Thursday, September 20, 2012

Going Solo But With Help

Last Thursday, I talked about hiring a publicist to help you do promotions for your book. This week, I thought I'd back up a bit and talk about actually getting your book into print, assuming you're going solo, without an agent.

If you don't have an agent or a publisher, then it'll be up to you to get your book into print. Getting it into an e-book is pretty easy. Amazon makes it pretty simple, so if you want to go the e-route first, then I would recommend you start there.

If you want to go first into print, it's not so easy, at least, I don't think so. But instead of just having your local printing shop print your books, I would recommend you look into Lightning Source.

There are tons of paperwork to fill out. And it can feel like a maze. But ... I recommend Lightning Source because they are the ones most bookstores order from. Whether you establish your own publishing company or sign on as an individual author, you will be included in their list of new books.

That, of course, doesn't mean bookstores will order your books. Most bookstores, let's face it, look for the "name" authors, not the unknowns.

But, let's say, you live in Texas and have a cousin in Oregon. The store there doesn't have your book on their shelves. Your cousin can request that they order your book for them. If more than just one person does that at that store, they might order a couple of extras to put on the shelf. You're now on their radar, even if it's just a small blip.

If you get your local bookstore to let you do a signing, they can order books from Lightning Source for the event.

Of course, I'm not saying you have to go with Lightning Source. But I think it has a lot of pluses.


  1. I admire anyone who goes solo!

  2. I've gone both ways: three books with a university press and now on my own with my fiction.

    Having someone do the work for you is definitely easier, but there's also a sense of satisfaction when you learn how to do it yourself.

  3. I've heard the same recommendation from others. I didn't know you could use Lightning source as an individual.

    1. Susan, I can't say for sure if they accept individuals. You can check online, though. I established my own publishing company, High Canyon Books. At this point, I only plan to publish my own books. We'll see what the future holds.

  4. I looked into Lightening Source, but they required that you are a publishing company (your name under which you are publishing has to end with Press or Publishing). I went with CreateSpace and they also have a wizard for setting up your cover. Formatting is the only problem, but if you're familiar with MS Word then it's not difficult to set up. Headers and footers can be problematic thought. I think you are limited with distributors, but I have family and friends in England and they don't seem to have a problem with purchasing my novels through Amazon. By the way, most of the "self publishing" firms use Lightening Source. When I published my first book through Dog Ear, which was a nightmare, the books I purchased were sent to me directly from Lightening Source.

  5. I'm with Ann. It was much easier to use Createspace, and while Amazon used to be blocked from all bookstores, they are starting to create some channels for ordering into brick and mortar.

  6. Lightning Source provides the best distribution. Yes, you have to register as a publisher, but as I teach in my seminars, you should always have a name for your company if you self-publish. It adds credibility and separates you the author from you the publisher.

  7. I give credit to anyone who does it alone.

  8. I agree Diane.

    I have to admit, Liza. Not only is going it alone scary, it's not easy. My non-fiction books were a breeze since I had a university press doing them!


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