Writing, publishing, geekdom, and errata.

Getting Published - Some Starting Advice

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I had a new author ask me what the best up-front advice I'd give them.  This author had already put out a digital version of the book and was looking to get into print, so I didn't touch much on that here, but I think these are some big considerations to look at whenever you are thinking about publishing.

1.  Consider whether or not you want to do it yourself.  There's huge advantages (you keep the money, full creative control, and things happen on your timetable), and huge disadvantages (you either do it yourself or pay someone).   I've had so much less time and energy to write myself since I started publishing.

2.  Unless you get with a big publisher - and maybe not even then - people are going to have to order your book.  If that's the case, DIYing it with Createspace or Lightning Source's "Spark" program is probably worthwhile.  LSI is much more difficult to work with, though, especially if you don't already know the difference between RGB and CMYK, for one example.  LSI's setup is also more expensive, but you have more options - hardcover, for example, and other trim sizes.

3.  Own your own ISBN, or have someone you trust do it.  That makes them (or you) the publisher of record.  See http://ideatrash.net/2012/02/barnes-noble-amazon-your-isbns-and-who.html for details as to why I think "free" ISBNs are a bad deal for indies.

4.  Agents are great for finding more deals and promoting your book.  CAVEAT:  All it takes to call yourself an agent is to call yourself an agent.  Look at other books and see who represents established authors you respect so that you can approach appropriate agents.  And do not forget to check Preditors and Editors:  http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/

5. In the current publishing climate, you will want to ALSO get a lawyer who deals with literary contracts.  Laura Resnick has a great resource here about that:  http://www.sff.net/people/laresnick/about%20writing/writers%20resource.htm#Lawyers

6.  Always dissect the contracts.  The reason I mention literary lawyers above is because contract law is a thing unto itself - and current publishing contracts have gotten a lot more ... interesting ... as of late.  Even my lawyer friends are often puzzled by them.   I dissect the basics of what should be in a publishing contract at http://ideatrash.net/2013/08/looking-at-your-contracts-compendium.html

What questions do you have about starting to get published (or doing it yourself)?

#sfwapro

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