Pacific Literary Arts : Publishing
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Publishing Options
Self Publishing Services

I can take an already prepared text and prepare Kindle ebook and/or CreateSpace print-on-demand editions over at Amazon. $1750 for taking care of everything for both, plus extra for a final copyediting and proofing. Can also help with other print and ebook formats.

This is as a service separate from the editing. Normally however, I do this as package with the editing services, so most of the formatting is pretty much done by the time I've finished doing that because I do it from the start. Then it's not that difficult to do the publishing.

Below I describe the self publishing process, and how to do it yourself step by step.

Traditional Publishing

I can't do much to help you get an agent and a regular publisher. All I can do is try to help you make sure that the book is in excellent shape. That's the first and most important thing.

If you wish to go the traditional publishing route, the Writers Market is probably the best place to start. They offer updated listings of all agents and publishers and tons of other useful tips and resources. Available as a printed book or by online subscription. Search for agents that specialize in books of your particular type and go from there.

Self Publishing Overview
Finalize the text. Formatting for self publishing is actually rather easy--once your text is all finalized, every i dotted and t crossed, and ready to go. You create a basic version with the text, pretty much stripped of most formatting, just the basic styles, no tabs, blank lines, etc. No headers, footers, page numbers, just page breaks. Best to leave out any graphics as well, just note the places to insert them later.

You then make separate copies and format those specifically for print on demand and Kindle (and other ebook formats as well). They each will have their own font choices, margins, paragraph indentations, line spacing, and so on.

Print on demand. Your goal is to create a PDF. There are several possible paths to a PDF, but you can save a Word doc as one. Or use more elaborate programs such as InDesign or Illustrator.

Formatting for print is rather straightforward once you have a clear idea of the book size, font specs, and other formatting requirements. It gets a bit more complicated if you have lots of graphics and such. Besides the text formatting, the print version needs headers and page numbers (non-existent in ebooks).

Ebooks. Ebooks have their own requirements. You can upload a PDF, but better to have a Word doc. You will need to add a little HTML for the Table of Contents, and other links you want.

While print is a fixed, unchanging design, with ebooks, the "pages" and the way the text wraps varies according to the screen and font sizes. So you have to tweak ebooks a bit so that they look good on both smartphones and pads, and in both portrait and landscape orientations. Amazon has a nice previewer that lets you see how they will look on different devices.

Upload and publish. Once you're done, you log into your Amazon accounts and upload your files. You can then preview them and tweak them until you're satisfied. See the step-by-step instructions below.

Wikipedia comparison of ebook formats. EPUB format. "EPUB is an e-book file format with the extension .epub that can be downloaded and read on devices like smartphones, tablets, computers, or e-readers. It is a technical standard published by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). The term is short for electronic publication and is sometimes styled ePub."

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Pietro Antonio Rotari, Girl With a Book

What You Will Need to Self Publish
These would apply whether I do it or you do it yourself, or with someone other than Amazon, print or digital.

Final text. The ready-to-go, no-more-changes text in a Word file (.docx). Just the text, stripped of most formatting, and without graphics.

Design parameters. Book size, font types and sizes, margins, etc. These are different for print and ebook of course.

At the end of the process you will upload a PDF for the printed version and a Word doc for the ebook.

Amazon Accounts

These are central control panels on Amazon: CreateSpace for print-on-demand and Kindle for ebooks. This is where you store your account info, upload your books, keywords, and descriptions, manage distribution, track royalties, etc. You can have multiple books at each. They have it very well organized.

Kindle site, where you publish and distribute your ebooks. Uses your regular Amazon account username and password.

CreateSpace site, where you publish and distribute your print-on-demand books. Different username and password from your regular Amazon account.

They do not ask for any payment up front. They only charge royalties on your sales. However, they will ask for tax info. You must decide whether you are publishing under your own name or under a publishing imprint, the ages of your readers, and a number of other details. They have a lot of promotional and international distribution possibilities.

(I will need access to these accounts if you want me to do this for you.)

ISBN numbers. Purchase in packages of 10 for $250 from Bowker, you need one for each format, ebook or print. They also have barcodes and self-publishing tools.

U.S. Copyright and Library of Congress registration. Library of Congress and U.S. Copyright office. Electronic copyright registration (eCO). PDF of eCO tutorial.

Copyright permissions. You will need a legal release for any copyrighted material you incorporate and for graphics as well.

Cover image. Different for print and ebook. Print needs a graphic with front and back covers, as well as a spine. You won't know the final width of the spine until you submit the final copy since it depends on the paper size and count. Amazon will tell you. For ebooks you just need the cover image, and maybe an author photo. These should be 300 dpi or better. Remember for ebooks it will be in the portrait format on smartphones but landscape format on pads and tablets.

Images and tables. Collect all of your graphics together. If there are just a few put into a single Word doc. Otherwise, gather them together into one folder, and make sure they are all are in the required formats, and look good in both print and digital versions. When you do print-on-demand you'll be able to get a sample copy and see how they will really look. Best not to insert these until you're ready to publish.

Descriptions, blurbs and keywords. Several descriptions of different lengths, 10, 25, 100 words, for Amazon and other places. These should contain the terms you want people to search for.

Author bio. Who are you and from whence did you come?

A web site. A home base on the web from which you can sit like a spider and draw readers to you. Also likely a Facebook page, an Amazon author page, and other places. You must have a home, telling about yourself, your books, and offering reading samples. Publishing without a web site is like getting all dressed up and not going anywhere. It is your presence in this invisible world we all live in now. Essential.

Self Publishing, Step by Step
Finalizing the Text

You create a master version of the text. With only a minimum of formatting, just the basic styles, no tabs, blank lines, etc. No headers, footers, page numbers, just page breaks. (Ebooks don't have those.)

Best to have no blank lines. They're ok in print, but the ebook programs will ignore them entirely. If you wish to distinguish between sections use some sort of characters such as asterisks or dashes. If you want them then insert some invisible hard code.

Ebooks will also ignore white space other than a single space. You use Word's 'Styles' to create indentations rather than tabs, and to create spacing above and below text. This equates to the HTML styles that the ebooks use. Quick guide. Styles tutorial.

Table of Contents. Assign Word style 'Heading 1' to each chapter title, with a page break before, and 'Heading 2' for any subheadings. The TOC will be compiled from those, and will keep track of the page numbers automatically. Update the page numbers after making any changes. For the ebook you will later add HTML code to link the TOC to the chapters, but not yet. The same for a List of Tables or Illustrations if you want those.

Title pages. Prepare the title pages with the publishing info that appears at the beginning of all printed books. Decide what you want there: copyright info, dedications, other books by the same author, author photo, whatever you want. Also copyright permissions for any works quoted. Library of Congress and ISBN numbers, publisher's name and contact info. Finalize and insert those now or at the end.

Create separate versions. Once the text is ready you create three copies: one for print, usually 6x9 inch; one for the ebook; and a PDF in standard 8 1/2x11 inch format, double-spaced, for beta readers and agents.

Standard 8x11 Inch Format

You might begin with a version in a standard 8x11 inch format, double-spaced, half-inch indentations, for your beta readers and agents. This will also be a PDF.

Proof, proof, and proof some more. Be aware that, once you create the three versions from your master text, then any typos, changes, etc have to be made in all versions, and it can get a hassle keeping track of it. Once you split, you're committed, so it pays to really get the master text perfect. It's useful to print out a copy and check that.

The Revision and Uploading Cycle

When you upload your docs there's a cycle that happens. You upload it, they compile a book from your file, you preview it with their preview program, note any tweaks you want, put those in your doc, and then upload again until it's perfect.

Self Publishing, Print on Demand
As noted above, you will need a CreateSpace account.

You can use Microsoft Word for everything, it's a powerful publishing program and you can do a lot with it. Or export your master text to InDesign, Illustrator, or some other design program and get real fancy. In the end it comes down to a PDF.

Basic formatting. Margins, font types and sizes, line spacing, paragraph indentation. Standard page size is 6x9 inch, but you can do any size you want. Amazon has templates and basic specs.

Graphics. Insert and format your graphics.

Table of Contents. Tweak the format of this to your satisfaction.

Page numbers. Odd and even. Top or bottom. One thing with the print version is having the TOC and each chapter start on the right-side page, the odd numbered one. That requires a little futzing with it, maybe inserting blank pages to make it come out right. If you want.

Headers and/or footers. What's in the headers? Author on one side, book title on the other?

Create a PDF, upload it, preview and tweak. Upload to Amazon, and use their preview program to see how it will look, and then tweak. Repeat until satisfied.

Formally submit it for review. When you think it's done, you formally submit it and they will review it and get back to you, usually pretty quickly.

Self Publishing, Kindle Ebook
As noted above, you will need a Kindle account.

Basic formatting. Margins, font types, line spacing, paragraph indentation. Margins are smaller than print. The size of smart phones and ebook readers doesn't allow much room for creativity, ebooks are pretty basic. Font size does not matter since ebook programs allow the user to vary that. This will also change the way the text wraps.

Graphics. Insert and format your graphics.

Table of Contents. You will need to add HTML links to your TOC entries, as well as 'anchors' at each chapter. Not difficult but does require minimal knowledge of HTML.

Web links. Unlike the print version, the ebook can contain web links, such as to your web site. So add those if desired.

Create a PDF, upload it, preview and tweak. Amazon has a nifty feature that allows you to see how it would look on various smart phones, pads and tablets.

Select sample. You will need to select a sample of the text for the 'Look Inside' feature.

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Juan Gris, The Book

Client Reviews
We have recently finished a very complicated book involving numbers, lots of text and images. Michael spent hours and hours going through the book, seeing it through about seven drafts. Michael is wonderful to work with, reliable, smart and very thoughtful. He is our editor of choice. He also just finished editing a three book children series and we will have more to send him soon.

Sharon Blair, Author and Publisher
Immaginaire Press, Santa Monica, May 8, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to work with Michael Presky during the final stages of completing my dissertation. He was simply a consummate professional to work with. I completed a mixed-methods research design that resulted in a 200+ page dissertation with a copious amount of interrelated tables and charts. Michael's attention to detail was impeccable. He consistently met the program deadlines for the project and provided timely communication. I would highly recommend him for any large scale editing project of such caliber.

Heather W., January 29, 2016

The last several years, Michael Presky has edited over 300,000 words for me and has become my go-to editor. I value his services and skills so much, I referred him to my publisher at Permuted Press, where Mr. Presky currently freelances.

One of the novels he worked on contained myriad foreign names requiring a multi-paged cheat sheet to keep all those names--and all those accents--straight. Mr. Presky took to the task with precision and dare I say glee.

But above all, Michael Presky is an editor who honors the author's words. I've found that if he makes a revision with which I disagree, stylistically, he never insists that the author change to suit his personal taste. In a world where editors wield excessive creative control, Mr. Presky's deference to style is more than welcome, it's craved.

For fast, accurate, and thoughtful editing, look no further than Michael Presky.

David Snell, Author

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Louise May Alcott

Pacific Literary Arts
Michael Presky
presky @ yahoo dot com
310 384 0590 : voice or text

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