The era of self-publishing and independent publishing is burgeoning around us. More people have the ability to get their stories out into public view than ever before. There are aspects of this independent publishing Mecca that need to be kept in mind for anyone who decides that their tome is worthy of public consumption.
Making a List, Checking it Twice
I’ve made a list of what I consider the five most important points to look for in a coach for anyone who is trying to self- publish or independently publish a title. Some may think that it’s easy to get a book published, but this is far from the truth. Here is my list of the five aspects necessary for a successful working relationship with a publishing coach:
- Editorial- The person that you deal with must have a background in checking manuscripts for clarity of writing, level of writing style and also grammatical and structure evaluation with an eagle-eye. Failure to have someone with the necessary background can be a costly mistake further on down the line. A wordsmith who has a background in English or English literature is someone who can skillfully guide your manuscript through editorial pitfalls that can make the handoff through the production cycle that much more difficult.
- Production- The coach that you choose should know layout and design and be able to visualize the finished product before the composition begins. Any design elements such as pull quotes, boxed text, charts, graphs, halftones, or any other element that the author is bringing into the final development phase should be addressed and analyzed prior to layout in quark or in design.
- Financials- A big part of what you are looking for in a publishing coach would be someone who can keep control over the spending spigot. Given the nature of the consultant /client relationship, the coach should be the point person on keeping costs streamlined and foremost in importance for the duration of the project. Without someone on your side to keep the dollar spending under control, there is very little ability to avoid a money-pit situation if your coach is not prepared for various problems that can arise. Financial analysis should be completed before the project is begun.
- Manufacturing- The final formats of the project will determine what happens with the manufacturing. If the title will be printed, a manufacturing professional who knows the print industry and all of the companies that can get you the best pricing should be involved. If you’re publishing coach or shepherd is not giving you all of the information on all of the printers then the possibility exists that you are not getting the best pricing for the finalization of your title. There are certain printers who excel at given trim sizes and print runs. A digital-content specialist is also needed if your title will be loaded as an e-book. The trick is to find these 2 experts in one person, ala The Book Kahuna!
- Branding -The book shepherd that you enlist to finalize your book project should also be someone who knows something about social media, branding, and marketing. The marketing of the book should be put through all Social Media channels so that there is a Facebook page to be liked, there are tweets on twitter going out through Tweet adder, there are updates pinned on Pinterest and there is a blog and a website that are continually updated with new information about the book project. Building a viral response in the social media marketplace is a must. Enlisting customers who have voiced good reviews on the title should be utilized and put in the forefront of this marketing operation.
- Accreditation- The person that works on your book project should have some type of training that sets them apart from others in the field. Having a Bachelors Degree in English Literature and a Masters Degree in Publishing Science would put me in a situation where I can actively look at your project from start to finish and get it completely through the process from manuscript to and through bound book/electronic book.
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I mentioned there were five bullet points, but I added the sixth as a bonus.
Go with The Book Kahuna!
No matter whom you choose to work with to finalize your book project, make sure that you educate yourself before you decide to enlist the aid of any publishing coach. Your wallet may thank you sometime in the future.
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The Electronic/Digital Revolution in Book Publishing: History, Industry Perspective (Print and E-book) and “How To” Publish Your E-book for Amazon Kindle
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