Matilija Press
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Self-publishing Workshop

Instructor: Patricia Fry

Duration: Eight Weeks
Dates:You choose when to start!
Instruction level:Intermediate writers who want to establish a freelance writing career and authors wishing to promote their books through magazine articles.
Prerequisite:Student should have a book manuscript ready to publish. Having taken the book proposal class is a plus.
See Testimonials from former students!

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Course Description

Take control of your book project and self-publish. Self-publishing doesn't have to be overwhelming. This course is designed to take the fear out of the process. Patricia Fry will guide you through the necessary steps and share with you a realistic timeline for this and your future publishing projects. Learn how to set up your publishing company, where to obtain an ISBN block, when and how to apply for a copyright, where to purchase a valid barcode, how to locate and work with a printer, how to be included in Books in Print and more. What are the benefits of self-publishing?

  • You'll definitely see your book in print.
  • You can have a finished product within weeks instead of months or years.
  • You have the potential to make more money.
  • You have all of the control.
  • There are tax breaks to owning your own business.
  • You are the best possible marketing agent for your project.
  • Your book will keep selling for as long as you are willing to market it.

Authors today have many publishing options. There are so many options, in fact, that it can become confusing. Hopeful authors wonder, "Should I approach a major publisher, an agent, one of the smaller publishing companies or take the easy, albeit more expensive route, and go with a POD Publisher?" People tend to forget that there is another viable option—self-publishing.

As the president of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) and a writers/authors' consultant, I have the opportunity to discuss publishing options with hopeful authors on a weekly basis. Depending on the project and the writer's goals, I generally suggest that he or she start by contacting reputable small publishing houses. I discourage almost everyone from using a POD Publisher such as PublishAmerica or AuthorHouse. For those folks bent on spending money to have their book published, I highly recommend self-publishing, instead. Why? You are in control of the project. You are making all of the decisions. You get to keep all of the profit. You will have a greater sense of intimacy with your book and this will be reflected in your promotional efforts.

I meet far too many POD Published authors who are extremely disappointed in the way things turned out with regard to their book project. They have no money left for promotion. They don't know how to promote their book. They find it extremely difficult to sell copies of their book because the price is set so high. All they want is to sell enough books to get their money back.

Self-published authors, on the other hand, are more well informed and educated in how the publishing industry works—especially if they read Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual and my, The Successful Writer's Handbook. If they've done their homework, they have a keener sense about what to expect and how to achieve the success they desire. Folks who turn their project over to a POD Publishing company, often do so lock, stock and barrel—taking little, if any, responsibility for their book beyond that point.

Self-publishing, ladies and gentlemen, is the next best thing to landing a major publisher. In fact, it may be even better. Why? As I stated before, you are in control, you get to make all of the decisions, you have a greater sense of intimacy with your project, you'll get faster results, you have the potential to make more money and your book has a longer shelf life when you self-publish. Sure you might not get a space in the mega-bookstores, but you're not likely to get that space by going with a POD Publisher, either. You can, however, sell your books through specialty shops and appropriate retail outlets, online, at book festivals, through eBay, over, through radio talk shows and anyplace else you can think of for as long as you want to pursue those sales. It's all up to you.

Class Outline

Class 1: The first lecture is designed to help you determine whether or not you have a viable product to publish. There's no point in producing a book that you can't sell. Sometimes we miss the mark with our original focus. I'll recommend that students, if they haven't already, determine their target audience. Could you tweak your book to include a wider audience? Let's make sure that we have the best product possible BEFORE spending all of that time and cash producing it. I'll give some real life examples of successful authors who accurately ascertained their target audience and those who failed because they didn't. One man, for example, believed that everyone should buy his book designed to disprove the God theory. He produced this book in hopes of changing minds. He would have been more realistic in his approach had he targeted those who already believe the way he does. We'll also talk about the cost of publishing so you'll know what to expect.

I'd also like to bring into this session information and tips for having your book and cover designed. Most of us must hire this work done. Since it is a jungle out there, I'll offer ideas for dodging the dangers and escaping the wild creatures. And don't forget to hire a good editor. I don't want you to be one of the many authors who bypass this step and, in so doing, contribute to the deluge of poorly written books on the market.

Note: Ideally, the process of publishing a book will start while the writing is still in progress. The procedure can take six months to a year. Those of you who are still working on your books can execute some of these steps now and note others to be done at the appropriate time. If your book is completed, you can accomplish each step as they are presented in this course.

Class 2: I'll help you to set up your publishing company. This is an important and an empowering step. Here, we'll discuss naming your publishing company (I'll tell you what sort of names to stay away from), you'll apply for a fictitious business name, establish a business address (perhaps different from your residence address), consider building a Web site, obtain a merchant account, order or create business stationary, set up a business bank account and so forth. I'll provide resources and suggestions. You'll also want to send out copies of your manuscript to key people who have agreed to write testimonials for your back cover.

Class 3: This week, we will obtain a block of ISBN (International Standard Book Numbers), request copyright application, an Advanced Book Information form and P-CIP. You will also contact your State Board of Equalization department for a resale permit. We'll talk about filling these forms out and when to do each one in the process of completing your book.

Class 4: Printing companies are our focus this week. We'll create a "Request for Price Quote" and we'll research printers. I'll offer a few resources for POD printers as well as traditional printers. We'll talk about setting your price. Yes, that's one of your executive duties. We'll discuss a formula that might help. Once the price is set and you've assigned the ISBN, you can order your bar code. Don't believe those folks who say that bar codes run $300. I can tell you how to get one quick, easy and cheap—yes, and it's legal, too. If you haven't already, design your copyright page, table of contents, bibliography and index.

Class 5: Choose a printer. Give the book to the printer only after the book is edited and the cover set. Work closely with your page layout person and cover designer in communicating with the printer. Opt for the blue line so you can make sure no pages are upside down, etc. We'll talk about how many copies to print. We'll also discuss binding choices—an important consideration if you ever want your book to grace the shelves of Barnes and Noble—well, it could happen. And you want to be prepared.

Class 6: Just when you thought your work here was finished… Not even!! Now it is time to solicit pre-publication orders. (I paid half of my printing bill for one of my books before they were even printed through pre-publication sales.) Make a list of those to whom you'll send complimentary copies (your editor, page layout and cover design people, colleagues who helped with the project, those who wrote testimonials, etc.). It's time to set up bookkeeping system. I'll help you design one that will work for you.

Class 7: Finally, your books have been delivered to your home—boxes of them. After you experience the thrill of holding your book (your baby) in your hands, it's time to fill your orders. Also ship and deliver review copies and complimentary copies. You're also required to send three copies to the Library of Congress, two to the Copyright Office, etc. Be sure to deliver a few complimentary copies to the local library and, if appropriate, the school district. It's time to fill out the paperwork for the State Board of Equalization and apply for a business license in your city/county. We'll also discuss how to and the benefits of contacting wholesalers and distributors.

Class 8: This week we will start the ongoing process of promotion. The lecture will be all about promotion. I'll offer many promotional ideas—some you will have never in a million years considered. And I'll help you plan your promotional plan of action. I know, I know, you want to go back to the computer and work on your next great book. But not yet. Your work, my fellow author, is just beginning. And don't bemoan the fact that you chose to self-publish instead of hiring a POD Publishing company or going with a traditional publisher. For no matter how you manage to get a book published these days, it is up to the author to make it successful.

Testimonials from former clients and students:

"I recently had the opportunity to work with Patricia Fry on marketing my children's Christmas book, Tinker's Christmas. Patricia is so very good at what she does, is such a good consultant and has given me a wealth of information to assist me in my endeavors. Marketing and promoting my book had become a tremendous burden to me because I was lost as to what I should be doing. I was doing a little bit of everything and not concentrating or following through on any of anything. Patricia helped direct and define a focus for my future efforts. Between Patricia's consultation and Dan Poynter's seminars, the two of them may make a successful writer out of me in spite of my efforts. I unequivocally recommend Patricia."

"Patricia is an expert when it comes to self-publishing. Her teaching style is easy to follow whether it is in person or through her writing. I worked with her when self-publishing my second book and was amazed at how much I didn't know. I recommend all of her books and classes."

Sign up for this course now. $160.00

Or ask your questions:

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