This is an ongoing series about BigAl’s first experience writing a book. Join him as he flies by the seat of his pants and figures things out as he goes. For a more complete explanation about the book and this series of posts, you can read the series introduction here.
In this installment I’m going attempt to formulate a to-do list of items unrelated to writing the book which I’ll need to accomplish with some preliminary thoughts, plans, and decisions. Some need to be done sooner than others, but the order of the list is random.
Decide on a Title
Kat will tell you that titles aren’t my strong suit. Sometimes I’ll put a place holder, “Some Clever Title Kat Will Come Up With,” on my posts, knowing she’ll glom onto the perfect title and would have suggested changing the snoozer I’d chosen anyway. (Surely you didn’t think I came up with Love’s Savage Post on my own.) I thought someone must have written a post about this for IU, but the closest I could come were these thoughts on titles from Laurie Boris which weren’t very helpful at all. At least for the moment I’ll continue calling it The Book, but need something better. Possibly a title more descriptive of the content.
I’m sure I’ll handle the higher-end editing functions using beta readers. How I’m going to approach accomplishing the copyediting function, shaking out grammatical errors, typos, unclear thoughts, and applying needed polish at the micro level, I’m not sure yet. (Maybe I can trick Kat into doing it since she does it for all my posts.) The only thing I’m sure of is that I can’t do it solo. Are there any qualified people who are interested in a trade of some kind? (Yeah, I don’t know what I could trade either…any ideas?) I might actually have to break out the crowbar and see what I find in my wallet.
I’ll have to nail down that title before proceeding with the cover design. Barring a miracle where I’m suddenly imbued with a talent in the visual arts (as I am currently lacking in any useful amount), this is one task I’m almost positive I’ll have to budget some money in order to hire someone.
Not only will I need to format the eBook or hire it out to be done, I also need to decide whether or not to release a paper version of the book. I’m currently leaning toward formatting the eBook myself and delaying or forgoing a paper version until the eBook version is released. I’m allowed to change my mind though, because I’m the boss. One of the perks of going indie.
Book Description (Blurb)
I’ve yet to find an author who likes to write these, but someone has to. Logically, it would be the person who knows the book best. I’ll take my best shot at this when the time seems right. (At the point where I don’t expect any major structural changes, additions, or deletions.) Then I know a few groups of authors who I can spring it on for opinion. (Look out minions.) Last, I’ll see what the Blurb Doctor has to say.
Release and Marketing Plan
Ugg. I can just upload the book to Amazon and move on to something else, right? The books don’t have to fly off the virtual shelf. (As the marketing research in the last post showed, the market may be small or it may be minscule.) I probably won’t opt for a well-crafted book release and will just settle for a slow trickle. Can’t the Gods of Amazon make that happen without doing any marketing?
I know. Not very realistic, other than the trickle part. But even that isn’t likely to happen on its own. I have a few ideas and will be letting those and any others that come up stew in the back of my mind for a while. One thing I’m recognizing is that what might work for a fiction title in a popular genre isn’t going to fly for a niche non-fiction title like this. This sounds like a likely subject for a future post.
Front Matter and Back Matter
Starting with what I should or shouldn’t include. We know that too much front matter is never a good thing.
My plan is to have a website that will be mentioned and (at least in the eBook) have a clickable link to take the reader there. This will have links to any resources referenced in the book. My thoughts are that this would serve as an additional resource for those who have read the book and will be much easier to add to and maintain than having links in the book itself. (Plus, those who purchased the book wouldn’t automatically get any updates if those were limited to the eBook.) Second, the website can serve as a marketing resource to promote the book for those who haven’t read it. Ideally the domain name for this site will parrot the eventual book title. (BigAl.com is already taken.)
I’ve reviewed the Indies Unlimited post cleverly titled I’ve Written a Book, How Do I Publish It? – and I think all of the items listed there are covered above. But I’m sure I’ve missed something. Any ideas what?