Self-Publishing— Project Update: Moving forward

I decided to arrange these updates into categories, because more than anything else, I think the challenge of self-publishing is being able to keep all the balls in the air at the same time. A self-publisher has to perform the tasks of a writer, editor/publisher, business manager, and marketing director.


The large portion of the past month has been spent in rewriting Dancing in Heaven to omit family members who so requested. This involved cutting three large sections out, rearranging the flashbacks or vignettes that appear in the second part of each chapter, and writing a new section. Then I had to comb through the entire manuscript to remove any reference to, or inference of, additional siblings. I did this twice. I also had to remove photos. In some cases I cropped or Photoshopped individuals out. In other cases I selected new photos to replace the ones I had to remove.

I also edited and revised the extra pages that are located at the beginning of the book: the title page/s, copyright, dedication, acknowledgements, table of contents, and author bio.

I sent all of this to my graphic designer (and daughter) who will hopefully work her magic on it and make it all shiny again.


I am very excited about the early draft of the book cover that my daughter is designing and can’t wait to show it to you when it is finished, which I hope will be soon. It’s better than I had hoped for and actually brought tears to my eyes.

I haven’t assigned an ISBN to the book yet and am going to wait until I know that we are close to publishing it. I think this is a simple matter of going into my account at Bowkers and giving them the title information. I decided not to register the copyright or get a Library of Congress listing. I don’t think it is that critical, and quite frankly, I’m starting to weary of all the red tape.

I have an account on Createspace, the print on demand provider I intend to use. I will have to navigate my way through their site when I have a final document and cover to upload.

I still need to finish the copy for the back of the cover. I have two short blurbs that I may use and am waiting on a third. I have a book summary written. I think Createspace will generate the barcode for me, but I need to verify that.

Once I get Createspace up and running, I will look into what is needed for the e-book, which I hope and suspect will be a simple matter.

Business Manager

Grote Ink, LLC is a registered company, with a checking (and savings) account and a debit card. I opted out of the credit card. I have been trying to collect receipts for all expenses up to date which include editing costs, workshop fees, legal fees for company registration, and ISBN purchase. I decided to apply for a Delivery Vendor’s License which will allow me to hand sell books at events, if I so choose, throughout the state of Ohio.

I plan to keep the business financial records on paper as well as on our copy of QuickBooks. I’ve used this computer program for my husband’s company with questionable success at times. (The accountant has had to bail me out on more than one occasion.) It’s one of those programs that thinks it knows what you want to do and at times whisks numbers away from you, which never reappear, ergo, I’m keeping paper records as well.

As far as the business goes, I think it is just a matter of keeping financial records from this point forward.

Marketing Director

I need a plan.

I have a vague notion of announcing the availability of Dancing in Heaven on my blog and social media sites, sending out a few free copies, and creating bookmarks, otherwise I’m pretty much stuck at the starting gate.

I also need a website, which I hope to create in the coming weeks.

I know I will need book reviews. I know there are other things I can do to promote Dancing in Heaven. I just have to sit down and figure it all out to come up with a plan. Since the business set-up, and hopefully writing, work is done, once I get the publishing activities behind me, I should be able to devote all of my time to figuring out marketing.

As always, I am open to any helpful suggestions you may have.

Have a restful weekend.

23 thoughts on “Self-Publishing— Project Update: Moving forward”

  1. Learn everything you can. You know much much more than I do. Soon you should be able to write a “How to…” book for aspiring writers. Perhaps become an agent yourself.

    1. You made me laugh. (Maybe you didn’t mean to, but you did.) I don’t feel like I know very much, but like so many other things in life, I think when I look back I will realize I’ve come a long way.

      I don’t know about agent, but I could be a publisher for someone, who say, wanted to publish a book of cartoons or something. . .

      1. I would be very interested in that possibility. You have my email. Please send me yours so I can keep you in contacts. I am thinking 10×10 paperback, 100 pages and have already made my front and back cover. In the meantime it is time for me to get off my duff and upgrade with my best ability by redrawing 200 cartoons. That’s at least 1,500 hours of labor. I worked for the system my whole life. Now retired it is time to work for me. And my publisher. I will start today by getting a new pair of special cartoon drawer’s pants and a new pen.

      2. Wow. You might just beat me to the punch. My professional e-mail is I think this address forwards into my personal address that I check every day. Not sure why it matters.

        Do I need some writing pants, I wonder?

  2. you are really moving forward! Great job:)

    Book reviews – yes. The earlier the better so you can publish the results (if you wish) in all your areas of marketing.

    Book marks – great idea too. they speak for you even when you are not present.

    Website – yes, and link all your other areas to the website. Make sure you use the ‘auto’ functions that work seamlessly. Like Website auto updates your FB and Twitter. Less work. And yes, the website should be the ‘go to’ place. So let the info flow from website outwards.

    If you do not have a content management program for your website…consider: Joomla. (…I am planning to move to it. It is FREE and many, many companies and individuals use it (2.7% of the web). You may think…do I need a hefty piece of software at this stage of the game? INMO, it is better to start with meaty software and grow… than to grow out of it and have to do re-work and endure a new learning curve.

    Any and all of your correspondence should have your…website address <– The signature block. It is all marketing and you never know where that next sale will come from.

    Your web profiles should also reflect this info.

    Goodreads….make sure your book is placed in the inventory. I have seen other authors do the same.

    Amazon…see if your reviewers can post their reviews there also.

    This is a book reviewers & Authors ning site: I used to use it quite alot in 2009…when I was writing reviews. Once you are there you will see how it works. the people there were very helpful.

    Make sure also you are in LinkedIn… . A professional type site that will get your name out there but in different circles.

    Which brings me to the next one….get in/on Google+ . It is quiet now but will not be for long. If you are not in G+, let me know by email and I will invite you:)

    I work at a bookstore so let me know by email how I may be of assistance and if I can help I will.

    good luck…you are on your way! Yay!

  3. I’m impressed with your forward progress. I’ve just completed all of the questionnaires for the CreateSpace design teams: interior design, cover design, and media press release so if I can assist you in any way, let me know. I kept notes of my selections and never dreamed there would be so many pieces to the puzzle. Perhaps you already know this but if not, CreateSpace has tutorials for those doing all of this by themselves. I’m also in the process of creating my marketing plan and am excited to see what you decide upon for this. As far as a website, I went with WordPress since, like you, my blog was WordPress. This enabled me to link my author’s site directly to my blog. I know how to do that now if you need any assistance. Keep keeping on!

    1. I’m impressed, JoDee. You are really moving ahead. I really haven’t spent much time on the CreateSpace site and hope to get to it next week. I’ll certainly check out the tutorials.

      I have a contract and domain name with because I used them in the past. I think they have a wordpress app there, but I’ll need to figure it out.

      I hope you’ll share your marketing plan with me. I can’t wait to see what you do.

      What do you know about media press releases?

      1. Createspace has a sample press release posted. I’ll look for the link and email it to you. I paid for their press release service that includes a professional press release they write after you answer these questionnaires, a consultation, and over 1,000 contacts. I’ll let you know how that goes. I’ve got my consult on Monday, and I’m going to ask what I need to have ready on my website before the press release goes out.

        I don’t think it matters who you have as your website service as long as they have WordPress capacity. How exciting that we are both moving forward in the same areas. Your process encourages me to push through with mine. Thanks so much.

  4. If you get a website up and running, I will be very happy to link to it from my site. 🙂 Good luck with everything! I’ll want one of the first autographs you do…to add to my collection 🙂

  5. You are a “natural” at this, Christine!

    Taking everything a step at a time is the “right” way to do it . . . the way will teach you the way as the path unfolds before you.

    Can’t wait to see your daughter’s cover!

    1. Thanks, Julia. I hope readers will see it as a tribute. After the reception it got from my two siblings, my confidence has been shaken. My other sister, Carol, has been supportive. This is much more difficult than I had imagined it would be.

      Fiction is the way to go.

  6. It’s amazing, Christine, what you’re doing–and I’m amazed at the others here who are doing it, too. At age 71, I know I couldn’t do such without help (heck, I had to get help to get just the basics set up on my WordPress blog).

    I am SO impressed.

    1. You might want to wait with your accolades until we see if I can actually pull this off. They make it sound easy, but I’m not seeing it that way at the moment. So many things to consider. So many decisions to make. And so many things to learn.


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