Friday, 30 December 2016

Toronto Writers Learn About Book Self-Publishing

Are you seeking to immediately self-publish your book? Are you seeking book self-publishing (from book cover design to typesetting); distribution; and marketing services?  Here's your opportunity to explore critical steps in book self-publishing while exploring book self-publishing opportunities.
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Self-Publishing a Book: 25 Things You Need to Know

Note to readers: I originally published the article back in 2008 and have updated it a few times, most recently on June 13, 2012. This article primarily addresses self-publishing a print book, though many of the tips apply to e-books as well. For specific information about publishing an e-book, see my companion article, "How to self-publish an ebook."
I know, I know. This is a column about cutting-edge electronics. So, apologies to gadget-heads as I take a brief sojourn into the land of self-publishing, which has become a lot more high-tech than a lot of people realize.
A few years ago I wrote a book. A novel. "Knife Music." Contrary to what you might think based on my day job, it's not a cyber-thriller, though it is a mystery/thriller with a medical/legal slant.
Its short history is this: I worked on it for several years, acquired a high-powered agent, had some brushes with major publishers, then, crickets.
I could have tried to go for a small publisher, but I was told mine was "a bigger book" with more commercial aspirations and prestigious small publishers were interested in more literary tomes. I also learned that many small publishers were being wiped out by the "self-publishing revolution," a movement that's not so unlike the "citizen journalism" or bloggers' revolt of recent years that's had a major impact on mainstream media, including this publication. The basic premise is anyone can become a small publisher. You call the shots. You retain the rights to your book. And you take home a bigger royalty than you'd normally get from a traditional publisher--if you sell any books.
Against the advice of my agent, I began perusing the big self-publishing companies' Web sites and evaluating what they had to offer. Then I started poking around blogs and message boards to get customer testimonials.What I found was a veritable minefield with roads that forked in every direction and very few clear answers.

After much deliberation, I chose BookSurge, a print-on-demand (POD) outfit that Amazon owned along with the more no-frills POD operation CreateSpace.In 2009, after I published, Amazon merged BookSurge and CreateSpace under the CreateSpace brand name, so when I say Booksurge going forward, you should think CreateSpace. For those new to self-publishing, it's worth noting that CreateSpace is considered a subsidy press or author-services company.The key to these companies is that books are printed only when someone orders a copy; neither author nor publisher is forced into buying a bunch of books and having to hawk them.
Royalties are better than what "real" publishers offer, but there are caveats, and true self-publishing pros prefer to cut out the subsidy press (which takes a cut) and go straight to a POD printer like Lightning Source to maximize profits. But I was less concerned about making money from this venture and more interested in putting together a well-packaged product that I wouldn't be embarrassed to sell and some strangers might be willing to buy. If I did it right, I thought, and managed to get it some attention, some "real" publisher might come along and discover what a gem those 20 some odd publishers had passed on.
Well, thanks to a little publicity courtesy of Apple and a rejected-- then accepted-- free iPhone app, four and half months after I self-published "Knife Music," my agent sold it to The Overlook Press, an independent publisher that put the book out in hardcover in July 2010. A few months later it came out as an e-book and did very well, rising to as high as No. 4 on the Kindle bestseller list. Later this year Overlook will publish my second novel, "The Big Exit."
As I said, that's the short story, and many things have changed -- particularly for the e-book industry -- since I first wrote this column back in December 2008. But most of what I learned along the way and what I picked up from other people who've also self-published, applies more than ever. As always, feel free to add your own experiences to the comments section, and thanks to all the readers who've e-mailed in the past.
1. Self-publishing is easy.
Self-publishing a print book is easy. Self-publishing an e-book is even easier.
Since this article is mainly about self-publishing an old-fashioned print book, here's the skinny on what it takes to put together such a book:
You choose a size for your book, format your Word manuscript to fit that size, turn your Word doc into a PDF, create some cover art in Photoshop, turn that into a PDF, and upload it all to the self-publisher of your choice and get a book proof back within a couple of weeks (or sooner) if you succeeded in formatting everything correctly.You can then make changes and swap in new PDFs.
After you officially publish your book, you can make changes to your cover and interior text by submitting new PDFs, though your book will go offline ("out of stock") for a week or two. Companies may charge a fee (around $25-$50) for uploading a new cover or new interior.

Both CreateSpace and Lulu offer good instructions for the DIY crowd and it's not that difficult to come up with an OK-looking book (people's definition of OK will vary).
2. Digital, not print, is your best bet.
The first thing I tell authors who tell me they want to publish a print book is that print should be their secondary focus. I'm advising people who have text-based books (no graphics, illustrations, or photos) to test the self-publishing waters with an e-book before moving on to hard copies. It's much easier to produce an e-book, particularly when it comes to formatting and cover design. And you can also price a digital book for much less than a paperback, which makes it easier to sell (the majority of self-published print books cost $13.99 and up while the majority of indie e-books sell in the $.99-$5.99 range.
All that said, you can, of course, do both print and digital easily enough.
Once you have your book finalized in a Word or PDF file, it's relatively easy to convert it into one of the many e-book formats -- or just offer it as a download as a PDF. There are several e-publishers geared to "indie" authors, including SmashwordsBookBaby and Lulu, to name just a few. And needless to say, Amazon's CreateSpace steers you toward uploading your book to the Kindle Store via Kindle Direct Publishing.
Note: Please see my article "How to self-publish an e-book" for more information on e-book creation.
3. Quality is good.
I can't speak for all self-publishing companies, but the quality of POD books is generally quite decent.You can't do a fancy matte cover (yet), but the books look and feel like "real" books. The only giveaway that you're dealing with a self-published book would be if the cover were poorly designed -- which, unfortunately, is too often the case.
4. Since self-publishing's so easy, everybody's doing it.
One of the unfortunate drawbacks of having a low barrier of entry into a suddenly hot market is that now everybody and their brother and sister is an author. That means you're dealing with a ton of competition, some of which is made up of hustlers, charlatans, and a bunch of people in between.
The growth of indie publishing in the U.S. has been huge over the last couple of years. While that growth has started to level off as fewer writers have unpublished novels in their closets to publish, you can still expect to go up against thousands of other motivated indie authors.
5. Good self-published books are few and far between.
Again, because the barrier to entry is so low, the majority of self-published books are pretty bad.If I had to put a number on it, I'd say less than 5 percent are decent and less than 1 percent are really good.A tiny fraction become monster success stories, but every every few months, you'll hear about someone hitting it big (for those who don't know already the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy was initially self-published).
6. The odds are against you.
The average print self-published book sells about 100-150 copies -- or two-thirds to three-quarters of your friends and family combined (and don't count on all your Facebook acquaintances buying).I don't have a source for this statistic, but I've seen this stated on several blogs and as a Publishers Weekly article titled "Turning Bad Books into Big Bucks" noted, while traditional publishers aim to publish hundreds of thousands of copies of a few books, self-publishing companies make money by publishing 100 copies of hundreds of thousands of books.
7. Creating a "professional" book is really hard.
Barrier to entry may be low, but creating a book that looks professional and is indistinguishable from a book published by a "real" publishing house is very difficult and requires a minimum investment of a few thousand dollars (when all was said and done, I'd put in around $7,500, which included about $2,500 in marketing costs). You wonder why "real" books take nine months to produce -- and usually significantly longer. Well, I now know why. It's hard to get everything just right (if you're a novice at book formatting, Microsoft Word will become your worst enemy). And once you've finally received that final proof, you feel it could be slightly better.
8. Have a clear goal for your book.
This will help dictate what service you go with. For instance, if your objective is to create a book for posterity's sake (so your friends and family can read it for all eternity), you won't have to invest a lot of time or money to produce something that's quite acceptable.Lulu is probably your best bet. However, if yours is a commercial venture with big aspirations, things get pretty tricky.
9. Even if it's great, there's a good chance your book won't sell.
If your book is really mediocre, don't expect it to take off. But even if it's a masterpiece, there's a good chance it won't fly off the shelves (and by shelves, I mean virtual shelves, because most self-published books don't make it into brick-and-mortar stores). In other words, quality isn't a guarantee of success. You'll be lucky to make your investment back, let alone have a "hit" that brings in some real income. Don't quit your day job yet.
10. Niche books tend to do best.
This seems to be the mantra of self-publishing. Nonfiction books with a well-defined topic and a nice hook to them can do well, especially if they have a target audience that you can focus on. Religious books are a perfect case in point. And fiction? Well, it's tough, but some genres do better than others. Indie romance/erotica novels, for instance, have thrived in the e-book arena.
Note: If it's any consolation, the majority of fiction books -- even ones from "real" publishers -- struggle in the marketplace. That's why traditional publishers stick with tried-and-true authors with loyal followings.
11. Buy your own ISBN -- and create your own publishing house.
If you have market aspirations for your book, buy your own ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and create your own publishing company.
Even if you go with one of the subsidy presses for convenience's sake, there's no reason to have Lulu, CreateSpace, iUniverseXlibrisAuthor HouseOutskirts, or whomever listed as your publisher. For around $100 (what a single ISBN costs) and a little added paperwork, you can go toe-to-toe with any small sells ISBNs, other self-publishing companies don't. The complete list of sellers is here.
Note: Most self-publishing operations will provide you with a free ISBN for both your print book and e-book but whatever operation provides you with the ISBN will be listed as the publisher.
12. Create a unique title.
Your book should be easy to find in a search on Amazon and Google. It should come up in the first couple of search results. Unfortunately, many authors make the mistake of using a title that has too many other products associated it with it -- and it gets buried in search results. Not good. Basically, you want to get the maximum SEO (search engine optimization) for your title, so if and when somebody's actually looking to buy it they'll find the link for your book -- not an older one with an identical title.
Note: On a more cynical note, some authors are creating titles that are very similar to popular bestsellers. Also, some authors use pseudonyms that are similar to famous authors' names so they'll show up in search results for that author. Check out this list of Fifty Shades of Grey knockoffs.
13. Turn-key solutions cost a lot of money.
You've written your book and God knows you'd like to just hand it off to someone, have a team of professionals whip it into shape, and get it out there. Well, there are a lot of companies that will offer to make just that happen -- and do it in a fraction of the time a traditional publisher could. But those "packages" range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to upward of $25,000.
These folks can potentially put together a really nice book for you. But I've also heard a lot nightmare stories where people come away disappointed with the process and feel ripped off. You can do a search in Google for the companies you're considering and find testimonials -- good and bad -- from authors who've used the services. Proceed with caution.
14. Self-publishers don't care if your book is successful.
They say they care, but they really don't care.You have to make them care.
15. Buy as little as possible from your publishing company.
Self-publishing outfits are in the game to make money. And since they're probably not going to sell a lot of your books, they make money by with nice margins. That's OK. Some of the services are worth it -- or at least may be worth it. Way back when, Booksurge/CreateSpace used to have something called Buy X, Get Y program that paired your book with an Amazon bestseller. It was pricey ($1,000 a month) but in a special sale I bought 3 months for the price of 2 and ended up being paired one month with John Grisham's new novel, which put the thumbnail image of my book in front of a lot of people. Alas, BookSurge/CreateSpace has since discontinued this program because traditional publishers were upset that shoddy self-published books were being featured on the same page as their books. It was good while it lasted and it helped me sell dozens, if not hundreds, of books.
Personally, I'd never work with CreateSpace's in-house editors, copy editors, and in-house design people. That doesn't mean they're bad at what they do (I've seen some covers that are well-done). But if you can, it's better to hire your own people and work directly with them. Ideally, you should be able to meet with an editor, copy editor, and graphic designer in person -- and they all should have experience in book publishing.
Down the road, I suspect you'll see more self-publishers offer high-end programs that pair you with a former editor from a major publishing house. It's also worth mentioning that Amazon has become a publisher itself, with several imprints that it's either bought or created. Amazon is in the process of developing a new hybrid model for publishing that aims to take the place of traditional publishers, which it sometimes refers to as "legacy" publishers. You can see a list of Amazon's imprints here. With its flagship Encore imprint, it selects certain "exceptional" self-published titles from "emerging" authors and brings them under the Amazon umbrella so to speak. It's a good gig if you can get it.
16. If you're serious about your book, hire a book doctor and get it copy edited.
OK, so I've just told to avoid "packages" from publishers and yet I'm now saying you need editing and copy editing.So, where do you go? Well, before I sent my book out to agents, I hired a "book doctor" who was a former acquisition editor from a major New York publishing house (like most editors he worked at a few different houses).He happened to be the father of a friend from college, so I got a little discount, but it still wasn't cheap. However, after I'd made the changes he suggested, he made some calls to agents he knew and some were willing to take a look.He was part of Independent Editors Group (IEG), a group of former acquisition editors who take on freelance editing projects for authors.
While I didn't use his copy editor (I used a friend of a friend who currently works at a big publishing house), he and other editors in his group can suggest people. To be clear, this isn't going to be a better deal than what you'd get from a package deal with a self-publisher, but these people are experienced and are going to be upfront and honest with you. They're not just pushing your book out to move it along the line on the conveyor belt, though they are trying to make a living. (Warning: they don't take on all writers).
By no means is IEG the only game in town. There are plenty of good book consultants out there, including Alan Rinzler, who has an excellent blog and straddles the line between being an executive editor at an imprint of John Wiley & Sons and providing services to private clients.And there are plenty of others.
17. Negotiate everything.
CreateSpace and other self-publishing companies are always offering special deals on their various services. There isn't whole lot of leeway, but it doesn't hurt to ask for deal sweeteners -- like more free copies of your book (they often throw in free copies of your book). It also doesn't hurt to ask about deals that have technically expired. In sales, everything is negotiable. Remember, these people have quotas and bonuses at stake. (For their sake, I hope they do anyway).
18. Ask a lot of questions and don't be afraid to complain.
When I self-published, I paid an extra $300 fee to be able to talk directly to a live person on the phone for customer support. Companies like Lulu and CreateSpace have complete DIY options and require no upfront setup fees. That's great, but when you're dealing with a superbasic package, you're most likely going to be doing customer support via e-mail or IM, and get very little hand-holding. It's nice to be able to call up and complain (in a nice way, of course) directly to a live person on the phone, so take that into account when you're examining your package options.
19. Self-publishing is a contact sport.
The biggest mistake people make when it comes to self-publishing is that they expect to just put out a book and have it magically sell. They might even hire a publicist and expect something to happen.It's just not so. You have to be a relentless self-promoter. Unfortunately, a lot people just don't have the stomach or time for it.
What's the secret to marketing your book successfully? Well, the first thing I advise -- and I'm not alone here -- is to come up with a marketing plan well before you publish your book.The plan should have at least five avenues for you to pursue because chances are you're going to strike out on a couple of lines of attack. It's easy to get discouraged, so you have to be ready to move on to plan c, d, and e (and the rest of the alphabet) pretty quickly.
These days there's a lot of talk about a "blog strategy," and many well-known authors do virtual book tours where they offer up interviews to various blogs.You probably won't have that luxury, but you can certainly research what blogs might be interested in your book and prepare pitches for them.There are social media campaigns to wage, local media angles to pursue, organizations to approach, and all kinds of out-of-the-box gambits you can dream up. None of this will cost you a whole lot -- except time and perhaps a little pride.
Then there's the stuff you pay for. And it's tricky to judge what's a good investment and what's not because the results vary so much from book to book.A friend of mine who has a "real" book from a traditional publisher experimented with placing $1,000 in Facebook ads targeted to people in "cold" states (his book is called the History of the Snowman and it does very well around Christmas). He's still trying to figure out what impact the ads had, but Facebook does have some interesting marketing opportunities. Google AdWords/Keywords is another popular option. And a number of self-serve ad networks are popping up, including Blogards Book Hive, which allows you to target a number of smaller book blogs for relatively affordable rates.
The author MJ Rose has a marketing service called AuthorBuzz that caters to both self-publishers and traditional publishers.She says the best thing for self-publishers is a blog ad campaign--it starts at about $1,500 for a week of ads (the design work is included) and heads up in increments of $500. She says: "We place the ads in subject-related blogs, not book blogs. For instance, if it's a mystery about an antiques dealer, we don't just buy blogs for self-identified readers -- who are not the bulk of book buyers -- but rather I'll find a half dozen blogs about antiques, culture, art and investments and buy the ads there and track them." Rose claims she can get your book in front of at least a half a million people with that initial investment.She also says that you can't really spend too much, you can just spend poorly.
I agree.However, I can't tell you what impact a week or month of ads on blogs will have on your specific book's sales.There are simply too many variables.
Bonus tip: When it comes to self-promotion, there's a fine line between being assertive and being overly aggressive in an obnoxious way.It also doesn't impress people when all you tweet about is your book (the same goes for your Facebook and Google+ posts). As one friend told me, the state you want to achieve is what she likes to call "comfortably tenacious."
20. Getting your book in bookstores sounds good, but that shouldn't be a real concern.
You may have always wanted to see your book in a bookstore but bookstores aren't keen on carrying self-published books and it's extremely difficult to get good placement in the store for your book so chances are no one will see the three copies the store has on hand anyway. Furthermore, your royalty drops on in-store sales. Some of the self-publishing outfits offer distribution through Ingram. CreateSpace offers its Expanded Distribution program for a $25 a year fee. It uses Baker & Taylor, as well as Ingram, as well as CreateSpace Direct to make your book available "to certified resellers through our wholesale website." You also get distribution to Amazon Europe (,,,,
21. Self-published books rarely get reviewed -- for free anyway.
Yes, it's true. It's very hard to get your self-published book reviewed -- and the mantra in the traditional publishing world is that reviews sell books. But that's changing a bit. People didn't take bloggers seriously at first and now they do. And what's interesting is that reputable book reviewers such as Kirkus and more recently Publishers Weekly are offering special reviews services geared toward self-published authors. In the case of Kirkus Indie, the author pays a fee to have the book reviewed (around $400-$550, depending on the speed) and a freelancer writes an objective critique (yes, they do negative reviews) in the same format as a standard Kirkus review. (You can also submit books that are in an e-book-only format).
As for Publishers Weekly, it offers something called PW Select. While you can submit your book for review for a fee of $149, only about 25 percent of the book submissions end up being reviewed. But for a lot of folks risking that $149 is worth the opportunity of getting into the PW door. Of course, there's always the possibility that the review isn't favorable.
A third option is BlueInk Review, another fee-based review service targeted at indie authors.
22. Design your book cover to look good small.
Traditional book publishers design -- or at least they used to design -- a book cover to make a book stand out in a bookstore and evoke whatever sentiment it was supposed to evoke. Well, with Amazon becoming a dominant bookseller, your book has to stand out as a thumbnail image online because that's how most people are going to come across it.If you're primarily selling through Amazon, think small and work your way up.
23. If you're selling online, make the most out of your Amazon page.
I'm a little bit surprised by how neglectful some self-published authors are when it comes to their Amazon product pages.I've talked to self-published authors who spend a few thousand dollars on a publicist and their Amazon product page looks woeful -- and they've barely even looked at it.I ask, "Where are people going to buy your book?" They don't seem to realize how important Amazon is.True, some people market through a Web site or buy Google keywords to drive traffic there. But you need to have your Amazon page look as good as possible and take advantage of the tools Amazon has to help you surface your book ("Tags," Listmania, reader reviews, etc.). It may not have a major impact, but it's better than doing nothing. You should check out

First Nations: Book Self-Publishing Services

First Nations voices often get frustrated.  These include First Nations writers who seek to publish books.  If you 're a First Nations writer, book self-publishing offers a great opportunity for you to get published. offers great rates for getting a high quality and mass-marketable book that can get into Chapters.  You can get your book self-published and into Chapters generally on a budget of $7,000 - $9,000. This price includes professional copy editing and professional book typesetting.  Contact AgoraPublishing HERE to get your book self-published.

One of Agora's books was actually featured on Aboriginal People's Television Network (APTN).  The title of that book is Toward a Native-Canadian Equal Rights Amendment.

Email if you want to get an expert evaluation of your manuscript.  The cost is $500.00.  Their email address is

Self-Publishing : the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

What do you think when you see a book that has been self-published? Do you see it as freedom from the tyranny of mercenary big business publishers? Or do you assume it will be a shoddy piece of work?

Self-publishing can mean either freedom or a license for mediocrity. The main part of my "day job" is working with small press titles, and I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. This article will look at the reasons for and against self-publishing, and some of the problems to avoid if you want to be taken seriously.

Why Self-Publish?

Self-publishing is the wave of the future. As publishers merge, and grow closer to one huge publishing house, it becomes harder and harder for new authors to get anything published. You may need to self-publish if you have a controversial title, a niche title, a quality title that is not likely to make a lot of money, or are just plain unknown.

Also, publishing from home as never been easier or less expensive. Marketing has also become much easier using the Internet, and so has selling. If you have a message, and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it out, self-publishing may be for you. Besides, you get to keep more of the profits!

Why Not Self-Publish?

Self-publishing requires a lot more work. You have to do the writing, proofing, printing, publishing, marketing, and selling of your title. You are alone responsible for whether it succeeds or fails. If you are not willing to learn all about the business side of writing, then self-publishing is not for you.

Self-published books run into particular problems that make them look amateurish. These fall into two broad categories, the writing itself, and the book as a physical object.

Problems With The Writing

Lack of an editor. You must be especially careful when self-editing. Learn to be ruthless with your prose. Nothing gives self-publishing such a bad name as books that read like a first draft.

Lack of purpose. Don't write something so vague that no one can figure out whether it's fiction or non-fiction. You think this is rare or an exaggeration? Not at all, unfortunately. The first way books are categorized is into fiction or non-fiction. You can't be listed both places! So make it easy for the retailer to know which your book is.

Subject is too cute (talks on life from my poodle; everything I needed to know I learned from my begonia). This can work for writers who are using this to get at deeper truths, but too many self-published books stop at the surface.

Only written to cash in on the latest craze. Currently, channeled books, either from the dead or from aliens are a hot topic. Books on stress relief, eastern religions/alternate spirituality, miracle diets or minerals, exercise, quality of life, leadership in business and fly-fishing continue to roll in every day. If you are going to write on any of these topics, make sure you actually have something important to say that has not already been said by dozens of others.

Presenting yourself as an expert when it soon becomes obvious you have done no research, or presenting your opinions as facts. This will lose you credibility more quickly than almost anything else.

Don't know your audience. "My book is for everybody" simply means you don't have a clue. No book is for everyone. Is it for housewives? For those who feel stressed out? For the cancer patient? For dog lovers? For those seeking a new way of life? Figure out your audience and write for them.

Don't know the age range for a children's book. Age ranges are 0-3, 4-8, 9-12, 12+. These are industry standard ranges, corresponding roughly to baby/infant, beginning readers, intermediate readers, and young adult. Even if you feel that the appeal of your book stretches from 3 to 93, you need to be able to say the age that will be most interested.

Problems With The Book As A Physical Object

Not enough white space. Don't try to save money by crowding lots of words on a page. It not only looks unprofessional, but is also difficult to read.

Poor font selection--too small, too light or too dark for ease of reading. Choose one of the "normal fonts" for your book, to make it easy to read.

Title not obvious on the cover. Make it clear which are your title, your subtitle, and the author name. It can be hard to figure out, particularly if there is no title page.

Price out of line with other books on the topic. You don't want to price it too high, but it needs to be high enough that you can offer at least a 50% discount to retailers (or wholesalers). Look for your kinds of books either in a brick and mortar store, or online, and price accordingly.

Tacky or out of focus pictures either on the cover, or of the author on the back. Using pictures obviously done on a copy machine.

Cover not appropriate for the kind of book it is. Again, check out bookstores to see what covers are on the same kind of books. Better, check the new titles area for ideas of the current trends in cover art.

If You Are A Serious Writer, You Will:

an International Standard Book Number and know how to use it and how to display it on your book. ISBNs are distributed and sold by R. R. Bowker

your cover designed professionally, unless your book needs nothing more than words on the cover (specific how-to books, for instance, or pamphlets) or unless your book is intended for those who will appreciate a cover drawn by your 7 year old grandson. Be cautious about using clip art. It may not be free for use in a for-profit situation.

able to describe your book in a sentence or two--especially if you are listing online. "I wrote this to alert people to the dangers of alien spacecraft parked under Mount Rainier. We must learn what these aliens want and how to protect ourselves!" "I have fished Thompson's Creek for forty years and know the best spots, the best lures, and the best time of the day, month, and year. Fly fishing is an art--let me teach you how!" This will be invaluable for those who are categorizing your title.

informed about self-publishing options. Read some books on the subject. You can find reviews for a few of the newer self-publishing books here.

Be savvy about marketing, realizing you have to send out copies for free to certain people and organizations who will be writing reviews or performing some other service for you.

Know when to push, and when to give it a rest. Be enthusiastic about your own book but still remember it is one of millions out there. Remember also that the retailer or wholesaler may see hundreds of new titles a week, and cannot possible be as enthusiastic about your book as you are--so don't expect him or her to be.

Be able to use the computer effectively in marketing. The fact that you are retired and computer illiterate is not an excuse. You can learn how to use a computer, or hire someone to do it for you--one of your grandchildren might be thrilled to help out this way. But if you intend to do more than sell your book to family and friends or down at the corner store, you need to be, or have someone who is, computer literate.

Does all this sound frightening? Cheer up, it's not as bad as it seems. Take the process one step at a time, and you can publish a book that is as good and useful as any done by the big publishers. But remember that a self-published writer needs to be even more careful to make their books read and look professional, and the success rests entirely on you. Best of luck, whichever way you decide to go!

Ottawa Writers: Go Local with Book Self-Publishing

A lot of people have either had successful writing careers or otherwise due to the kind of choices that they made with regards to the publication of their books. One thing that most writers often do forget when it comes to getting their books published is that choosing the wrong publishing option can have very damaging results for your book and your writing career as a whole. This is why it is always ideal to go with the best book self-publishing companies like
As a writer based in Ottawa, you are always bound to encounter a number of low standard book self-publishing companies. However, your ability to always look out for the best self-publishing agency will show how successful you become as a writer. So instead of gambling with your writing career by trying to self-publish your book with the help of low standard self-publishing agencies like Create Space, your best shot is to go local with the Company which has been providing high quality book self-publishing services to writers all over Canada.
Self-publishing has been portrayed as a very difficult thing to do by a lot of writers and it is all down to the fact that they simply failed to seek for the services of self-publishing giants like when they decided to self-publish their own books. Anything that has the tendency to either make or break your career should never ever be taken for granted. However, this is a warning that a lot of writers who have had unsuccessful writing careers failed to heed. In short, there is no better book self-publishing organization in Ottawa that seeks to help writers produce mass marketable books than the
At, the team of professionally educated staff provides the kind of customer service that cannot be obtained from any of the other similar companies. This among other services like high quality typesetting, design and layout are what makes to stand out from all other self-publishing agencies in Ottawa. The production of mass marketable books has always been the main goal of every individual that decides to make a living as a writer and this is something that does best.
With, you are always guaranteed of producing high quality self-published books that are mass marketable. This is non-existent at other similar self-publishing companies like Create Space as their main aim is simply to make money at your expense. Go local with and become a popular and well-established writer easily.

Book Self Publishing: Top 7 Ways is better than Create Space for Writers

Gone are the days when the idea of becoming a published writer was seen to be solely for those few wealthy people in the society. A lot of genuinely talented and gifted writers were therefore allowed to waste away due to the lack of funds to employ the services of the very few publishing houses that were in existence by then. However, latest trends and technological developments have made it very simple and easy for writers to get their works out to their readers without the need to spend a fortune. This has been made possible through the introduction of Book Self Publishing sites.
One of such sites that has been offering writing the chance to self publish their books is but a lot of writers have been making the mistake of trying to compare this site and Create Space. Although these two sites offer the same self publishing services to writers, at, they go the extra mile to ensure that your book gets published with a truly professional multi-million dollar look. Below are the top 7 ways is better than Create Space for writers;
Customer service support: At, they always make it their goal to see to it that each and every single writer is provided with the necessary support and assistance that he or she needs in order publish a book that is of the highest quality. Their customer support team are among the friendliest and always willing to give a listening ear to problems that you might be encountering with regards to publishing your book.
High quality typesetting services: Typesetting is a very essential part of publishing a book and makes it their objective to ensure that each and every one of their writers are provided with typesetting services of the highest quality. This is something that can never be found at Create Space as they view typesetting as a not-so-important part of publishing a book.
Production of quality books: Whilst Create Space goes with anything that you the writer put forward; on the other hand goes the extra mile to make sure that your book really meets the highest standards. This enables your book to achieve mass marketability without much effort.
Distribution services: When it comes to the issue of distributing published books of writers, provides its writers with quality book distribution services which are totally non-existent on Create Space.
Marketing services: also provides writers with marketing services that makes it possible for a particular book to be able to get a greater number of copies sold. However, this is a service that is lacking on Create Space as writers are left to market their own books.
Individualized services: Whilst Create Space provides its services to writers based on general assumptions, on the other hand renders their book self publishing services to writers on an individualized basis. This means that their services are always tailored to suit the specific needs of a particular writer.
Affordable services: also offers its services to writers at very affordable prices which is the complete opposite of what happens on Create Space. This means that writers do not have to be very rich or financially sound in order to seek for the Book Self Publishing services of

These are just some of the ways which proves that is really better than Create Space when it comes to providing quality book self publishing services to writers. Seek for their services now and watch your writing career move to a whole new level in a very short period of time.

Writers: Book Self Publishers Often Fail on Typesetting

The idea of self-publishing one’s own book has really made it very simple and easy for a lot of writers to pursue their dream career. Previously, the process was very tedious and financially demanding for writers to get their books published. This was largely due to the fact that there were very few publishing houses around and they always wanted to work with the already established writers. Even in those days, one thing that these traditional publishing houses never took lightly was typesetting. They realized that typesetting was a very important part of any book.
These days, book self-publishing has come to replace those traditional publishing houses and make the whole process of becoming an established writer very simple. Agencies like and Create Space are always mentioned when it comes to the issue of helping writers to self-publish their own books. However, although these are two book self-publishing service providers, there are certain things that make them completely different from each other.
Over the years, Create Space has always been viewed as being very similar to by a lot of writers. However, this is a very big mistake and a complete misconception. As a writer based in Toronto, it is very essential for you to seek for the services of a professional book self-publishing agency like in order to meet the high standards that readers look in published books. As a reader, great typesetting is very necessary a good book whilst as a writer, great typesetting holds the key to mass marketability.
Although and Create Space are recognized as self-publishing agencies, is miles ahead of Create Space in the following ways;
·         They provide you with the best and professional typesetting services that ensure your book is able to reach its projected number of copies to be sold which is sadly not the case with Create Space.
·         They provide their clients (writers) with book self-publishing services that make the writer an integral part of the whole process. However, Create Space lacks in this area.
·         At, they see to it that your book always comes out with the best quality control measures to boost its marketability which is the complete opposite at Create Space.
·         Moreover, whilst Create Space provides self-publishing services that can only be accessed online, on the other hand provides services that include face-to-face interactions with writers at convenient locations throughout Toronto. This makes it very easy and simple for them to really tailor their services to suit your specific needs.

These are just a few of the ways through which differs from Create Space. It is therefore up to you as an up-and-coming writer to realize which of these book self-publishing service providers really allows you to easily reach your goals. So instead of prematurely ending your writing career by opting for the book self-publishing services of Create Space, make the positive decision of going with in order to have a long-lasting career as an established and well-recognized writer.

Writers: Book Self Publishers Often Fail on Typesetting

For everything that gets introduced in this world, there are associated positive and negative issues. The inception of the internet age and its numerous business opportunities was greeted with a lot of pomp especially by writers who found it very hard to land a deal with a recognised traditional publishing house. This is mainly due to the fact that such writers could now go with self-publishing their own books thereby saving them from a lot of trouble. However, recent studies have shown that of all writers self-publishing their books about 98% that fail to realise their objectives did something wrong with their book’s typesetting.

Typesetting a book is an area that is now taken for granted by most book self-publishers but the truth is that it is really an integral part of a book and as such should not be toyed with. It is very common these days to come across self-published books that look very awful simply because they were not professionally typeset. This has led to a lot of self publishers not being able to get mass marketability for their books.

However, there is good news for each and every writer who wishes to go with self-publishing his or her book as provides you with professional typesetting services which ensures that your book becomes very appealing to the eye of every customer. With the typesetting services provided by, a writer is assured of getting mass marketability for his or her book which would have been very hard to accomplish without such a service.’s typesetting services helps to place your book alongside those done by the very best traditional publishing houses at exorbitant costs.

The only way that can be used by you as a writer to ensure that your self-published book gets the professional look of a multi-million dollar corporate trade publisher to compete with the very best traditionally published books is to give your book a good typesetting. This is exactly what you get when you allow to do your book’s typesetting for you.

At, there are a team of professional experts well versed in the area of book publishing who will be there to assist you every step of the way in order to ensure that your book ends up with the best typesetting. The best part of going with’s typesetting services is that it costs just a fraction of what you would have been charged elsewhere but helps boost your book’s marketability.

Contact to get your book’s typesetting professionally done for you and be ushered into a world of mass marketability.

Book Self-Publishing: Quality Typesetting is Vital

Self-publishing offers many advantages to writers, such as independence during the creative process and the freedom to set up the price that you think it is worth your work. From the technical point of view, though, there are a couple of aspects that you cannot work on the run, but should be managed by professionals. This is the case, for instance of typesetting, an important element in the overall success of your book.

Regardless of your book support – online or print – the quality of the typesetting affects the success of the book. Definitely, the quality of the writing is very important, but a bad cover or improper typesetting choice can significantly affect the success. The typesetting is a very important stage of the book development process, and not just a simple technical operation everyone can learn to deal with. Rather, it can be considered an art that requires long years of practice and learning on the job.

If you do not have the time and availability to start learning yourself about typesetting, Agora Publishing is offering to writers from all over the world that precious assistance needed to make your books sold in more than 100 copies. Based in Canada, but with an international outreach, Agora Publishing has expertise in delivering various high-end services for writers, as well as a platform for confirmed and new authors. The domain covers are as diverse as environment, politics, economy or non-fiction, among others.

What is typesetting?

It is usually considered that typesetting represents for a book what the background music is for a film: you might not instantly notice it when it is almost perfect, but when it has important shortcomings it can create a dissonant note that affects negatively your own experience.
Once the design stage of your book is finished, the manuscript, accompanied by the specific design requirements, is becoming the main responsibility of the typesetter who is in charge with the choice of the text format and the illustrative material needed for preparing properly the book for the printing. 

Since the Guttenberg printing revolution when typography was for the first time included as part of the editorial process, dramatic changes took place in the industry. At the beginning, for instance, typography was assigned the stages related to the design, while the typesetting was limited to the choice of the type of writing. Following the digital revolution of the last decades, other forms of type setting were introduced, and the process entered an online stage, especially due to the complex possibilities offered by the Desktop Publishing (DTP). New digital fonts were introduced, as well as laser printers using the Postscript programming language, or the mark-up languages of XML. The page layout changed dramatically and so did the typography, with new designs being introduced regularly. The standardization of all the world different alphabets diversified the area of possibilities covered by the typesetting services, opening the market to a variety of non-European publishers and published content. 

A high-end professional layout makes the text clear and accessible, outlining the quality writing and style. The choice of the right fonts and the proper setting of a text on the page contribute significantly to the overall success of a book on various traditional or alternative markets. Although many authors may be tempted to use the freelance, low-priced services for typesetting needs, in reality there is a risk of working with someone that is not familiar with a specific book market. The guarantee of working with professionals is that you will delivered from the very beginning an integrate package of services that includes various recommendations that suit your work, Therefore, it must be taken into account the fact that for each market, and type of book, the typesetting differs. For instance, the layout of a children book may differ from the layout of a science or economics book. Some cultures may be more visual than the others and this difference is reflected in the preferences for specific typesetting.

Book Self-Publishing: Quality Typesetting is Vital To Writers’

A lot of writers with so much potential always do end up on the wrong side of the publishing industry and the worrying thing is that such trend does not seem to change any time sooner. Although, most writers should be held accountable for when they go into oblivion, there is another area that account for such happenings and that has to do with the typesetting.
Typesetting has over the years been relegated to the back when it comes to printing books. Most writers are made to believe that typesetting is just about using some editing tools on some parts of a written book or manuscript. However, that is a total misconception that has led to the poor patronage of certain books. Typesetting really does go a lot deeper than most writers believe and it also has a lot of positive impact on any particular book as it is more of a combining the technical process with an art form that gives rise to a book being regarded as a masterpiece.
However, a perfectly and effectively done typesetting is what differentiates the book of an amateur from that of a professional. The task of getting more copies of a particular book sold sometimes is about the content but mostly it has to do with the typesetting done on the book before it can come out.
A critical look at what typesetting really does entail is therefore needed in order to get authors educated on such a topic. Typesetting can be seen as the actual process of arranging written documents and making them ready to be printed. When typesetting is carefully done in combination with typography which happens to be the art concerned with the skilful arrangement of type, then an author can be assured of getting his or her book endeared to the hearts of readers.
In the wake of the typesetting of a book being critically analyzed by readers, a lot of publishing houses have come up with an inferior form of typesetting. This has led to most authors not being able to get more than 100 copies of their books sold. It is therefore not very surprising that there are only a few places where a writer can be assured of getting the best typesetting services for his or her book. On top of the list of reliable and trustworthy publishers who can help a writer to realise his or her dreams of being regarded as a renowned author is
Gone were the days when people had to get themselves dirtied all in a bid to ensure that a book looks appealing in the area of typesetting as such times have now given way to a more easy way of getting the job done effectively and efficiently. In an age where desktop publishing (DTP) is the order of the day, it is very easy to get duped by an inferior publisher. It is for this reason that this piece is entreating all writers to make sure that they seek for the services of when it comes to getting the typesetting of their book(s) done. makes use of the most sophisticated applications that are currently in use to ensure that a particular book comes out with no issues or errors as far as quality typesetting is concerned. At, a lot more is done on a writer’s book apart from the traditional typesetting tasks. This means that at the process of typesetting a book entails more than what most publishers do.
Some of the tasks done by include the following;
·         Making use of the right size and style of fonts
·         Styling and paragraphing done in such a way that makes it easy to change them
·         Making effective and efficient use of appropriate colours
These are just some of the tasks that are carried out by when it comes to the typesetting of a particular book. also ensures that every aspect of typesetting a book is critically looked at so that it meets the demands of readers. At, a writer is guaranteed the chance of getting more copies of his or her book sold rather than a few copies. This means that does everything possible to ensure that all books published there gets patronised by a lot of readers.
Deciding to go with self-publishing project is very delicate and as such nothing should taking for granted as the smallest mistake can cause an author a lot of damage. This is the main reason why is the best place for a writer to get the type of his or her book done properly.