February, 2013

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Your First Day as a Publisher.


The book is done. Congratulations! You have put your whole back into the huge task of writing, editing, polishing and finishing the book that has been your life’s work for ages.

Send the manuscript to the designer and pour yourself a well-deserved glass of ginger-ale.


Now, welcome to your new job as Publisher. (You may have the nagging feeling that you should have started this job months ago, but better late than never! Let’s get started!)

Now that you are no longer a writer, you can dedicate yourself fulltime as a publisher, marketer, sales rep, publicist and social media specialist. These jobs with all of their various elements and duties will take up the next year or more of your life.

So, how do you get started? What do you do first?

Here is a partial list of essential-do-not-skip job duties that every Publisher has:

1. Choose a Publisher name. Don’t make it anything that connects to your name or the title of the book. The publishing house name/imprint should be independent and professional sounding (example: Democracy Publications). There are many reasons to publish under your own imprint name:

 a. Your book will be taken more seriously than if it is listed in all the databases as published by a vanity press or CreateSpace.
b. Bookstores will be much more likely to consider stocking your book if they do not have to purchase it from their biggest competitor, Amazon/CreateSpace.
c. You can control the costs and pricing and save money.
d. Reviewers will give your book a more serious consideration.

2. Sign your publisher name up with Bowker at www.myidentifiers.com. Name, address, phone, email, website (if you have one)

3. Buy set of ISBNs (Don’t buy one. You will need more than one soon and they are inexpensive in groups of 10) from www.myindentifiers.com.

4. Pull all of your book data into the ISBN management section: title, subtitle, price, ISBN, eBook ISBN, eBook price, trim size, page count, word count, category, age group– into book ISBN fields at www.myidentifiers.com (this will start the process of getting your book’s data out to the world and make it easier for the sales to be tracked.) Do not skip this!

5. Find at least 5 books that compete for your same readers and learn why your book is similar to them and why your book is better. You will need this when you are selling your book to stores or doing research or writing a cover letter to a reviewer. These 5 books will help you in numerous ways. Take your time with it and ask for help if needed.

6. Decide if you want to be in bookstores and libraries. (REALLY research what it takes to be in those venues… it is not as easy an answer as you would think) Do the math… how much money will you make per book after printing, distribution and shipping costs?

7. Decide how you are going to print and distribute your book. Should you use a Print on Demand service such as Lightning Source or CreateSpace? (there is nothing wrong with USING CreateSpace, I just recommend not putting their name all over your book.) So… POD or would it be better to print a few thousand copies and sell through a distributor? Look at the numbers, ask your local bookstore, find out everything you can.

8. However you decide to proceed , sign up with the POD company, distribution, or fulfillment company and provide them with your book data.

9. Get endorsements and marketing plan and executable PR program together.

10. Spend as much time in bookstores and online learning everything you can about your market and your book category.

This is by no means a complete list, but these are some ESSENTIAL items that should be completed as soon as you decide to take on the job of publisher.

All of these items should be completed before you are done writing the book.