Monday, February 17, 2014

SCWC: Self-Publishing Savvy: Why, How, Where, What You Need to Know

My notes from the Southern California Writers' Conference.

• Why self-publish? Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

• What is your project? Self-publish if it’s hobby writing; you like telling stories but don’t expect to make a living; a personal record meant to be shared by family

• When you start treating your books like business, then you’re a career writer.

• Self-publish if you are you a perfectionist and an outgoing person who likes things your way and doesn't mind doing all the work if it means you’re control.

• Make sure you build up an internet/social media presence (blog, website).  Are you involved in your genre’s organizations? Learn from them, get involved in their activities.

• Write a damned good book, be in a critique group, get beta readers, hire a professional editor…create a damned good book cover!  Pay for it unless you’re a graphic designer, make sure it looks good as a thumbnail.

• Release plans: build anticipation on website/social media/blog, do giveaways, have a release party (online or in person)! Café press/zazzle

• ISBN makes your book unique since titles can’t be copyrighted. Createspace will assign one for free, but the publisher will always be “Createspace”.

• Formatting books:, other companies, Createspace. does hardcopies, Createspace does not.

• Smashwords formats for multiple e-readers

• Multiple books require structure—brand each genre (consistent cover schemes), consider creating your own publishing imprint if you write a lot of books.

• You must learn to market without marketing—no one wants to hear “buy my book!” Everyone wants to hear, “How are you today?”

• Resources:,,,,,, APE: Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur

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