Writing & Publishing a Book - the Art & Joy of Self Publishing
My Book: Front Cover
The thought of self publishing may be daunting to most people, but in the name of cost, it is the least expensive way (outside of having your book published) to share your writing.
I chose Lulu.com as they offer print-on-demand books, allowing you to publish and sell paperback (one or many) and e-books.
They also offer (for a price) help creating your book cover, and even a professional review of your book.
My Book: Back Cover
Where Do I Begin?
Firstly, compile your writings and read it over and over. Be sure to check spelling and read it outloud. It should literally and figuratively be your own unique voice.
In order to self publish a book, you must have at least 32 pages for a 6"X9" book. Not all pages require content, as the backside of the title and copyright pages should remain blank. You must take that into account when you add page numbers.
Create PDF Files
When you have one file that encompasses all the text you want to publish, you must convert it to a PDF file. This you will then upload to Lulu where you can view it, page by page, to determine if it is in the correct format.
You then order a proof copy to check the final version for any mistakes. Lulu charges you only for shipping for a proof, not for the cost of the book (which depends on the number of book pages).
Upload the Book Cover
When you are ready to upload the book cover, it must include the spine. I worked with someone on creating the book cover and she gave me the final proof, spine included. Lulu gives you the specific dimensions for the spine, depending on the book size (mine was standard 6"X9").
Using a Pen Name
I chose to use a pen name for this beauty book. It is perfectly legal to do so. However, you do need to notify your state and register your name as sole proprietor and DBA (doing business as) X.
Purchase Books to Sell
Once you are certain the book meets all your requirements, you are ready to market your book to friends and the public.
You purchase the books from Lulu.com, they are shipped to your home, and you can sell them for the retail price or whatever price you decide.
Sales From Lulu and Amazon
You will make the most money by buying and selling the book yourself. Lulu ranks second when someone buys from them, and Amazon rates third in the piece of the pie you will receive.
When you publish with Lulu.com your book becomes available on Amazon.com after 4-6 weeks. Although you will receive the least amount when your book is sold through Amazon.com, you will have national exposure and it is impressive.
Marketing Your Book
It has been said that everyone has 'a book in them'. What is yours? Write about what you know best. You'll want to share your knowledge about that subject with others.
Even if a publishing house contacts you (or you seek them out) and wants to publish your book, you must be involved in booking personal appearances and book signings.
When you self publish, you must market your book by bringing it to local bookstores (who generally take them on consignment) and contacting the news media.
I had a talk/book signing and the local newspaper wrote an article about me and the book. You must be proactive to succeed!
You can also go it alone and hold book signing events, or join a group.
The author of the book is Calla Simone, pen name for Camille Gizzarelli.
Writing the Book of your Dreams
Nothing is more rewarding than to write a book of your dreams. Authors have varied reasons for writing. Mine was to share my wealth of information with my readers and brighten someone's day by having the ability to enhance her natural beauty by 'being more beautiful.'
I hope to someday write a novel - I already have some ideas for the plot and characters.
I'm sure you have a story to tell. What's on your mind?