7 Minutes a Day to a Self-Published Book

7Min 02 Self-Publish
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Whether writing a novel or nonfiction, whether planning to print a paperback or an ebook, this book guides you through the self-publishing process, from the title page to the index, from designing a cover to formatting your text.

Simply set aside seven minutes a day – between classes, in the morning before your family gets up, or during lunch at work. In that time, take a minute or two to read one “step.” Then for another five minutes write as instructed in the You Do It section that follows.

Each task you complete in the You Do It sections builds upon the previous one, allowing you to quickly self-publish your book.

This book has repeatedly topped Amazon.com’s bestseller lists for writing guidebooks.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The New Reality

Should You Self-Publish?
Step 1. Learn about Self-Publishing
Step 2. Determine Costs
Step 3. Obtain What You Need to Self-Publish
Step 4. Meet Computer Requirements for Self-Publishing
Step 5. Ensure Your Manuscript is Ready to Self-Publish
Step 6. Find a Good Editor or Proofreader
Step 7. Avoid Copyright Infringement
Step 8. Select a Self-Publishing Company
Step 9. Create Your Own Publishing Company
Step 10. Name Your Publishing Company

Readying Your Book for Self-Publication
Step 11. Choose Typeface for Your Text
Step 12. Establish Styles for Your Text
Step 13. Design Title Pages
Step 14. Create a Table of Contents
Step 15. Make Some Acknowledgements and a Dedication
Step 16. Add a Foreword, Preface and Introduction
Step 17. Prepare Core of Your Book: Main Text
Step 18. Include Sidebars and Breakout Boxes
Step 19. Write Your Nonfiction Book’s Bibliography
Step 20. Place Appendix for Nonfiction Book
Step 21. Construct Index for Nonfiction Book
Step 22. Entice Readers with Excerpt from Your Next Book
Step 23. Impress Readers with Your Author’s Bio
Step 24. Consider Pros and Cons of Pen Names
Step 25. Determine Book’s Trim Size
Step 26. Establish Your Book’s Margin
Step 27. Format Your Manuscript
Step 28. Position Artwork inside Book
Step 29. Create Folios for Your Pages

Should You Self-Publish?
Step 30. Consider Pros and Cons of Copyrights
Step 31. Purchase an ISBN
Step 32. Select Paper Quality
Step 33. Design Book’s Cover to Attract Attention
Step 34. Design Your Book’s Front Cover
Step 35. Handling Your Front Cover’s Artwork
Step 36. Develop Elements of Back Cover
Step 37. Write Winning Blurb for Back Cover
Step 38. Keep Cover’s Spine Simple
Step 39. Ponder Pros and Cons of Extra Services
Step 40. Review Proof before Okaying It
Step 41. Convert Your Paper Book into Ebook

Distributing Your Book
Step 42. Select Array of Distribution Channels to Sell Your Book
Step 43. Determine Your Book’s Price
Step 44. Promote Your Self-Published Book
Step 45. Watch Book Sales Stats…Sparingly

Index

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7 Minutes a Day to Promoting Your Book

7Min 03 Promote
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You’ll develop a strategy that will get articles about your self-published book in newspapers, magazines, on radio and television programs, posted on blogs and linked to on websites, while landing you book signings and readings, all at virtually no cost.

Simply set aside seven minutes a day – between classes, in the morning before your family gets up, or during lunch at work. In that time, take a minute or two to read one “step.” Then for another five minutes write as instructed in the You Do It section that follows.

Each task you complete in the You Do It sections builds upon the previous one, allowing you to quickly self-publish your book.

This book has repeatedly topped Amazon.com’s bestseller lists for writing guidebooks.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Promote Your Book?

Media Kit
Step 1. Gather Items for Media Kit
Step 2. Write a Press Release
Step 3. Distribute Your Media Kit for Publicity
Step 4. Overcome ‘Rejection’: Why Some Media Ignored You

Website
Step 5. Plan a Website Promoting Your Book
Step 6. Determine Your Website’s Appearances
Step 7. Decide Pages for Your Website
Step 8. Make Your Website Navigable
Step 9. Construct Your Website’s Home Page
Step 10. Create an ‘About the Author’ Page
Step 11. Offer Readers a Sample Chapter
Step 12. Add a Contact Page to Your Website
Step 13. Tell ‘What Others are Saying’
Step 14. Provide Readers with Interview of Author
Step 15. Offer Photo Gallery for Media
Step 16. Generate Book Reading Opportunities
Step 17. Blog about Your Writing Progress
Step 18. Sell Products Related to Your Book
Step 19. Market Multiple Books on Your Website
Step 20. Drive Traffic to Your Website
Step 21. Utilize Search Engine Optimization

Social Media
Step 22. Start Blogging!
Step 23. Keep Blogging!
Step 24. Develop a Following via Facebook
Step 25. Post Videos on YouTube
Step 26. Tweet Your Book to Popularity

Public Appearances
Step 27. Arrange Public Book Readings/Signings
Step 28. Ensure Successful Book Reading
Step 29. Speak at Writing Conferences, Event
Step 30. Appear on Radio Interviews
Step 31. Land Television Interviews

Advertising
Step 32. Open Several Online Storefronts
Step 33. Develop Widgets for Other Websites
Step 34. Target Specific Audiences to Sell Book
Step 35. Complete Your Amazon.com Page
Step 36. Set up Goodreads Author’s Page
Step 37. Find Others to Review Your Book
Step 38. Advise What to Write in Book Review
Step 39. Carry Business Cards Wherever You Go

More Great Ideas

Index

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What is self-publishing and should I try it?

Among my favorite ever Christmas presents ever came from a classmate during our fifth-grade Secret Santa exchange. She knew I liked to write stories and so give me a wonderful mini-printing press kit in which I could punch out tiny rubber letters and arrange them in words and sentences on thin bars. Press the bar into the accompanying ink pad and then into paper, and viola! I was a published author. Finally, I could get my stories “printed”!

The kit unfortunately didn’t work too well. The letters usually didn’t stay in the tiny bars, and after the first use the ink tended to smudge when pressed on paper. In addition, lining up all of those letters backward so they would look right on paper proved too time-consuming for this 11-year-old to handle. Still, the thought alone made it among the best of many presents given to me over the years.

Thirty years later, printing our own short stories is a lot simpler. Thanks to computer technology, anyone now can get their book printed, and it’s fairly instant at that. But not that many writers really understand self-publishing or how to get it done all on their own at virtually no cost.

Self-publishing is the publication of a book (or any other media, but we’ll concentrate on books in this volume) by the author without using a traditional publishing company. It’s also known as print on demand, because typically a self-publishing company doesn’t print large numbers of books to be warehoused but prints them as they are ordered.

Self-publishing is not a vanity press, though some critics denounce it as such. A vanity press typically involves your poem or story being accepted for publication not because it has any merits but because the publisher thinks you’ll then purchase the book containing the piece. Or perhaps the publisher sells other “services” to you that come with the publication of your piece. In self-publishing, the author often is the publisher. Anyone who owns or has ever owned a printing press – such as Ben Franklin in colonial America – is self-publishing if they print their own thoughts and writings. With modern technology, anyone can be their own publisher.

Ever since the invention of the printing press until the past decade or so, the way to get your book printed was through what has become known as mainstream publishing. This system typically involved having a literary agent sell your book to large company that edited, designed a cover for, printed, distributed and marketed it for you. Unfortunately, especially in the tough economic times of the past few years, mainstream publishing houses have cut back the number of titles they sell and distribute. The result is that they reject too many great books, spend too little money promoting books that are accepted, and return too small a chunk of the revenues to the author.

The answer for many a jilted author has been to self-publish. During 2011, an incredible 1,185,445 books were self-published, according to Bowker. And what is being self-published are hardly novels by unknown writers or nonfiction texts on some obscure subject. In addition to paper books, self-publishing includes eBooks, photo books, calendars, cookbooks, poetry, educational materials and more. The number of materials that will be self-self-published undoubtedly will grow in the years ahead.

There are a lot of good reasons to self-publish besides that mainstream publishing has shut its door to most authors. Most notable is the high royalty that can come back to you. With a mainstream publisher, you’re lucky to make a dime for every dollar of books sold. Up to 70 cents for every dollar can come to you, though, if you self-publish. Another good reason to self-publish is that it’s quick. Within a few hours, your book can be available for sale to the public when you self-publish. Mainstream publishing may require months from the time you complete a manuscript to its appearance on bookstore shelves. In addition, you instantly can sell your book across the globe when self-publishing. Expect several more months and attorneys to be involved with global distribution and sales if you go the mainstream publishing route.
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My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.