How to Avoid Self-Publishing Mistakes—in One Minute

George Smyth’s One Minute How-To podcast challenges us so-called experts to tell listeners how to do something in one minute. He picked the topic for this one, from a range of possible publishing-related tips. I had to use a written crib sheet to be sure I could cover all the important points in the allotted time.

Naturally, it’s not possible to do all this in one minute.

  1. Read Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book. Try to get the most recent edition.
  2. Visit the website. Read the FAQ. Listen to the Publishing Basics interviews.
  3. Make sure you know the difference between self-publishing (which means printing the books yourself) and POD (Print on Demand), which has a higher per-book cost.
  4. Get an ISBN if you plan to sell the book from anywhere but your own website or garage.
  5. Hire a professional copy editor and typesetter/book designer.
  6. Use BookSurge if you want to sell your POD book on Amazon.
  7. Don’t self-publish if your aim is to get into the large bookstore chains. It can be done, but it’s very difficult.
  8. Look for a local independent publishers association, and join it. In the Bay Area, for instance, we have the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association and Book Builders West.

If you’ve had experience with self-publishing, feel free to add your own suggestions to this list.

Listen to the podcast here.

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