VP offers advice on self-publishing books

Thanks to advanced technology, an independent or “Indie” revolution is transforming the publishing world. The Indie publishing revolution enables anyone to easily publish a book.

For under $1,000, the I-have-a-book-in-me people and the many others with manuscripts gathering dust in a closet can make their dreams a reality. Within weeks, anyone can have a professionally designed book, retain all rights, enjoy distribution at major online booksellers, and have their book ordered through any bookstore.

“Unlike just a few years ago when select ‘gatekeepers’ at traditional publishing houses determined which books would be released to the marketplace, anyone can easily publish his or her book these days,” said Keith Ogorek, vice president of marketing at Author Solutions, whose imprints include AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford and Xlibris. “And there are few things as rewarding as holding your own book in your hands.”

Though many people believe they’ve penned the next great novel, a self-published book can also become a multifaceted tool for other great things, such as spreading the word about a worthy cause or social issue.

Reg Green for example, turned to writing to raise awareness of organ donation after his son was murdered and his son’s organs saved the lives of seven people. He published “The Gift That Heals” through AuthorHouse and has sold tens of thousands of copies, according to Ogorek.

A book can also be a business-marketing tool. Consultant Stacey Hanke used her book as a business card and means to enhance her credibility. “Yes You Can! Everything You Need From A to Z to Influence Others to Take Action,” published through AuthorHouse, helped Hanke attract new clients and provides leverage when she markets for the presentations and seminars she holds.

A book can further be a later-in-life career option, as in the case of Bernice and Andy Tate. Married for nearly 40 years, the Tates created Storybooks-4-Kids, an independent publishing project that features themes of multiculturalism and diversity for children. With the help AuthorHouse, they’ve published four children’s books and established a viable business.

Finally, a book can be your shot at the big time. An agent thought Lisa Genova was crazy to self-publish her novel “Still Alice.” Traditional publishers, she was told, would never touch her book if it were independently published. “Still Alice,” released through iUniverse, was picked up by Simon & Schuster and became a New York Times bestseller.

“People from 10-years-old to age 90 are turning to Indie publishing,” Ogorek said. “Baby Boomers in particular are writing and publishing books more than ever. The average age of an Author Solutions’ author is 55 to 56.”

Ogorek offered these five tips to help new writers get started:

  1. Set a date you want for holding a finished copy of your book. Choose a significant day such as your 50th birthday, etc.
  2. Make writing part of your daily routine. Find an ideal interruption-free time. Are you a late-night writer or an early riser?
  3. Make yourself accountable to someone for finishing your book. Designate someone who will hold you to your goal — a friend, family member or someone familiar with the process.
  4. Have a plan for promoting your book once it’s finished. Consider all your options — publisher marketing support, self-promotion or outside help. Think of creative and fun things you can do to spread the word, and devise a plan to enjoy the ride of your book’s release.
  5. Plan an event to celebrate the book’s completion. For many authors, writing and publishing a book is one of the greatest accomplishments of their lives. Throw a launch party at your home for friends and family. Give out copies of your book to those who’ve inspired you.

“When it’s finished, it’s more than a book, it’s part of your legacy,” Ogorek said. “Take a few moments to pat yourself on the back and enjoy your achievement.”
On a related note

The Publishers and Writers of San Diego led by Jennifer Redmond from Sunbelt Books will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 30 at the Encinitas County Library, 540 Cornish, to discuss book distributors. Admission is $10-$15. Reserve a seat at

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