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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The Writestream: All About Editing

The Writestream: All About Editing

Join me on Wednesday, June 21 at 11 AM Eastern when I’ll discuss all things related to editing on The Writestream:

What is collaborative editing? An editorial assessment? Basic editing? Why does Writestream Publishing include editing in every package?

Writestream Radio and Publishing co-founder Daria Anne answers these and all questions pertaining to the editing process on The Writestream on Wednesday, June 21 at 11 AM Eastern.

Whether you have a full manuscript sitting in your computer or just a few handwritten notes, this episode will explain the editing process and what you can expect when you hire a professional to help you. During the broadcast, dial in with your questions at (347) 945-7246 and press “1” to let Daria Anne know you would like to get on the air.

Check out the following blog posts on Writestream Publishing for more:

Adventures in Editing: He Said, She Said

Adventures in Editing: Exclamation Points

How to Revise and Edit Your Own Writing

See you on Wednesday, June 21 at 11 AM Eastern!

UPDATE: Missed the live show? Click to listen.

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Congratulations, Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz!

Last year, I edited Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz’s incredible memoir, Getting to Heaven by Going Through Hell, which details his physical and spiritual recovery in the aftermath of a horrific crash caused by a drunk driver. Yesterday, he posted an update on his Facebook Author Page, which included a link to this excellent review in Readers Favorite.com:

11063544_887025864672232_6982750384450871627_nIn an extremely inspirational and wonderful read by Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz, Getting to Heaven By Going Through Hell is a book that readers will not easily forget. Follow the true life story of Scot as he recovers from the effects of a horrific car accident caused by a drunk driver. Recounting his experiences with anger, despair, and addiction to pain medications after the accident had left his body mangled and his spirit shattered, this story is highly personal and emotional. When God finally breaks through to him, even in his very darkest times, the story takes a dramatic and wonderful turn, one that will keep readers rapidly turning the pages until they get to the very satisfying ending.

I loved Getting to Heaven By Going Through Hell. Loved. It. How’s that for a review? Author Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz has done a wonderful job in writing an extremely private story in such a way that offers hope and healing for many. This book brought tears to my eyes, not once or twice, but many times. It is written in a highly engaging manner and readers will find themselves loath to take a break from it. I am so pleased to highly recommend this book to any reader looking for an inspirational true story with a strong Christian focus. I wish the very best to author Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz and hope that he will consider writing another book in the very near future. If it’s anything like this one, it will certainly be a must-read!

I’ve worked with multiple authors in ghostwriting and editing (as is the case here) on both fiction and nonfiction. Getting to Heaven by Going Through Hell has been my most inspirational by far. It reminded me that amid tragedy, there is hope; amid pain and sorrow, there are always earth angels ready to assist; and that seemingly terrible events do occur for a good reason. Dr. Scot and his family are exceptional people who have recognized the gift they’d been given and demonstrate appreciation to God by passing along the kindness they received at their lowest point to others.

If you need a lift, purchase Getting to Heaven by Going Through Hell on Amazon today.

Note: Cover Design by Kia Heavey.

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