What’s the Difference Between an Independent Publishing Consultant and a Book Publicist?

What’s the Difference Between an Independent Publishing Consultant and a Book Publicist?

It’s an excellent question and an important distinction.

I recently attended a free webinar presented by Michelle Kulp, founder of BestSellingAuthorProgram.com, with whom I have an affiliation. Before I describe what I learned about book publicity, let me share what I do.

My all-inclusive packages offer (at a minimum):

  • Professional Editing (a $1,000+ value)
  • Customized, Original Book Cover Design
  • ISBN (International Book Standard Number) Assignment
  • LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number)
  • Formatting for Paperback
  • Formatting for Kindle/eBook
  • Personalized Keyword Book Description Back Cover
  • KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Setup
  • Amazon Author Page Setup
  • Retail Pricing Consultation
  • Author Keeps Ownership of Book
  • Author Keeps 100% of Royalties
  • Volume Discounts
  • Worldwide Distribution

In essence, I provide the professional services every author needs to begin with an excellent foundation — a properly edited, formatted, and published book. When I published the first edition of Water Signs in 2008, I didn’t know what I didn’t know about indie publishing. Once I understood all of the important pieces, I wanted to make the indie publishing process as simple as possible for my clients, which is why I created all-inclusive packages. If you choose to work with me, you’ll receive everything you need to produce a quality book in both paperback and eBook.

If you have a concept, but no time or inclination to write, I provide ghostwriting services.

For books with multiple authors (two or more), I work on a case-by-case basis to arrive at a fair price. Such projects require more time because I’m collaborating with multiple contributors.

In terms of compensation, I’m happy to discuss payment plans with individual clients, if requested but please note, with the cost of services built in to the packages, opting for a payment plan may delay the timeline. However, we can discuss everything over the phone or in person to arrive at an option that works well for everyone involved.

It’s a full-time job, providing these services with professionalism and efficiency, one I take seriously even as I do my best to make the process enjoyable.

But writing a book is only the beginning. Once you “publish with a strong foundation,” to use Michelle Kulp’s language, the work of publicity begins.

Book publicity is a full-time effort in itself. It requires knowledge and expertise that go far beyond the services I described above, which is why I’m excited to affiliate with Michelle.

She has created a proven system of success with her Amazon Bestseller Program. In her webinar, she explained the benefits of becoming an Amazon Bestselling Author:

  • It Makes You Stand Out from the Crowd
  • It Makes You an Instant Expert
  • It Helps You Attract More Clients and Leads
  • It Helps You Spread Your Ideas and Your Message
  • It Helps You Build a 6+ Figure Business

So the question becomes, how do you stand out with all of the books on Amazon? This is a HUGE problem right now because, as Michelle states, “saturation causes noise.”

The way you become an expert, then, is by having a #1 Bestselling Book. This will yield:

  • MORE Influence and Impact Worldwide
  • MORE Income (many ways to generate it via your book)
  • MORE Independence (time and freedom)

Sounds great, right?

But there is a catch. It is not enough to write and publish a professional book; you must have a SYSTEM in place to ensure your audience can find it. Michelle notes that some common mistakes authors make include:

  • No Email List
  • No Positioning
  • No Calls to Action
  • No Products or Services to Sell
  • No Website
  • No Long-term Plan

But even if you do have ALL or SOME of these, without an effective system, you cannot become an Amazon Bestseller. Michelle has created a proven system in 3 steps:

  1. Design Your Path to Profit
  2. Publish Your Book on Top of a Strong Foundation
  3. Promote to a Large Audience with a Hollywood-style Book Launch

I can help with #2. However, if you want to take advantage of Amazon’s “most powerful marketing system” by becoming an Amazon Bestselling Author, I highly recommend contacting Michelle Kulp at BestSellingAuthorProgram.com, where you can read her clients’ testimonials and schedule your own strategy call.

Ready to talk about your unique book project? Contact me here.

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Understanding the Indie Publishing Process

Understanding the Indie Publishing Process

Over the past decade, I’ve learned some valuable lessons from every project and client, which enabled me to improve my communication and processes.

One of the most important lessons learned?

Give every client an outline of the indie publishing process that includes clear directives, deadlines, and responsibilities. With indie publishing, the author and the publisher must work in collaboration, each holding up their end of the agreement in order to achieve the desired publication date of a high-quality book.

Six Steps to Indie Publishing

  1. Select a Publishing Package– Whatever your goal, I offer a package that meets your needs.
  2. Choose Your Publication Date – I require approval on the FINAL edits a minimum of two months prior.
  3. Commit to Your Project – My collaborative editing process requires a time commitment from both of us.
  4. Approve Final Edits – After a few rounds of editing, you, the author, must approve the final edits before the manuscript moves into formatting. Please read the post formatting versus editing for more.
  5. Approve Formatting – Once you approve the final edits, your manuscript moves into the formatting stage. What is formatting? It pertains the interior style of the book including fonts, headers, chapter templates, and justification. When your manuscript makes it to the formatting part of the process, you can no longer add or remove paragraphs, rewrite sentences, delete content or add new content. When is the time to do that? At any point within Step 4. By the time you approve final edits, you’ve reviewed your document repeatedly. Take as long as you need before signing off because we will not make any further editing changes after it moves into formatting.
  6. Approve Proof Copy – Before your book goes live online, you must approve either a digital version or a paperback proof. If you’re a new author, I recommend the latter.

As your independent publishing consultant, I am just as vested as you in the outcome. Producing good books with original, compelling covers and stylish, readable formatting is my top priority. Making you look good is my goal. That’s why every package I offer includes professional editing and formatting.

Kindle/eBook Formatting

kindle-381242_1280This is such a vital topic, I’m placing under its own heading. I cannot stress this enough, but different formatting rules apply to Kindle/eBooks. We cannot use the same PDF we uploaded for the paperback version for the Kindle version. It simply does not work.

Therefore, once you approve your edits, your manuscript moves into formatting first for paperback, then for Kindle. We release the paperback first, with the teaser that the Kindle version is coming soon (usually within two weeks). Kindle formatting may take longer, depending upon the number of photos, charts, headers, special fonts, and other characteristics of the paperback.

Congratulations, Your Book Published on Your Desired Date – Now What?

You move into the fun marketing phase. If your particular package includes online interviews, social media set-up and training, and a book signing kit I’ll set those up for you. But no matter which package you select, I encourage you to have fun engaging with your audience in cyberspace and in person.

Publication Date

To reiterate the above, the time to make changes to your book is while it is in the editing phase. When you approve final edits, the manuscript goes into the capable hands of a professional formatter whose job is to focus on the appearance of the content, not the content itself. Once you approve the formatting, we hit the “approve” button on the date that matches your desired publication date.

Why?

The date we click the approve button is the publication date. It cannot be changed. If you want your pub date to be March 14, 2017, we must approve it anytime after midnight on that date. From that point, it will go live on Amazon within 24 hours.

Post-Publication Rules

Once your book is for sale on Amazon (and everywhere books are sold online), it’s time to market and promote. It is not the time to pull the book down to make yet another editorial adjustment.

Can it be done? Yes. Do I advise it? Absolutely not. Refer back to Step 4.

Sure, a year or two after your book is out, you may want to update it. I did that myself with Water Signs — years after it was published, because I wanted to make improvements to the cover design and dialogue.

Ready to tell your story? Contact me for your complimentary 30-minute consultation.

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Formatting Versus Editing

Formatting Versus Editing

Why explain formatting versus editing?

Aside from ghostwriting, I offer all-inclusive publishing packages that include (among other services) professional formatting and editing.

What is the difference between the two?

According to Dictionary.com, book formatting is defined as 1. the shape and size of a book as determined by the number of times the original sheet has been folded to form the leave; and 2.the general physical appearance of a book, magazine, or newspaper, such as typeface, paper, margins, etc.

 

An example of paperback formatting.

Professional formatting pertains to the creation of the interior of a book after it has been edited for content, consistency, punctuation, grammar, spelling and typos. Depending on the publishing package you choose, you can count on me to correct any issues with grammar, punctuation, and spelling. But whether or not your package includes an editorial assessment (focusing on logical flow and progression of content), your manuscript will undergo multiple layers of editing.

From there, I send the manuscript back you with the request to carefully review and inform me of any further editorial changes. This is a critical part of the process and should not be rushed, no matter how excited you, the author, may be to bring your book to the online marketplace. At best, I recommend taking two-to-three days to ensure complete satisfaction with the content. Because I approach editing in a collaborative fashion and involve my author-client every step of the way, typically there are few, if any, changes. However, if the client wishes to alter anything having to do with items including word choices, dialogue, quotes, etc., it must be done before the formatting process begins.

An example of Kindle formatting.

An example of Kindle formatting.

Once in formatting, the only changes to the manuscript should involve things like fonts, justification, consistent chapter title set-up (e.g. does each chapter begin in the middle of a page?), table of content alignment, boldface or regular type, placement of photos and the like.

When a book is in the formatting phase, I can no longer add new content. Yes, if for some reason, a word gets misspelled in the process, I correct it. If a few sentences of a paragraph accidentally get cut out, I’ll re-insert them. But the time to decide you want to write another chapter or paragraph; add more names of people to your dedication or acknowledgements pages; throw in a new quote from another source; or change anything related to the actual content is while that manuscript is still in the editing phase.

Major General Linda L. Singh says she’s learning “to go slow to go fast” in life. With respect to editing, this is sage advice. By tempering your eagerness to publish your book and taking as much time as you need in the editing process, you can expect a smooth, efficient formatting phase, resulting in a professionally produced book you can be proud of.

Need help with indie publishing? Contact me to set up your free, no-obligation consultation.

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