The mission of Publishing Simplified is to make independent (self) publishing as simple as possible by presenting useful information and valuable tools based entirely on first-hand experience publishing over forty print and ebooks.
By taking advantage of that extensive experience and developing simple methods to write and publish books and ebooks Bill Benitez has written several books on self publishing, created easy to use publishing tools, and posts as often as possible on this blog to help you do the same. Your questions and are always welcome. Please visit regularly and participate regularly as all aspects of the writing and publishing process are discussed. Thanks.
For those who want all the details on publishing books or ebooks in one compact, concise, and comprehensive package, Bill’s books, How-To Independently Publish Print Books With No Investment and Independent Publishing of Ebooks, contain complete instructions, precise screenshots, and links to help you write, publish and distribute your book or ebook worldwide. Get complete information on these valuable books at: http://booksfor.publishingsimplified.com/ .
Bill’s latest tools are geared to make the creation of Kindle books easy and inexpensive. The two listed below are available now.
Easy Kindle Formatting Kit – The kit includes an easy to use and modify template so you can have control over the final appearance of your ebook and a detailed set of instructions for use with the template or to create your own original file. That’s right, using these instructions you can create your own template to use as often as you choose. Check it out now at http://easykindleformattingkit.com/ .
Easy Kindle Covers – A great, attention getting cover is critical to the success of your Kindle ebook. You can pay a lot for a good cover but now you can save money while still selecting a quality cover from Easy Kindle Covers.
It’s a simple and inexpensive four step process and you pay nothing until you’re satisfied with the cover. Check it out at http://easykindlecovers.com/
Please email email@example.com with question or comments.
Free Self Publishing Workshop on Wednesday, September 27th, 6 to 9 p.m. at Sententia Vera Cultural Hub, 4002 E. Hwy 290 in Dripping Springs, TX! Bill Benitez of Positive Imaging, LLC, independent publisher of over forty books and ebooks, will answer all your publishing questions. Q and A and Workshop is free with no obligation or pressure to purchase anything. Details at http://workshop.publishingsimplified.com/ , firstname.lastname@example.org , or Call Bill at 512-217-4803.
In 2009, during that sad economy, I wrote and published “The Handyman’s Guide To Profit” and it’s still a popular book. Times have changed and the economy has improved significantly. Unemployment is much lower but there are still many that are unemployed and underemployed so I have revised the guide and lowered the price. If you have basic home repair skills and have ever considered the benefits of self employment in any economy check out the 2017 Revised Edition of “The Handyman’s Guide To Profit” at http://handyman-business-guide.com/ . Thanks.
Word is an excellent tool for writing and creating the final files for self publishing, but many authors don’t take the time to learn even the basics of using this great software. As a publisher, I get manuscripts full of needless multiple formatting with tabs and single spaces that create problems for final formatting. On more than one occasion I’ve had to clear all the formatting so that I could begin again with clean text. One was so problematic that I copied the entire manuscript and pasted into Notepad to wipe all formatting. Then I copied and pasted it onto a new Word file. I suggest using Normal Style for writing and leave the formatting for after all the editing is complete, especially if you aren’t doing the formatting.
Reading books, blogs, and websites about self publishing reveal a long list of excellent tools you can use to create the files needed to self publish a book or ebook. I use three tools for publishing my books and those of other authors.
My main tool is Microsoft Word which I always use to create my original manuscript. For the Kindle version or Smashwords version, this is the basic tool I need to create the final file for upload and publication. Used correctly, Word will produce excellent results. You can also create your print books with Word, but I prefer a publishing software for this purpose.
For my print version, I prefer to use PagePlus, an excellent desktop publishing software that I began using in 2007. The first version I used was X4, and I am now using X9. Even though there have been improvements with each new version, for print books PagePlusX4, X5, X6, and X7 are perfectly adequate and can be purchased from Amazon.com inexpensively. Serif is a British company, and they are now into a new software called Affinity, and they are selling PagePlusX9 as a legacy application for only 19.99 British Pounds which is $25.74, a great bargain. I may try their Affinity product at some future date, but for now, I’m fine with PagePlusX9.
The third tool, Adobe Photoshop, I use to create covers and manage other images. There are other options including Serif PhotoPlus, which is now available at bargain prices, and GIMP available free. Questions, email@example.com .
Working on completing the publishing of a new and fascinating Christian book by David L. Mundine of Milam County, Texas. “Behind The Glass Door” will move you. Learn more about it or buy a prepublication copy at http://behindtheglassdoor.billspositivebooks.com.
To write Behind The Glass Door David Mundine had to overcome the fear of putting himself out there for possible ridicule and humiliation.
Now, after years of resistance, he bravely shares all the details of the visions and other deeply moving experiences of his life. It’s a journey from which all of us can learn and gain inspiration.
Sometimes even giving something free doesn’t work! At least it seemed that way on Saturday when no one showed up for my free self publishing workshop, My best guess is that most people come to bookstores to find books to read not to learn how to write and publish books. Anyway, the Half Price Books staff was great and they have a fascinating bookstore and low prices. As to the workshop, it’s back to the drawing board. Maybe I will do one online and maybe I’ll just keep publishing books for others. http://publishing.positive-imaging.com .
This is a topic with varying opinions and I’m not going to cover them all. Instead I’ll just describe the tools I use to prepare my books for publication as print books or ebooks.
My favorite software for print books is Serif PagePlus. At present I’m using version X9 but I have used versions dating back to X4 with success and you can save a lot by purchasing one of the older versions from Amazon. When using PagePlus I create a file for all the front pages and then a separate file for each chapter. Then I create a book file for the entire book. Each chapter is then listed in the book file and a pdf can be completed from the book file.
I have used PagePlus since 2008 and it’s always delivered great pdf documents ready to upload to my printer which is Createspace. There are many other companies that work with self publishers but the service from Createspace has been consistently first rate. Createspace makes it easy to get your book published and distributed worldwide without any fees. You just pay for each book you order as proofs, for book signings, submission to the Library of Congress, etc. Once your book is published it automatically goes into Amazon and they create a fulfillment estore for you. It’s a good, solid system.
To format ebooks I used Microsoft Word because it’s what I have but I’m sure you can use other software programs. It’s easy to format a book even with photos or drawings and there are many instruction books and tutorials to help. I normally upload my ebooks to Kindle because it’s such a large market, however there are other options. One that I like a lot is Smashwords. You can upload your formatted book to them and they will distribute it to many other resellers including iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc.
For more information about publishing your own books check out http://booksfor.publishingsimplified.com/ or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-217-4803
ISBN is a critical part of publishing a book. The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric book identifier that is assigned to every book to be sold commercially. And, it’s assigned to every edition or variation of a book. For example, if you will be publishing an ebook and paperback version, each one would have a different ISBN.
ISBNs are normally 10 digits or 13 digits. The 10 and 13 digit ISBN are the same except for a 3 digit prefix normally 978 or 979. ISBNs are critical because no commercial reseller will handle a book without it. ISBNs are country specific and in the United States they are issues by R. R. Bowker.
ISBNs can be costly if purchased individually but much less costly if purchased in quantity. Purchasing a single ISBN from R. R. Bowker can cost $125. You can purchase 10 for $250. I purchased 100 for $575, only $5.75 each. They are even less expensive in larger quantities.
For more information about ISBN go to https://www.myidentifiers.com/. Contact me with any questions. Thanks.
Another step in publishing a book is to determine if it will be an ebook or a print book. I believe the best decision is to do both. Today most self published authors publish ebooks because it seems simpler and much less costly. If you know the steps involved it’s not really simpler and the cost is only more after the book is published.
Some still believe that print books are dead, replaced by digital ebooks in various versions but that’s untrue. Print books are alive and well and experiencing somewhat of a resurgence. I always publish both ebooks and print versions of my books and those of other authors. Usually I create the manuscript for the ebook version because the Word document is perfect for either Kindle or Smashwords. Then I use the manuscript to copy and paste into my publishing software.
While there are many options for publishing software, and you can use Word for this purpose, I prefer to use Serif PagePlus. I started using version X4 and am now on X9 and it’s still my favorite.
For those interested in self publishing or as I call it, independent publishing, I’ve written two books and you can check them out at http://booksfor.publishingsimplified.com/. Contact me at email@example.com with any questions. Thanks.
There are many ways to design a book and many opinions on what looks best and what’s right and wrong. I always try to keep things as simple as possible and work to make the interior of the book look good while still being easy to read.
When I published my first book I had little experience in design so I decided the best way to learn was to go to a local bookstore and study books on the shelf. I looked at many genres and learned that it was difficult to find two book alike. Design seemed to be a matter of choice and opinion. I advanced my research to finding the designs that I really liked and then I studied how I could improve them and make them mine.
One of the things I noticed and found troubling was that many books had quite narrow margins next to the spine of the book. This made the book difficult to read plus you almost had to damage the spine to read comfortably. The second thing I noticed was that some fonts were much too small. The only reason I see for the tiny font is reducing the number of pages. Within reason this may work but if the font gets too small to read comfortably it’s not a good idea.
I even saw several books where the design involved a very narrow margin at the spine but a large and generous margin at the outside edge. This may be considered an attractive design but I didn’t care for it and have never used it on any of my books.
My method is to allow adequate white space, a large enough font, and sufficient room at the spine to make the book comfortable to read.
As to fonts, there are plenty of design articles to provide information for a good choice. If in doubt I would format several pages with different fonts and then print them and select the one that seems best.
There is much more to learn about design and you might even consider hiring a book designer if you are unsure how to proceed.