BAEF Panel on Writer/Editor Websites

I’m taking part in a panel on writers and editors with websites for the Bay Area Editors’ Forum tomorrow evening at 6 PM. To quote from the panelist guidelines I received,

The point of this friendly, peer discussion is for you to candidly share whatever you can about your experience related to having your own website, for the benefit of those who are considering launching their own…or those who may be in the middle of it themselves, including:

  • why you decided to establish your own site
  • what preparation was required
  • what initial and ongoing costs to expect
  • how much time/effort it takes to manage your site
  • what you manage yourself and what you hire out
  • what benefits you have realized since you’ve had a site
  • how you may be promoting your site
  • if you have decided to integrate social media
  • what you wish you’d known before you started
  • pitfalls to avoid and lessons learned

If You’re Going

Thursday, April 29, 2010
6:00-8:30 PM

4th Floor
Mechanics Institute
57 Post Street
San Francisco

BART: Montgomery St
Parking: Sutter-Stockton Garage

Free Admission

Self-Publishing, Print on Demand, and You

On Wednesday, December 3, 2008, I gave a presentation about self-publishing and POD to Clive Matson’s “Getting Published” writers’ group. I’ve reproduced my handout here. Click the “play” button below for the recording. If you pay close attention, you can hear me make a mortifying grammar gaffe: I said “have chose” instead of “have chosen.”

The recorder shut down before we had finished the discussion, which went on for quite some time, but after we had moved from the topic of POD to other aspects of marketing a book.

The example of POD success leading to a contract with a major publisher is Terry Fallis’ book The Best-Laid Plans.

The Handout

Traditional Self-Publishing

  • Higher up-front costs, but lower per-book cost (offset printing)
  • You’[podcast][/podcast][podcast][/podcast]re responsible for storage and distribution (shipment)

Print on Demand

  • Lower up front costs, but higher per-book cost (digital printing)
  • POD company prints and ships books as needed

Costs Author Pays Either Way

  • Copyediting
  • Book design and typesetting
  • Cover design
  • Proofreading
  • ISBN/Bar code

Podcasting Your Book

  • Inexpensive, but time-consuming
  • Builds audience/platform (might lead to publishing contract)
  • Best for fiction, poetry

Some POD Companies




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.

Writing and Publishing for Consultants Recording

The Writing and Publishing for Consultants panel at the July meeting of the Bay Area Consultants Network was a great success. You can download the handout with links to publishing resources from the BACN website.

Here is the list of questions addressed by panelists Patricia Coate, Dr. Bette Daoust, and Karen Pierce Gonzalez (with a few interjections from moderator Sallie Goetsch (Yours Truly), and some help from the audience):

  • Why publish at all? What’s in it for consultants?
  • What’s the most important thing consultants need to know about publishing?
  • What are the different options for publishing a book and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
  • Traditional (large) publisher
  • Self-Publishing
  • Print on Demand (POD)
    • How much should I plan on spending on…
      • Writing & Editing
      • Design/Layout/Printing
      • Marketing
    • What kind of help can I get with writing and publishing a book?
      • Help with writing
      • Editing, proofreading, formatting
      • Marketing and selling
    • How do you get your articles published in print magazines and trade journals?
    • What’s the best way to write and publish articles online for lead generation?
    • How do you create and use white papers?
    • How much can you re-use your material?
    • How do you track article placement?
    • Where do I find interesting, relevant topics to write about? Does my material have to be original?

We recorded the entire panel, and you can click to play below or download the MP3 file to put on your portable media player. The recording is just over an hour long—not nearly time enough!

Publishing for Consultants Panel on July 27th

I’ll be moderating a panel on Writing and Publishing for Consultants at the July 27th meeting of the Bay Area Consultants Network. This will be a real challenge, as there’s so much to say about publishing and so little time to say it in, but I’ve been working hard with the panelists to coordinate the questions and answers so that we can address important issues regarding book publishing, online article marketing, writing for print publications, creating and using white papers, and more. And we’re putting together a great collection of links to more information about topics we can’t cover in detail.

The morning starts bright and early at 7:30 and concludes at 10:00. You get a hot breakfast, plenty of coffee, and some networking time to help you wake up before we launch into the publishing panel. Then hang out and relax on the lovely grounds of the McInnis Park Golf Center afterwards.

Grab all the details and register on the BACN website.

And yes, I do plan to record it, but that’s never as good as being there.

Talk Your Way to a Book Audio

Sallie Goetsch presenting at Business Speakers by the BayThanks to everyone who showed up at my “Talk Your Way to a Book: Why Speakers Make Great Authors” presentation for Business Speakers by the Bay last Friday. Contributions from the audience made it a much better experience for everyone.

For those who couldn’t make it, I’ve now uploaded an MP3 recording.

There’s a lot of background noise, and because I was the one wearing the mic, it’s not always easy to hear what other people are saying. Anyone who thinks s/he can clean up the sound and make a better quality recording is welcome to give it a go.

You may also want to download the handout and the flyer to refer to.

Eventually I’ll transcribe this recording and turn it into an article. Meanwhile, download the MP3 (12 MB; about 45 minutes) and listen to it on your computer or your portable media player. Then come back and post a comment or two! And feel free to attend the next BSBB meeting on December 2nd.

Join the Author-izer at Business Speakers by the Bay on November 4th!

Talk Your Way to a Book

Why Speakers Make Great Authors

9-10:30 AM
Emery Bay Cafe
5857-B Christie Avenue
Emeryville, CA 94608

$15 check or cash (includes enormous breakfast)

Nothing makes you an authority like being an author. The highest speaking fees and the best consulting gigs go to people with books. With a book, you can reach people who will never have the chance to hear you speak.

If you’re a successful speaker, you already have what you need to become an author: expertise and a compelling way to present it to an audience. You’re already doing one of the best things an author can do to promote a book: speaking in public. Every presentation you give is an opportunity for back-of-room sales. Publishers love this.

Author-izer and Collabowriter Sallie Goetsch shows you how to take your presentations, trainings, workshops, and keynote speeches and turn them into a book. If you can speak, you can write. What are you waiting for?

Join the Business Speakers by the Bay on November 4, 2005 to learn:

  • How to overcome the obstacles to writing
  • How to write without writing
  • Why publishers want authors who are speakers
  • New ways to use speaking to promote your book

Because the venue is a bit noisy, I may not be able to record the presentation. Besides, it’s so much more fun to do these things in person. And we want everyone to benefit from the experiences of other Bay Area speakers with authoring and promoting books.

Sponsored by Business Speakers by the Bay. Please RSVP to Craig Harrison ([email protected]). Hope to see you there!