The new flurry of activity around writing my book comes mostly from the inspired suggestion of my lover that I self-publish it as a series. While I’ve already strongly considered the self-publishing route (it’s said to be ideal for prickly, independent cusses), the serialization idea means I can get my work out much faster than writing the whole thing in one fell swoop.

Serialization means cheaper costs both on my end and on the buyer’s end, plus I can create a groundswell of interest for each new book in the series. It allows women to buy exactly which books they think they need (hopefully all of them!) and it will allow me to revise quickly and keep the information fresh. Hopefully, more people will want to be interviewed once they see the some of the finished product.

I picked out my press name quite a long time ago and purchased the domain name when I retired. I still have to set up my own publishing company business and that’s in the works. It will be Dallas-based, which I feel is appropriate. I’ve done a large amount of research over the last two years because I always thought self-publishing to be the best option. Now I’m contacting people directly to get things moving.

For instance, I’m looking at editors because I will need professional editing services within a month to finalize the first book (I plan a four-part series). From a strong reference list from another self-publisher, I’ve contacted three editors. One e-mail bounced (account closed); one hasn’t responded back after I sent in the title of my proposed work (it is a very forthright title); and the third downloaded my sample chapter to get a feel for my work and suddenly told me she had no time to edit my work when the day before she told me she’d had an estimate ready after reading my download. Hmm…I guess I should take some pride in being able to make professionals shake in their boots (or turn their stomachs?), but honestly, this is like going to the doctor with a bad illness and he says, “Gross, I really don’t like sick people very much.”

Minor gripes aside, I am confident that there are open-minded professionals somewhere in this country. Maybe I should take the suggestion of my writing buddy and try to find a Canadian publisher.

I am enthused about getting to interview ladies. I’ve started contacting escorts directly, and of the ones that reply back, all but one have been positive. I constantly have fear of rejection or of causing needless offense but so far, so good.

I’ve even roughed out a cover design for my book but frankly, graphic design is not my forte. The cover is a bit boring. I’ll be looking for professional designers as well, although most book publishing services have connections to designers or will work with you to get the cover design you want.

Just to clear things up; there is a vast world of difference between vanity publishing, print-on-demand and self-publishing. In a nutshell, vanity publishing takes your work, takes heavy fees from you and then pays you royalties for every copy you sell. You do not own your work and usually pay the whole cost of publishing and selling. Print-on-demand (POD), is not a bad idea but usually they own your title and various printing rights, if not the actual copyright; and paying to publish each book is not as cost-effective as publishing a whole lot at once. Self-publishing is very much like publishing through a house, except that you’re basically starting a new printing company without no reputation. A printing house already has established contacts for printing and binding, promotion and distribution, has its own editors and has a reputation for the titles and quality it sells.

I will be establishing my own printing house, which will own certain printing rights to my book (I’ll own the copyright). Looking far ahead: if this printing house succeeds, I could start printing other people’s work as well. I would like to do that, but it’s a long way off. For now, I’ll just be printing my product.

It’s fun to think about but a huge task to implement step-by-step. It’s not as expensive as one might think to churn out a press run of 1,000 or even 5,000 books (including buying ISBN numbers, professional editing and proofreading, cover design, website, etc.). It’s the time and research to get everything right first that’s expensive.

A large percentage of my clients were small business owners. It looks like I will be joining their ranks and learning some of their trials.

PS: I do not “own” the nonprofit. Although I founded it and run it, no person owns a nonprofit, it sort of owns itself. Founding a business that I own looks like quite a different ball of wax.

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