutes on Lulu with chat support.  I set up accounts at Lulu and B&N Pubit (these were in addition to Amazon’s Createspace for the print version and Amazon’s Digital Text Platform for Kindle).  So, that makes 4 online outlets.
21.  10/7 Sent information for cover to cover designer.  Pushed out the date for the e-book conversions to 10/22 to accommodate the cover.


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About Diane Windingland
I speak for organizations that want their people to have better, more profitable conversations.

3 Responses to My First Book Adventure. . .Part I (Pre-publishing)

  1. Loved your blow-by-blow account of your first-time self publishing project, Diane. Such a detailed report (with prices, yet!) will encourage people to follow in your footsteps, I’m sure. I’d like to invite you to join The Ebook Crew (http://ebookcrew.ning.com), a free real-time network for actual and aspiring ebook author/publishers. Your story would be an inspiration to the beginners. The Ebook Crew would also find it interesting that you are publishing more for building your business than for selling books. Best of luck with your book and with everything else!

  2. Pingback: How to Self-Publish a Book: A Short Course of Why, What and How « Small Talk, Big Results

  3. Jim Knox says:

    Congratulations on your publishing experience….Royalties Forever….. Jim

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