Preparations for self-publishing

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WilliamMJones
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Preparations for self-publishing

Post by WilliamMJones » March 30th, 2013, 5:07 pm

Hi Nathan.

Not sure you remember me with all the people you probably meet, but I queried you a few years ago. I took a break to work on college and just do some writing for fun and practice. Now I've recently started a new project, and think I'm going to look into self-publishing. It's not something I was considering before, which means I get to start researching a whole new topic. Yay.

So, I hope you don't mind I have more than one question. The first is, what can a college student without much of a budget or the ability to travel do to get noticed before the book is done? I've started a blog, and have about 400 followers on a different writing site, but I'm not sure where to go from there. I believe I'm right in saying I should drum up interest now, rather than waiting for it to be written, rewritten, edited and published.

Second, are there any accepted guidelines for pricing? I'm not looking to make much money from this, I just want to get my name out there and my writing into people's hands, and maybe a little extra pocket change.

And finally, do you have any advice about posting work online? If I were looking to traditional publishing, I might put the first chapter up, if that, but since I'm not looking to become rich and famous, would it be better to put more of it up and let my writing speak for itself?

Thanks.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Preparations for self-publishing

Post by Nathan Bransford » March 31st, 2013, 8:16 pm

WilliamMJones wrote:Hi Nathan.

Not sure you remember me with all the people you probably meet, but I queried you a few years ago. I took a break to work on college and just do some writing for fun and practice. Now I've recently started a new project, and think I'm going to look into self-publishing. It's not something I was considering before, which means I get to start researching a whole new topic. Yay.

So, I hope you don't mind I have more than one question. The first is, what can a college student without much of a budget or the ability to travel do to get noticed before the book is done? I've started a blog, and have about 400 followers on a different writing site, but I'm not sure where to go from there. I believe I'm right in saying I should drum up interest now, rather than waiting for it to be written, rewritten, edited and published.

Second, are there any accepted guidelines for pricing? I'm not looking to make much money from this, I just want to get my name out there and my writing into people's hands, and maybe a little extra pocket change.

And finally, do you have any advice about posting work online? If I were looking to traditional publishing, I might put the first chapter up, if that, but since I'm not looking to become rich and famous, would it be better to put more of it up and let my writing speak for itself?

Thanks.
1) In terms of all book promotions, I think the important thing is to do whatever you're best at and most enjoy doing. There's a wide range of things you can do, everything from in-store events, social media, reaching out to booksellers, etc., but you'll get the most bang for the buck if you do what you feel you're good at.

2) I haven't reached this stage of research for my self-publishing project. I hope to have more info on this as time goes on.

3) Here's my general advice on that:
On the all-important matter of how much work to post online -- I think it's fine to post some work. However, I would be very, very, very careful about posting excerpts from a novel you want to publish. If you can control the material and the amount you are posting is limited to a chapter or two and you can pull the work from the Internet at any time, I don't think there's necessarily a problem (but again, there are varying opinions about this).

But be exceedingly, ridiculously, copiously careful when you allow excerpts of your novel to be published in journals and/or elsewhere -- not necessarily because of the risk someone stealing your work (that's extremely rare) but rather because you might be tying up the rights. As always, know what you sign!
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