Wednesday, March 10, 2010

If I Knew Then What I Know Now--How To Get A Book Published

Rebecca at Freaky Frugalite suggested I do a post about how to get published. Well, I'm no expert but can share about my experience.

Carol Denbow was one of the first people to review My Funny Dad, Harry, a book I wrote in memory of my dad. She writes a very helpful blog about being an author, getting published, marketing your book. I wish I had known about her blog before I went ahead and did self-publishing through Outskirts Press.

In her post, How Do I Get My Book Published For Free she gives several self-publishing venues that are cheaper than Outskirts Press. I must admit, I was thrilled when I saw my author copies arrive and had a great sense of accomplishment. My biggest mistake, however, was not to spend money to get it professionally edited. I purposely wrote simply because I wanted it to be a quick and easy read for people. I just wrote from my heart and was not trying to create a literary masterpiece. However, editing is not the place to skimp. I spent $1,000 on my Outskirts package and was disappointed that my pictures couldn't be in color and I think it's over priced. I took their advice on this because I believed they knew better than I since this is their business.

Outskirts Press also helped some with marketing which was good. They gave me lots of different avenues to use and I did get several outside sources offering to review the book if I gave them a free copy. I made a big mistake though when I spent $2,000 for a little bitty ad in The New York Times. This I wish I could redo. You can read all about this at "Happy Birthday Dad Contest."

If I had it to do over again, I would certainly spend more money on the editing and much less on the advertising.

Here is Carol Denbow's Amazon review of "My Funny Dad, Harry" titled "A Charming Little Journal" (it's the fourth one).

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6 comments:

Jo said...

As a blogger who is trying to get published, I found this post to be quite helpful!

Thank you for stopping by on my SITS day on Friday.

Peace and serenity,
~Jo
'The End Of The Rainbow: Life After Bankruptcy'
*This week is 'MS Awareness Week' -- feel free to stop by to see how MS affects people worldwide and what you can do. ::HUGS::

tahtimbo said...

Thank you for the advice. I'm currently editing the book I wrote in November,so this is a very timely article for me. I'll pop over to Rebecca's site and read her post as well.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for taking the time to address my question, Karen. I am almost done with your book and will post a review of it soon! I am interested in the book-publishing process (and cost) because I'd like my daughter to publish a few. $1000 is a lot of cash, though. Hmm we'll see. Your advice is very helpful!

BeadedTail said...

Thanks for this advice Karen! I'm hoping to write a book someday so appreciate this info!

Janiss said...

I'm a professional editor - other people pay me (a lot!) to edit their work. But when I was working on sample chapters for a book proposal, I took those chapters and paid (a lot!) to another editor to edit them.

It doesn't matter what level of writer you are - beginning, occasionally published or 25-year-pro (like me), always have another qualified individual look at your work if you are self-publishing or writing a proposal. Great writers often need editing help and there is absolutely no shame about that. When I was senior editor for a rock magazine in the early 1990s, one of my favorite writers handed in brilliant, stream-of-conscious pieces that invariably needed LOADS of editorial help to bring out their best.

Mountain Woman said...

Karen,

Your book is wonderful and it does read from the heart. One of the things I've learned from taking writer's seminars is editing. It was one of the most difficult pieces of the course to look at a work you love and then chop and rewrite but I think it really helped me.
I think Amazon.com has some good advice for people who want to self publish. Everything keeps changing as Kindles and other readers become more popular.
Thank you for a wonderful, helpful article.

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