I signed up for a workshop about self-publishing that started Thursday.
I’m sitting here at my desk beside a stack of 212 pages of a manuscript that is in the final stages of editing. I just need to re-scan a few photos to get a better resolution. My daughter, who is a graphic designer for a text book company (how convenient is that?) is formatting the manuscript into a book for me. My son, who is an industrial designer for a major toy company and an aspiring artist, is designing artwork for the book cover (again, how convenient, and downright lucky?)
At the beginning of April I described my publication plan in a post I wrote called Back to work on my memoir and how to get it published. At that time I planned to “polish” everything up (the industry’s word, not mine. I still fail to see how something made of paper and ink can be polished.) I had a query letter drafted and mostly ready to go, a membership to Writer’s Market online and a list of agents to send queries to. I planned to draft a book proposal. That’s where I’ve stalled out.
I might just be jaded by all I hear concerning the difficulty of getting published by traditional means. I know a talented writer who waited four years until she finally got an agent. I’m not that patient.
Or I might just be balking at the formidable task of writing a seven-part, 30-page book proposal.
The second part of my publishing plan was to investigate self-publishing. So when the advertisement for the Writer’s Digest University Successful Self-Publishing workshop appeared in my inbox, I jumped on it.
I haven’t abandoned my get-an-agent plan, but am just educating myself about all the possibilities (and patience and work involved).
The workshop is not inexpensive at $350 for ten weeks, working out to be $35 a week. But it is cheaper than a college course (and on some weeks my out-to-lunch budget). I took a WD memoir workshop at the end of last year that I found to be worth the money.
This workshop focuses on publishing aspects like setting goals, a schedule and a budget; preparing the book for publication; producing the book and all the pesky decisions you need to make about ISBN (I still don’t know what that one is), copyright, Library of Congress registration; distributing the book; promoting and tracking the book. The textbook we’re using is The Indie Author Guide— self-publishing strategies anyone can use by April L. Hamilton.
My first assignment is to complete a publishing project worksheet to define a selected (or invented) book (e.g. genre, page count, etc.). As I have an actual finished manuscript, this shouldn’t be too hard. Then I have to write up a 750–1,500 word description of my book project, including the title, genre, page count, intended audience and other information to describe my project, for review and feedback from the instructor. I think I might have to have this done by Monday (still trying to figure it all out), which might be a challenge because my son, daughter-in-law and
6-month old grandson
will be here this weekend. Can you tell I’m excited? You’ll probably be seeing a few slapped-up archive photographs for my quick posts this weekend. ( I know a few people who are dropping out of this post-a-day challenge, but I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet.)
Anyway, I’ll let you know how the workshop goes.