Book Giveaway: The Self-Publisher’s FAQ

The publishing industry has been changing a lot in the last few years. It’s not a bad thing. It’s actually good for anyone who has always wanted to self-publish a book. Author Jacqueline Church Simonds has put together a perfect guide for anyone who has questions and is unsure of how to proceed. Simond’s guide has chapters that cover questions you may have about publishing, publishers, assembling your manuscript, social media, how to get reviews and more.


For a chance to win this copy please leave a comment, name and email. Offer expires 7/19/14.


One question that many writers have is, “Should I print hard copies of my book…or should I just do an ebook?” Simonds provides excellent information for this question in Chapter 7 titled “Printing a Paper Book.” According to Simonds, “The old model also supported first producing a hardback book, then six months to a year later a paperback version. Big publishers still follow this model. Self-publishers do not. For many self-publishers, the best move is to print via the POD method and offer ebooks. In this manner, you can keep your upfront costs low and concentrate your available cash on marketing your book.” Simonds also covers, in Chapter 7, the process regarding book size, print type, binding and cost. She answers more detailed questions about ebooks in Chapter 8.

If you are a writer who wants to know, “Do I have to have a Press Kit?” Simonds states, “No. If you’d rather save on paper and shipping, you might consider creating a one-sheet with an image of the book, short summary, endorsements, reviews, short author bio, picture, and all the book data.” Simonds helps anyone who wants to self-publish a book or perhaps has specific questions, get the answers. Each chapter covers topics you will need to know. Step-by-step information will walk you through each process. The back of the book has a countdown of where you should be in a particular time-frame. For example: She gives you 9 months to finish writing your book and researching the market. By month 12 you should start setting up your publishing company and so on.

Jacqueline Church Simonds has been a publisher for thirteen years, producing over twenty books, has worked over thirty-five publishing projects and was a book distributor handling at one point over forty titles.

Have You Considered Crowdfunding?

There is a new way for authors to get help, support and even readers for their projects and it’s called crowdfunding. If you don’t know what it is or not sure how to do it, Book Daily offers some great tips.


Crowd at Fair

Crowd at Fair (Photo credit: RaeAllen)


Crowdfunding: The Newest Step In The Publishing Process

In order to be successful in the book market, authors need to not only be good writers, but they need to be business savvy, too. Luckily, there are many tools available that can help an author succeed, and one of the newer options is crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.

First thing’s first. Publishing costs can accumulate quickly and if an author is self-publishing, they are personally responsible to pay for the costs out of pocket. This is where crowdfunding can become extremely beneficial to the self-publishing author. By providing authors with the means to raise funds before they begin the publishing process, crowdfunding greatly mitigates the risk and financial burden of publishing. Read more here.


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Your Book Cover: What Is the Symbolism?

English: Book cover.

English: Book cover. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your Book Cover: What Is the Symbolism?

I finished a book several months ago. When I reached the end I wanted to cue in applause and hire a marching band. Of course, I didn’t do either of these things. Instead, I started looking for an agent or publisher. The search was discouraging because I kept seeing the phrase, “Not accepting new work.”

 In these tough economic, times many publishers have gone out of business. Small publishers are joining with other small publishers just to survive. Since I’ve been a freelancer for more than 30 years, I know something about the book industry. My chances of finding a publisher were slim, so I turned to self-publishing.

A local graphic artist had designed several book covers for me. He is talented, savvy, and I respect his work. When I received the cover, however, it wasn’t what I expected. I think of my book as an educational and motivational guide for women with heart disease. His cover made my book look more like a sports book and less like a women’s resource.

To understand our different perspectives, I started reading about the symbolism of book covers. Joel Friedlander writes about this topic in “Book Cover Design and the Problem of Symbolism,” posted on The Book Designer website. According to Friedlander, bad covers have poor font choices, confusing graphics, colors that don’t work, meaningless stock photos, and too much copy.

Nonfiction books like mine can have more copy, Friedlander continues, but the author has to be careful. “One common cover design error you may not have thought of is particularly difficult for many authors to overcome: they know their own books too well,” he writes. Was I guilty of this error? After thinking about this question for two days, I realized our different approaches were probably based on gender.

Friedlander lists the pluses of good book cover design — simplicity, a limited amount of type, and a clear message. Another article by this graphic designer, “Top 8 Cover Design Tips for Self Publishers,” offers clear suggestions for an eye-catching cover. If you are agonizing over a book cover now, his tips may help you make a choice.

  • The cover should have a principal focus.
  • Make all the design elements count.
  • Avoid a white background. Use color and texture instead.
  • Your title should be large, especially if the book is electronic.
  • The font should be easy to read.
  • Your cover image should clarify the content.
  • Stick with a few colors.
  • Look at lots of book covers before you make a final decision.

I considered these tips and realized my first cover photo choice was the best. The interior of my book will have two photos to delineate the sections. I checked my options again, eliminated one, and substituted another. Then I emailed all of this information to my graphic designer. The last two sentences of my email: Hopefully, the

se suggestions will meet with your approval and you can follow my logic trail. Thanks for your patience.

A book cover can make or break a sale. Before your book comes out, make sure the cover symbolizes the contents, the idea you have lived with so long, and worked on so hard.

Copyright 2013 by Harriet Hodgson

Harriet Hodgson is the author of 31 books. Her latest releases are “Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss” and “Help! I’m Raising My Grandkids.” Please visit her website and learn more about this busy author and grandmother.

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What Good Is Self Publishing?



If you’re wondering what benefit self publishing is to you, then you’ve asked a good question. Here’s the thing, your project is done and your ready to start selling. The only wait time is you preparing to upload it on a site or sites of your choosing, that’s it. Self publishing gives you control and on one else. Making more money with book sales has never been easier. Book distribution on various sites, gets your book to a designated audience.

If you just want to publish to share information, you can do that too. If you happen to make money while sharing your specific information, then self publishing is a win, win situation for you and your target audience. Feel free to give your information away. It’s totally up to you. Getting a book out for others to enjoy is ultimately what all authors long to do. Whether your book is a mystery, picture book or memoir, self publishing is the best way to get your quality information to the masses without having to wait on a publisher or agent to say when.

What good is self publishing to you? Feel free to share your thoughts.


Too Busy Writing!

I am sorry to say I have neglected this blog for a little while now. I have so many projects going on it’s hard to keep up. I am working on two stories for kids. I am getting one of them illustrated. And by the way, the illustrations are awesome for “Princess Penelope and the Pickle Festival” I can’t wait to show them off.

I have also partnered with a few other authors to launch a new online publishing company, Three Rabbits Publishing, which we hope to launch October 1st. I have been working on the sites web content and getting all of the legal contracts together. It’s a lot of work but a labor of love.

What interesting projects have you been working on these last few weeks?