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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Perils of Self Publishing-Part I

When I started writing my book, Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row, I had no idea that I was creating a monster. Writing and re-writing the story was the easy part. What happened when I finished it came as big surprise. The first thing I learned was that, in general, agents do not want to hear from you. They are only interested in promoting authors they already represent. Many do not even give you the courtesy of a reply to letters or emails asking them to take on your book. Most will direct you to a web page with submission requirements, and these will vary wildly. After wasting several months looking for an agent to no avail, I decided to self publish. The problem with that process is that if you don't have the money to pay for expensive services that most print on demand publishers offer, you are stuck with doing all of those things for yourself. My solution? Publish on or I settled on CreateSpace, as I was only required to purchase one copy: a proof. That would solve my minimal finances problem. After going through numerous file structure changes that were necessary to upload the files, I had a real copy of my work in my hands, but it was flawed. I had somehow uploaded the same chapter twice. With the proof in hand, we, my Darling Judy and I, scoured the pages for other problems and found lots of them. Re-editing the entire book for redundancies, poorly worded passages, and grammatical errors took us to the point where we were ready to upload the changes. Confident that we had corrected all of the problems, we ordered several copies of the proof to give away. The strategy we used for doing this is in the next installment.

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