Just started publishing a monthly letter called The Publishing Simplified Letter. Each month I will share details about the steps I take to publish books for myself and others. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you on the list. Thanks.
Author Archives: bill
Barbara Frances will be reading from her book Like I Used To Dance and signing copies this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the SV Cultural Hub. The address is 4002 E. Hwy 290 in Dripping Springs, TX. Read about Like I Used To Dance at http://likeiusedtodance.com .
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/ , email@example.com , 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, firstname.lastname@example.org .
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.
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.
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