Approaching Publication – Final Guidance for Student Authors

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Final Steps to Getting Published (Bryan Holmes)

Final Steps to Getting Published (Bryan Holmes)

In 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/May 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.

I have had meetings with my students over the past week, and they are almost ready to publish their books. They are getting back their marked up manuscripts from copy editors, they are coordinating the publication release event, and they are gearing up their marketing efforts. The challenge for me is to help them without being overbearing so that they get published in a timely manner.

Finishing up editing is the first of the final steps to publication. Using the Chicago Manual of Style, the copy editor will have marked up the draft manuscript. Now my students must go over each recommended edit and either accept or reject it. Formatting or grammatical edits should almost always be accepted. If the copy editor strays into content editing, the author may want to reject the recommendation. Whatever the case, the corrected draft manuscript, with copy edits incorporated, must be read through for coherence one more time. This can be tedious, but it’s an essential step to ensure the book reads clearly. Finally, the book must be formatted for upload into Amazon’s CreateSpace (paperback format) and Kindle Direct Publishing (ebook format). See my Self-Publishing Checklist for Amazon for this process.

Picking the publication release date and venue is the next important step to finalize publishing. As a self published author, you are in charge of when your book comes out–so don’t surprise yourself and publish it before you are ready. Schedule a venue, invite the people you want to be there, and market the event as something special. Two of my students, John Diorio and Jen Schwartz, are working with the Ridgefield Library and tentatively have set up May 9th, a Saturday, to hold their release event. Alexandra DiGiacomo is looking to release her children’s book in an elementary school, possibly by late April. All three are in the final stages of coordination, so watch here for a confirmation of details.

Finally, keep marketing and build excitement for the publication release. All three of these students are planning events where they can promote their books immediately after they come out. Each has a different target audience, so each has a different marketing plan. Setting up a book signing is typically the least effective way to promote a book, especially if you are unknown. Therefore, these students are seeking to promote in places where their target audience already is. In other words, they are bringing their books to potential customers, not hoping for customers to come to them. Use my Marketing Checklist for Authors to start your marketing plan.

My next post will be more about the preparation for publication release.

Subscribe to this blog at https://bryanholmesstem.wordpress.com to get email updates of my posts with 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/May 2015. Also, please give me your feedback, and please share blog posts with other teachers or anyone who may benefit.

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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.