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How to publish your first book

Since I have been writing and self- publishing short stories people with ideas about writing their own book have asked me the "how to" questions. I reply that writing the story is the easy part. Getting it into print and to market is the hard part. Here's what I suggest:.... First you will need help with editing, Let someone with English, punctuation and grammar skills look over your work to make corrections and suggestions. This person may help you without charge, but there are people who will do this for a fee.

Next, you'll need someone to do the layout and design including the front and back covers. (I have had great success with Gregory Hetherington in this capacity) Unless you are more computer literate than me, expect to pay for this service. An illustrator's services may be needed, also. Printing and Publishing: I have been very happy using the services of a company called Creatspace. They are now owned by Amazon, so once your book is made available by them, it will automatically be available on Amazon. (Here again I have used Mr. Hetherington to complete this part of the process.) The thing I like about Createspace.com is the fact that I can order as few a one copy as opposed to having to purchase in quantity. You will be able to order your own copies to sell at their printing and shipping costs.

Marketing: Oh boy. This is likely the hardest part. Don't expect to get rich once your book is published and available to the public. ( With ten books now in publication I have sold very few on line,maybe a dozen.) Of course, your friends and relatives will want one and perhaps the local library, but they will expect free copies. Few local book stores or shops will be willing to purchase your book in quantity. You may have some success by asking them to do this on consignment, offering to split the profit from the sale. Your local library may from time to time invite local authors to do a book signing event, or there may be local festivals or craft shows where you can set up a booth. If you're lucky, maybe the local paper will do a review and an article on you and your work.

The best advice I can offer is to treat this as a hobby and if you get a sale now and then, perhaps it will offset you expenses. The best reward comes when someone says that they have read your book and how much they enjoyed it.

You can find my books listed under ; Author.. Dallas Ford Lincoln at createspace.com or go to: Amazon.com. Also available on Kindle.