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Bare Bones Publishing For Beginner Indie Authors, With Sacha Black And Orna Ross: Foundational Self-Publishing Podcast

Bare Bones Publishing for Beginner Indie Authors, With Sacha Black and Orna Ross: Foundational Self-Publishing Podcast

Orna Ross and Sacha Black outline bare bones basics of book publishing and promotion. Yes, in an ideal world you hire a professional editor, cover designer, and marketing assistant. In reality, when starting out, most indie authors find both time and money are in short supply. So what’s essential, and what can you skip for now?

Tune in to find out the minimum that an aspiring indie author must have in place to satisfy their readers—and the government.

Dartfrog BooksThis podcast is brought to you by specialist sponsor Dartfrog Books. ALLi Partner Member DartFrog Books provides indie authors with opportunities for bookstore placement and promotion to more than 27,000 book clubs. Their self-publishing, hybrid,  traditional, and single-service publishing platforms are designed to engage authors of all types, at every stage of their journey. We’d like to thank Dartfrog for their support of this podcast.

And, if you haven’t already, we invite you to join our organization and become a self-publishing ally. You can do that at http://allianceindependentauthors.org.

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On the #AskALLi #podcast, @OrnaRoss and [email protected]_black outline the bare bones basics of book production and promotion. What's essential and what can you skip for now? Click To Tweet

About the Hosts

Orna Ross writes and publishes historical fiction, inspirational poetry and nonfiction guides for authors. She is director of the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Sacha Black is a bestselling and competition-winning author of YA fantasy novels and non-fiction books that help writers develop their craft–and the blog editor at ALLi’s Self-Publishing Advice Center.

Read the Transcript: Bare Bones Publishing

Orna Ross: Hello and welcome to the Alliance of Independent Author’s Self-Publishing Advice podcast. This is our foundational stream for beginner self-publishers. I’m here with Sacha Black, as always. Hi, Sacha.

Sacha Black: Hello, good evening.

Orna Ross: You’re looking very fetching, I have to say, this evening. Very nice shade of lipstick.

Sacha Black: Thanks. It’s only because I’m trying to cover up my very red cheeks, because I’ve just got in from training.

Orna Ross: It works, it works.

Sacha Black: Distract from the cheeks.

Orna Ross: So, today we’re going to be talking about what we’re calling “bare bones” publishing for beginner indie authors. And the idea of this podcast, essentially, is there’s an ideal way to do things, if you can, and when we set up a business there are also some things we want to be able to do, but then there’s reality, time, and money, and lots of other things are in limited supply, and some of us are working day jobs when we start out, and all sorts of other things going on.

So, we were having the conversation about what would be the absolute bare minimum that would allow somebody to get up, get started, get running with their publishing, without having to overinvest at this point in time. And then knowing that you could build on that as time goes on.

So, that’s our topic for this evening.

What’s new on the ALLi blog?

But before we get to that, we also like to take a look at the ALLi blog, what’s going on over there, because Sacha, of course, is editor on blog, and also little bit about what she’s up to in her publishing.

So, what’s going on for you?

Sacha Black: Okay. So, on the blog today, we had a post about that wide focus again that we do love in ALLi, looking at alternative sales outlets. So, there’s lots of outlets that are looking at smaller markets across the world, different types of platforms where you can sell your books, alongside some case studies from members as well.

And then, I don’t quite remember the week order, but in the last month, since our last podcast, we’ve also had a really cracking post from Debbie, who used to manage the blog, who wrote about finishing a series, and got a ton of really awesome quotes from members as well, looking at all of the different ways, there were stacks of ideas. I came away with stacks of ideas about different things that I can do with my series, how to end it, whether or not you end and then you can go back and extend, and things like that. So, that was really good.

And then in amongst that lot, there was also one on finding followers and fans, which was super helpful as well.

So yeah, that’s, what’s been on the blog.

Orna Ross: Lots going on there, as always. And these, of course, are our Monday posts, which tend to be in-depth, big posts, sometimes 2000-3000 words, and always that 2000 words, that’s our minimum, 2000 words, sometimes 3000, sometimes even more. They are ultimate guides, really, to that particular topic that we run on Mondays.

Of course, we’ve also got our Twitter chat on Tuesday, news on Wednesday, and occasional posts from our watchdog desk on Thursdays, and lots of other things going on. So, there is almost always something new on the blog, almost daily at selfpublishingadvice.org.

So, tell us a little bit about what you’ve been publishing.

Sacha Black: So, I have just finished formatting a reader magnet for my fiction readers. So, I just really had to change my mindset around short fiction. I’d, sort of, convinced myself that I couldn’t do it, and I absolutely can do it. So, I’ve had that back from the editor, and I finished formatting that today. So, I’m going to launch that at the beginning of June.

And then I am in the throes of doing the final bits of editing on my next non-fiction book, which is Eight Steps to Side Characters. I’m very excited for that. How about you?

Orna Ross: Fantastic. Yes. Well, I’ve just finished Creative Self-Publishing, the eBook version. I’m getting some feedback on that, and we’ll do a final version for print, shortly, with an index. So, great to have that out there at last, and people who have been following for a while know that it’s taken a while and, but my attempt to do a really comprehensive, in-depth look at all the different topics of self-publishing and, of course, it’s dedicated to ALLi members, and it’s really packed with all sorts of stuff from the team, yourself included, and a lot of our member’s advice.

So, yeah, that’s that one. And now finishing the planners that accompany that, so needs that to be able to finish the planners, which have also been hanging around for a long time. So, that should be finished by the end of the month, hopefully.

What is bare bones publishing?

So, let’s get to our topic today, which as I said is foundational, a look at bare bones publishing.

We’re going to go through the seven stages of the publishing process, and look at each of these, what is, kind of, bare bones in each stage and phase of the process. But the first thing I wanted to say was that, no matter how little time or money you have, when you are starting off as a self-publishing author, you are going into business. Sometimes when we’re starting off, we don’t realize that.

So, the ideal, would be, you know, businesses invest up front. If you were opening a cafe, you would have to borrow the money that is necessary to have tables and chairs. As authors, we don’t need to do that, but the ideal for an author business would be probably to budget for two years ahead, or three books ahead, and work out the living expenses it would take for that time and work out the functioning expenses. That would be the ideal. But what would bare bones be, do you think?

Sacha Black: Well, I was just going to say, I think you have to work out what your goal is, because some people are publishing just because they want a published book and aren’t necessarily publishing to create a career out of it. However, it is still a business. So, I think there is just that bit of separation. And then obviously, there’s the people who want to do this full-time and as a career, and of course they are going into business.

In terms of bare bones, I think everybody gets very worked up about assuming you have to pour loads of money, and that money is the thing that you invest. And yes, to a certain extent you can invest lots and lots of money, but there are also other ways around it if you don’t have money.

So, I a hundred percent deeply believe that everything that you publish should be to a professional standard, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay money. So for example, if you network and you make friends with other people then you can exchange skills. So, let’s say you’re a really good proofer, you pick up comma mistakes, or capital letter mistakes, or whatever, then you can exchange your skills for somebody who perhaps is a professional cover designer in the day, and loves to moonlight as a writer in the evening. And in that case, you’re exchanging skills and time, rather than spending and investing upfront money.

Whatever happens, at bare bones, you are going to have to invest something. A decision you have to make as a publisher, as an author, as a marketer is, do you want to invest money and throw money at the problem? Do you want to invest time? Do you want to invest your skills?

We don’t have to be rigidly stuck to assuming it’s going to cost us three grand in editing and two grand in covers and blah, blah, blah. That’s just not the case. And I think lots of people come to this worrying that they are going to have to find a massive lump sum.

I do want to impress the fact that you should be publishing to a professional standard, but that doesn’t mean it has to cost you a bazillion bucks to do it.

Orna Ross: So, keep expenses low, I think. Starting out as low as you possibly can. Try not to borrow probably, if possible, but do if you feel you’re going to get a return on investment. So, the time to borrow is when you’ve actually tested something, not just borrowing for the sake of it.

So, yeah, and that bartering is all important.

Sacha Black: I was just going to say, on the borrowing front, because we are such a low investment startup, I always think it’s dangerous, and this is just my personal opinion, I always feel it’s dangerous to borrow money to start. But when you look at any other business, that is pretty much what they have to do to get business loans from the bank or from wherever. The one thing that I would say is, if you are intending on borrowing the money, then don’t just quit your job. If you’re going to borrow, make sure you have a mechanism to pay back that money that isn’t necessarily from book royalties, make sure you have a different income stream that is guaranteed, because otherwise you can get into trouble. But we are not financial accountants, we are not tax people, this is just personal, hard, school of knocks lessons.

Orna Ross: Yes. And on the borrowing, I think one of the difficulties with this particular business is that very often, you don’t know what works until you try. So, you’re always convinced that something is going to yield a return and it doesn’t, and then something completely takes you by surprise over here.

The problem if you borrow is that you can borrow for the wrong things, and very often it takes a while to learn. It’s not like setting up a business, say if you have skills and experience, and a track record in that business, you’re beginning self-publishing, you don’t have a clue, because it’s very much a learning by doing kind of thing.

So, the time to borrow is probably when you’re two years in and you know exactly what’s going to yield a good result.

Sacha Black: Or if you’re advertising and you’re getting a return on your investment, and therefore you want to scale up and you have empirical data showing you that, if you continue to scale, you will continue to see a return on your investment. That is also the prime time to think about borrowing money. I know a few people who’ve done that and really coined in the money, but they had the data to prove that they were going to make a return on their investment.

Orna Ross: You’ve got the books under your belt, and the ads, because it very seldom happens that somebody just does a winning ad from straight off, but advertising (inaudible) learning your reader and so on.

Okay, so let’s be a little bit more specific, unless there’s something else you want to say on the general front?

Bare Bones Publishing Mindsets

Sacha Black: No, I was going to say that’s not the only mindset thing though. So, what other mindset things are bare bones?

Orna Ross: Well, I think from ALLi’s point of view, we would say to stick to the principle of non-exclusivity.   So, particularly when starting out, just realizing that putting all your efforts into one outlet is not a good business practice. Again, we’re assuming that people who are listening here want to ultimately make a living from their writing, that’s the core of our membership. So, the ideal would be to publish as widely as possible and as deeply as possible. So, as many outlets as you can, and as many formats as you can, that’s the ideal, but again, time and money being precious at the beginning, the bare bones may not be that. While holding the principle of non-exclusivity in mind, you may do less at the beginning than you would ideally.

Sacha Black: Yeah. So, using an aggregator, for example, which means you’re still wide, but you don’t necessarily do a me and have 5,000 platforms every time you change something in the backmatter that you have to upload to.

Orna Ross: Exactly. And then the other mindset, sorry, I think you were going to say something there again, but there seems to be a little drag on the line tonight.

Sacha Black: So, I think it’s having an open mind to learning from putting into action, taking action, being okay with making mistakes.

So, for example, on the second nonfiction book I published, I uploaded the wrong file to the pre-order, which then promptly locked and published. I published the wrong book, and it was horrific. And I learned a very good lesson about triple, quadruple checking, all files before you hit upload, and opening the previewer to double check you’ve done the right thing. So, it’s embracing that lesson. It was so painful at the time, and I was mortified, and there were quite a few hundred books that had gone out that were wrong. But I learned the lesson, and took it on the chin, and actually I turned it into a piece of content in the end, because I had something to share with people.

So, I think it’s that openness to accepting that things are going to go wrong the first time or the second time, or even, you know, stuff still goes wrong now, because this is complicated and there are lots of different boxes you have to tick, and things you have to change, and prices you have to look at, and all this stuff.

So, it’s just that reassurance to say to anybody who’s beginning at this that it’s okay if you make mistakes, even seasoned pros still make mistakes. And the wonderful thing about being indie is you can fix it, really quick. So, nothing is irreversible, nothing at all is irreversible. I ended up contacting Amazon, and within 48 hours they had pushed out the correct file to the people who had pre-ordered. So, I was mortified, but actually I learned a lesson, I’ve taken that as a positive, I’ve never made the same mistake again! So, I think there is something around lesson learning and being okay with mistakes.

Orna Ross: Absolutely. And as you say, we all make them. Joanna Penn, and I did a whole show recently on all our mistakes, all the things we did wrong, even Joanna Penn. So, yes, thanks for sharing that. That’s really, really important.

And I think the other thing, at the beginning, that’s really important to hold on to is, you are going to want to move faster than you are able to move. There’s never enough time, because you’re learning as you’re making those mistakes. They are inevitable, because you’re learning three really complex processes at the same time, writing, publishing and running a business, each of which needs different skills.

So, while your ideal would be to have 24 hours of writing and publishing every day in a quiet, dedicated space, and all the time and money you needed, that’s the ideal, but it’s not going to happen. Bare bones publishing means take every time block that you can, take those mistakes, don’t waste creative energy on kicking yourself or whatever, keep moving forward.

Bare bones publishing is all about recognizing the imperfection while not letting it stop you putting productivity ahead of perfectionism and just getting stuff out there.

Sacha Black: And the other thing, with the time blocking, if it’s possible, batch your tasks by type of task. I know this won’t suit everybody, but I find that if I have a whole bunch of scheduling, or I have social media images that need creating for review quotes, but tips quotes as well, and then just promotional images, rather than doing one on a Wednesday and one on Saturday, I just batch them all into one time block because they’re all the same type of task. I find that reduces the overwhelm, the launch overwhelm, because I’m crossing off an entire section, an entire type of launch work in one go. I seem to then punk through the launch tasks faster than I do when I’m just like a big chaotic mushroom. Mushroom? Whatever. You know what I mean.

Orna Ross: I do. Everybody has their different ways, and finding out what yours are is a matter of experimentation and exploration. So, you may be convinced that, for example, as you were talking about at the beginning, I was convinced I couldn’t do short stories, and there, I did it and now I can.

So, not being too wedded to having to have particular things in place, but trying lots of different ways of doing things until you settle on a way that works for you. You’ll have loads of people telling you what works for them and swearing by something that has worked well for them; they share that with the best of intentions, but sometimes that’s not what’s right for you. There’s only one way to find out. So, doing everything in that spirit of experimentation and exploration, I think, is really important, especially at the beginning.

Bare Bones Publishing: Editing

So, let’s look at some specifics. What about editorial, I mean, that’s one of the biggest expenses, timewise and money-wise, and it’s the one that all the beginners want to skip. Everybody, when they’re starting out, doesn’t want to get an editor. The more experienced you are as a writer, I think the more you value editors, there are exceptions but it’s the general rule. So, what’s bare bones for an editor, do you think?

Sacha Black: It’s really difficult, isn’t it? Because if this is your first book, then realistically you do need a developmental edit. Whether you like it or not, you don’t know everything about writing and therefore you will learn something from a developmental edit.

However, developmental edits are notoriously expensive, and not everybody is in the privileged position to be able to afford it. So, really, I don’t think anybody can get away with publishing without professional standard feedback, professional standard editing. That doesn’t necessarily mean, like we said at the beginning, that you’re paying thousands of pounds for it, you could beg, borrow and steal from friends or network in the industry, or you can have a collective of people proofing for you.

So, for example, I have mine professionally edited, but then I don’t pay for a proofer. I get my arc team to do the proofing for me, and usually there’s only about 20 mistakes left by the time it gets to my advanced reader team.

So, I only have to make a handful of changes at that point, but it’s gone through multiple rounds of self-edits. It’s gone through critique partners who are professional writers, peers, who have given feedback, and sometimes that feedback looks more like a developmental edit, and sometimes it looks more like factual, line level, copy type edit. It just depends on where you are in the process. I’ve run it through ProWritingAid. That’s another form of editing, this one by a computer, and that is considerably less than a paid editor, but then I go and give it to a professional editor. And then after that I have my advance team proof for me.

So, I’ve lost count of how many different rounds of editing that is, but it’s a lot of rounds of editing. So, not all of those are paid edits, but it is a collective that by the end of all of those different rounds of editing, it is a professionally level edited book.

So, in terms of very bare, if you don’t have critique partners, you can’t afford a developmental edit, I think at the very least you can do is a proof, because it’s the cheapest form of editing, but in my humblest of humble opinions, please give your book to another writer, or author, or professional peer too, to give feedback on.

I don’t know how you feel about that, Orna?

Orna Ross: I do. I think that’s bare bones. To get outsiders eyes, the less of a track record they have professionally, then the more opinions you need. So, if the beta read is by readers, you need lots and lots. If it’s somebody who’s a well published writer, who has been in your niche and has been through this many, many times, then you don’t need as many of those.

If it’s a professional, developmental editor, one developmental edit will do. If you’re not able to afford the professional developmental edit, then get a variety of opinions and input as bare bones.

I would also say, leave time between your final draft and getting your editorial done, and your own self editing will be better, you will read it more as an outsider if you’re less attached to it.

And I think a proofreading at the end, by a qualified proofreader, not your aunt Margie who’s a stickler for punctuation, but somebody who actually has a qualification in proofreading, because proofreading isn’t as easy as it looks.

That actually sounds like an awful lot, but that is actually a bare bones, I think.

Sacha Black: One other a tip, make sure that you read your book proof, your physical proof, because when you spend so long reading it on a screen, it’s a totally different experience, and you will find that you, no matter how many times it’s been checked, you will pick up things in the physical proof.

So, that is always my very last line of defense is to read my own book, physically, one last time, even though it’s super painful, because I’ve read it 75,000 times.

Orna Ross: The other thing you can do is get the text reader to actually read it for you and listen back to that while you’re proofing, particularly some of us are more alert to our own mistakes than others, but none of us is particularly alert, your eyes just skim over things that you’ve created and mistakes you’ve created yourself. You don’t see them.

We’re spending a lot of time on editorial folks, but that’s because editorial is probably the single most important and most time expensive and money expensive thing you’ll have to do in the whole process of publishing.

Sacha Black: Yeah, one other thing just on editing, if you are intending on more crowd-sourcing your editing than paying professional editors, it’s also really important to bear in mind what English people speak. So, are they British English speakers? Are they American English speakers? Canadian English speakers? Because everybody has different systems, and so you may find that you’re getting conflicting editorial advice, and that’s another reason for paying a professional editor, because they will be able to edit in the correct English, or other language i.e. if you are Spanish; European Spanish versus Brazilian Spanish, or whatever it is that you’re writing in.

Orna Ross: Yes, they have a consistency thing, and they will work to Chicago manual of style, or whatever. This is the way in which somebody who may be good at picking up on the mistakes isn’t necessarily giving you the consistency that a professional editor would give you.

Bare Bones Publishing: Book Cover Design

Sacha Black: Yeah, design?

Orna Ross: Well, ideally again, if we just talk about the ideal first of all, ideally you hire a professional book designer who has experience in your genre and your niche and knows exactly what kinds of books sell in your world.

But I think bare bones means that, for people who cannot afford to do that, to get a one-off exclusive design from a professional, there is the pre-made option, where you can actually and purchase a premade by designers. It’s considerably cheaper, usually about quarter to half the price, and it is yours. It’s individual, it’s not something that turns up again and again, but because it’s pre-made by the designer, it doesn’t have as much author input into it. It’s a cheaper option.

And then, of course, there’s all always the skill-swapping, bartering of skills that we were talking about earlier on. That’s also an option if you do know somebody, but I would stress that it’s not your local designer or a graphic designer in some other field, book design is a very specialist thing, and people need to know how to do book design. Anything to add there?

Sacha Black: No, just don’t do it on Canva yourself.

You can get a pre-made for $50, or some even cheaper than that. So yeah, just don’t do it yourself.

Orna Ross: Unless you’ve got the skills, of course. I do know some authors who have managed to do it successfully, but I also look at lots and lots of indie published books where authors have done it themselves and their cover’s really letting their book down and they don’t realize it. So, don’t be that author.

Bare Bones Publishing: Book Production

Okay. So, production then, what’s ideal for production in your mind, Sacha?

Sacha Black: Well, this is an interesting one. So, by production, do you mean the formatting, the physical creation of it? Okay. So for me, this is really interesting because up until a few years ago, I would’ve said, pay somebody to format your book, but actually there are now lots and lots of free, or cheaper over the course of your career, options. So, Vellum is a piece of software that’s $250 or whatever it is, which is then yours for life. So, you only have to publish two, I would say, books, and you’ve already made your money back, because professional formatting can start from probably a $100-$150 upwards.

But then there are also very professional free templates. So, I really think this one is a bootstrapping version, one of the seven processes. This of all of them you could bootstrap, because Reedsy and Draft2Digital do these fantastic free templates where you can actually just drop your texts into, you can add to little images for the top of the chapters or whatever, and they create wonderful eBooks.

So, there is no reason really to pay for formatting, unless you want something snazzy and different, some black pages or fancy things and tables and illustrations and all that kind of stuff. And if you do want to have those fancy things in, or if, for example, you’re a children’s book author, and you’ve got to have your professionally (inaudible), and your photoshops and your illustrators, then fine. But actually, of all of the processes, I think this one is the easiest to get free templates.

So the point is, I read, and this is controversial, I read an eBook the other day from a nonfiction author, indie non-fictional author, who is very well known, and I was very disappointed because I was reading it on my Kindle and it would jump from one section, not even to a new section, and the font sizes were all different, the headers were all different, and I just couldn’t believe that in this day and age, there were still books that were not formatted to a professional standard. And I’ll tell you what, it really put me off, because I was like, it’s so easy to make a professional looking interior of your eBook, and it’s just lazy not to, to be perfectly honest, and don’t treat your readers like that. So, that’s my rant over.

Orna Ross: Okay, thank you for that.

I think the other important thing to say about production is, ideally, you’ll do lots of formats. You’ll do eBook, you’ll do your POD version, you can now do POD in hardback, large print, as well as a paperback. You may also do a consignment print run for your own use, for marketing and promotion, because it’s cheaper. And then, of course, there are audiobooks. Now, each of these gets more expensive as you go up the line. You don’t have to do them all at the beginning. Bare bones publishing is probably limiting yourself to eBook until you make some money and then you can invest in print and audio, the other formats. So, have a think about that, because sometimes people assume they have to do print and you don’t, not if you’re doing the barebones, if that’s what you want to do.

Bare Bones Publishing: Book Distribution

Okay. So, the next publishing process is distribution. So, ideally again, we mentioned this one already, I think, earlier, ideally you would upload directly to the big five, which would be Amazon KDP, Apple. Google play, Kobo and IngramSpark, but if you’re doing bare bones, you might use just one aggregator like Draft2Digital, or PublishDrive or StreetLib, and just do eBook only through those, and you will reach a lot of outlets with your book, and you can get used to marketing and promotion then on the eBook, before you invest a lot of time and energy into lots of different formats on lots of different outlets.

Anything to add to that? It’s pretty straightforward.

Sacha Black: I think it is.

Bare Bones Publishing: Book Marketing

Orna Ross: Okay. So, what about marketing then? What’s ideal or first of all?

Sacha Black: I think it depends on which book you are publishing, because if it’s your first book, you can get away with doing a lot less. I think once you get to book three, you then have much more of an opportunity to get a return on your investment. So, assuming you are intending on making a career out of this, you’d need a website or landing page, some way for readers to contact you, reach you, find out about you. You need some kind of a plan, how are you going to market your books? And one thing on that, it’s not just about launch date. It’s not just about launch week. That plan should include smaller, repeat marketing efforts for the long term, for a month after, for three months after, for six months after, because there will always be new people finding your book and therefore, it will always be like launch day to those new readers, even if it’s not launch day for you.

For me personally, I think in this day and age, the thing that is absolute bare bones is a mailing list.

We are independent. The whole point is to be independent and therefore creating your own mailing list, and there are free options. MailChimp for example, is free for the first 2000 subscribers, so there’s no excuse for not having a mailing list and collecting readers, and so I suppose, in that train of thought as well, then you probably need a reader magnet, because otherwise you’re not likely to get signups. So, that would be bare bones, but again, you can create a reader magnet for free. So, those would be bare bones.

Orna Ross: Yeah. So, from a marketing perspective, what you’re trying to do is think long term, set up a funnel, create your reader magnet, have a mailing list, have a sign-up form on your website, have your own website, have your own domain. Make sure you own your own little corner of the internet. Don’t set up a Facebook page or whatever as your landing page, do invest that small amount of money that it takes to own your own thing and to build up over time.

So, I think this comes back to the mindset thing of thinking long-term while doing immediately just what can be done, and a little something all the time, think of marketing as little and often rather than a huge, big thing that you have to do at launch time and then it doesn’t happen again. That is the trade publishing model, because in trade publishing your book only gets six to 12 weeks on the shelf, and it only gets that time period to sell. Whereas, in digital publishing, the backlist, as Sacha said, when a reader meets a book, it’s new to them and you can keep putting your energy behind it continuously.

So, that brings us into promotion really, doesn’t it? A kind of slow burn promotion all the time is the ideal. That you’ve got a newsletter promo going on, you’ve got ads going in a cycle, or you’ve got a giveaway cycle, or whatever. But bare bones might be just organic use of social media for now, just trying to bring people to that mailing list of yours, or even just letting it lie until you have a bit more stock and not investing in promotion until, as Sacha said, you get to book three.

Sorry, we keep tripping over each other tonight, there’s a slight drag on the line.

Bare Bones Publishing: Rights Licensing and Management

Okay. So, our final, I think you were going to say, is rights licensing and management, and this is something you don’t need to worry about at the beginning. But again, there’s a mindset around rights, and the most important thing with rights is that you don’t hire a service where you inadvertently lose your rights, transfer your rights, or sign your rights over to somebody, and then you can’t actually do your rights licensing and management when the time comes and you’re and you’re seeing some success.

So, I think that’s all you need to think about in relation to that. Do you have anything to add on that one?

Sacha Black: Nope.

Orna Ross: Okay. If you are interested in knowing more about rights, you can take a look at our indie author rights guide. We also have guides to each of these sections, we’ve only been able to skim the top of it here during this podcast, but as members of ALLi, you just need to download, go to the guidebooks page in the member zone on download the guidebook that is relevant for the phase and stage that you are at, and we’re constantly adding to those guides now.

If you’re not a member, you can find them at selfpublishingadvice.org/shop.

There’s the blog as well. If you want to key into the blog, at any time, the search term for the particular process that you’re in, or stage that you’re at, or whatever your challenge is, if you just use the search function there to key in, it really is good in terms of bringing you back all the different articles that we’ve done on that particular topic over the years.

So, that is bare bones publishing for beginners. Hopefully that was useful to you. Any last words, Sacha?

Sacha Black: I don’t think so. Enjoy. Enjoy publishing and writing.

Orna Ross: Yes, absolutely. Happy writing and happy publishing.

And I see your chair got a mention, your throne got a mention in the comments.

So, I’m going to leave us with a comment from Bernice, which is, I think, around design. There are different types of covers with designers, which is often missed, an illustrated cover would cost more. Yes, the designer may commission an illustrator to do it, but asking a designer to source a photo or supply a photo is less expensive once copyright is cleared.

So thank you, Bernice, for that comment. I think Bernice does work with indies and is a designer herself.

Whoops! Someone else loving the throne. Okay, we better get out of here before the throne gets a big head.

So thank you all being with us this evening. Happy writing and happy publishing. We’ll see you next week for self-publishing poetry advice.

Until then, bye, bye.

 

Howard Lovy

Howard Lovy has been a journalist for more than 30 years, and now amplifies the voices of independent author-publishers and works with authors as a developmental editor. Howard is also a freelance writer specializing in Jewish issues whose work appears regularly in Publishers Weekly, the Jewish Daily Forward, and Longreads.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Thanks Orna & Sacha I’m now able to spend more time on getting the business up and running and prefer to keep costs down while I’m learning the process. And was wondering what steps needed to get “Buddha Blues” my novel novel ready for publication. Tony

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