Friday, June 11, 2010

Editing Tip # 33: Book Publishing Options (part three)

Kathy Ide’s Editing Tips
© Kathy Ide, 2010

In this column, freelance author, editor, and speaker Kathy Ide shares tips on self-editing your manuscript.

~ Book Publishing Options (part three) ~

Last week I briefly discussed the option of having a manuscript published by a subsidy publisher. But that’s not the only alternative to commercial publication. Here are three more.

You can take full control and responsibility for the entire process of publication, putting every aspect of the process out for bid rather than accepting a preset package of services from a subsidy publisher. Publishing-related services include:
  1. Writing coach/mentor (or ghostwriter/collaborator)
  2. Editing and proofreading
  3. Cover design
  4. Obtaining an ISBN/barcode
  5. Typesetting (interior design)
  6. Book printing
  7. Getting your book set up with a distributor
  8. Marketing/publicity (PR company, speaking engagements, press releases, book reviews, online promotion, social media networking, book videos/trailers, etc.)

Self-publishing can be more cost effective than subsidy publishing and may result in a higher-quality product (or at least something that is more appealing to you).

The completed books are the author’s sole property, and you keep 100 percent of sales proceeds.

Electronic Publishing
Maybe you simply want to get out the message God has given you, and you don’t care whether it gets into printed form.

Many authors publish their writings on their own Web sites, e-newsletters, and/or blogs.

An e-book publisher will take a Word or WordPerfect file, design an electronic cover for it, format it to look like a book on screen, and send it back to you in PDF format, which can be read by anyone with a computer. Once the e-book publisher has formatted your book, you can send it to anyone you want by e-mail or on disk.

Alternately, you could convert your manuscript into PDF format yourself. (Several Web sites and word-processing programs offer free conversion. For a more professional-looking product, consider hiring a typesetter. Let me know if you’d like a referral for this service.)

Do-it-Yourself Printing
Most copy shops and many office supply stores offer various book-binding services. Alternately, you could purchase binders or report covers at an office supply store and fill them with three-hole-punched sheets of paper. If clear-front covers are used, you can design an attractive cover page using either a color printer or specialty paper.

Whether you plan to self-publish, e-publish, or DIY, I strongly encourage you to get a professional edit/proofread to make sure your writing flows smoothly, doesn’t contain anything that could potentially be misread or found offensive, and is free of typos, inconsistencies, or errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling.


NOTE: It is an infringement of copyright law to reproduce this
publication, in part or in whole, without the express permission of the
author. To request permission, please e-mail


Kathy Ide has written books, articles, play and movie scripts, short stories, devotionals, and curriculum. Her books include Polishing the PUGS and Fiction and Truth. Kathy is a full-time freelance editor, offering a wide range of editorial services for authors and publishers. She also speaks at writers’ conferences across the country. She is the founder and coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network ( and the Christian Editor Network ( To find out more, please visit

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