Book Publishing for Independents

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The world of publishing has its share of snake-oil salesmen dressed up in the role of “helping” you get your book published.  Stay vigilant and be prepared to keep your wallet in your back pocket.  There are some universal, fundamental rules you should be aware of when you try and get your title published, and this blog post will serve as a primer for you to have a basic framework going forward.

The Universal Rules:

  1.  Get your manuscript copyedited.  I cannot stress this enough.  No matter how well you can put together the King’s English, you need to have someone with a background in structure and syntax look over your manuscript to make sure you have a well focused and constructed tome.  This is a crucial step, and can be completed electronically in a Word.doc with the track changes function turned on.  Remember to pass protect the document before you send it out to your copyeditor to ensure accurate editing functions and call outs signifying the original structure as compared to the edited corrected version.
  2. Get a Top-Notch compositor/typesetter/designer that is working in Adobe InDesign.  Compositors previously worked religiously in Quark, but with the advent of Ebooks, Quark has given way to the Adobe Suite of products for finalizing layout and getting to an Epub final file.  If your comp works in InDesign it will be that much easier to get your book published on Amazon and the iBookstore.  Also, in advanced cases, vendors are using HTML based composition programs such as 3B2 that are a much easier format for Ebook conversion at the end of the final layout process.  I would suggest targeting a final Ebook format, with files available for a print version in a Print-On-Demand or traditional print variation through vendors such as Sheridan Books Group and the Ingram umbrella organization Lightning Source. (If you do a print version you will need to get an ISBN, and register your book with the Library of Congress and request CIP data (Cataloging-in-Publication) data to be inserted into the copyright page of your book.)
  3. Proofreading:  I cannot stress this enough…  YOU NEED TO HAVE A QUALIFIED PROOFREADER (Like Me) go through and do a word scan, not a light line scan, but a word scan check on your typeset pages.  You as the author, also have to go through and do a word-for-word proof check on your typeset pages for any egregious subjective errors that may have been missed in the editing process.  The Proofreader set of pages and your author set of pages will be integrated into one set and given over to the compositor for the final correction cycle.  If there are a large amount of corrections, you might want to see a revised proof to check that the corrections were made.  If the correction pass was fairly light, then you can let it go through to final files as it is.
  4. Indexing:  not necessary for an Ebook, but extremely important for a print book depending on what the subject-matter of the book entails.
  5. Cover:  a professionally designed cover will be very helpful in getting the sales results you want to achieve, but there are alternatives out there.  The final decision will always depend on whether you have an audience that is readily willing to purchase your book no matter what.  There are some very nice 2-color type only covers that can work very well to get your message out to the mainstream.


Project Management:  You have your book project completed, but you do not have the time to walk through all the steps and find the various vendors at prices you can afford to pay.  You need help, and you need someone who knows the publishing industry in all facets, backwards and forwards.  The Book Kahuna recommends finding someone you know and trust to take your book project to the next level.  You can be part of a group that pays a subscription rate.  You can get hands on information through one-on-one coaching and consulting.  Stay tuned and follow The Book Kahuna for more tips and my upcoming publishing webinar at:

Follow me on Twitter at:  Donald Schmidt@thebookkahuna


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