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SELF-PUBLISHING

by
Marcia Bennett
 

In my previous article about publishing, I said that the difference between "regular" publishing and self-publishing is that in self-publishing, you pay the costs. Authors have different reasons for choosing self-publishing. Some advantages are that it is faster and that you have more control over text, pictures, and cover.

I think the best way to describe the self-publishing process is to give you the steps I went through with my newly-published book of whimsical children's poems, Somebody Left the Door Open.

Several years ago I had shared one or two of these poems with Dorey Schmidt who publishes and designs books here in Wimberley as DoubleSS Press. Dorey expressed an interest in publishing the poems as a book. When I made the decision to go ahead with the project, Dorey and I agreed that we needed an artist. A friend of mine, Joan Dunlap, wanted to try the somewhat offbeat illustrations needed for the poems.

Dorey took Joan's delightful illustrations and cleverly worked them into the pages of the book. She then designed the cover, and we were ready to find a printer.

Bryce Engelhart here in Wimberley did the printing, even the cover. The only outside work done was the lamination of the covers in San Antonio. Then Bryce put the books together, 300 copies for what I hope is only my first order. Since I have paid for every step myself, i.e. the book designer, the illustrator, and the printer, the whole investment is mine. Good incentive to sell the book! It is a pricey investment and you must be willing to find a market for your books.

If you plan to market your book to bookstores or online, you will need ISBN barcodes. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. Ten ISBNs can be obtained from Bowker for around $225 or you may be able to buy one ISBN from a small book publisher. If you use a small press, they will have an ISBN available for you.

You may decide to do much of the book yourself. Morris Publishing will provide guidelines and templates and give you explicit directions for preparing the pages for your book. They will then print your book at a reasonable fee.

E-books are a newer way to publish, but since I know very little about them, I am hoping someone with experience in e-publishing will share with us.

By the way, maybe this is a good time to tell you about Amazon.com. Larger publishers find it necessary to have their authors listed in Amazon. But if you are publishing your book yourself, you may find it much too costly. Amazon takes 55 percent of the cover price. You may have too much invested in your book to even consider listing it with them.

You can sell your book at book fairs and sometimes bookstores or other types of shops. You may want to join the Texas Coalition of Authors. Their newsletter will keep you posted on upcoming book events.

Again, good luck and keep writing!

Article © 2002 Marcia Bennett

Click here to read Part One, "Getting Published."

*

*Marcia Bennett and her attorney husband, Bill, live in Wimberley, Texas. Marcia is the author of the children's book, Mystery at Jacob's Well, published by Eakin Press in 2001, and Somebody Left the Door Open, published in May, 2002, by Double SS Press. Somebody Left the Door Open is a rhythmic romp through childhood with a whimsical cast of characters. Marcia is a retired elementary teacher/librarian.

VisitWimberley.com is pleased to bring you these features for Wimberley writers by successful area authors. Many thanks to our contributing authors for making this series possible.

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