I asked the library director what sorts of things he would like me to include in my July 7 book signing. He said people like to ask about getting published. I’ve had three books published by a publishing house, and published one myself, so maybe I have some experience if not commercial success.
Here is my biggest tip: Field of Dreams is fiction. If you write it, they will not necessarily come. Write because you enjoy it, not because you plan to be rich and famous.
Tip number two: You should not be your own editor. Hand your manuscript to somebody who (1) has a good command of the written word and (2) doesn’t already know your story. Be willing to listen to them, even when it hurts. They will be frank if they really care about the quality of your work. That phrase you spent hours on might not resonate with anybody but you. If your reviewer can’t figure out what you’re saying, neither will strangers.
Tip number three: If you do get a book out there and get a real, unplanted review, don’t be insulted if it’s negative. It’s not the reader’s responsibility to like your book, especially if they spent money for it. They have a right to their opinions. Besides, there might be a useful nugget in what they say.
I whomped up a list of references to hand to people at the book signing, if they come (see the first tip). Here it is, for anybody who doesn’t feel like being in Michigan next weekend.
This is not a sales pitch for any particular business or organization. It is only a list of places where I’ve learned things about publishing. They might or might not work for somebody else.
Writer Beware ®
Schemes and scams to watch out for.
Where you get those numbers and barcodes for the back of the book. Some other services.
Reviews and screens manuscripts for Christian publishers. This is how my publisher was introduced to my first manuscript. There is a charge. They will tell you if they think your book isn’t likely to be published. The second link includes publishing advice useful for authors in general.
POD publisher of three of my books. Not a vanity press; they risk their own dollars, not mine.
Do-it-yourself print-on-demand (POD). Free if desired; assistance if paid for. Cheap printer.
Printed one edition of my fourth book. The other was done by a local print shop. The local version cost more but was higher quality. You get what you pay for.
Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon)
Do-it-yourself E-book publishing (Kindle only). Free. Read a Kindle draft before inflicting it on the world. Kindle does weird things to formatting. It does even weirder things to text-to-voice.
Pubit (Barnes & Noble NOOK)
Do-it-yourself E-book publishing (Nook Books only). Free.
American Christian Fiction Writers
Writers’ association. Annual dues.
Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America
Writers’ association. Annual dues. Sponsors Writer Beware ®.