Posts Tagged ‘setting up a publishing hosue’

Man, this one-man indie publishing business is a time suck yet leaves a smile on one’s face.

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

I knew coming in to this publishing business it would not be a barrel of laughs or necessarily a thing a beauty, but it could turn into a joy forever.

Having spent a decade in international publishing, and over a couple of decades outside looking in the traditional publishing houses, I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting into. But it’s always more than the carefully researched, optimistic planning allows.

Since publishing my second book (really, re-issuing “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”), these are most of the steps I’ve needed doing since:

1.) Tidying up next book (the novella “Brussegem, a snug hell”), getting its ISBN number, and registering it with my print company. Then working the cover. Requesting feedback from trusted folks. Re-briefing designer. Announcing a February launch date that came and went, because….

2.) I needed to stand back and understand what I was supposed to be learning from my first two book launches. I had my 26 steps check-list from book inception to continuing promotion, but the timing was off some because of the unexpected making itself known. This was…

3.) I should be releasing three formats for a single title simultaneously: the print book, the ebook, the audio book, so readers had a choice from the get-go. I had mostly concentrated on the print, knowing I’d be playing catch up with the other two formats. Which meant….

4.) Recording and editing the audio books, which takes up humongous amounts of time. To get it right. It’s a lot of fun, the performance and interpreting,but it’s second-by-second work, that leads to days and weeks. And since I do this as a professional voice over, there’s the happy work of getting it right. And so there follows….

5.) Ebook (Kindle & iPad included) that are a pain to format properly. Especially as I had lots of footnotes in “How to Find Yourself (or a reasonable facsimile)” that are just not respected or possible in most ebook formats yet. And that means reformatting, giving the book a slightly 2nd level feel to the read than the print version, then re-reading, checking, and for a low-grade proof-reader such as myself, it’s not easy going.

5a.) Researching where to place the ebooks as there are a dozen and so much more ebook sites, and then promoting on each (jump up and down saying Look at me!) like mad, or at least consistently.

6.) Getting time to investigate different online book clubs to introduce the novels to, and then promoting on each (jump up and down saying Look at me!) like mad, or at least consistently.

7.) Making the video(s) to attract happy attention, as opposed to old style Buy This Sucker commercial videos, of which I have no interest. And as someone who has made his living in marketing communications, I know the edge between selling and its possible ugliness. But each video meant coming up with the idea, writing the script, shooting the video, editing it, adding the right soundtrack, posting it on YouTube, letting people know, and then know some more. And then repeat, time after time.

8.) Research various free newsletter lists so I can offer opt-in/opt-out choice so people who want receive regular updates concerning my work can, or refuse. I have a number of sites I need to check out, some cost, some don’t, and need clear understanding before committing. Nothing worse than creating an email list, then have to change for a negative reason.

9.) How to embed a click-able web site link in videos to allow anybody who sees the wonders of a book I have described in a video I made, click right to the publishing page and buy it. Have half a dozen YouTube How To on that I need to find time to review, then implement.

10.) Review tons of sites on ebook developments and new sites to sell my stuff on. I have 40-50 of these to review. Just can’t throw them everywhere, because some are quality, lots ain’t.

11.) Research sites where I can post my audio books when they are completed. Again, new ones, learning from old ones, pop up and need exploring. And exploring, again, needs time, time, time.

12.) Get more fans, or Like people, onto my Facebook site. And view some How To videoing in personalizing the Facebook page.

13.) Write some fiction, do some storytelling, because that’s what it’s all about in the end.

14.) Continue developing relationships with seven different graphic designers the world over to launch a line of fabrics for fun, stories on stuff. Which means, beside developing ideas, also checking the various POD sites for t-shirts and spin-offs, and making the contacts and then contracts. Again, who is great, who is environmentally great, which have international print outlets, and so on.

15.) Look into authors’ exchange efforts.

16.) Write a blog. Then another. Repeat. Stick to a schedule.

17.) Take looks at the 100 blogs I follow.

18.) Check my Twitter feed. And Facebook updates.

19.) Get closer with Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Book, Book Depository, et al.

20.) And write more fiction, develop scripts, work with illustrator for my children’s book, another for the upcoming illustrated version of How To Find Yourself, and others for one-offs and series…

21.) Jobs outside publishing that come in and need fairly immediate attention that throws all the above back a bit.

22.) I am also the reader acquisition go-to guy.

23.) Look around my room to see whether there’s anyone I can delegate any of this to. See no one.

24.) Review and comment on play representation scripts.

25.) Also make the tea.

And that’s a hint of what’s involved, mostly, in running a this independent online publishing company on the run, eight months from opening up shop.

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.