SICA Publishing Tips for Writers
We did some testing for a
Subud Brother at the Subud International Cultural Association
(SICA) retreat in
As the exact wording of the testing was being worked out, my mind was racing with potential solutions, starting with self-publishing. I had to keep thinking, be open! Wait for the test to start and then see what happens. What did happen was quite clear and here are the steps I suggested to him, or would to any beginning writer with a finished product, no matter the genre.
First, get a URL from GoDaddy to promote the book. A URL is the web address, or domain name and GoDaddy is an excellent Domain Registration Service. With them, you’ll pay about $10 per domain to be the owner. Your first choice may not be available, so have a few ideas of what you might settle for. For example, SubudStory.com might not be available, so try TomsSubudStory.com.
Once the domain is secured, you can start a blog for the book. A website is better, and you may have a friend who can design and host a website for you, but a blog is much more user friendly. They are free, and if you go with Blogspot.com, you’ll have the option to add a revenue-enhancing stream, because Blogspot is part of Google. This stream is not likely to get you actual money unless your blog becomes a viral phenomenon, but it can happen.
The best bet with this approach is to use your domain.Blogspot.com. If your domain is TomsSubudStory.com then TomsSubudStory.Blogspot.com would be a good domain for the blog. The blog will take you an hour or two to start and by adding images, blurbs (one paragraph sales pitches for the book, preferably by a known author) gadgets, and other items as you see fit, you can make it look attractive. You can always add something to the blog, click on View Preview and change it if it does not look good before you put it on-line.
Once you have your blog set up, you can go back to your GoDaddy account and set your domain to Forwarding, and insert the blogspot URL there. This way, you can promote TomsSubudStory.com on business cards and folks who click on that will be automatically forwarded to the blog. If you ever go upgrade to a website, you own the URL and can stop the forwarding from happening with a few clicks.
As for a publisher, even established publishers are going to a Print-on-Demand method and that may be the way to go for your book. These services are only getting better in terms of book quality. Check out such services as Café Press, Lulu or BookSurge.
PayPal is a great way to allow people to purchase of your book from your blog or website. It’s easy to establish a PayPal account and put their logo on your site so people can click and send cash to your PayPal account. It takes a few days to get that money into your back account, so be patient.
Finally, given the nature of our web-connected world, consider a short video, or several, which you can post on YouTube. An interview with the author, or some of the folks mentioned in the book, or even a cartoon commercial for the book, whatever. Be creative. If it becomes a viral phenomenon, this may get you on Oprah, which is, of course, why you wrote in the first place. Right?
Paul E. Nelson