Taking the Final Step – How to Publish and Release Your Book on Amazon

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Tip#8In this blog, I am sharing how I am mentoring a group of high school science students to write and publish a book about their science research experiences by April 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.

The end is in sight. You have written a draft book, you have spent months editing and revising it, while also building followers on your blog. You are finally ready to self-publish and release your book. You have many options, and the choices can be overwhelming. A simple approach is to go with Amazon’s self-publishing services.

Why use Amazon? From a teaching perspective, I want my students to see how to self-publish using one of the main services available, and Amazon is the biggest, most diverse self-publishing service out there. It is also free. It may not be the best option for some students or other authors. Nevertheless, for the first-time, self-publishing author, using only Amazon’s services keeps things simple. If you want to look into other services, Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch describe several of them and their pros and cons in APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur): How to Publish a Book. They also ended up using Amazon, and that is why I chose it for my first book. For these reasons, Amazon was the logical choice in teaching my students.

So what is the process to self-publish on Amazon? I am following Kawasaki’s and Welch’s advice in the approach I am taking with my students. We will first create a print book for publication on Amazon’s CreateSpace. Using that file, we will convert it to an ebook and publish it on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Both of these websites have a step-by-step approach that takes the author from creating the draft, through formatting, pricing, selecting distribution channels, and publishing. We are doing the print book first because its formatting is more complex, and it is easier to simplify it for ebook publishing than the other way around. For more detailed instructions, you can click to download my Self-Publishing Checklist for Amazon and use it in a way that works best for your students.

Finally, the day of publication and release is important—it shouldn’t just happen when you get to that point, but instead should be part of an overall marketing plan. Make the release a celebratory experience for your students that they will not forget.

Next week, my post will have a tip on how to market your book, including the book release.

Subscribe to this blog at https://bryanholmesstem.wordpress.com to get email updates of my posts with weekly tips you can use in your classroom as I describe how I am mentoring six high school science students to become published authors by April 2015. Also, please give me your feedback, and please share blog posts with other teachers or anyone who may benefit.

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For the Final Editing of a Draft Book, Hire a Professional

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Tip#7In this blog, I am sharing how I am mentoring a group of high school science students to write and publish a book about their science research experiences by April 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.

For the self-published author, one of the biggest challenges is not to look self-published. A big giveaway that you wrote and published your own book is an unprofessional format and appearance. Books, especially in print form, have their own particular look, and it is almost impossible for an amateur, self-publishing author to get this look right on his or her own. The best way to ensure your book looks like a book is to hire a professional editor for the final editing phase.

In their book, APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur): How to Publish a Book, Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch explain some final editing options that are available. There are two basic types of book editors: content editors go through and evaluate the book’s content, especially as it appeals to the target audience, while copy editors go through the formatting and ensure it matches with the Chicago Manual of Style, the “bible” for publishing. As Kawasaki and Welch also point out, if you enlist beta readers to get feedback on your draft, you may not need a content editor, but regardless of how diligent you have been in editing and revising, you will want a copy editor to go through your manuscript. There are too many formatting nuances for the amateur author to catch all the mistakes—and there will be mistakes—probably hundreds of them that the copy editor will find.

You can find copy editors for hire in many places. As traditional publishers have downsized, many copy editors now freelance or have their own companies. Many self-publishing and hybrid publishing firms offer author services, including copy editing. I used CreateSpace’s copy editing service on my first book, and I was happy with the result. There are many options, so look into them and determine what is best for your students. If money is an issue, consider having your students do a fundraiser to pay for the copy editing. Fees vary, but plan on approximately $500 for the professional copy editing of a 100-page book. Some editors charge by the word, others by the hour, so compare several estimates. The money will be well spent, and it is the only expense that the self-publishing author should not avoid.

Next week, my post will have a tip on how to self-publish and release a book.

Subscribe to this blog at https://bryanholmesstem.wordpress.com to get email updates of my posts with weekly tips you can use in your classroom as I describe how I am mentoring six high school science students to become published authors by April 2015. Also, please give me your feedback, and please share blog posts with other teachers or anyone who may benefit.