Where do I start?

‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’

Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Start with the end in mind is the second habit of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Take time to imagine your finished book—in your hands, handing “thanks for your support” copies to relatives and friends, on the book shelf of someone you’ve just met, in your favorite book store and library, on an e-reader like a Kindle, as an audio book. How big is it? Is the cover a photo, an illustration, or just contain the title and your name, there in lights. Is the title large enough? What does the title and cover design convey to a potential reader?

There are many decisions for you to make as you build your book. Knowing where you’re headed will save you time later on.

Things like self-publishing start out simple, then they get complicated. But you have to start somewhere. Here’s a checklist for building an e-Book from scratch. Along the way, you will need:

  • A completed manuscript
  • The page count and pagination
  • Book design: font, margins, page numbers, header, footer
  • Copy editing per a particular style guide choice
  • Developmental editing, niche targeting
  • Chapter opener design and content
  • Title and sub-title
  • Decision on whether to use a pen name
  • Copyright notice, legalese, and marketing copy
  • An ISBN and perhaps a UPC and Library of Congress number
  • Dedication
  • Table of Contents design: parts?, chapters by name or number?, front and back matter.
  • Foreword?
  • Preface?
  • Acknowledgments?
  • Introduction?
  • Chapter openers: design and content
  • Cover design: front, back, spine
  • Author bio and photo
  • Cover pitch, marketing content
  • Advertising strategy: organic, paid, affiliate
  • BISAC categories
  • Key words, tags
  • Pricing strategies, prices, promotions
  • Channels: narrow or wide?
  • Reviews
  • Press relations
  • Author appearances, book tour?
  • Working Amazon marketing
  • Project planning and management
  • E-book format specifics
  • Paperback trim size, paper choice, and binding
  • Hardcover? Dust jacket?
  • Audio book specifics?
  • Someone to keep you on track as you work through this list.

Publishing a living, breathing book is a surmountable object. This is something you can do. But the sooner you get started, the better. Let us know if you’d like a little help. Or a lot. Email us.

How do I find a niche market to write for?

What’s hot in the publishing marketplace?

Try the Writer’s Digest website for starters. This is the successor to the decades-old publication which helped budding writer find agents, publishers, and marketing.

APE your book

Guy Kawasaki and co-author Shawn Welch have done self-publisher wanna be’s a great service in creating APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. Watch their trailer to get started….

Now, if you want any help publishing that book that’s just waiting to get out of your brain and onto the page, contact Touchwood Press here.

Do-it-yourself…or get a little help.

10806469_757386687675663_6557916642513224932_nPublishing it yourself is just like do-it-yourself before computers. Back then, I spent many off-work hours doing it myself…to our household plumbing, our garage and basement, and to the backyard. I gave this up when I got hooked on computers because I discovered I was less likely to damage myself and others and because all those trips to the hardware store – to pick up what we forgot the last time or replace what we’d broken – got expensive.

Now, you can do your own book yourself, get your creative out, and dream of fame and fortune on the best seller list…or not. But the first step is getting inspired. Read on.

E-Book formats. Yikes!

In the old days of publishing, a writer who was not independently wealthy had two choices: work with a traditional publisher or work with a vanity publisher. The complexities and cost of book publishing were prohibitive for all but the few.

In the golden age age of desktop publishing, roughly 1985 until the introduction of the Kindle, personal computers opened up publishing to the many.

Now, writers do have many options, but increasingly, they are limited in being able to reach their entire potential market by a new set of complexities that begin with e-book formats and end with social media, e-commerce, and old-fashioned  competition.  For a glimpse into the chaos that is e-book formatting, see this Wikipedia article.

See us for help.

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