2000 May 30, 2000

Self-publishing a Book - Liner Notes if You're Keeping Track

      Self-publishing a book takes a bit of planning - like anything else to be done well.
        First of all, it isn't just the production of the book. Assuming you have written a book.
        You print a book, you have a lot of books.
        You need advertising. Promotion. Visibility.
      Your Market
        You need to know your market. My market is science fiction readers in general, Trekkies in particular. I am one. A Trekkie.
      Advertising
        When you know your market, then you can decide where to advertise. Starlog comes to mind. 233,000+ subscribers. Some like me go back to issue number 1. Romantic Times also. Why RT? Because the ad in RT will have a centerfold of TROY. 'nuff said.
        What will the ads cover? What the product is. Who wrote the book. The cover (for sight recognition). A blurb or teaser about the character on the cover. (The character, not the man.) How to buy it - an 800 number and a website URL. The Library of Congress number. For booksellers, all that too.
        Any other ads? Perhaps.
        Slug line? "He broke all the rules to save her...."
      Promotion Items
        Promotion? Poster (copy of the centerfold). Bookmarks (Troy from the centerfold).
        The bookmarks may need their own ISBN (actually no - if they are given away, they don't). So does the poster (yes).. So does the book(yes). The bookmark needs 800 number and URL. And book title and author. On the poster and the ad I want to give contact information for my model, Troy, as well. He wants his website listed. http://www.troysutter.com
        OK.
        Now what?
      Announce to Booksellers - and How they order
        Distribution to booksellers - posters and a flyer and bookmarks. How many? Call RT!
        They have this service. They can tell me how many and to them by when. DEADLINE.
        The flyer can tell booksellers how to order wholesale.
        This needs to go to the on-line sellers as well. Amazon. Borders. Barnes&Noble. Etc.
        And RT sent two e-mails I am still running through! About 1,000 booksellers and about 450 distributors. Who gets posters? one for each. Who gets booksmarks? 5 each to booksellers. Or should I do 10?
        Plus I need a flyer. They will package up and distribute for a fee. Worth every penny.
      Reviews
        But before the book even goes to print - I need to finish my edits and make reviewer's copies. Xerox - 2 pages per sheet - one-sided. And pick the reviewers. Starlog. RT. Others. This is a good story. It needs quotes. Nice ones. So I need to be as good as possible. And then I can go to prepress.
      ISBN numbers
        And before I can finish the ad - I need the ISBN numbers I ordered and am waiting for at the moment. (They came - dig this - they sent a list of 10 numbers printed on that green and white computer line printer paper! That's my log!!!! And about a zillion rules and regulations. This will bne the 6th item with my name on it, actually 6th and 7th items).
        Fulfillment
        And before I can finish the ad I need to secure fulfillment services - because I am not shipping stuff from my living room! The printer needs to get back to me. What exactally are they doing? One printer was doing it all. Is this one? Or do I get a merchant account, and 800 number, and switch my website to a commercial level (about $200/month basic). What do I get for that and how much per unit?
        PrePress
        And pre-press services - I have someone. I finish the text in Word - she takes it to QuarkExpress and hands off to the printer. Everything but the cover.
        Service Bureau
        And the ad service. Once the art is done, it needs to have film (CMYK) made to the mechanical specs of the magazines (ads) and the printer (cover, bookmark, poster). I have a lead on a service bureau. Actually, two of them.
        Barcodes
        I also have to see if they can generate that barcode mess that goes along with the USBN number. And figure out where it belongs. (Back cover, and inside front cover on the book, somewhere on the poster - like the back, and on the back of the bookmark. No, skip the bookmark.
        Calendars
        Oh.
        And a calendar. A buck-a-month for download and the 12-month printed version. One for Jettison. And one for Troy's other activities. We are still talking about this. I am after printing quotes. And these get ISBN numbers too.
        Final Filing of ISBN
        And I eventually have to file the "finished" copy against the number. I ordered 10 numbers. Smallest block you can get. At this rate.....
        Probably do a photo shoot in late February. After the book is in bed. Probably will use some of the photos we took earlier. Maybe.
        Printer? Have one - talking to two others. Reasonable quote. Now I must get quotes on the poster and bookmark and calendar and shipping and can they do multi-media fulfillment. Big question at the moment. This will trigger my getting an 800 number and where it goes. Or maybe I do that anyway. (Sounds like it.)
        URL?
        http://www.JettisonSaga.com. Got it. Just add the link to the "Buy Me" button.
        Oh yes.And where is that going? Don't know yet. Waiting. Thinking. And hastling with Best Internet - now owned by Vario - because "sometime next year they will want me on a different server - and will change my e-mail!" I've had the same one for five years! No!
      The seven (7) domain namesI now have cost me $30 each to set up, $70 to register amd $15 a month to maintain a pointer to. They really sock it to you! And they say it's free! Ha!
      Uncle Sam
        I need to get a business license. Probably need to get a reseller's license. And ask about what else I may need.
       Fonts
      I will need to get CLEAN fonts. From Adobe. Ultra blocky. Univers Black or Helvetica Black. It's the stile I need. Only postscript fonts should be used. TrueType is a no-no.
      Pick A Third Photo
      Now I have a real hard task - pick a narrow photo of Troy - to fit the 2" x 6" bookmark!

    I will go now and finish a death scene and complete my editing - the whole book should be out of my hands by the 15th, make that the 20th of December (holding). The ad copy and cover stuff along with it.
        Fasten your seat belt.

 

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Copyright 2000 Donnamaie E.White. White Enterprises
Material may not be reproduced without written permission of the author.

2000