The process of writing a book is just the beginning of your odyssey into the realm of publishing. While the time you spent crafting your masterpiece was considerable, the translation to a for sale print version can be equally as daunting. Here are some considerations when making the leap from a Word Document to becoming a published author.
One would think that in this digital age, publishing a book could happen as quickly as sending an e-mail. While the process of publication can happen quickly in comparison to "days of yore", it never goes as quickly as you want. Here are some estimations on various elements of publication that you need consider.
If you're looking to publish a print and electronic format of your book, you can save time and expense by keeping formatting in your master file at a minimum. While it is satisfying to use MS Word's Table of Contents, Title Page, and Custom Footer functions, these auto formatting conventions do not always translate well into the formats print houses or eBook resellers need. When writing your book, keep your formatting to a minimum. We suggest using a Garamond or Times New Roman12 point font and block paragraphs in your manuscript. It is far easier for those doing both print and eBook layouts to add the necessary formatting in than to take formatting out after the fact. The less work your layout person has to do on your book means a lower price for their services.
One can expect at least a week turn around for basic layouts of a book in print and eBook formats.
Registration of an ISBN
Factor in at least 72 hours for the registration of an ISBN. Obtaining an ISBN should be one of the first things you do before looking at publication. Without an ISBN you will not be able to submit your manuscript to any of the on-line venues for publication. This can be a frustrating hold up when you are ready to submit for publication .
You will need to provide a few things to a graphic artist for a cover design. First, make sure you have an idea of what you want the cover to look like before meeting with your graphics person. Secondly, have a good head shot of yourself on hand to give to the graphics person. Remember your head-shot on the cover of your book is the public's perception of you. Finally, write out the synopsis of the book and any quotes you have about the quality of your text. Keep these descriptions short, sweet and to the point. In a traditional book store setting, your front cover grabs the customer's attention and the back cover seals the sale.
Covers can be designed and ready for print in just a few days, if the graphics person has a good grasp of what you want.
Submission and Listing
Create Space, Lulu, and Lightning Source are the major players in the printing game for self published authors these days. Each company has their own quirks and timing on releases the Grave Distractions team can assist you with. No matter what venue you go with, allow at least two weeks for a listing to "go live" for internet sales. Getting into the listings for distribution in retail stores can take six to eight weeks. That's just having a distributor list your book, actual shipping to stores and stocking on the shelves takes some time and convincing. Also, expect at least a minimum of 60 days for turn around on any payments to you for book sales.
With tools like Twitter, Facebook, and web sites; marketing digitally can seem to be instant. If these are the only avenues you are going to pursue, factor in the daily time it takes to post on blogs and web sites. If you're looking to have your book reviewed by any professional news service or on line publication, the process can be painfully slow. Most reviewers want to have a galley copy of your book in hand up to three months before the book hits the streets. Any other media exposure, such as podcasts/radio shows and book signings can take weeks to set up. Marketing a book is like growing a garden. There are many seeds to plant and it takes time for your crop to grow.
If all this seems a bit overwhelming to you, don't fret. Grave Distractions is set up to help you though this minefield of self publishing. Contact us at email@example.com for a consultation from one of our Editorial Board Members.
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