This is the official last day for that SWAMP HOP. Do I hear huge sighs of relief? Try to muffle your joy, okay? The good thing about being last is these posts are not the least. There’s a saying about that, right?
JESSICA HAIGHT of FAIRDAY-MORROW fame is interviewing me and the beauteous SHERI LARSON is doing a guest post-giveaway for Alligators Overhead. SAMANTHA MAY, bless her college-bound heart is also hosting me on this final Friday.
They’re all great blogger, so I hope you’ll pay them a visit, say hi, and join their blogs if you’re not already a follower.
Now about this business of self-publishing. I promised I’d do some posts about three main decisions a writer has to make when embarking on this journey. I have to amend that after reading the wonderful comment by KAREN G. She pointed out, and rightfully so, the distinction between Small Presses and Presses that provide services for money. So I’m adding another major decision category and calling it the SMALL PRESS decision.
As to taking everything on your own shoulders, let’s start by identifying just what “everything” means and looking at these tasks from my recent experience. I’m assuming you already have a website or a major blog and that’s it’s spectacular.
Editing (I’ll only refer to proofreaders in this post and leave Development Editors and Copy Editors for another series): I will never again try to do final edits of my own work. I thought I could because I seem to be darned good at spotting errors in other people’s writing. I have an excellent proofreader, and I usually rely on her, but she had to leave town on business and couldn’t handle my job. I should have hired someone else, but I didn’t. Do not make this mistake.
Cover Design: I’m a writer, not a designer, so while I selected the image of the alligators in their swamp, I wisely paid an artist to tailor the cover for my book. It’s the font and the clever way he inserted the boys and the alligator inside those fonts that tweaked the image to make it fun and unique.
Book Trailer: (if you want one of these) I wanted one because I love these things and I often buy a book if the trailer pulls me into the story. Definitely, find someone to do this for you. I tinkered with one, but it only turned me off watching it. I wouldn’t have bought my own book if I’d published that.
Distribution: I’m still fuzzy on all of this, but my book is listed in Ingram’s & Baker & Taylor. it’s available in every eBook format that I know of, and I have what Mark Coker refers to as “quaint” print version.
Buzz: I’ve done this blog hop and I’m looking closely to see if that affects the sales of my book. I’m doing a goodreads giveaway and checking that for results as well. I’ll probably be doing a FREE book promo over one weekend. I did a RADIO INTERVIEW, but I think that was more fun than buzz creating.
Reviews: I requested reviews from online bloggers. 15 have accepted either an eBook or a paperback for review. When I give a book away during a guest blog appearance, I ask those winners for a review, and if I win a book I’m sure to review it because of that Karma thing I happen to believe in. I also decided to sub the book to Kirkus Indie Reviews.
What did I miss? What would you do differently when tackling these parts of book publishing? Is the whole enchilada approach something you’d take on?
J.L. Campbell says
Would you believe I never noticed the boys' figures in the title? Cool bit of artwork that.
It does take a lot to do everything yourself. I think it can be done without losing your sanity, with planning and a lot of dedicated time.
Bish Denham says
I just don't understand bullying and know that books about it are much needed.
Lee, I hope your Swamphop was a HUGE success!
Paul Tobin says
Thank you. I have enjoyed the tour, you pose and answer a number of questions I have been thinking about re publishing the novel.
I have loved your blog tour! You have had so much going on and Stephanie and I were so happy to be a part of it. Whoever you got to do your book trailer- they were worth every penny. I love it- and every time I see it I am amazed at how cool it is. Great advice about the different aspects of self-publishing or publishing through a small press. 🙂
Wow, the Whole Enchilada thinggiemajiggie sounds daunting, but also a major learning process.
I must say that your book cover image is so appealing, it's perfect, and so is the trailer voice!
Since it's the end of the swamp hop, all I can say is… that's a wrap! Well done!
Samantha May says
Mexican food sounds pretty good right about now…
I LOVE your cover. Love. It. I think it's perfect.
Thanks for posting all of this Lee! It's super informative.
The Swamp Hop has been fun! I'm glad you were able to stop by 🙂
Peaches Ledwidge says
I like the same quote Linda pointed out and I'm in the process of searching for someone to do my book trailer.
I've watched your trailer over and over. I love the voice.
Editing – I hardly ever ever see my own mistakes so I wouldn't trust myself to do a final edit on my book. Sometimes I write my blog posts and think all is okay until I read it again.
I'm buying your book because I think the step children would love to read it.
Who did your trailer?
Darby Karchut says
I'm with you about editing. I think I'm good, but holy moly, guacamole, do I stink at it. But I think your cover is perfect!!!! So, so middle grade. And good idea about Kirkus. Congrats on a wonderful launch, my friend. Let me know if I can do more for you and Alligator.
C. Lee McKenzie says
Nice to hear about your experience, Linda. Good for you.
Linda Jackson says
"I tinkered with one, but it only turned me off watching it. I wouldn't have bought my own book if I'd published that."
I love the whole enchilada analogy. And, yes, I took on "the whole enchilada" ten years ago. Eventhough I'm not wanting to self-publish again (at the moment), I wouldn't trade the experience. It taught me so much about the whole business of publishing.
C. Lee McKenzie says
@High praise, Alex coming from the launch guru.
@Buddy I'm worried what that enchilada would do to your delicate system. How about at nice soy chew bone?
I agree with Alex. And I'll tell you something else that's awesome–that enchilada thingy! Can I come watch it for you?
Alex J. Cavanaugh says
Your tour has been awesome. Had to chuckle at your comment about not buying your own book after watching the trailer.
And I think I want Mexican for dinner tonight…