Posts Tagged ‘Indie publishing’

The first steps in setting up an indie publishing house

Monday, January 18th, 2010

LIGHTS CU THROUGH BUSHES 02 Here’s what happens when you set up an independent publishing house whose aim is the online community.

You write something. You research Print on Demand houses. You contact and question them. You read their stuff on their sites.

You research to find a professional proofreader, check them out: has degree, passed tests, recommended by association, price okay, and then send, then pay, then submit for layout by book designer, then re-reading find errors proofreading did not see at all. Then correcting them, asking designer to correct them because it is in a .pdf file with following certain guidelines that I know nothing about. Then uploading book, producing a proof, finding more errors, correcting them, having another layout correction, begin doing the voice over for the audio book, and reading through the text aloud find even other errors. Know I am a shit proofreader, which is not revelation for me.

I chew off my lips and spit out the pus.

I submit excerpts for online publication, to gain exposure. Much research of dozens of online journals, get some acceptance, get some rejection. Time runs out as publication deadline nears.

I met with webmasters to revamp my personal and publishing site. I want to blog, also for exposure, but mostly as a “platform” of running a business, being a writer, and a place to store some of my better writing bits. Yet must wait for my web site re-launches, to make sure all is shipshape and shapely and well-integrated.

Register the ISBN number: purchase these numbers, submit to those who control such things, wait, get confirmation, then submit book to distributors, wait for confirmation from them.

Work with graphic designers for cover design. Ask several for different styles & tries, review them, decide, re-work, tinker, get it finalized.

Interior layout (see above concerning typos). Huge job, even for thin books. Check, recheck, book once loved now an annoying infant wailing all the time and not toilet trained. So to speak.

Oblique and direct babble on social sites.

Submit ms to my print on the demand publisher. Wait for confirmation and okay, because size of book, size of cover, size of cover’s spine must all line up, and dpi gotta be good, too.

Set-up online: Amazon, others. Research how to, email questions for clarifications, wait, receive response, demand more clarification, upload the cover, a minefield of fun and gore…

Continue recording the audio version.

Research ebooks, distributors, formats, contact via email, ask question, await responses.

Research various online companies that distribute audio books, the good the bad the ugly. … Put together Press Releases. … Research who the fuck would want one of these…

Oh I’ve reached my word limit for this post, and really, I’m not even halfway through what needs doing.

Someday, though not quite yet, I am hoping to be able to say, Working for me is the best job I’ve ever had. But that’s in the future.

Favorite excerpts read from “How to Find Yourself…”

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Yes! Actual readers reading their favorite excerpts from my humor book, “How to Find Yourself (or a reasonable facsimile)”. Listen to the best bits read out loud!

This is the last in the series. Many kind brave foolhardy friends and actors and the mainly naive gave of their time and talent for a number of videos wherein they were being wonderful. What I had hoped and planned and aimed was amusing stuff. Just to see. Anyone buying anything was a big extra. But to the people who starred & made these videos worthwhile–double cheek kisses.
I’m not big on selling. It’s why I’m where I am today. Where that is will remain undisclosed for now. But I like fooling around in a serious way. And these videos were part of this, to use a horribly fashionable word, “Process”. And I’m trying things out as I launch this publishing company. What works best, what works less. What I feel like doing, what I’m capable of doing.

Oh and that’s it for How To for now. I’ve been writing and posting a lot recently; will tomorrow, too. Things popping, but I will have some series playwriting to do between now and the beginning of 2010. Rehearsals begin in a month and I got…no, that’s for tomorrow (after this evening’s final auditions).

To the point here! Watch the video here.

Leave comments–here or YouTube–pass this around! Rate it five stars and hug me online!

Read some excerpts your own self, free of charge (!):

A case history… The False-Self-Actualization Syndrome…of a man who found himself too quickly….

It’s tough being a kid…How to Find Yourself during Adolescence…it’s all in the footnote…

This could confuse the philosophically rigid.The Moral Dilemma of Finding Yourself

Why I became a publisher

Friday, October 30th, 2009

I set-up an indie publishing company recently. There are various reasons for this, which I’ll explore in blogs to come. Right now, I’ll concentrate on the backstory that lead me to this move.


Twenty years ago, I had a novel published by Viking Penguin in New York My literary agent was on Fifth Avenue My editor, now a big deal V.P. there, was Kathryn Court Getting an agent, getting a publishing contract, had been accomplished without any contacts whatsoever. I lived in Europe far from the whole literary establishment. I did not mingle or hustle. I thought I was on my way.


As is the way of the majority of first novels, it tanked. The storyline has become fairly common. I was told the novel had a six week window of opportunity to get some buzz going (now I’m told it’s down to six days). The publisher sent out books for review and press releases and that was that.


My visualization: the publishing house tosses a number of books into the ocean of the reading public every financial quarter and watching which one floats, i.e. which book(s) got some buzz/some reviews in a short space of time. They placed their bets, some ad money, behind those titles.


The other titles, buzzless, were allowed to sink to the deep bottom of obscurity. I did manage some minor, steady buzz, but over a six month period, not six weeks. By then the publisher had long moved on. The paperback promise was dropped. Shortly after, they waved bye-bye to me when I presented my next book. So, I was not on my way at all.


Over the next fourteen years there followed seven different literary agents with seven different books. In each and every instance, I received the same reports. “Good writing, great dialogue, interesting characters, situations worked, etc., but…the publishers always ask, What’s the market for this?”


Publishers could figure how to sell my books to their sales force to enable them to say to chain bookstores: “this book is a perfect (insert category-thriller, spy, mystery, literary…) book. The categories were standardized and mine did not find a fit. I was told my writing was wonderful and deserved to be published. I was wonderfully unpublished, and remained so. But I was building a lot of unpublished books.
Then I went into a fuck it mode and stopped submitting but kept writing.


Meanwhile, I had gotten ten years experience as an international marketing manager at a top five media company—my only corporate time. It published business to business magazines. I learned how to launch print material, all the steps it took, from inception to delivery, into the international market.


I left the corporate world and set-up my own business when the Internet came along. I had been waiting for it for years without knowing it could exist. Then came YouTube, and social media, it was Oh Yes We Can time. The tools were back in the hands of the workers.


I’ll unfold more of this story as this blog, and my company, unfold.


My publishing company is Hidden People, Limited. The Viking Penguin novel that was published way back when was “Self-Portrait of Someone Else,” which I’ll be re-issuing in December 2009.