Editing, Publishing

If my cat had thumbs

picture of sleeping cats
These lazy bums think they’re ready to write a novel. Is it wrong that I was tempted to draw chalk outlines around them as they slept?

Have you ever wondered how difficult it might be to self-publish your novel? Let me tell you, it’s pretty easy. If my cat had thumbs, she could throw a sheath of paper on the floor, slather the pages with her paws prints, and call it a first draft. She could scan those sheets of paper into a digital file and organize them into the order of her preference, thus completing draft number two.

Do you hear something? I do believe that is the sound of cat lovers everywhere breathing a collective sigh of excitement over the announcement of Zelda Cat’s latest novel. Wait. Zelda would never truck with such nonsense. We’ll get Lulu to do it.

If my cat had thumbs, she might then upload her masterpiece to a website like Create Space, list it on Amazon, and call it published. Luckily, my cat doesn’t need thumbs to curl up on the windowsill and wait for her money to start pouring it in. Continue reading “If my cat had thumbs”

Publishing

How much does it cost to self-publish a novel?

createspace, print on demand
CreateSpace (an Amazon company) is just one option for print-on-demand services.

I recently decided I would like to self-publish my current novel project and have been considering all of the hard work that will go into such an endeavor. For example, I am an excellent editor. However, if I want readers to spend their hard-earned money on my product, then I need to hire someone to come along behind me and clean up any errors I might miss. Who knows why it is easier to spot mistakes in someone else’s work than in your own, but it is. So an editor I must hire.

I will probably need to hire a few other people as well. I could probably figure out how to format my own book. But again, I want it done right. If I can find someone to do it properly, I will likely save my readers a great deal of irritation on the back end. One thing I have no confidence that I will ever be able to do is design a captivating book cover. The sad fact is, readers often judge books by their covers. Yes, I need to hire a professional book cover designer. Continue reading “How much does it cost to self-publish a novel?”

Education, Publishing

How to self-publish your novel

An on-demand book printer at the Internet Arch...
Today’s print-on-demand technology allows you the option of printing one book or a thousand. | An on-demand book printer at the Internet Archive headquarters in San Francisco, California. Two large printers print the pages (left) and the cover (right) and feed them into the rest of the machine for collating and binding. Depending on the number of pages in a given book, it might take from 5 to 20 minutes to print. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I attended a seminar on self-publishing with author/publisher Cornel Rosario at my local technical college. I have been doing a lot of research on publishing recently and wanted to see if there was anything new he could teach me that I hadn’t figured out yet on my own. I am glad I did. Prior to the class, I had learned a lot about ebook publishing, but the process of publishing actual books had been a bit of a mystery to me.

Much of the information Rosario covered in this three-hour session was old news to me, as far as ebooks go. But when it comes to printing actual books, he was a wealth of knowledge on both old-fashioned printing and print-on-demand. I also learned a lot about the costs associated with publishing your own book. Continue reading “How to self-publish your novel”

AWP, Conventions & Conferences, Education, Novel Writing, Uncategorized, Writers on Writing, Writing Programs

AWP 2012 | Now That’s a Novel Idea: Marketability (Gasp!) and Creative Writing Programs (Part 4)

Novel & Short Story Writer's Market
Image via Wikipedia

Welcome to Part 4 of my blog series on the 2012 AWP Conference session titled, Now That’s a Novel Idea: Marketability (Gasp!) and Creative Writing Programs. I’m assuming you’ve at least read my introductory post, so I’ll just jump right in today and talk about the panelists’ views on query letters and agent-hunting.

First of all, what is a query letter, and why do you need one? Well, these days most publishers do not want to see your entire novel manuscript if they don’t already have a working relationship with you. In most cases, they want nothing more than a query letter, and possibly a short synopsis. The publisher will then use that information to decide if they think it’s worth their time to request a copy of the full manuscript. So, it’s important to write a query letter that really sells your manuscript.

Our session panelists provided the following tips for writing an effective query letter: Continue reading “AWP 2012 | Now That’s a Novel Idea: Marketability (Gasp!) and Creative Writing Programs (Part 4)”