Do you keep thinking that maybe you should turn your ideas, approach or accumulated tips into a book?
You can see lots of people have done it. Maybe you got as far as doing some research into ebooks.
But you weren’t sure how to go ahead. Or it was a bit scary, so you put it on the ‘maybe someday’ pile and busied yourself with other things. Maybe a part-finished book is hidden on your computer somewhere.
Or perhaps you need an informed perspective on how to tell people about your book, or getting a cover design that fits your book and will work well.
I can help you get past these obstacles by showing you the steps to take and supplying a customised combination of hand-holding and bottom-kicking.
I can’t write the book for you! But if you can do that part it’s really not that hard to go from there to getting it out in the world.
The self-publishing explosion
Today we’ve got options that enable thousands of authors to make their work available without going through a traditional publisher. (For some people a publisher is the right option, if they can get a deal, but I’m assuming that you want to get your ideas out with minimum friction.)
Ebooks are downloadable from stores like Kindle, iBooks and Kobo. They’re a simple ‘reflowable’ text format – like a continuous scroll rather than pages, with the reader setting font and text size to suit them. People mostly read ebooks on portable devices like e-readers, tablets and phones. Because it’s an electronic product, the length of the book doesn’t matter – it could be just a few pages, as long as it gives people useful content.
PDF downloads. Some people call these ebooks too. That’s not strictly ‘wrong’, but it is confusing, so I try to avoid it. Of course those are also a good way to get info to people, and if you would like help with them please get in touch.
Print on demand (PoD) technology lets you have physical books without investing in a big prin run that sits in your garage. You supply the files to the PoD service, and when someone orders the book – even a single copy – it’s printed and sent to them. That includes ordering copies for yourself at cost, so once you have your book set up you can have it on tables at events. Quality-wise, ordinary readers won’t notice a difference between PoD and traditional print.
The value of a book
It’s important to have realistic expectations. If you’re publishing non-fiction and you’re not well known, your online sales will probably be very low. That might change if you have a topic that really grabs people, or a community of enthusiastic supporters, or you have marketing flair or persistence.
However, books are valuable for adding to your brand and reputation – especially if there’s a ‘thought leadership’ component to your work. If you’re about getting ideas out there, people kind of expect you to have set them down and made them available. And, of course, to most people writing and publishing a book is outside their experience and has an aura of magic.
Some people use print books as long-form business cards, giving them away when they meet someone who seems genuinely interested in them and their work. It brings that contact closer to buying services, or at least spreading the word about your ideas.
How I can help
I’ve been self-publishing books for over a decade. Mostly it’s been in the tabletop roleplaying games hobby (which might not interest you, but it’s still about producing attractive, usable artefacts in electronic and print formats). More recently I’ve made the ebooks featured on this site. Here’s a pic of some of them.
I’m good at explaining techy bits so normal people can understand them, and picking up on what you need to get you through the process. We can chat by Skype, phone or email as appropriate.
The goal is that you own your ebook or PoD account, and end up with your book set up and ready for you to do whatever you want to do, like ordering copies or making changes in the future. Oh, and if you want proofreading I’m rather good at that.
If that sounds like it’ll move you forward with your message, drop me an email giving an idea of what you need help with and we’ll go from there.
“I consider myself to be reasonably tech-savvy, but when it came to formatting and uploading my book to the Kindle store on Amazon I hit resistance. I probably could have figured it out eventually but I didn’t have the time or the inclination, so I turned to Tim to help me out.
I was really impressed by the way he walked me through the process and held my hand during each step, answering every question big or small with clarity and precision. He has considerable experience in publishing books electronically and in print, and I am definitely going to bring him in when I create a print version.
My ebook would probably still be sitting on my laptop without Tim’s help and encouragement!”
Beverley Glick, story archaeologist