Book Writing and Publishing Resources
Self Publishing / Printing
For printing, you’ll need to decide whether you are doing offset printing or Print on Demand (POD). With print on demand your cash outlay is much less, since you generally do not need to order a minimum number of books, but the quality is not quite as good (though getting better all the time).
Lightning Source, now owned by distributor Ingram, is probably the least expensive and highest quality POD (many other POD and traditional publishers use them for printing). Ingram also owns IngramSpark, whose advantages over Lightning Source include “cost-effective pricing and the ability to simultaneously set up an e-book title and make it available to more than 70 e-retailers (including Apple, Kobo, B&N Nook, Amazon Kindle) at the same time a print title is set up for distribution.” Generally, IngramSpark is their solution for individual authors. However, Lightning Source has different advantages so check out their comparison page.
Amazon’s publishing services for ebooks and paperbacks is now found under Kindle Direct Publishing. While inexpensive, some authors complain about ease of use and lack of support. You may want to hire freelancers to help you through the process.
Many traditional publishers offer a self-publishing arm. Just be sure to do your research, look inside their sample books and ask authors about their experiences. You can pay a good amount of extra money for services that look good on paper or sound good coming from the salesperson’s mouth, but don’t actually help your book sales one iota.
See below for self publishing consultants / book shepherds to take you through the self publishing process, once your book is written.
As a book proposal coach, I can help you write a compelling book proposal to attract top agents and publishers. You may need to grow your author platform, in which case I recommend some of the publicity and digital media services below. You can also schedule a author platform building consultation with me to develop your strategy and explore which options will be most effective and work best for your strengths, interests and budget.
Dorothy (Dot) Campbell: 781-784-7139. Dot has done a great deal of proofreading for me and she’s top notch. Her prices are also excellent.
E-book creation, distribution and cover.
I Michael Grossman’s eBook Bakery will turn your manuscript into an eBook, then distribute it for sale by major retailers including Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony and others. Very reasonable pricing. Additional services include cover design, web sites, print layout and book trailers. 401-487-3818
Email me for specific people based on genre and other specifications.
Email me for specific people based on genre, specific needs and budget.
Layout/Design and Book Covers
Dave Aldrich Design
Designed the cover of The Shack and many good covers you can find on his website. Competitive prices for high quality, very professional design. Starts at $850 for front/back cover, including images for web. 401 323 7989
Mila Design: Eye catching, professional covers at the lowest price for such quality. Last I asked her covers were $350 for a fabulous cover. If you’re on a tight budget, Mila is your gal.
Lanphear Design: Beautiful, eye catching covers. Starts at $1,000. Layouts are also eye catching and well done.
Marisa Jackson: A wide variety of eye catching and professional looking covers. Marisa works with traditional publishers and self-published authors.
Foster Covers: Very professional look. High end and high pricing.
Many people waste money on PR that doesn’t pan out, so ask for referrals and do your due diligence. Below are some PR companies my clients and colleagues have used that are high quality and high integrity:
Zilker Media is my publicist, under the direction of Rusty Shelton, whose previous companies supported many books to become true bestsellers—from The New York Times to USA Today. They also provide website design and digital media campaigns for authors. They are AWESOME!
Mouth Public Relations: Several of my clients have gotten great national publicity working with Mouth PR and I’ve been impressed with their work.
Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist: I have heard great feedback about Stephanie’s work from both clients and trusted colleagues. Stephanie niches in pre-pub adult nonfiction and historical fiction.
Cave Henricks: Highly recommended by my colleague Rusty Shelton and their bestseller client list is clearly impressive.
Melissa Sones Consulting: An Awards Marketing Company, Melissa’s expertise is in applying for business awards and her clients tend to take top honors at the American Business Awards, International Business Awards, Stevie Awards for Women in Business. She knows how to develop a compelling story around your accomplishments.
PR Leads: If you’d like a low cost option ($99/month) that provides high quality leads (queries from journalists and media producers), focuses on leads just in your expertise area and provides training, sign up for PR Leads.
Self Publishing Consultants and Book Shepherds
These folks can take your written book and help you through the entire self publishing process–from choosing a cover design, layout designer and publisher to helping you choose paper stock and print dimensions. If you don’t want to teach yourself all the details of self-publishing, their services can both save you time and help you publish a professional looking book that brands you and your message and saves you from mistakes of novices.
Tamara Monosoff offers publishing packages and, if you like, will even add QR codes (which can be scanned with a phone to play videos that go with your chapters–a fabulous marketing tool!).
Howard Van Es offers a full array of self-publishing services
John Reizer will do it all for you—book cover, layout, website, press release (and put it on search engines) and get your book printed and in e-book formats as well. His prices are reasonable and he does a very professional job.
Shel Horowitz: I met Shel at Book Expo America and was impressed by his own publishing history (5 of his 8 books have won awards, sold rights to foreign publishers, and/or made at least one Amazon category bestseller list and he has helped many writers through the self publishing process, resulting in several award winners).
Martha Rhodes: A former advertising executive turned author, she has advised several of my clients on self-publishing decisions while going through the process herself.
Maestroconference: I use Maestro because you can create highly interactive teleseminars that create a very experiential call—and people get so much more out of it. You can teach to the large group, then offer an exercise while placing people in private pairs or groups where they discuss the exercise. Then you can bring everyone back to the big group—so much like a live class. In addition, I can take polls to get a sense of where people are challenged, need the most help, or want to focus.
Maestro is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful tools for teaching large groups virtually.
AudioAcrobat: to record conference calls, teleseminars (can turn these recordings into a product, too!), coaching sessions (some clients love that): $99 every 6 months. Even though Maestro records calls, I often use audioacrobat to record individual sessions or material for my audio recordings that accompany my self study programs
www.Freeconference.com can do teleseminars for up to 100 people, no charge and use audioacrobat to record. Occasionally get a noisy line and doesn’t work right but mostly good. Great place to start on a low budget for your first couple of teleseminars.
Infusionsoft: This is the product I use for my shopping cart, newsletters and affiliate program. It manages everything and is a full CRM (customer resource management) tool. However, it’s not simple to use. My VA does most of the work with it and she often has to call support to get things done. If you don’t have a VA, I would not suggest using it. If you are looking for lots of CRM capabilities it’s worth exploring.
Constant Contact: I used to use this for my newsletters before my list got big enough that the cost was not longer competitive. Also, it isn’t completely integrated with 1SC but you can decide which you will use for newsletters and import from one to the other, removing duplicates automatically.
Digital Media and Website Design
Rachel C. Vane is my web designer and does a fabulous job at a reasonable price. She’s also super-responsive when you need a change.
Boomtown Internet Group specializes in Creative Web design, Custom Web development, Open source customization, PHP Development, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization & Social Media Optimization, Email Marketing and Affiliate Marketing etc. They host and maintain my site, help me with SEO, security and other issues and have designed great sites for a number of my clients.
Video Production / Editing
Local to Rhode Island. Have done a great job shooting and edited several of my videos including speaking video. while their website and business is now more wedding oriented, they do business video as well.
Branding, Logos, etc.
Rachel C. Vane has done many of our product covers and other designs for us. We love working with her.
ShahZadiqbal on Fiverr.com has done lots of excellent design work for us at a great price—from formatting course materials to look fun and inviting (as well as useful) to doing the layout and formatting of our ebooks.
Communications, Products, Printing
Vervante: Produces our course materials: spiral binder workbook, thick looseleaf binder, both with CDs in them. They offer competitive pricing and quality. They do fulfillment, design, CDs, DVDs, course materials, etc. Great for CD covers, etc. And we have been extremely happy with their customer service.
Donna Mac Voiceovers, Audio Production, Audience Coach
Donna Mac can help you conceptualize, produce, and deliver audio messages to your audience that are concise and powerful. She can be the voice of your company, or help you find new power in your own voice. Professional services include voiceovers, complete, state-of-the-art audio studio services, and audience coaching – helping you speak in a way that will move and motivate your target audience.
International Women’s Writing Guild
A network for the personal and professional empowerment of women through writing, this organization offers many resources and excellent workshops/conferences, including a twice yearly “Meet the Agents” forum where you can meet agents and pitch your book to them.
Autocrit offers manuscript editing software (mostly for fiction writers).
Frances Caballo has helped many of my clients manage their Twitter followings (one client grew from 40 followers to over 13,000 in just over a year) and other social media. Her books are excellent as well.
Cathy Turney’s book Get 10,000 Twitter Followers: Quickly, Easily , Ethically is a great resource.
Blogs for Authors
Here are some of my favorite writing and publishing blogs:
The Book Designer, Joel Friedlander, offers
Social Media Just for Writers is Frances Caballo’s blog about–you guessed it–social media for writers, particularly authors. She offers a weekly roundup with posts from her favorite writing and publishing related blogs, as well as social media.
Live Write Thrive, CS Lakin’s blog is particularly apt for fiction writers.
Positive Writer Bryan Hutchison
Business and Marketing
Tamara Monosoff offers excellent advice for authors on how to make money with their books and how to use video and other strategies to sell more books on Amazon.com.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate for some of these companies in which case I receive a commission when you use the link I provided. For others, I do not receive commission. In all cases, I am referring those companies and individuals who I deem offer the highest value services and either I use them and/or my clients or mentors have.