Effective January 2014, the Blog-Zine is cosed to new posts and is going dark. The blog and its archives will stay "up," though, so please feel free to peruse the archives and discover all of the great books, authors, articles, and other features that have joined me here over the years. Thanks to all who helped make my Blog-Zine adventure a raging success! Read on!

11 August, 2008

Passing: Part V - The Wrap-Up

How will you celebrate?

We're approaching the homestretch, thank goodness! In terms of actually publishing a book, anyway. By now, your completely edited and proofread manuscript should be ready for typesetting a.k.a interior book design. Now, I outsourced the typesetting of Running from Mercy, but nowadays folks can and do typset their own manuscripts using various word processing programs. I tried it with RFM, but I couldn't get the page headings just so and I felt a migraine coming on, so I left it alone. Anywho, a lot of book cover designers also offer interior design services, so that's something to check into. You could also ask fellow writer-friends for referrals, do a net search on "book designers" or something like that and go from there. And, of course, compare pricing and take a gander at references and/or work samples.

Remember to provide your typesetter with the project's LOC#, ISBN#, Publication Date, Copyright information, any applicable disclaimers &/or permissions, and the name(s) of editors, designers, etc., if you wish to include them. This information should be included on the book's copyright page. Also, add any dedication and/or acknowledgment pages prior to typesetting.

The printing company you select to print your masterpiece will probably want your print-ready manuscript to be submitted to them in PDF format, fonts embedded and all that other crap - which is why I outsourced this part. LOL. It's like with my algebra homework in high school: if I could pay somebody to do it for me, I did (joking, kinda. Also, you could acquire the file submission information from the printer (i.e.: ftp address(es) and/or any other links needed for online file transfer) and provide your typsetter with it. They could then submit the print-ready manuscript file for you, after you've reviewed it and double-checked for errors and accuracy, of course. Same with the cover design file. Worst case scenario, you could upload the files yourself or copy them to a CD and mail them in.

So, now the printer has the files and you've obtained a projected print completion date. You most certainly do want a final proof for review before final printing, trust me on this. But do you want galleys/advance reading copies (ARCs) created for review requests? Check pricing, decide and order them now. On the flip-side, you could factor in review requests in your final copy count and use finished copies as review copies. However, keep in mind that you should ideally be requesting reviews 3-4 months in advance of publication. A lot of review sources will accept bound copies, though, so if you're ingenious, you could run off some copies of your manuscript, hole-punch those bad-boys and visit your local office supply store for alternate binding options. Binder rings, anyone? Truthfully, that's what I did with RFM: hole-punched copies, binder rings and laminated copies of the cover top and bottom. Laugh if you want to, but one of those suckers is what landed me a distribution deal, okay?

Moving along...

And while you're at it, 3-4 months in advance is when you should begin promoting your book. Now I'm going to shut up about promotion, because, well, you know... Again, referrals, word of mouth, investigation and confirmation. Fact check, price check, then double-check. Get started right around here, though. One of the mistakes I made with RFM was not researching promotion avenues enough in advance to come out swinging. Frankly, I was clueless as to what my options were, where to find them and when I should start. Hindsight is your best sight, so I'm telling you, don't pull a "Terra", because it is not cute. (See my May 3rd (2008) Chronicles of a Lesser-Known Writer: Part I post for more information about online promo options. You love me, don't you?)

Umkay, but, before you start loving me up, decide whether you want the printing company to have your finished books delivered to your front door or to your designated distributor/wholesaler. Direct delivery will save you some cash, but if you haven't quite found a distributor yet, are considering alternate means of disbursement or are working with a wholesaler who submits book orders to you and you then mail the numbers of copies requested to them, you'll likely have those puppies stacked up in your living room, garage, basement, etc. (I forgot what my furniture looked like for a minute. Then, my car was dragging in the back, because of all the cases of books I had to lug to the UPS Store, to ship off to the distributor. I should've had a V8 and then I should've had the books direct shipped. Two hundred some odd dollars wasted, anyone?)

Okay, I don't know about you, but I'm 'bout to have a glass of wine or something, because you have now "published" a book, for the most part, and I'm so happy for you. These little snippets in the "Passing" Series are by no means exhaustive or all-inclusive. There's all kinds of pesky little details here and there and every-darn-where for you to encounter along the way, but we've covered the basics.

I'm going to wrap up by referencing Dan Poynter's self publishing-manual and also John Kremer's self-publishing guide and suggesting that, if you're really serious about self-publishing your book, you can't go wrong by copping a copy of either or both to walk you through the journey. There's also myriad other similar publications out there, by the way.

Publishing is just the beginning and, probably, the easier part. So hurry up and gulp down that wine, because promoting your book awaits and you're about to put in some work!

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