Objectives and Goals in Indie Publishing

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Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.” ~ Brian Tracy

Last week, our SHe Writes Steamboat meet-up  group hosted the Colorado Independent Publishers Association www.cipacatalog.com for an event at the Bud Werner Memorial Library. The afternoon sessions were educational in nature and the President of the organization talked about various options in publishing and also the costs of independent publishing. 

Over the weekend I reflected on what was presented and truly, there are so many variables that it is difficult to answer this question of what independent publishing costs without knowing which options best fits a persons needs. The presentation reinforced the importance of researching all the options, and also the importance of identifying your goals and objectives in independent publishing. Are you independently publishing a book for:  

    • a personal project – for family and friends only (such as a family memoir)?
    •  advancing your career and for gaining  recognition in a field?
    •  becoming a professional speaker and for using your book as a resource in your speaking engagements?
    • starting a small or medium sized independent publishing company?

    Determining your reasons for publishing will help you narrow down whether your project will be low-end budget (personal project) or whether it will involve a more substantial investment and commitment of resources. Also,  would an e-book suit your needs as a starting point? Consider that. 

Tomorrow we will be addressing more questions that you should ask yourself before starting the process of independent publishing. Do return!

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Books Made to Order

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Economy is the method by which we prepare today to afford the improvements of tomorrow.” ~ Calvin Coolidge 

Approximately 4 or 5 years ago, I was introduced to the EBM– the Expresso Book Machine. As I stood in front of the machine, I was amazed to watch it’s speed in downloading PDF files, collating, printing, binding, trimming pages and covering a book all within 15 – 20 minutes time. Not only that, the machine had the ability to print a book in many different languages. 

When I saw the EBM in action, it was still in the testing phase. The Northshire Bookstore in Manchester,Vermont http://bit.ly/qSD5Ib was the first retail store to acquire this print-on-demand book machine and, in fact at the time, it was only available in 5 other locations in world. 

Imagine that!  A paperbound book, made to order, in a language of your choice is now as easy as 1 -2 – 3! This option in book printing is good for publications of 200 pages or less and for very low print runs. For instance: if you need a paperbound copy of a book out of print, often it can be located through digital catalogs and printed just for you! It is also a good choice when it comes to printing a few copies of family memoirs or poetry collections. 

Test trials must have gone well! In less then a half dozen years, there are now 50 Expresso Book Machines located in public libraries, retail bookstores and University Libraries. For more information on the EBM, please visit http://bit.ly/hSAIe2

There can be drawbacks to print-on-demand, however. The costs of using print-on- demand can be more expensive if you are printing in larger quantities. Now many book printing companies will print less than mega quantities. Times have changed in the book manufacturing world. 

Weigh your choices very carefully. If this is your first attempt at self publishing or as a first time independent publisher, sometimes it is better to test your market first. Ordering through print-on-demand will allow you to establish how quickly the book is selling. Overprinting could result in high inventory storage fees. Save  dollars by making wise choices when you print your books.

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“Explosive Growth” says Bowker

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The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes 

We are breaking away from our Friday film routine today because finally, I have found what I have been looking for. The storehouse of all publishing statistics, Bowker, has finally released their numbers for the year 2010. And it is indeed fulfilling news! 

Traditional publishing grew a 5% last year, whereas, “non-traditional publishing” continued along its path of “explosive growth” says Bowker. There were 1,033,065 non- traditionally published books put out into the marketplace in 2009 and these figures more than doubled in 2010 to 2,776,260, thanks in part to the availability of print on demand. The majority of these non-traditional titles are sold and marketed over the internet and are about “micro-niche” subjects. One can safely say, people are looking for publications that are different and unique. To read the entire Bowker report, please go to http://bit.ly/mBW02G

Although e-book sales are exceeding the sales of paperback books, http://huff.to/5f6hAJ, books in print are by no means a thing of the past. Many self-publishing authors and independent publishers (otherwise known as non-traditional publishers) opt for selling both print and e-books, so their presence is known in both digital markets and brick and mortar stores, libraries, colleges and other retail environments. 

So that’s the latest word folks, on this ever changing and fascinating world of publishing in this 21st century. We will see what next week brings.

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GPS for Independent Publishers


Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”  ~ Ben Franklin 

Over the next few days, we are going to switch it up a bit and share some more technical information about the independent publishing industry, that I hope will be useful to those who are considering or engaged in the process.

The other day I began to think about GPS systems and how useful the development of these devices have been in leading us to where we need to go and what we want to find. 

GPS, in my world of independent publishing, could be used as an acronym for books with “Great Publishing Success.” 

Far-fetched as it may seem, “GPS” for independent publishers is being aided  by the use of  QR codes. The little, square digital code patch is very useful to those who want to know more about great independently published books, films and music. QR codes are beginning to appear not just on realtor signs, in newspapers, and on other flat surfaces.  Quick Response codes, matrix barcodes that are readable by i-phones and other smart digital devices, are even beginning to be placed on independently published books, films and music. 

QR codes will help readers identify, locate and read a review of independent publications or learn more about an author’s website.  Independent publications will become very visible through the use of QR codes. This is fulfilling news for independent publishers who may not have  a big promotion company or huge marketing budgets behind them.

Independent publishers, keep your eye on this latest development! A very exciting time in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers is just ahead. Don’t miss out.

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Weekend Indie Publisher News

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Have you written a book designed to improve daily living? The Living Now Book Awards are coming up and the first deadline has gone by. The sooner you submit your book, the lower the cost to enter your book into the competition, so all of you enter now!

Basic Information:

This contest is designed to reward authors for new publications that helps improve quality of life and how to live fulfilling lifestyles. 

Categories include:

  • Fitness
  • Travel
  • Cooking
  • Entertaining
  • Self Improvement
  • Animals/Pets
  • Green Living
  • Spirituality/Enlightment
  • Family    
  • AND MORE!! 

Next submission deadline and fee – now until November 20,  $85 per title,   After November 21st , $95 per title

                                                          Final Deadline February 21st

For more information – please visit http://www.livingnowawards.com/index.php 

Good Luck! Book awards are a sure -fire way to increase your visibility as an author and for your book!

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Common Clarity

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  “Almost all new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness, when they are first produced.” ~Alfred North Whitehead

Having good language and writing skills is important for all of us. It helps us to communicate in our jobs, with family, friends and through social media, too! But using lofty, big words that no one else understands can be frustrating and a turn-off for the reader. A book or film with a message that is clearly communicated, is the most fulfilling to me.

If you visited this blogsite yesterday, I am glad you returned today! Yesterday’s blog writing was filled with archaic words that may have left you feeling the need for a reference book on weird, wacky words. It takes time that few readers have, to continually look up words you do not quite understand. I will spare you and provide you with a clear interpretation, right here and now!

The internet is a sciniary( keeper of archives), so it should be able to rally to the task of helping me find the right words. So useful is the worldwide web to writers in so many ways. Without it, I would need to practice the art of scoteography (writing in the dark).  Poets seem to find words that work in the context of their writing, so very easily that I have become a musophobist (person who regards poetry with suspicious dislike). I believe that poets can’t possibly come up with all those magnificent, creative words without extra God- given gifts for language. A gift that was not given to all individuals.

This blog is becoming somewhat naufrageous (in danger of a ship wreck)! If I continue, it will end up a capilotade (hashed together story).You will call me a cumber-ground (someone who is useless in their job) and suggest that I become a bouquinist(a dealer of second hand books).

Does it sound like morology (foolish talking) to you? Well, PLEASE do not discerp (tear it to shreds) unless you have linguipotence (mastery of the languages).

Enough of being inaniloguous (full of idle talk). These words are not drogulus (not able to be verified). They can be verified. I will deliciate (make myself happy) by ending this blog.

In the meantime, I will go try to open some boxes of books, that are hard to get into because they have segilbond (encircling plastic bands that hold shipping cartons shut – you know- the kind that are so hard to remove until you use them as a handle).

A girl just wants to have fun on her new computer, and use a lighthearted start. In coming days this blog will be more recognizable with fulfilling content!


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Penny Here, Penny There

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 “Literature is an investment of genius which has dividends to all subsequent times.”  ~ John Burroughs 

Believe it or not, it is getting time to pull out the fall jackets, pants and coats here in Colorado – I love that time of year! Invariably I come across a little pocket change that I didn’t know existed. Finding a few crumpled dollars, or handfuls of coins left in my clothing from the season before is such a fulfilling feeling – it is like finding an extra paycheck – no matter how big or small. 

We all work hard for our money, and we should work hard at keeping it too! Are you an independent publisher guilty of overspending on postage and delivery each year? Well – you are not alone! It is no wonder though – keeping current with changes in postal and delivery service rates and fees is a never ending job.

Independent publishing means being smart, making wise decisions and not spending money needlessly, so you can retain a higher profit margin on your product. Isn’t that one of the reasons why you decided to independently publish in the first place? Adding an extra stamp here and extra stamp there “just in case” and “for good measure” can really add up! And it will affect your bottom line too.

As an order fulfillment company, we must be guardians for our clients to make sure they retain the highest profit margin on their sale. We strive to stay “in the know,” so we can ship the quickest, most economical, and reliable way possible, all over the globe. It is all part of getting the job done!

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Seeing it Through

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There is no such thing as a minor lapse of integrity” ~ Tom Peters 

I love it when I re-read a book and gain more from it the second time around. There are often hidden messages, concepts and all sorts of things that fly over our heads the first time around. 

About a year ago, a book came into my hands called “The Hourglass Principle”  by Ray Kelly III. It is written by a person who has spent a lifetime in sales. The book addresses the issue of building a business and the choices that we have in doing so. He mentions that throughout the process, we may come to a crossroad where a decision must be made of how to proceed. Sometimes there are two choices – we can take the short route, often sacrificing our beliefs and convictions or we may take, perhaps, a more challenging route allowing us to remain true to our selves. As author Ray Kelly III points out, “Integrity is the only thing we carry with us from career to career.” 

I began to think how integrity applies to the reasons why people decide to independently publish. For many, the choice is easy. After talking with a traditional publishing house, the author often realizes what is at stake is the piece of work they have poured their heart and soul into writing. If they hand their manuscript over to a traditional publisher, it could ultimately be sacrificed. Their words may be changed, a rewrite with a different slant may be requested. It may be marketed by people who do not share the approach or the same values. The cover design choice may even be out of their hands. 

What would you do, if given the choice?

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Organic Writing?

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“And all writing is creating or spinning dreams for other people so they won’t have to bother doing it themselves” ~  Beth Henley 

I am not so sure  Bowker would concur with Beth Henley! According to Bowker’s April 2009 statistics http://bit.ly/cp3anL, the independent publishing industry which includes small publishing houses, micropublishers and self publishers grew a whopping 181% in 2009. While the traditional publishing industry remained flat! 

This indicates, to me, that people are crazed with creating or spinning their own dreams these days. Many writers are fulfilling their vision of becoming a published writer through independent publishing. Perhaps they don’t care to mess about with the “big guys” who claim there are 17 reasons why most books get rejected.  One of the 17 reasons for rejection is that the writing is “not organic.” Sorry, that only sounds like an inane buzzword to me. 

If you have received rejection time and time again, and you are loosing faith in the publishing game, perhaps knowing why books get rejected could be of value! There must be very valid reasons why Janet Reid says “99.2% of all manuscripts that pass by her desk get rejected!” To learn more about what doesn’t get through the standard response button of “no”, please visit http://bit.ly/VygcF.

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Short Snippets

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Life is one fool thing after another, whereas love…….” ~ Oscar Wilde

 Have you ever written Haiku before? You know what I mean, a type of poetry from the Japanese culture. It all goes like this:  

  • Five syllables in the first line
  • Seven syllables in the second
  • Five syllables in the third line 

That’s all – three short lines! Haiku must “paint a mental picture” and it does not rhyme. The challenge is to put imagery in the readers mind in only 17 syllables! The possibilities are infinite, but the visual effect is created by using just the right words! Writing good haiku is much more difficult than reading it.   

Can you write a haiku about one of these works of art? Today’s challenge to write haiku is not for me, it is for you!!! 

One last directive – send me your haiku, through the comment section of this blog – I’d like to read it! 


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