A list of Dos and Don’ts For Self-Publishing
By Paulita Kincer, author of Trail Mix
Don’t self-publish because your friends and family have always told you what a great writer you are. Friends and family are notoriously biased. Sometimes they think we deserve participation medals. The general reading public will not be so kind. Publishing before you or your work is ready, could generate negative publicity that you can never overcome, no matter how much you work on your writing.
Do get help and feedback from professionals, editors, copy editors, teachers, other writers. Each time a professional reads my work, I learn something about my writing. I might make a common mistake, and once taught, I hope to avoid that mistake. My copy editor says my pages are some of the cleanest he sees. That’s because he taught me well to start finding my own mistakes.
Don’t create your own cover.
Do hire a professional graphic artist to produce a cover for you. Remember that, although the saying warns not to judge a book by its cover, many people will. Your cover is the calling card for your book.
Don’t expect to see your book in local bookstores unless you convince them to stock it. Self-publishing does not come with the perks of book placement in brick and mortar stores. You may be able to convince local stores to stock your book since you are a local.
Do make sure your book is available in both paperback and E-versions so that everyone can read it. The same process of creating your novel into an Ebook is available to turn your novel into a paperback. You don’t have to pay money upfront and order 10,000 copies that you keep in your garage. Choose a book publisher, like CreateSpace or Lulu, and they will walk you through the necessary steps. Then you need to buy a copy of the paperback to make sure it turns out the way you hoped. Once you approve it, the book is ready to be purchased in paperback. When someone orders one, they print it out and send it.
Don’t quit your day job because you have sold a few books. All of us would like to be the success story that we’ve heard about, self-publishing and selling millions, but it rarely works that way. Mostly, selling books is a slow process as you and your books catch on with the public.
Do keep working to increase your sales through social media, book signings, and tours, whether in-person or virtual. Virtual book tours are fairly reasonable, from $100-$300, and they can definitely get your name out there. Book bloggers may read your book and review it, or they might ask you to write guest posts.
Don’t bad mouth publishers, agents or published authors. Sure, our books are as good as many of the books that get published, but criticizing the people in the industry will not make your book look better.
Do make sure you enjoy that monthly stipend that comes from Amazon or other booksellers. For me, the money isn’t enough to move to France, but it’s definitely enough to cover the cost of a monthly payment for a nice car, if I weren’t paying for two kids to go to college.
About The Book
Title: Trail Mix
Author: Paulita Kincer
Publisher: Oblique Presse
Publication Date: August 30, 2014
Format: Paperback / eBook (.mobi format for Kindle)
Genre: Women's Fiction / Travel / Adventure
Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trail-mix-paulita-kincer/1120455801?ean=9781312462502
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZUB3qqLWTQ
Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE
In the tradition of Wild by Cheryl Strayed, comes a novel of two suburban women who decide to hike the Appalachian Trail, escaping their lives as moms and wives in search of nature, adventure, and the ultimate diet plan.
How does a woman know what she wants after spending 20 years thinking about her husband and children? Sometimes it takes a distraction from everyday life, time to examine the forest before the trees become clear. With no previous camping experience, Andi and Jess begin the 2100-mile odyssey from Georgia to Maine. The friends figure life on the trail can’t possibly be worse than dealing with disgruntled husbands, sullen teens home from college, and a general malaise that has crept up in their daily lives. At the very least, the women are bound to return home thin.
Raindrops trickled down Jess’ nose. Her sodden boots plodded along, squooshing the mud with each step.
“Why did I do this?” She threw her head back, her face raised in lament to the sky. The hood of her rain poncho slipped off. The empty forest around her offered no answer, just a steady rain. Then, far above the treetops, she glimpsed a bolt of lightning streaking toward a nearby mountain and heard an answering boom of thunder. She cringed and scuttled faster down the trail.
For nearly two hours, since the wind first whispered its urgency through the leaves, and the raindrops began to fall, Jess had been hiking through the thunderstorm with no place to stop and dry off. No place to get warm. No offer of coffee or a dryer where she could heat up her clingy socks. She walked alone on the Appalachian Trail.
Like being in the middle of labor and deciding she didn’t want to give birth after all, Jess could not turn back. Well, she could turn back, but she would find only more of the same -- woods and rain and an endless trail.
This adventure was all Andi’s idea. As Jess trudged through the forest in the unrelenting rain, she blamed her best friend and hiking companion, Andi, who had pushed the hike as a great way to lose weight. And, when Jess’ teenagers took off for the summer leaving a big gap where the role of mother used to be, she thought a hike with Andi might fill that space. Andi, who, with her long legs, strode ahead, maybe miles away by now, claiming she had to hurry to the nearest shelter to keep the tent dry. Andi had tucked Jess’ poncho around her pack before presenting her back for Jess to return the favor.
“See you at the shelter,” Andi had called. “Only about three miles farther.”
In the city, a three-mile walk might take 45 minutes, an hour if she stopped to window shop. Here, in the mountains, it could last days as she climbed up peaks and descended into valleys. Oh, who was she kidding? She would never walk three miles in the city. She would get in her car and drive.
The thunder crashed louder, and Jess eyed the spiky greenery of a large fir tree. She could take cover under the tree, be a little bit sheltered. Even as she considered taking refuge, she stumbled past the tree, walking, walking.
Tears joined the rain on her face. She felt trapped. No exit ramps in sight. She could only continue to walk.
The wind ripped at her poncho as she climbed slippery stones that had been placed to form stairs. At the top, the wind gusts grew stronger and tried to push her back down. She hurried on along the ridge. Her walking poles dug into the mud that edged the rocks along the path.
On this crest, she stood exposed to the wind and rain and lightning. Rhododendron bushes lined the trail below, but the only plant that dared to peek through the crevices on this crag was a lone sycamore tree. If Jess could escape this bare slope, the trees ahead would provide an arching umbrella across the trail. As she started to descend with the trail, her boot slid across a slick stone, and she toppled backward in slow motion. She wheeled her arms, trying to right herself, but could not stop the plunge until her backpack hit the ground, and she landed – thump – on top of it.
This was supposed to be a diet plan, not a death sentence, she thought, lying on her back like a turtle on its shell, her arms and legs sprawled helplessly at her side. I may drown. The downpour pummeled her full in the face, but she lacked the energy to sit up, free herself from the 30-pound pack, heft it onto her back, and start the hike again.
As the rain doused her face, she slipped one arm from her pack and turned onto her side, away from the sky. For just a moment, she allowed herself to rest, curled into the fetal position beside her pack. A tingle began in her spine, and, in the moment she pondered why—everything went black.
About The Author
Connect with Paulita:
Author Website: paulitakincer.com
Author Blog: http://paulita-ponderings.blogspot.com/
Virtual Book Tour Event Page