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Page numbers are done…

page-numbers

 

We all have to start somewhere… and while I wouldn’t suggest starting with the page numbers – at least it’s a START!

If you are like most people, you have a book inside you that is longing, yearning to come out!

Make a START!  Write an outline – write a possible heading – write SOMETHING!

One step at a time – that’s all it takes – and before you know it, if you keep taking those one step after one step actions, your book will be done!

Sometimes we need to start somewhere and even if it’s only page numbers – START!

If you need any help or support, just reach out and say hello…

Until next time…

Leigh

Your Coach, Leigh St John

info@guaranteedauthor.com

7 Reasons Why Most Authors Fail

Now that the Self Publishing Podcast is almost 2 years old (old enough to drink and sell sexual favors, in podcast years), we’re beginning to notice some definite trends. We focused on a lot of the things that work in our self publishing bookWrite. Publish. Repeat, but it’s time to turn things around and bum everybody out.

Knowing what doesn’t work is just as important, because we all have defense mechanisms that let us justify tons of stupid crap.

Time to tip that sanctimonius cow over.

“I’m not doing what the guys suggest in Write. Publish. Repeat because I have my own ways but am obeying the same principles,” you may be saying, “so why am I not getting anywhere?”

Well, are you doing any of what follows in addition to all that “different but still correct” stuff? Because if you are, then Houston, you definitely have a problem.

Here the biggest reasons that self-publishers fail.

1. Not Starting

Let’s start with the most obvious one. It kills me even to include it, but there are actually people out there saying you can be a writer without writing, so I feel the need to step up and lob that idiot ball back into the idiot court.

InertiaIf you do not write, you are not a writer.

That’s all there is to it. I can’t believe there is feel-good bullshit out there claiming that writing can be “within” you and that you can go around, wear a beret, and claim to be a writer even if you’ve written nothing.

Oh, those words are inside you? They’reincubating? Well, whoopity fucking doo for you! Good luck with spreading your ideas. Good luck getting sales. Good luck paying rent. Good luck getting your spouse or significant others to support you in spending time away from grunt work to do it.

Most people don’t put metaphorical pen to paper because they’re afraid. I get it. We’ve all been there. We’re not bashing you for being afraid — afraid of failing, afraid of being judged harshly, afraid that everyone will laugh at you. We understand that fear, but the only way to be a writer — especially a successful one — is to get past the fear and start. Your sweating ridicule, though understandable, is probably exaggerated. In most cases, nobody is paying attention to whether you succeed or fail. 

If you write, you’re a writer. You’ve started. Excellent job. Now do more, and pour in the hours to do it better.

2. Not Finishing

This one should also be obvious, but we see it all the time. In these cases, writers aren’t surprised that they’re not successful, but are incredibly frustrated. We understand. Before joining the podcast, I couldn’t finish a second book. Before meeting Sean, Dave hadn’t finished his first. The phenomenon of the writer with great ideas but no clue where to take her story is all too familiar.

But take heart. The toughest nuts crack if you just keep trying. We also hope our upcoming Kickstarter project Fiction Unboxed will show a few frustrated “can’t finish” writers a few tricks by opening up every detail of exactly how Sean and I make the donuts.

Sometimes, though, it’s not a matter of not knowing how. Most cases of writer’s block, in our opinion, can be easily reduced to simple fear. Again, we understand. Once you finish your book, you must either publish it or confess to your fear. Once published, everyone will be able to read the language of your soul … and, in a few cases, criticize it.

You must push past this. Don’t worry about making your book perfect, because it never can be. Make it professional (see the next section) and get a good edit and generally make it as clean as you possibly can, but don’t sweat the story over and over and over at the expense of shipping. Sean has said on the podcast, “perfect is the enemy of done.” And it’s true. Don’t be perfect. In most cases, it’s best to be finished.

If you must use a pen name because you’re so terrified that what you’ve written is terrible, do that. But you have to ship it. You can’t move on until you do.

Finish, then finish more.

Keep moving, and improving.

3. Treating Publishing Like … Continue reading here:  http://selfpublishingpodcast.com/7-reasons-why-most-authors-fail/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-reasons-why-most-authors-fail

Writing and Publishing a Book – Step # 7

Step #  7 – Marketing and Promoting Your Book

You made it!!!  You are OFFICIALLY an AUTHOR!

By now, if you’ve followed these steps, your book is not only written, it’s listed for sale on Amazon.com!

Now the next step is to market and promote your book…

That’s a whole other subject that could take a multitude of posts to cover…

For now, let’s just stick to making sure you maximize your income potential by also signing up as an Amazon Affiliate/Associate at https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/

From there you not only gain royalties from CreateSpace and Amazon, you also get commission as an Amazon Associate.

There are SO many avenues available to you to promote your book – that I’m sure you can find online – and I won’t insult your intelligence by providing yet another list here…

What I will say is that if you are passionate about your book and would like our personal coaching, we would love to talk with you…

What you have to say MATTERS!

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Don’t die with your music still inside you. Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul.”

Contact me…

If you need more information or would like personal coaching, please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation.

Writing and Publishing a Book – Step # 6

Step #  6 – Submit to CreateSpace and Approve Sample

WOW!  You have made it to the point of submission!

Bear in mind, what we are discussing here is self-publishing through CreateSpace and selling your book on Amazon.com.

There are many other avenues to get published, this is just one…

…AND you’ve made it this far!!!

Now, let’s submit your work, get a sample to approve and then get you published as a REAL author!!!

First, you will need to create an account with createspace.com and submit your manuscript and cover artwork, and select the ‘market on Amazon.com’ option.

Second, they will send you a sample of your book (for which you will need to pay a negligible amount) to approve before your book goes into production.

Action Item:

As Nike says … Just do it!

Contact me…

If you need more information or would like personal coaching, please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation.

Writing and Publishing a Book – Step # 5

Step #  5 – Design Your Cover and Back-Cover Synopsis

OK…  So by now you have a fully formatted manuscript – WELL DONE!

Now, we have two MAJOR steps…

Writing your back page synopsis and designing your cover.

Back Cover Synopsis

As for the synopsis, this is CRUCIAL as many people will buy (or not buy) based one what you write here…

Here is a basic formula:

  • Who is the protagonist?
  • What’s the problem?
  • What is the protagonist’s goal?
  • How are they going to achieve that goal?
  • What’s in the way?
While this may take you a while, and you will need to fine tune this many, many, many, times until it is succinct and grabs a potential reader’s attention, this step is a MUST to get right!

Cover Artwork

Now (unless you are a graphics whizz) we need to enlist the services of an expert to design your cover – and to publish your book on Amazon.com, we use createspace.com.

If you would like to use our ‘Graphics Whizz’, go to http://writingandpublishingmybook.com/let-us-do-it-for-you/ for more information.

Here is the next step to Create a Cover PDF for your Book

Calculate the spine width of your book

The spine width is based on the number of pages in your book:

For black and white-interior books:
White paper: multiply page count by 0.002252
Cream paper: multiply page count by 0.0025

Example of spine width calculation for a 60-page black and white book printed on white paper: 60 x 0.002252 = 0.135″
For color-interior books:
Multiply page count by 0.002347

Example of spine width calculation for a 60-page color book: 60 x 0.002347 = 0.141″
Set up your document

Your cover must be a single PDF that includes the back cover, spine, and front cover as one image.

You can submit your cover on any size page as long as the printable area is:

Measured exactly to your book’s trim size, spine width, and at least .125″ bleed
Centered horizontally and vertically
Minimum Cover Width: Bleed + Back Cover Trim Size + Spine Width + Front Cover Trim Size + Bleed

Example calculation at 6″ x 9″ cover with 60 B&W pages on white paper: 0.125″ + 6″ + 0.141″ + 6″ + .125″ = 12.391″
Minimum Cover Height: Bleed + Book Height Trim Size + Bleed

Example calculation: 6″ x 9″: 0.125″ + 9″ + .125″ = 9.25″
Get a head start with one of our cover templates:
Our templates make it easier for you to quickly create print-ready files in Adobe Photoshop®, Adobe InDesign®, or any software that will allow you to open a .png or PDF file and save a PDF file. These templates contain the proper dimensions, layout, and bleed for the trim size and page count you select.

Safe Zone

Text and images must be at least .125″ inside the trim lines to ensure that no live elements are cut during the bookmaking process.

Title and Author Name
Your book’s title and the author’s name must appear on the cover exactly as it was entered during the title setup process.

Images
Images may be CMYK or RGB color. All images should be sized at 100%, flattened to one layer and placed in your document at a minimum resolution of 300 DPI.

The spine of your book
Every book will vary slightly when bound. Allow for 0.0625″ variance on either side of the fold lines for your cover. For example, if your spine width is 1″, your text should be no wider than 0.875″. Because of this variance, avoid hard edges or lines that end on the fold line.

For books with a page count of less than 130 pages, we strongly recommend a blank spine. Blank spines are required for books with a page count of fewer than 100 pages.

Barcode
When your files go through the review process, the system will place your ISBN barcode in a 2″ by 1.2″ white box in the lower right-hand corner of your book’s back cover. The standard trim size templates will show you exact barcode placement.

Images or text in the barcode location will be covered when the book is printed. Make sure no important elements appear where the barcode will be placed.

If you choose to provide and place your own barcode, be sure it is a high-resolution image.

Prepare for Printing

The printable area of your document must be the right size, including bleed.
Make sure the printable area is centered within your document.
Make sure all live elements are inside the safe zone.
Export your file as a print-ready PDF. Be sure fonts are embedded.
The maximum accepted file size for your book cover is 40 MB.

Action Items:

BACK-COVER SYNOPSIS:  Write – and rewrite – and rewrite – your back cover synopsis to the point where you are proud of it!

COVER ARTWORK:  This is going to be the thing people see (or don’t see) so it needs to effectively represent you and your work…  Don’t stop until it is just what you want it to be…

Contact me…

If you need more information or would like personal coaching, please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation.

Writing and Publishing a Book – Step # 4

 

Step # 4 – Edit & Format Contents, including Copyright page

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

You now have a first draft on which to work!  Well done!!!  You are further than 98% of ‘wanna-be’ writers.

Now, you need to take every element of self-esteem you have and take a deep breath…

…have you done that?  Seriously?

This is perhaps one of the most challenging this you have ever done…

You are about to send your un-edited baby out in the world – and more than that, you are about to ask the world to tell you everything they can find that’s WRONG with your baby!

…and this is a GOOD thing!  Trust me…

You WANT feedback – positive or negative – you want feedback.

This is the stage where you create a copyright page (for examples, just look at any book in your library shelves) – and apart from the ISBN, you are at the point of creating your copyright page and editing the entire manuscript ready for publication.

…and if you can’t afford (or don’t want) a professional editor, your support team are perhaps your next best go-to people.

FIRST:

Read through your manuscript and correct any glaring errors, typos etc.

SECOND:

Create a copyright page

THIRD:

Format your manuscript to LOOK the way you want it to look.  In other words, if you want the end result to be a 6″ x 9″ book, then

a)  Change your page size in your word processor to be 6×9

b) Make sure the font is one you like and is the size you want

c) Ensure the page breaks are where you want them to be

…etc…

FOURTH:

(if you don’t have a professional editor) Send your manuscript to your three best critics and ask them to review it (and tell them you will love and respect them no matter what they say – and mean it!)

FIFTH:

Take all comments and criticisms on board, and edit your baby to the point where you are exceptionally proud of what you have created.

SIXTH:

Have someone you trust beyond measure to review your final (edited) work and give it the thumbs up – and remember, we are not after ego-boosts here – if they still find issues, you need to decide whether those issues need to be addressed…

SEVENTH:

You now have a finished, formatted manuscript!

…scary, I know!!!  But you DID IT!!!

Action Item:

Have a glass of wine…  You deserve it!

Contact me…

If you need more information or would like personal coaching, please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation.

 

Writing and Publishing a Book – Step # 3

 

Step # 3 – Write the Contents / ‘guts’ of your book

By now you will have your working title, your ideas mapped out into your outline, and a general table of contents to work to as a guide.

Now you need CONTENT!

Now you actually need to WRITE!

You DO have something within you that you want to express or you wouldn’t be reading this post nor this website in the first place.

TRUST in yourself…

YOU have something to say…

So SAY it!

The greatest critics and people who will stop you at this point are YOU and your support team.  Yes, you read correctly…  Your support team at this point are perhaps your greatest obstacle.

Why?

Because they want the best for you – and what you are creating at this moment is not your BEST – it’s your first draft.

Protect it, love it, give it life…

That’s your ONLY job during this step…

Get it OUT of you…

Don’t second-guess yourself…

Just WRITE…

Use your index cards as your guide re what to write and when and where it goes…

…and just WRITE..!

Action Item:

WRITE!

Contact me…

If you need more information or would like personal coaching, please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation.

 

Writing and Publishing a Book – Step # 2

Step # 2 – Map our your Contents and Structure

By now you have come up with your title – or at least a working title – for your book.

Next, let’s look at what you are putting into your book and how you want to structure the contents.

Structure of “365 Days of Inspiration”

In the instance of the “365 Days of Inspiration” I’m compiling, the contents are one page per day with an inspirational quote on each page, and space for the reader to write their general thoughts.

I’m also including a “what happened on this day” note for the reader to consider what someone else experienced on that particular day in history.

As this is a ‘guided journal’, each page will also include some questions to prompt and/or challenge the reader.

Contents of “365 Days of Inspiration”

At this moment, the contents of the book I’m compiling will simply be the months and days of the year.

Your book will no doubt be more complicated and it will take more work to decide on your structure and the general outline of the contents – however just think of this like mapping out a story-board.

Tip:

One strategy that I use a lot is to write each idea or concept on a separate index card and then lay them out and arrange them in various orders until they both make sense in that order – and that it just ‘feels’ right!

Action Item:

Take a stack of index cards and write a separate idea or concept for your book on each card until you have covered every idea that you will include in your book.

Then place them out on a table (or on the carpet if there are too many to fit on the table!) and re-arrange them to your heart’s content until you get them to tell the story of your book.

Contact me…

If you need more information or would like personal coaching, please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation.

Writing and Publishing a Book – Step # 1

Step # 1 – Decide on a Title

Hi and welcome!

OK, the first step in creating what will be a very simple inspirational journal is to decide what to call it.

In this case, we’ve decided to go with “365 Days of Inspiration” – which also helps with the format of the book, being a journal for one year.

While this step seems simple enough (and in this case I’m cheating ~ a client has asked me to create a book with this name that they can give away as a free ebook), creating a dynamic, catchy title that people will want to buy is often a daunting, frustrating experience.

Here’s a simple book-title formula I love presented by Jeff Goins in his website goinswriter.com:

Number or Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise

Example: Take the subject “bathing elephants.” You could write an article entitled, “How to Bath an Elephant” or “Why I Love Bathing Elephants.”

Or you could apply this formula and make it: “18 Unbelievable Ways You Can Bathe an Elephant Indoors”

Another (more serious) example: Take a bold promise like “selling your house in a day.”

Apply the formula and you get: “How You Can Effortlessly Sell Your Home in Less than 24 Hours”.

Action Item:

Decide on a title – or at least a working title – for YOUR book!

Contact me…

If you need more information or would like personal coaching, please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation.