The Indie Author Guide
by April L. Hamilton
Writer's Digest Books, 2010
$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 Publetariat.com, 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. aprillhamilton.com
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Indie Authorship: An Introduction
oPortrait of the Indie Author
oA History Lesson
oThe Current State of Affairs
oIndie vs. Vanity
oWhy Don’t More Authors Go Indie?
oBias Against Self-Publication
oCommon Misperceptions About Indie Authorship
oTools of the Indie Author Trade
oGoals in Indie Authorship
Chapter 2: Getting Organized
oHard Drive Housekeeping and Organization
oEmail Housekeeping and Organization
Chapter 3: Creating Your Brand
oA Note About Imprint Branding vs. Author Branding
oOverview of Author Branding
oShould Your Name Be Your Brand?
oYou Versus Your Brand Name
oChoosing Your Author Brand: What’s In A Name
oConsistency Is Key
oKeep Your Options Open
oBeware the Common Name
oThe Same Name Game
oBecome the Master of Your Domain
Chapter 4: Publishing Options
oPrint Service Provider
oPrint on Demand
oRights, Royalties and Advances
oWhat’s the Deal With ISBNs?
oWhat About Bookstores?
oChoosing A Service Provider
oCrunch the Numbers
Chapter 5: DIY Formatting for POD
oBuild A Manuscript Shell
oCreate A Separate, Chapter Shell
oUsing the Manuscript Shell
oReady for the Printer
Chapter 6: Editing and Revising
Chapter 7: Designing Your Own Book Cover
oWrite A Book Description
oDownload A Book Cover Template
oA Note About Cover Art Rights
oExamine the Template
oInsert Art and Text
oHide the Template Guide Layer
oSave Your File
oFinal Tips and Notes
Chapter 8: Publishing Through A POD Print Service Provider
oAdvantages of POD
oQuestions And Answers About Pod Print Service Providers
oPreparing Your Manuscript
oSet Up Your Book
oThe Review Proof
oCustomize Your Book’s Page On Your Provider’s Bookstore Site
oWatch For Your Book Listings
oMonitoring Sales After Your Book Is Released
oStill Unclear on Something?
Chapter 9: Publishing in Ebook Formats
oGuidelines and Gotchas For All Ebooks
oGetting Your Manuscript Ready
oEbook Production And Retail Sale Avenues
Chapter 10: Author Platform
oPlatform vs. Promotion
oPlatform Is About Building Community
oThe 5 Crucial Author Platform Skills
oPlatform Strategies For Any Author
oPlatform Strategies For Fiction Authors
oPlatform Strategies For Nonfiction Authors
oManaging Your Online Reputation
Chapter 11: Promotion
oWhat’s The Best Way To Promote?
oAre You Cut Out For This?
oA Signature Look
oNew Media Tactics
oForm A Web Promo Ring
oFigure Out What’s Working For You
oKeeping The Promo Train On Track
Chapter 12: Making The Transition From Indie to Mainstream
oCan A Publisher Help You Reach Your Goals
oIs Your Book A Good Candidate
oAre You A Good Candidate
oWhen To Bring In An Agent
oWhat To Expect In The Deal
oWhat To Expect In The Process
oCan You Still Self-Publish Other Works?
Appendix 1: Worksheets
Appendix 2: An HTML Primer