Selfpublishing #2

My first post in this series was to give some candid advice, and help you understand a few of the obstacles between you and successfully self-publishing a book—and to help you develop some thick skin. Here is a very important concept to keep in mind on the subject, perhaps the most important concept in a long list of them:  self publishing & printing the first run of copies only gets you a big stack of books…it doesn’t get them into the audiences hands.

The ‘publishing’ part of the process goes far far beyond the initial layout/formatting/construction/printing, and in my humble opinion, is much much more difficult than the actual writing/editing of the book in the first place.

Photo courtesy of Lindy Howe's Christmas tree

This will be an ongoing series of posts, and in this one we’ll explore some of the initial options you’ll be faced with right out of the gate. First off, make a point of Googling ‘self publishing’—this will give you about three solid days worth of reading; you’ll be flooded with blogs/testimonials/essays from other people who’ve run the gauntlet and lived to tell about it, and to be fair, it mostly reads like a laundry list of what not to do (still worth checking out, if for no other reason then to familiarize yourself with potential mistakes laying in wait for you). Also, you’ll get a sense of what companies in the publishing/printing biz offer the services you require.

There are numerous printers out there, but from what I can tell, there are really only 20-30 that look dependable enough that you would feel confident entrusting them with your project (read: money). And on the topic of money, let me just assure you that this is not a cheap enterprise—but, it’s not nearly as expensive as some would have you believe (we’ll get into that in the next post in this series).

I went with a company called RJ Comunications, both for their formatting/layout services, but also the actual printing, and I highly recommend them; they were one of the best professional customer service & result oriented businesses I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. This is a link to a free resource that they offer; Publishing Basics: Navigating the Self Publishing Minefield; I can not recommend this down-loadable booklet highly enough—if you’re even partly serious about taking the plunge, you absolutely must read this. It’s chock full of answers to all of your questions, and it will no doubt give you some new questions to ask!

That’s all for now—but please, do not hesitate to post questions or comments if you have any!

Thanks for reading. More to follow…


2 Responses to “Selfpublishing #2”

  1. Hi Jason, there’s an interesting article about self publishing in the current issue of Poets and Writers (Jan/Feb 2011).

  2. Hi Allison–can you give me the link to that so I can check it out? I would love to read it!

    Happy New Year,


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