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Working with an e-Publisher – Live at Last, live at last, my book is live at last

Working with an ePublisher – Live at Last

This blog strand focused on experiences and thoughts related to self-publishing and working with a specific publishing service provider. Those who have been following these posts know that until now, the ePublisher is never identified. Five days ago the book went live, which means that it is available for purchase either as an eBook or as a print on demand copy. The publisher can be identified now that the writing and production phase of my self-publishing project is completed. IUniverse provided the services and supports that enabled me to complete the project and bring Through a Lens of Emptiness: Reflections on Life, Longevity, and Contentment into being.

Of course, there are a number of companies that provide services to the self-publishing author. Each offers packages with various services included; the more services provided the greater the cost. The question for the would-be author is what level of service he requires to supplement the level of expertise he brings to the table. If the aspiring author is a novice in the writing and publishing field, then the more support one purchases the better. In my case, the package selected was the full meal deal.

I am not shilling for iUniverse in any way. Their services were selected based on the best information available from the iUniverse web site and from self-publishing forums. Some of the forum comments reflected less than satisfactory experiences, but squeaky wheels make the most noise, so I took them for what they said and nothing more. If you have been following this blog strand, the reader will know that my experience has been essentially positive from the beginning of my association with iUniverse in April 2012. I was determined to make the process work for me from the outset, take the advice given and act on it, and put in the sweat equity required to produce a publishable work. When the process began this a newly published author hadn’t a clue what was involved in terms of time and energy, but over time I discovered the magnitude of commitment required.

IUniverse provided contacts to support me from the very beginning of our relationship. In the beginning there were opportunities to discuss some of my ideas with individuals that were likely part of the marketing and sales staff. Their principle role seemed to revolve around informing me about additional services I might be interested in purchasing, but they were also willing to engage in extended conversations. When working with a company offering self-publishing services don’t be offended by these efforts at further monetizing the services on offer, after all that’s part of the business. No one ever twisted my arm to purchase any extra services. Listen carefully to what is on offer, one of those services might just be your cup of tea. The fact is, that in their efforts to interest you in other services you have a chance to discuss your ideas with a complete stranger, which is as useful as having conversations with people you know. Perhaps such conversations are even more useful than one might think, because whoever your target audience is, they are strangers too.

If a complete editing package is purchased, your work will be reviewed by editorial staff three times. My manuscript was reviewed by a developmental editor, a content editor, and a quality editor. The most useful editorial service was the DE (developmental edit). That’s when the author learns just how much work they still need to do. My own manuscript was full of faults, all of which were described in detail in an earlier post in this blog strand. If you are fortunate to have a good developmental editor go over your manuscript, make sure you read all their comments in detail. Those individual comments were essential in determining the scope and range of work required to get the writing process on track. In my case, the first draft required radical surgery, restructuring, and rewriting.

The other edits provided opportunity for further refinements, but by the second draft (66000 words of it), the final product had taken on its essential shape. In addition to editorial support, specialists in marketing, book production, and publicity were also on call to assist me in various stages of the process. If you do the research, and total the cost of all the services included in the most complete package iUniverse offers, an author attempting to locate and purchase a similar set of services on their own will spend at least as much money, if not more.

The other advantage to working with a company like iUniverse, or any of the other companies who offers services like these, is the sense of structure within one must work. Each specific phase of the process allows the author to target their energies, and focus on what needs to be done at any particular stage of the process. I still need to review the printer’s copy for defects in workmen ship, but the files submitted to me for approval suggest that the finished book will exceed my expectations. The same can be said for all the marketing materials, book launch materials, and an author web site that were included in the publishing package purchased.

My next blog post in this strand will reflect my reaction to the Printer’s proof copy and the actual materials included as marketing materials and book launch materials. So far, I can say with confidence, that every dollar spent has been worthwhile. This blog strand will continue as I work through the experience of marketing a book. When my author web site goes live, I’ll provide the link, but that will take about a week.

Until then, your faithful blogger,

L Alan Weiss – Author of Through a Lens of Emptiness, Reflections on Life, Longevity and Contentment which is now available through the iUniverse book store and Amazon.

Nota bene: The book will also be available through other supply channels as they come on stream. Some information still needs to be uploaded to these book stores including a book cover image and brief excerpt. Apparently it takes several days for a listing to take on its complete form. Thanks for understanding.

Visit my author website at www.lalanweiss.com

What was your reaction when your book went live? Comment below if you wish…

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Awaiting the Index, a Worthwhile Wait

 

Awaiting the Index, a Worthwhile Wait

My manuscript has been turned into a book. The work Through a Lens of Emptiness: Reflections on Life, Longevity, and Contentment, is nearing its publication date. The text is in the hands of a professional who specializes in indexing. I expect to receive the index for my inspection and approval in a few more weeks. The topic of this post relate some thoughts on the value of specialized services.

Self-publishing is not an inexpensive undertaking. The package I purchased provided many editorial and support services, but not the type that result in a polished finished product. Proof Reading the final blocked out interior text and cover text is essential. No matter how excellent one’s technical writing skills may be, and no matter how exhaustive the author has been in proofing his or her work, a professional proof reader is worth the cost. This service was available to me at about $1000. You might find this a steep price to pay, but my brother paid almost twice that to proof edit his crime fiction novel, which has many fewer words than the 66000-word piece I have produced. No matter whether one uses the service provided by an e-publisher or hires an independent proof reader, there is a cost to producing a text free of errors.

If the work is a fiction, then indexing is not an issue, but if it is non-fiction, even creative non-fiction, indexing is necessary. Just examine any work of non-fiction, and an index should be present in the majority of those texts. The indexer will read my text and create an index that reflects the intent of my work. I will have a chance to review his work, but based on all the other supports I have received, I expect the index will be well done. My cost for indexing is close to $800. Again my reader may be shocked, but the expense is well worth it. The task of indexing is both tedious and highly specialized.

The added cost of specialized services is well worth it. I am confident that the final product will compare favourably with other industry standard books. Whether my book has public appeal or not is a moot point. The potential sales of an unknown author’s first book are a statistic that time will reveal. That will also depend on how the book is marketed and what exposure it gets. Marketing my book is the next exciting adventure that awaits me..

My work is a creative non-fiction. The factor that makes it easier to market non-fiction is that the target audience for my words and ideas exists. Reaching that target audience is the trick. I’m working on that problem as I await the official release of my book. Of course, I will be blogging on that experience as well. My plan is to dedicate myself to marketing my book over the next year. It will be yet another interesting experience in the life of the first-time author. I must admit; there were times when I thought that the sobriquet AUTHOR would never apply to me.

Until the next post, as always your faithful blogger,

L Alan Weiss (Larry) – Author of Through a Lens of Emptiness: Reflections on Life, Longevity and Contentment

Do you think that all non-fiction genera books require an index? Please comment…..

Visit my author website at www.lalanweiss.com

 


 

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