If you have a book idea – non-fiction, poetry, essays – and would like to publish it yourself, this course will cover everything you need to know. From testing the market, naming your book, writing and proofing it – to design, registering it and ISBNs, printing (with all the right specs), pricing, marketing, postage & packing and selling…
Start date: 13th January 2020
Self-publishing is both exciting and daunting.
Exciting because you are in full control, and get to keep all profits once the initial costs are made back – which is why over 1,000,000 books are self-published each year.
And daunting because there’s so much you need to know.
For instance, have you ever thought about the thickness (or ‘gsm’ – grams per metre) of a book page? It needs to feel like good quality but still be easy to turn. And then you have to decide the colour of the paper and whether it should be recycled. Also, the font size and where the title needs to be for PR purposes.
But that’s all aesthetic. Now, what about how to list your book on Amazon? Who should distribute it? How would you go about getting it stocked in Waterstones? And what should you charge for a book, if you still want to make a profit? Plus what the hell is an ISBN – and why do I need one??
I have written, designed (well, employed a designer to design), edited and had 300 copies of my poetry book Twenty-nine: Poems on Motherhood printed. I’ve learned how to register it so that it can be sold in shops, distribute it, package it up to post out – and what to do about postage costs.
I made a truckload of errors but they have all informed this course. I’ve now had orders from around the globe: San Francisco, Zurich, Amsterdam, Canada, south London, Kent, Edinburgh and New Zealand – and I’m making a profit. Now that all my costs are covered, I keep 100% of the book sales.
So I’m ready to teach you everything I know about self-publishing your book and selling copies through my simple, no-nonsense online course.
Here is the course outline…
Module 1: Writing and naming your book
Firstly, is your book idea polished enough? I’ll help you to refine it, and offer ideas for testing the market. Next we’ll cover naming your book – with SEO considerations, as it will be sold online even if it’s a print book. But you might be thinking about an accompanying e-book, too. Lastly, whether or not it’s already written, you’ll need it proofed. I’ll offer suggestions for this.
Module 2: The design
We’re not meant to judge a book by its cover but lots of us do. The aesthetics matter. And not just in terms of attracting readers and customers but also because certain looks won’t be appropriate for getting coverage in magazines, newspapers and on blogs and websites. Also, the dimensions are important. This module will cover all design considerations, and I’ll recommend a designer.
Module 3: Printing your book
What thickness should the pages be and what card will work well for the cover? How should it be bound? Matte, laminated? What do you ned to include on the ‘copyright’ page (or colophon)? I’ll share a simple template for this. And for all printing requirements. I had three different copies of my book printed, from different printers, until it was perfect. I’ll teach you how to get it right first go.
Module 4: Selling and distribution
Pricing up your book is a delicate process: it needs to be good value for customers but also profitable for you. I’ll help you with this, and also: getting an ISBN and barcode, selling it on your own website VS using a recognised distributor and the process for getting it listed on Amazon. Then we’ll look at marketing your book, the best time of year to publish and how to package and post.
- Two-week online course, starts 13th January 2020.
- You’ll be given access to exercises, advice, tips – and set tasks. Modules 1&2 will be available from January 13th, and modules 3&4 from January 20th. But you don’t have to sign in at a particular time – you can work on the course whenever it suits you.
- It costs £97 (you’ll make this back in no time).
- During the two-week course, you’ll have unlimited email access to me. Ask any questions you like about the process and I’ll answer promptly.* – This offer is only for the first 20 sign-ups and all spaces have now been taken.
- You’ll have free access to my closed Facebook group, where you can network with other freelancers and business owners, and get exclusive tips and advice. Also, there’s an option to set yourself a weekly challenge each Monday, which works well alongside the courses. I check in at the end of the week, to see how you got on.
Who am I?
I’m Annie Ridout – author of The Freelance Mum (published January 2019 by Harper Collins imprint 4th Estate), SHY (out January ’21) and Twenty-nine: Poems on Motherhood (self-published). I’m also a freelance journalist (Guardian, Forbes, Grazia, Telegraph), editor of The Early Hour and speaker (panel talks, BBC radio and TV). More below…
I’ve written three books – one traditionally published by 4th Estate, another to be published in January 2021, also by 4th Estate, and a third: a collection of poems on motherhood that I published myself.
My poetry book is now making a profit; I’ve covered the costs of design, proofing and print – and I’m seeing how much it’s possible to earn from self-publishing when you’re able to front the initial costs.
Now, each book sold brings me a neat £10 in my pocket. Traditional publishing usually pays the author around 10-15% per book sold, after the advance (upfront payment) is paid back through sales.
Having been traditionally published, I understand the industry and how to get books to market. But I also know the ins and outs of self-publishing, having done it myself.
If you have a book idea, or one you’ve already written, I’d love to help you self-publish it and get it out in the world…
*Please note that I won’t be able to edit your book or any copy via the unlimited email access; I will only be able to answer questions and guide you.