Quotations, Excerpt, and Questions
These are a few quotes from the book:
On the “Publishize” Approach to Self-Publishing:
The “Publishize” approach to self-publishing that I write about in this book differs from the traditional self-publishing methods you find in classic books by Dan Poynter and Tom and Marilyn Ross. Although these books are great, they often don’t take into account huge advances in printing technology.
These days a savvy self-publisher can get good distribution with less upfront cost than at any time in the past. Thanks to a company called Lightning Source, you can self-publish a book, avoid the stigma of going through a subsidy (or “vanity”) press, and produce and ship books only when they are ordered.
Although many other printers use the same type of short-run digital printing technology to print books only when are ordered, no other company has the distribution advantage Lightning Source does.
When I’ve been asked to “take a look” at a flagging book project someone is struggling to complete, invariably the first thing I ask the author is “who do you want to read this?” If your book seems stalled, consider again, “who exactly is going to read it?” I’m constantly amazed at how few people actually consider their audience before they start writing.
Focusing on your reader will help you create a more useful book, and the writing process will be far easier. Don’t just stop at basics like, “women will read my book.” Visualize your reader and think about what he or she needs to know about your topic.
On Selecting an Editor:
Many new book authors and writers seem to have an unrealistic view of their writing skills. As someone who has worked in publishing for a lot of years, I believe that I can safely make the following assertion:
Everyone—and I mean everyone—needs an editor.
Like I said, I’ve been paid good money to edit books for other people, and yet I know that even I need an editor. You need one too. (Really!)
Once you have taken this truth to heart, your next question is probably, “okay, where can I find a good editor?” The answer depends on the type of editing you need. As you get into the publishing and editorial world, you’ll discover that different types of editors exist. The editor you need depends on where you are in the writing process.
On Book Covers:
The old saying that you “can’t judge a book by its cover” could not possibly be more wrong. Next to the title, the cover is probably the most important part of the book. You can write the most fantastic prose for the interior, but if the cover is incredibly ugly, people won’t pick up or buy the book, so they’ll never find out how fantastic your prose is.
Some people make the argument that if you are selling only online, the cover doesn’t matter, but I disagree.
On Book Web Sites:
Ideally, you should put up your book Web site before you have even published your book. Unfortunately, many people don’t plan ahead, and when faced with “the Web site problem,” they just throw a page with a book cover online and think that will cause people to buy their book. It’s not that easy.
A Web site that successfully sells books needs to include a number of elements that appeal to the various people who are likely to visit the site. Potential customers are one group of people you hope will stop by, so you need sales information for them. However, unlike a pure “sales page” site, a book site must also have information for the press. Because reviews, articles, and other public relations activities are a key way to sell books, your site must have information that makes it extremely easy for the press to write or talk about you.
Use this link to download a PDF file that contains the table of contents and 5 pages of the first chapter (87K).
Suggested Media Questions for Susan Daffron
Here are a few sample interview questions, based on the content of the book:
1. There is a lot of controversy out there about whether to go through a traditional publisher or self publish your own book. What is your take on the subject?
2. There is a huge amount of confusion regarding “POD publishers” and “self-publishing” companies. Can you explain why you recommend against using these companies in the book?
3. What are the most important elements of a book that self-publishers need to consider to produce a professional product?
4. What tasks should self-publishers outsource?
5. What are some of the costs involved in self-publishing a book?
6. What are the key elements of a book Web site?