Sunday, May 31, 2015

Preparing to Publish

My book Grace in the Gray Areas is almost ready to print.  Yeah!

There are so many things to do in the course of self-publishing it.  First, pick a subtitle:  Thriving in Life’s Paradoxes.  Next, engage a designer to put the pages into pdfs and design a front and back cover.  I was lucky one of my Writer Mom network buddies referred me to a great designer, Brenda Hawkes.  Thanks for everything, Brenda!

I needed a publishing company name and came up with Lake Tree Press.  A design had to be done for that, too. Whoops! By having checks come to Lake Tree Press for books sold through the distributor, IngramSpark, I realized I needed to open a checking account in that name. A hassle and expense I hadn’t thought of.

 I had to obtain an ISBN number and an LOC (Library of Congress) number.  I had postcards made to hand out to people when I wasn’t carrying around copies of my book, telling them the book will be available on amazon.com and Barnes and Noble (bn.com).  Also had new business cards designed and printed.  I’ll be updating my website, graceinthegrayareas.com. 

Thanks to my small focus group of friends and relatives who helped with choosing a subtitle and a publishing company name, and helped select the best from among four covers Brenda designed, any of which would have been terrific. 

Still to do—the really hard work—marketing!  Four kind friends have offered to hold book parties for me.  I’m going to try and do a reading at at least one local public library.  Review copies will go out to local media.  I’ll push the book on my social media.  A mass email will go out to my network of contacts.  And on and on.  It’s a lot of work but I’ve been led to understand that these days even if you are being published by a big publisher rather than self-publishing, you are still expected to do your own marketing. 

I’m very excited, of course, and it’s a bit scary.  It’s really putting myself out there, I told my son.  Wise young man, he replied, “But you’ve already been putting yourself out there with the Washington Woman column and your blog.”  Still, there’s something about a book. 

The bottom line is that I’m proud of the book; it’s a selection of the best of my writing and it fulfills my life’s purpose: to share the universality of human experience and to connect people so we know that we are not alone. If it makes you laugh or cry or feel a warm fuzzy feeling, too, well, all the better.


Stay tuned…