Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Art of Do-It-Yourself Publishing

In today's changing market, the do-it-yourself arena is an expanding one. At a recent Writers Forum, writer and public speaker Gordon Burgett discussed the myriad of publishing options available today, from traditional 'big house' markets to e-books, self-publishing and ancillary publishing.

In his book, How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days, Burgett outlines the step-by-step process for writing, styling and promoting one's own print and e-books. While this means may not bring the "prestige" of the traditional path, Burgett argued, it can save time, give more authorial control, build your platform and even bring in the big bucks.

Last year I created a book from my previous travel blog, Beijos do Brasil/Kisses from Brazil, through Blurb. The whole process took me about 35 hours to complete over 70 pages of text and photos, and cost around $45 for each hardback cover with dust jacket. It required downloading the free software to my computer, then copying text and uploading photos from the web or computer.

The upside was there are many templates for each page and you can even change the fonts and background designs/colors. The downside was the time it took to format everything to fit the right templates. While my purpose was to create a beautiful gift for my father and grandfather, rather than to sell it, Burgett's talk made me consider that I might edit and reformat the material for the public market.

If you want to create and sell one of your own, check out the following options:

Lulu: e-books and print; free ISBN and distribution through Lulu and others like Amazon
Scribd: social publishing site; upload any PDF, Word or PowerPoint; no cost for printing, distribution or storage
CreateSpace: print and e-books; free ISBN & distribution through and Kindle
Smashwords: sells fiction and nonfiction to Kindle and iPad; user-friendly guide and nice marketing
Lightning Source: international marketing & global distribution; free for digital; at cost for print


lakeviewer said...

This is full of great information. I spent a few minutes catching up with your other posts, all extraordinarily full of useful material. Thanks.

Nicole Zimmerman said...

I'm so glad you found the information helpful. I've had a rough "where am I going with my writing?" week, so just posting to the blog and knowing I'm helping other writers along the way makes it all seem worthwhile.

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