The Indie Author Guide

The Indie Author Guide
by April L. Hamilton
Writer’s Digest Books, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-58297-994-6
ISBN-10: 1-58297-994-4
$19.99 paperback, 304 pages
Read an Excerpt!
Find out how to create and develop your brand to set your work apart in this excerpt from Chapter Three: Creating Your Brand.
Online Exclusive: Q&A With Self-Publishing Expert April L. Hamilton
April L. Hamilton shares her insights into the benefits and challenges of indie authorhip in this exclusive Q&A.
About the Book
The Indie Author Guide takes you through every stage of the self-publishing process. With e-books, print on demand and the power of Web 2.0, you have the ability to publish your own high quality books and go indie—just as filmmakers and musicians have done. Get detailed instructions, complemented by screenshots, so you can get the most of cutting edge publishing options.
April L. Hamilton, founder of Publetariat, an online news hub and community for indie authors, gives you insight to the latest technology and step-by-step advice for making the most of your self-publishing options.
Inside you’ll find everything you need to know to:
  • organize your files
  • create your brand
  • explore your self-publishing options
  • format your book for POD
  • edit and revise you work
  • design your own book cover
  • publish through a POD print service provider
  • publish in e-book formats
  • build an author platform
  • promote your work
  • transition from indie to mainstream publishing
Plus, you’ll get worksheets to help you plan and organize your book, your business, and your writing life, as well as an HTML primer so you can build your own website—even if you’re not tech savvy.
The Indie Author Guide gives you the skills and confidence you need to take full advantage of today’s unique publishing opportunities and grow your readership yourself.
About the Author
April L. Hamilton is an author, blogger, Technorati BlogCritic, leading advocate and speaker for the indie author movement, and founder of, the premiere online news hub and community for indie authors and small imprints. She’s spoken at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference and the Writer’s Digest Business of Getting Published conference, and has also judged self-published books for competitions run by Writer’s Digest and the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Association of Independent Authors, and works as a freelance editor, designer, and platform/publishing consultant for self-publishers. Find out more at www.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Indie Authorship: An Introduction
o      Portrait of the Indie Author
o      A History Lesson
o      The Current State of Affairs
o      Indie vs. Vanity
o      Why Don’t More Authors Go Indie?
o      Bias Against Self-Publication
o      Common Misperceptions About Indie Authorship
o      Tools of the Indie Author Trade
o      Goals in Indie Authorship
Chapter 2: Getting Organized
o      Hard Drive Housekeeping and Organization
o      Email Housekeeping and Organization
Chapter 3: Creating Your Brand
o      A Note About Imprint Branding vs. Author Branding
o      Overview of Author Branding
o      Should Your Name Be Your Brand?
o      You Versus Your Brand Name
o      Choosing Your Author Brand: What’s In A Name
o      Consistency Is Key
o      Keep Your Options Open
o      Beware the Common Name
o      The Same Name Game
o      Become the Master of Your Domain
Chapter 4: Publishing Options
o      Self-Publishing
o      Vanity Publishing
o      Subsidy Publishing
o      Print Service Provider
o      Print on Demand
o      Rights, Royalties and Advances
o      What’s the Deal With ISBNs?
o      What About Bookstores?
o      Choosing A Service Provider
o      Crunch the Numbers
Chapter 5: DIY Formatting for POD
o      Styles
o      Build A Manuscript Shell
o      Create A Separate, Chapter Shell
o      Using the Manuscript Shell
o      Ready for the Printer
Chapter 6: Editing and Revising
o      DIY Copyediting
o      DIY Editing
o      Content Rights
o      Workshopping
Chapter 7: Designing Your Own Book Cover
o      Write A Book Description
o      Gather Blurbs
o      Download A Book Cover Template
o      A Note About Cover Art Rights
o      Examine the Template
o      Insert Art and Text
o      Hide the Template Guide Layer
o      Save Your File
o      Final Tips and Notes
Chapter 8: Publishing Through A POD Print Service Provider
o      Advantages of POD
o      Questions And Answers About Pod Print Service Providers
o      Preparing Your Manuscript
o      Set Up Your Book
o      Review Setup
o      The Review Proof
o      Customize Your Book’s Page On Your Provider’s Bookstore Site
o      Watch For Your Book Listings
o      Monitoring Sales After Your Book Is Released
o      Still Unclear on Something?
Chapter 9: Publishing in Ebook Formats
o      Guidelines and Gotchas For All Ebooks
o      Getting Your Manuscript Ready
o      Ebook Production And Retail Sale Avenues
Chapter 10: Author Platform
o      Platform vs. Promotion
o      Platform Is About Building Community
o      The 5 Crucial Author Platform Skills
o      Platform Strategies For Any Author
o      Platform Strategies For Fiction Authors
o      Platform Strategies For Nonfiction Authors
o      Managing Your Online Reputation
Chapter 11: Promotion
o      What’s The Best Way To Promote?
o      Are You Cut Out For This?
o      A Signature Look
o      Symbol Key
o      Traditional Tactics
o      New Media Tactics
o      Form A Web Promo Ring
o      Figure Out What’s Working For You
o      Keeping The Promo Train On Track
Chapter 12: Making The Transition From Indie to Mainstream
o      Can A Publisher Help You Reach Your Goals
o      Is Your Book A Good Candidate
o      Are You A Good Candidate
o      Targeting Publishers
o      When To Bring In An Agent
o      What To Expect In The Deal
o      What To Expect In The Process
o      Can You Still Self-Publish Other Works?
Appendix 1: Worksheets
Appendix 2: An HTML Primer

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