Writing and publishing a book is a huge feat of artistic expression. Just a few years ago, an author's creative input into their work would virtually cease the moment they handed their manuscript to a publishing house. Now, new technologies allow authors to once again retain control of the entire creative process. So-called "self-publishing" is actually a collaborative creative effort of diverse professionals, in which the primary creator takes the driving seat.
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Writing and publishing a book is a huge feat of artistic expression. Just a few years ago, and author's creative input into their work would virtually cease the moment they handed their manuscript to a publishing house. However, this was not always the case, and new technologies now allow independent authors once again retain control of the entire creative process. So-called "self-publishing" is actually a collaborative creative effort of diverse professionals, in which the primary creator takes the driving seat. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on independent authors making the creative, production and marketing decisions about their own work, while retaining and exercising their rights to their own work.
Participants in this course will learn how to publish their writing projects to a professional level, harnessing the latest technology to do so, learning where to look for the resources they need and avoiding many expensive pitfalls along the way. This course is aimed at authors of all kinds, both fiction and non-fiction. The content is divided into four sessions of two parts each.
Day 1, Session 1, 9 AM - 12:30 PM
We start with a quick introduction to the world of independent publishing and a brief breakdown of the weekend along with the learning outcomes we will achieve.
Part 1. Preparing your text for an editor. Polishing your text to the highest level possible prior to sending it to a professional editor not only ensures your published book is as good as it can be, it also saves you money. This is a hands-on session where participants work together on excerpts of their own writing to learn a number of valuable self-editing techniques.
Part 2. Finding and working with an editor. Where do I find an editor for my work? What should I look for? What questions should I ask them? What does an editor expect from me? How much will this cost? How should I respond to having my work edited? This section deals with all of these questions, outlining the process of finding and working with a professional editor, managing expectations and explaining what you need to do at each step in the process.
Day 1, Session 2, 1 PM - 4 PM
Part 1. Cover design. Working with a professional designer. In this session we analyse genre and where your book fits into the publishing picture. We discuss the overriding importance of a good cover and what elements a good cover design should contain. We begin to address marketing questions. What are the options for cover design? Where can I find a designer for my book? What is the process of working with a designer? Can I design my own cover?
Part 2. The options for your book's interior layout. This session includes a brief rundown on ebook formatting and the various options for laying out the interior of your printed book. We discuss the biggest self-publishing platforms such as Amazon CreateSpace, Ingram Spark, Smashwords and others, along with layout options from free to paid. We discuss which is better - print, ebook or other formats - and in which order of publishing.
We also talk about ISBNs. What are they? Should you have one? If so, where do you get an ISBN and how do you use it?
Day 2, Session 3, 9 AM - 12:30 PM
Part 1. Production and distribution. Printing, uploading, distributing, distribution rights - getting all of this right is a tricky process and one where mistakes can be costly. We look at the range of options available, among which independent authors can choose. Which format: print, ebook or audio? When and how to launch each.
Part 2. Marketing and promotion. How do you begin to market your book? What is a marketing plan? Should I employ a publicist? How much money do I want to spend? What returns can I expect? A discussion of different traditional advertising and social media channels. The Dos and Don'ts of do-it-yourself marketing.
Day 2, Session 4, 1 PM - 4 PM
Part 1. Establishing your author brand. Who as I as an author and public figure? Defining one or more reader profiles. Do I need a website? How do I use social media? Click to purchase. Your next book. Writing a series.
Part 2. Questions, concerns and summing up. A summary of publishing formats. Discussion of questions and concerns raised throughout the course. Brainstorming exercises for marketing initiatives. An overview and further discussion of the entire course content. Further resources for independent authors.
You are invited to attend our opening address at 9am on Saturday 28 August 2021. Carole Beu from the Women's Bookshop will fire up the day with an early morning talk on her raves and faves. Have a cuppa, listen to Carole and meet others.