Tag Archives: print-on-demand

Getting Self-Published is Actually Doable – A Guest Blogger’s Story

Compared to the way it used to be, self-publishing is easy. Photo credit Morguefile.com

Compared to the way it used to be, self-publishing today is easy. Just imagine writing a whole book on this little gizmo!          Photo credit: Morguefile.com

The story goes that Mark Twain bought one of the first typewriters ever made and hated it so much he traded it in for a buggy whip.

For those of you who think self-publishing is just too complicated to even consider — and are about to give up on it — hold it right there! Self-publishing gets easier every year and it has also become “cool,” so if you’ve got a book in you, or you have a tale or even a collection of tales to tell, or there’s a subject you know a little something about and you want to share it with others, then consider doing a book or e-book  via the two biggest and best, Amazon’s CreateSpace and/or LightningSource’s Ingram Spark. Besides. “Getting published is good for business — no matter what business you’re in.”

I’ve been giving workshops on the HOW TO of self-publishing for years, complete with a Power Point demonstration so you can SEE what self-publishing looks like. My next workshop (in Sherman Oaks, California) is coming up soon on Saturday October 17th, 2015 (see below for details). One of the people who took f my workshop a number of years ago and put what she learned to use is my guest blogger for this post — so let me introduce Catherine Auman, LMFT, author and publisher:

Becoming a Published Author with Sylvia Cary’s Help 

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Catherine Auman, LMFT, author of  Shortcuts to Mindfulness: 100 Ways to Personal and Spiritual Growth

Little did I know when I attended Sylvia Cary’s self-publishing workshop that it would turn out to be a seminal day for my career and life. Sylvia’s calm demeanor and her enthusiasm made it all sound so easily doable, and while I wouldn’t say it’s been easy, I am now the author of a book that has sold over 500 copies, and a publisher with a small press helping other authors make their dreams come true.

My book, Shortcuts to Mindfulness: 100 Ways to Personal and Spiritual Growth, was rejected by two publishers, both of whom said that no one would be interested in a book of short essays. Of course, Chicken Soup for the Soul, one of the most successful books in history, is a collection of short essays, but I took no for an answer. To even try to get an agent for a non-fiction book requires writing a 40-page book proposal, and since writing is not easy for me in the first place, I decided I’d rather spend the time and effort working on my next project.

I had also recently attended a panel discussion on changes in the book publishing industry, in which I heard a speaker say that one’s chances of getting published as an unknown author by one of the Big Six (now Big Five) companies was equal odds to that of winning the lottery. The panelists also said that self-publishing has lost its poor reputation and is now the way to go, much like what has happened for musicians with the recording industry.

I set up my publishing company as Sylvia directed. This took a fair bit of commitment, as you have to decide on a name, get a DBA, open a separate checking account, and have a website made. After that, I had to find a book designer to do the layouts for print and e-book, design the front and back covers, and post to CreateSpace where it would be published-on-demand.

The mission statement that I wrote for my press is: “At Green Tara Press, we are dedicated to publishing works that promote compassion, healing and love, and awaken and inspire readers to enlightened action.”

We are now looking for authors whose work fits in with our mission to promote compassion and love in the world, so it could be any genre with this intention: self help, poetry, fiction, essays, biography, memoir, and nonfiction which helps people become more effective.

I learned all this publishing stuff the hard way, so it is my delight to take the guesswork out of it for authors who just want to see their books published. We don’t make any money from our authors; it’s a labor of love. Our authors only pay for the costs of the book designer who does the cover design and the layouts for print and e-book. Quality book designers who are easy to work with can be a challenge to find, and the one I chose for Green Tara Press had been a delight.

We help you set up your Createspace account where you can order print copies for yourself and your clients, or they can order themselves from Amazon. (It’s quite exciting when you first see your name and your book listed on Amazon!) You then are also able to receive royalties deposited right into your bank account. We also will have joint marketing options available, all optional. What you get is our experience and advice, a second opinion, use of our book designer, promotion on our website and Facebook page. We’d love for you to work with us. Check us out at www.greentarapress.com. © 2015 Catherine Auman

Mindfulness by Catherine Auman, published by her own publishing company;

Catherine Auman, LMFT is a licensed therapist with advanced training in both traditional and spiritual psychology with thirty years of successful professional experience helping thousands of clients. She has headed nationally-based psychiatric hospital programs as well as worked through alternative methodologies based on ancient traditions and wisdom teachings. Visit her online at www.catherineauman.com

If Catherine’s blog inspires you to give it a go, then start by attending my next workshop on Saturday October 17th, 10 am – noon. Here are the details:

HOW TO SELF-PUBLISH WITH AMAZON’S CREATESPACE & LIGHTNINGSOURCE’S INGRAM SPARK

CreateSpace (www.createspace.com) is Amazon’s publishing wing. Once you upload your formatted book and cover, your book goes worldwide. IngramSpark is LightningSource’s (www.lightningsource.com) site for smaller publishers.

DATE Sat. Oct. 17th, 2015
TIME: 10 AM – Noon
PLACE: OfficeSlice Coworking, 15165 Ventura Blvd., #245, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
PARKING: Free
FOOD: Snacks
COST: $60.00
REGISTER: www.eventbrite.com (You may have to cut and paste this link): (https://www.eventbrite.com/myevent?eid=17964495289)

For more information, CONTACT: sylviacary1@gmail.com

 You’ll Learn…
  • What the self-publishing process looks like ON-SCREEN
  • The 7 Perks of Getting Published
  • All about formatting, fonts, trim size, imprints, covers, ISBNs, copyrights, E-books, and more
  • The differences between Amazon’s CreateSpace and LightningSource’s IngramSpark – pros, cons, costs, and why do BOTH!
  • How to market your newly published book: Top 15 ways to start.
  • You’ll leave feeling inspired and confident that you now have the skills to self-publish your book and get it up on Amazon.com, B&N.com, and other online booksellers for sale. You might even make some money! Bring your questions.

Sylvia Cary, LMFT, is the author of The Therapist Writer and four other books. On October 15th she is to get the Irwin Award from the Book Publicists of Southern California for the category of “Best Niche Campaign.”

(c) 2015 Sylvia Cary

Borders, I Hardly Knew Ye

The Last Days of a Borders Bookstore

Like most writers, I love bookstores and hate seeing one close.  When there were plenty of them, I was picky.  For example, I was always more of a Barnes & Noble gal than a Borders gal because Barnes & Noble felt cozier — even after one local store removed their comfy armchairs and another started chaining their wooden armchairs together so you couldn’t move them off into a corner to read.  (Truly annoying!)  Still, I go back.

So even though Borders has only ranked #2 in my book (no pun intended), I’m  sorry to see it go bust.  As we all know, bookstores all over the world have been closing.  Sign of the digital times.  So last night, knowing that my local Woodland Hills, California Borders (one of the last 400 to get the ax)  would be closing in two days, I decided to go there to say goodbye.  I went with a little guilt in my heart — perhaps I never gave Borders a chance. Perhaps I should have spent more time in their coffee shop with my laptop. After all, unlike Barnes & Noble, they’d actually kept their comfy arms chairs for readers to sit in.  Had I been too harsh in judging Borders?

Looking for "Hot" Deals at the Borders Funeral

I also went there expecting some hot deals — like 75% off. As I walked in past hundreds of garish red, black and yellow “Going out of Business” and “Everything Must Go” signs, I heard a woman muttering to herself as she looked through the merchandise, “It’s so sad.”  I was sad, too — there were no hot deals!  Twenty to thirty percent off in this economy, and in this “last gasp” situation, is not a “hot” deal. That’s an everyday deal. I know this is like complaining about the food at a funeral reception — but I couldn’t help but wonder how on earth Borders expected to get rid of all that stuff (and there was a LOT of stuff) in just two days at only 20% to 30% off.  It made no fiscal sense — which in turn made me think that this might all tie in to Border’s larger financial problems — a certain disconnect with the surrounding realities perhaps?  But who knows? It’s not my area of expertise.  All I know is I said my goodbyes quickly, took a few pictures for this blog, and left without buying a thing.

I still love bookstores.  I’ll still grieve whenever one closes. But the new publishing realities (e-books, self-publishing, print-on-demand, becoming your own publishing company, online book marketing and even the Espresso Book Machine — see my July 31st post) have been knocking on the door for years and it’s time to answer the knock and learn how to love,  take advantage of, and profit from them — even if it means we have to buy our very own comfy arm chair to sit down in and read.

Celebrating Writer Independence!

It’s Independence Day! July 4th. A Big Day here in the U.S.  What a perfect  time to launch my blog (The Therapist Writer), aimed at scribes who also happen to be mental health professionals. The purpose of this blog is to celebrate (and benefit from) the many changes that have taken place in the book business over the past decade, making it easier than ever  for writers of all stripes (including therapist writers) to get published.

Some of the factors that have combined to bring about this perfect storm favoring writers include:  The economic downturn of the traditional (New York) publishing industry; the explosion of the Internet; the digital revolution;  the diminishing powers of the gatekeepers (agents, publishers, publicists, reviewers); the ease and affordability of indie authorship; the lessening of the stigma about being self-publishing; the success of eBooks and the expanding opportunities for online book distribution and marketing.

All these things have freed writers to achieve their mission of getting their work out into the world.  There’s also a wealth of material (including other blogs!) to  guide, teach and encourage writers through this process. Because I’m a psychotherapist as well as a published author (see my profile), my focus in this blog  will be helping my fellow mental health professionals get published. But even if you’re not a therapist, I can promise you that the information, advice, hints, tips, stories, resources and others goodies you’ll find here will facilitate your creative independence so you can continue to practice (and hopefully profit from) your craft.  So, writers — start your computers! I hope you enjoy this blog. Happy Independence Day!