Yesterday on the freeway, I spied a hay truck speeding along in the opposite direction. For those of you non-conversant with agronomist lore, you should know that when you see a hay wagon, you make a wish. I know this because in her youth my mother was a farmer, and we trace our roots (ha ha) to Scottish potato growers.
By the way, the name of my fledgling publishing company is New Potato Press. You like? Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier, authors of The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, advise that “you come up with a name that will be all your own.” Make it personal, but don’t use your own name, they suggest.
At my family reunions, there’s always a coveted fifty pound box of new potatoes courtesy of an agrarian Idaho cousin, and during the auction this box generates almost as much excitement as the hand-made quilts. Hence, the name I chose: New Potato Press.
Be sure to use the word “press” or “publisher” in your title to avoid, well, a purchase order from McDonald’s for 1000 bushels of starchy, tuberous vegetables.
Anyway, as I spotted the hay truck yesterday, I began my customary recitation: I wish to find an agent/I wish to be published. Then I stopped. Wait, I thought, I don’t need an agent. Followed by I will publish myself. It felt a bit freeing. Of course, by the time I could think of a new mantra, something to do with actually succeeding in publishing, the hay truck had passed me by…
So, let’s get started, you and I, before the self-publishing momentum passes us by.
- Write your best book. Avail yourself of critique groups.
- Obtain editorial input.
- Enlist a beta group. (Pay attention especially to what they find confusing or inconsistent. “I doubt Aunt Martha would drown her beloved Persian in a vat of boiling peach syrup” could be a helpful comment.)
These books might provide a good foundation (and this is the order in which I read):
- Self Publishing Boot Camp by Carla King
- 55 Ways to Promote & Sell Your Book on the Internet by Bob Baker
- All Smart Cookies Can Self-Publish! by Emily Hill
- How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months! By John Locke
- The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier
Of the above, The Complete Guide is the most thorough exploration of the industry, although Boot Camp provides better information on digital publishing. Buy the print version of The Complete Guide as the graphics don’t do well on the Kindle and it’s easier to flip to specific sections using the chapter headings.
For me, this is the most difficult. I love to read, so I keep reading more books on publishing, more articles on marketing. In fact, I do more reading than doing. I devour interesting resources and make great plans. And then make more great plans. Therefore, for next installment of Writer Unleashed, I vow to create my author page on Amazon and upload more book reviews to Goodreads and finish my budget and attend my beta group critique of Moonlight Dancer. (I’ll let you know how that goes.)
Now, what about you? What do you plan to accomplish in the next two weeks? Drop me a line!