So You Want to Write a Book: Part 3
If you haven’t noticed from all the excerpts we’re posting from You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works, I’ve finally come to the end of my book writing and publishing process.
Hopefully, you’ve already read “So You Want to Write a Book: Part 1” all about the writing process and “So You Want to Write a Book: Part 2” diving deeper into publishing and editing. So today, I’m giving you the inside scoop on some of the tiny secrets and tidbits that you would never know about the publishing industry unless you’d been through this process.
If you ever decide to write a book, these tiny tidbits won’t seem so tiny anymore.
- Layout, layout, layout, layout, and more layout. Once the full book had been laid out by my publishing company, I just assumed it would be easy to immediately transfer that layout to iBook, Nook, and Kindle. Nope! Layout has to be done multiple times for multiple different formats, and all of those formats must painstakingly be approved by the author and the publisher all the way through the process. When you think you’re done, you’re not done! Ask your publisher up front about all the different layouts that will need to be done, and craft a separate timeline for each of them.
- Everything takes time, and everything costs money. The beauty of today’s publishing process and the phenomena of “print on demand” is that if you make a change to your book today, they will immediately be added to the books ordered tomorrow because most books are printed as they’re ordered rather than sitting in a warehouse for months at a time. The thing you need to know here, though, is that every single change you make costs money and takes time. So be aware that you should get your book as close to perfect as possible and not rely on the ability to make changes later
- Perfect to you isn’t perfect to someone else. Whether it’s a book, an article, or something as small as a Tweet, you know that your writing is your baby! But no matter how much you pay a publisher or an editor, they will never be as dedicated to the project as you are. You have to be wiling to advocate for yourself and for your version of perfection! Don’t back down!
- Covers count! It might seem like a small thing, but you can’t just get any old book cover. And any old graphic designer doesn’t know how to design the cover of a book. It’s very different than designing a postcard, as it has to be considered how the book will look in print, on an iPad, and in thumbnail when shopping on sites like Amazon.com and others. Take the time to find a graphic designer who specializes in book design and has a portfolio to show you.
- You’re going to want to give away your book. Try not to! With 200 books sitting in my closet (that I paid for, of course), it’s tempting to give one away to anyone who is talking about networking or having trouble in their job search. But that money adds up quickly over time. Do your best to point people in the direction of your website to buy the book rather than constantly giving it away. It will be tough, but necessary.
- You will always make more money by selling the book yourself or on your publisher’s site than you will on Amazon or any other bookseller. If you’re self-publishing, don’t skip the option of having your publisher direct sell and ship your book. It could make you twice or three times as much per book as Amazon or Barnes & Noble do!
Hopefully these tips have been helpful and you’ll take them to heart if you ever decide to go through the tedious task of publishing. It’s incredibly rewarding, but daunting at the same time.