Monday, October 3, 2016

POD and E-Publishing Tips From A Few Pros

The Kansas Authors state convention was held this weekend in Lawrence, KS. Because we were traveling all of this past week, I was only able to attend the Sunday session. I chose a panel discussion on e-publishing and was not sorry I'd done so. 

Four published authors made up the panel, Sally Jadlow, Dennis E. Smirl, Gordon Kessler and Randy Atwood. Click on each name to learn more about these four authors. 

Here are a few things regarding e-publishind or Print On Demand (POD) gleaned from the remarks made by the panel. I am only touching on the tips, not going into a lengthy explanation of each: 

Dennis Smirl:  Avoid poor book covers and doing all the editing yourself. Consider cost containment and purchase only small lots of POD books or your house will be overrun with boxes of books. Manuscript must be clean before submitting.

My favorite tip:  He said to read your work aloud BUT do it standing up. He said that, if you sit in a chair to read aloud, you end up getting absorbed in the story and entertaining yourself instead of looking for errors and places that need revision. Being uncomfortable makes you look at it in a more professional way.

Sally Jadlow:  Change the font or size when you edit. Errors will pop out at you. Check CreateSpace for POD books.

Randy Atwood:  Check out ibooks and creating a CD or audio copy of your book. Find a good reader and offer to share the royalties. 

Gordon Kessler:  He has a wealth of knowledge in the publishing world and was willing to share, even though he gets paid to help authors prepare manuscripts to self-publish. He suggested to check out which has the largest number of self-published books. Kindle Select gives an exclusive contract and offers many perks. Others to try are Smashwords, Apple ibooks and Nook--Barnes and Noble. You can Google each of these to learn what they offer and how to begin. 

As we were leaving the conference room, I heard one woman exclaim--"It's darned scary!" Another said, "I'm excited about trying e-publishing." 

Like anything new, you need to research the different places where you can self-publish or put out a book as a POD volume. Read a lot before you dive into the deep end of the pool. Talk with others who have been there to get their thoughts. 

What we learned during the panel discussion was only the tip of the iceberg, but it was enough to interest the attendees. It was enough to make me want to research the option of self-publishing more than I have done before. It was enough to provide that spark of motivation we so often need. The online e-publishers like Amazon and Create Space provide step by step directions for the novice which makes it pretty enticing. 

I have two books I'd like to e-publish but have been dragging my feet about doing something I'm not familiar with. After listening to the pros yesterday, I just might try it.

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