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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How to Promote and Market Your Book – Learn from Success and Failure

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Tip#9In 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.

It’s natural for a new author to be wrapped up in just writing the book and not to worry about marketing until after publication, but that is a big mistake. Promoting and marketing a book require a strategy the author must devise from the start, months before publication and release. I have already given a tip about blogging to promote a book while writing it. Blogs are a free way any author can promote his or her book, and blogging can help improve the writing process.

Blogging is just one part of a marketing strategy. One helpful source of information for other things an author can do is Book Marketing Tools at http://bookmarketingtools.com. This is a company that sells some online author services, but also provides many free resources and video podcast interviews of various writing and publishing experts. Their free Ultimate Author Marketing Checklist is a great overview of what an author should do from well before publication release, through release, and after. I have used it with my students. I have also used some of the interviews I have seen on their video podcasts.

Another valuable experience for new authors, especially students, is to attend a writers conference. Look online for a conference near you, then try to attend. If you are a teacher, contact the conference organizer and explain how you are mentoring student authors—people love to help, and they may let your students meet some writing and publishing professionals that otherwise might be inaccessible. The contacts made at a writers conference can also be helpful as you market your book. Other authors can help get the word out, and the speakers and faculty at the conference often travel to many other conferences, so they can spread the word about your book or project with students.

As an author, plan on both successes and failures as you market your book. Your marketing should be geared to your target audience. Talk about your book in the forums where they are, not where you are most comfortable. Some things you try may not yield any results, or may even be complete flops. Other things may be surprisingly successful. Learn from both. For more information, click to download my Marketing Checklist for Authors and use it to promote and market your book.

Next week, my post will have a tip on how to make a project like this into a valuable learning experience for students.

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.