Some How-To’s of Self-Publishing, (and perhaps some How-(Not)-To’s)

I’m fortunate to have friends in many different skill sets and areas of business. Too bad I have NO friends in the publishing business. Haha But that’s why I write this blog, to eventually catch the eye of someone in print publishing if I don’t accomplish that first.

As I talk about friends with different backgrounds, one is a friend and husband of my wife’s best friend. Tom is a graphic designer who happens to own a couple of great GD storefronts in Houston and is always willing to help out with any sort of graphic design job. One item I have for him is to put my unit’s old logo on a couple of Polo shirts to which I intend on sending some copies to members of the old unit.

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We were recently on a nine-day road trip and one stop was Houston. As we sat around drinking a couple cold Lone Stars, he asked how my book is coming along and why I don’t have print copies yet. My wife interjected then and stated we need to get a publishing house to do it for us, and if there is no such opportunity, we need to seek out methods to self-publish. Tom immediately stops us and informs everyone that his company can do that. “Hard cover, soft, cover, whatever”, he says, “I can print out as many copies as you want.”

But then came my turn to speak, I told him I was unsure about any next steps without due process. When asked, I explained I have an ISBN number to sell on Smashwords, but it’s an electronic ISBN number. As I understand it, there a whole different process to request a print ISBN number before we can even proceed with print copies. Also, I feel pretty sure I need to engage my lawyers (or someone familiar with literary rights) to go and get my work copyrighted.

I felt bad telling my excited wife and willing friend that we can storm head-long into print publishing because he can generate some copies at a moment’s notice.

If there are any thoughts to this or any resources, I’d be willing to listen. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll have to find whatever free time I have from working and parenting to research this item before I can get any actual books made.
Oh, and in case anyone is keeping up with past posts, the hard copy query letter I mentioned in the February 25th post came back via SASE as a No. So, in the spirit of keeping the old-school way alive, the next query letter I will send will be a printed copy and sent via Snail Mail.

Go Blackhawks!! It’s my birthday today, so give me a win against the Blues in the payoffs this week as a present!


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