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 sharyn
      abbott
Sharyn on 
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Independent Publishing
      As you can tell from my home page, I was on Oprah in 1990. I was on with Pat Evans who wrote a book called "Verbally Abusive Relationships". In the past years Pat has sold 220,000 of her series of books. She has made less than I have with my 4,800 books that I have sold solely through speaking engagements. 
      In the past it was desirable to have a big name publisher. However, with the advent of ebooks and nearly everyone having a book, most publishers won't talk with you unless you have 3 to 5 titles that are on the best sellers list. So why give up the bulk of the sales dollars to a publisher that doesn't do anything but put their name on the cover (it is nice have a big name publisher for bragging rights, but that's about all you'll get for it) but they pay for the printing.
      Book Publishers have created a mysterious aura around the practices of publishing. This is for one reason. The more complicated it seems, the fewer authors will attempt self publishing or the more important term is Independent Publishing. 
     Fortunately, I have a background that includes about 20 years in the printing industry, so publishing is a cake walk for me. I'd like to help you take the steps to overcome your apprehension concerning publishing, so you too will realize how easy this truly is. 
     I have outlined the step-by-step process and how you can publishing your own book:

1. ISBN 
      The ISBN numbers now can be obtained instantly on line. You can purchase them for $20 each and must appear in the interior title page and on the outside back cover page for scanning when purchased at a bookstore. They are purchased from: 
      International Standard Book Number - US Agency 
 121 Chanlon Road 
      New Providence, NY 07974 
      www.isbn.org 
      877 310-7333 
     Another resources is this website: http://www.bowker.com/ 
    Converting ISBN to Bar Codes: http://www.isbn.org/standards/home/index.asp 
Get ABI form for registering book: http://www.bowkerlink.com/corrections/Common/LearnMore.asp
http://www.bowkerlink.com/corrections/bip/registercompany.asp 
 

2. Cover Design 
      I use local artists for my book covers - they are very creative! Ask small local printers who they would recommend, interview two or three and look through their portfolio to determine their style. You'll find someone compatible with your preferences. 
      This could take anywhere from two weeks to a month depending on how many times you have to request changes. Do not settle for something you're not going to be happy with! 
      If you're on a low budget, visit a Junior or College Art Department and ask the instructor who they might recommend.

3. Layout 
     The new layout process is a lot more simple and you are no longer required  to do the pagination. Prepare your book in Word so you can use their spell check and phrasing suggestions. 
      You'll want to set the page margins 1/2" top, right and bottom and 3/4" on the inside. You'll also want your book title on the top right side of the page and page numbers at the bottom, typically centered. Be sure to change the Page size to 6 x 9.

4. Writing 
     The discipline of writing your book has to come from your desire to have a finished product and a belief in what knowledge you have that you want the general public to be aware. 
      At first, I forced myself to write 20 pages a week. I could only write two pages an hour with the first book. It was a painstaking ordeal. Then two months from my "drop dead" (no more excuses) date, I began writing 20 pages a day on the weekends and five pages a day during the week. I literally lived and breathed the book during my waking hours. 
      I find I can accomplish much more with a deadline. You might find your personality responds otherwise. Regardless, find your comfort zone and embrace it. If you find that it's easier for you to complete your  research before you start writing, fine! If it's easier to write on a legal pad and then type it, fine! Maybe you're like I am and find the easiest process is to simply apply myself the chair and begin to type! It doesn't matter, as long as you continually make progress. 
      My second book took three weeks start to finish. Then three more weeks to edit it. Not bad, but it takes a major commitment and more hours than most are willing to dedicate. My third book will soon be released and it has taken me about two months.

5. Editing 
     The editing is a tricky aspect. Do not edit the book or read it until you have finished the very last page of each chapter. It's one of the easiest pitfalls of being an author. You could spend all of your time editing and never complete your book. 
      Print the book single sided to make it easier for editing purposes. Have several friends read through it and have them make suggestion in the margins, everyone has their own perception of what sounds right. Follow your own style, but be sure to take in their suggestions. 
      One method of getting an editor is through elance.com. There are several people I work with locally too. Just let me know if you'd like some personal introductions.

6. Materials 
      The book's inside paper should be  70#  (it's heavier than 20# bond that you normally use). Also choose a cover that is at least  10 point cover stock.. 

7. Printing 
      There are several resources for on-demand printing. Currently I  like to use Mira Publishing. The normal book size is 6 x 9 and typically 200 pages and should be about $5-6 per book when ordering about 100-200. The price drops significantly when ordering more than 1,000 books. 

8. Cost Analysis 
      For your first book run, you'll want to print about 100 books. The materials are as follows: 
       $  100.00   cover design 
           800.00  editing
           600.00  100 books book
      $  1500.00  or $15.00 per book 

      The second run of 100 will reduce the cost of the books to $6.00 per book. So your profit will be $14.00 per book for a $19.95 price point. 
      A friend of mine is working with a large Chicago  publisher. Her book sells for $17.95 and she takes home $ .36 per book. Granted she doesn't have to pay the printer for 5,000 copies and the publisher will help get her book in some bookstores, but  imagine, she has to sell 200,000 books to make what you will by selling 5,142. 

10. Recouping Expenses 
      Once you've sold your first 100, and you recoup the cost of your cover design and editing, the second hundred will generate a tidy profit. As a rule, I keep 50% of the income generated by book sells in a separate account. That will be put towards my first large run at a commercial printer. 
      I've printed about 1000 copies and am almost satisfied enough to take it to a larger print run. 1,000 books range from $3.25 to $4.25 and 10,000 are about $2.35. Quality Book Printers out of Chicago (800) 332-5355, charge $2.85 per book for 1,000 and as little as $1.95 per book at a 10,000 run. 
      Larger commercial printers who have web presses are the most ideal. They will run the whole book on one websheet, fold cut and trim by the time it's ends up at the finish. You should visit a printer so you can appreciate and allow for the requirements of the process. I have found several who have even agreed to store the books and drop ship them to bookstores and my speaking engagements.

11. Distribution 
      You are your best sales person. You know the material and the heart of the matter better than anyone else. 
      You will need to develop a speaking venue. You can be the guest speaker at Rotary, Lions and Kiwaniis groups. There are Soroptomists and an amazing list of associations on the internet that will have an interest in having you speak to their group. Try to stay within your sphere of interests. 
      You can search for speaker's organizations like the National Speaker's Association to find groups in your area and find out where the members have been speaking. 
      Ask everyone you know if they know other authors and set up a speaker's help group to share information. 
      You will also find a comprehensive list of speaking engagements and speakers to network with on my website as well as a list of media sources for interviews. 
      Advanced Self Publishing is a very large marketing program available for authors. Prices start at $2,500. 
      Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Borders will list authors to increase their foot traffic. 
      You'll also want to arrange a book signing at a local bookstore. The private stores are easier to work with than the big brand name stores. It is best to stage a newspaper interview prior to the event so that you can command higher attendance. 
      I'm still working on developing the contacts for other distribution lines, and will update you as they're discovered. 
      This is the results of 18 months of research, trial and (mostly error) and sweat equity! 
      The latest and most effective method to promote your book is through bookyourguest.com. This another one of my sites and I'll set up an interview for you, then send the email to the radio personalities that will interview because they like the way your interview sounds. 
      All in all, it is much easier to promote your book today than it ever has been. Enjoy the adventure . . . you will never be the same! 


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