20 Steps to Publishing Your Book

While this is still a journey for me, there are many more things I will learn as I go.  Here are twenty things I’ve found helpful so far in the publishing end of it.  I’m sure I will have to tweak or add to this list later.  There was a lot of trial and error going into this and for me, the journey started 33 years ago with a lot of interruptions, but this is a simple list.  Use what you can.  Good luck!

20 Steps to Publishing Your Book

  1.  Write, eat, sleep, repeat
  2.  Join a writer’s group (local and national)
  3.  Go to conferences (attend workshops & network)
  4.  Take classes online or in person or at conferences
  5.  Write, eat, sleep, repeat
  6.  Find a critique partner/group and exchange critiques on a regular basis
  7.  Submit manuscript to contests for feedback
  8.  Re-write, edit, tweak that manuscript
  9.  Submit manuscript to publishers  OR
  10.  Find an independent editor (conferences are helpful for this) and submit work
  11.  Go over manuscript and fix/re-write/tweak whatever the editor suggests
  12.  Purchase “The Self-Publishers Ultimate Resource Guide” by Joel Friedlander and Betty Kelly Sargent and implement some of their suggestions:                             a.  hire editors                                                                     b.  hire proofreaders                                                           c.  get quotes from printers                                               d.  find distributors for Ebook & Print Book
  13.  Read/purchase Dan Poynter’s book, “The Self-Publishing Manual” (this is the Bible for Self-Publishing)                                                                         a.  make a plan                                                                   b.  set goals                                                                         c.  determine whether or not to form your own publishing company
  14.  Join IBPA (Independent Book Publishing Association) and absorb all the information you can on self-publishing  (they have workshops, marketing programs, and conferences)
  15.  Take Nick Stephenson’s First 10K Readers program and learn how to market your book — Implement his ideas
  16.  Build a website for your Publishing Company
  17.  Build your platform and web presence if you haven’t already started this
  18.  Get your ducks in a row (make sure your website is ready as well as your book)
  19.  Market, market, market and promote your book (this is where Nick Stephenson’s program really comes in handy)
  20.  Start writing book #2 and repeat

The Abduction

Okay, here’s a teaser for my new book, The Abduction, as well as the logline.  Let me know what you think.

“On the lawless moon of Plexus, a resourceful loner struggles to escape his alien, slave-trading father with the help of a beautiful bounty hunter who he realizes is worth more than his ticket back to Earth.”

Dram, a business man and slave-trader from Chroma, is thinking of making a career change. Too many close calls has necessitated this change, but he just got a brilliant idea…

Genesis, a princess from Atria working as a Bounty Hunter for the Interplanetary Space Patrol, has hunted the slave-trader, Dram, for ten long years. When she finally catches the man who abducted all the women of her village, she realizes she’s got the wrong person.

Adam Davis, born and raised in east Tennessee, has a strange premonition that turns into a nightmare. What could be worse than being abducted by aliens and mistaken for a criminal? Discovering the criminal is his alien father and falling in love with the Bounty Hunter who wants him dead.

This is an early version of my cover.

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Publishing in 2016

Now that I’ve set up my publishing business, there’s a lot to learn about the publishing industry.  While writing is a solitary activity, publishing usually requires teamwork.

I can write my books, edit them, and re-write them, but to polish them, I need another set of eyes to check for grammar, spelling mistakes, plot holes, and other things that could slip past me.  That’s where an editor comes in.  Then after the editor edits my work, I re-write and fix any mistakes.  The next step would be to have a proofreader check to see that everything is corrected and there aren’t any mistakes left on the manuscript.  Then there is the formatting for the print version and the formatting for the ebook.

But another point to consider is distribution of the book.  Many of my writer friends are selling ebooks and working with CreateSpace for a “print on demand” format.  The books tend to be larger than the paperbacks I’m used to reading and the price is higher than what I would like to pay for a paperback.

I figured that I would use Amazon as one ebook format and Smashwords for the distribution of all other formats of ebooks.  But for the print books, I would like to get the size down to 5 x 8 or 4 x 6 which is more like the books I have in my personal library.  To do that, I have to print enough books to get the price low.  But unlike traditional publishers, that money must come out of my pocket up front to cover the costs.  Then, what do I do with all those books?  I don’t want to store them in a room, hoping to sign them at a book signing.  No, I want to get them into stores (brick and mortar) and sell them.

Recently, I joined the IBPA, The Independent Book Publishers Association. They have a wealth of knowledge to share with newbies like me.  Now I don’t have to fear the learning curve.  Sure it will take time and action on my part, but I think it will be worth it in the end.

The old way involved years of writing, submitting, waiting to hear from a publisher (because they didn’t want you to submit your work to any other publisher until they gave you an answer).  Once I got a response from a publisher ten years after I submitted the manuscript.  Ten Years!!!!  Needless to say, I didn’t wait for that response.  I had changed the manuscript several times by then and had submitted it over and over again to other publishers.

Then, once someone decided to buy your manuscript, you may or may not get an advance.  Now, since I hadn’t officially published with anyone else in fiction, I got this information from my writer friends who did.  If they didn’t get an advance, that meant they got more money per book as they were sold.  Mostly, it was pennies per book.  Pennies!! After spending years working on manuscripts that’s all you could expect to earn.

I am so glad the publishing industry has changed.  There used to be a stigma on self-publishing, but not any more.  And if I do my homework, there are ways I can market my books to earn more than pennies per book. I want to make a living with my writing, so that means I have to write a lot of books and market them well to earn enough money to live on.

Right now I’m assembling my team.  I’ll keep you posted on the next phase.


Have you ever looked at a situation and asked, “What if it happened differently?” I do it all the time.  The news, movies I’ve watched, songs I’ve heard, all can be told in a different way.

Remember those old English assignments when the teacher gave you a sentence or situation and asked you to make up a story about it?  I loved those.  Sometimes it would take me awhile to get going, but once I started, I had a hard time wrapping it up in the time allotted.

When I finished The Abduction the first time, a secondary character, Berto, started telling me his story.  I couldn’t write fast enough.  It just flowed.  And then it happened over and over until I found myself writing a new paranormal series.

Even as I am wrapping up the publication of my first novel, The Abduction, my mind seems full of ideas.  I’ve been bombarded lately with so many of them and no time to write.  I hope the characters can wait a little longer so I can jot down what they are saying.  This means I will have plenty of fodder for other novels.

I can’t wait to see what happens next!