January 31, 2005 Program Summary
by Adele Sommers
to Publish, Price, and Market
Until this packed January 31st event, we never knew how many aspiring authors and information publishers we had in our midst! Filling the audience were people already writing (or planning to write) novels, plays, technical manuals, and various other publications designed to impress their clients and customers.
The event was co-sponsored by the Cuesta College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in San Luis Obispo, where this self-publishing workshop was previously offered.
Speaker Lori Rai (left), a local business and marketing consultant, shared her story of becoming a published author. She then gave us an overview of what aspiring authors and information developers, working with editors, formatters, and illustrators, can do to create their own printed products and get them into distribution.
This session was designed to be the first of a two-part series covering both printed and digital products. This first event focused primarily on creating printed products. Click here to see the summary of Part 2 (held January 30, 2006).
It all started simply enough...
Lori's fascinating publishing stories began with a client she once had who wanted to create his own booklets and audio tapes on legal consulting. It was her first taste of the publishing process, which has since expanded as a result of publishing her own children's book.
Her book, called Princess Sheron & the Frog, was originally written as a gift for her five-year-old grandniece, Sheron. It soon took on a life of its own. No ordinary children's tale, this is a coloring book about a self-confident princess with an MBA who meets, and quickly shirks off the advances of, a macho frog. The story's message about feeling empowered to grow up, get an education, start a career, and wait to find the right person to settle down with appealed to everyone who read it.
Slowly, the momentum began to build. At the urging of her associates, she decided to commission some friends to create illustrations and a layout. After calculating the production costs of printing and packaging the booklet with box of crayons, Lori ultimately stepped into the self-publishing arena.
Now the book is being printed locally (although she also considered an online printing and order fulfillment service). Achievement House supplies the package shrink-wrapping, and Lori markets the book to coastal gift shops and bookstores.
An interesting twist...after first thinking the book would appeal mostly to mothers buying gifts for their young girls, she's found after attending a few book signings that the demand is quite varied. Some women want the book for themselves. Adult men and women of all ages are buying them in bulk 10 or 12 copies at a time for female teenage and young adult family members. Will there be sequels or companion products to satisfy their inevitable cravings for more? Lori, at this point, is not quite sure.
Steps you can take to launch your own publishing project
Lori outlined the steps involved in the process, which include the key points below. (More complete information and assistance is available by signing up for free consulting with the SBDC.)
1. Define your publishing project:
2. Get identification codes and copyrights:
3. Choose a printing service (online or local):
4. Determine your distribution method:
5. Estimate production costs and price your product:
6. Market your published creation:
Photograph provided by Lori Rai.
How to Publish, Price, and Market Your Own Work
|Date:||Monday evening, January 31, 2005|
Lori Rai is a business instructor and consultant with the Mission Community Services Corporation (MCSC). As a longtime entrepreneur and business owner, she's gained broad expertise that she now shares with aspiring authors and small business owners in the community, and advises people interested in publishing their own work. You can reach Lori at 805-473-9025.
How to Publish, Price, and Market Your Own Work provided an overview of the steps involved in creating, printing, and selling your own printed material which could be anything from children's books to technical manuals all without courting an agent or seeking a traditional publishing house.
The goal was to learn how the world of self-publishing is transforming the information industry, and to spark attendees' imaginations about new ways to put their talents to work. Whether contemplating the next great American novel...or creating an authoritative booklet or manual to enhance one's professional credibility, the possibilities are endless!