Posts Tagged ‘self publishing’

Exactly the right words; social networking; taglines; job seekers; grammar; manuscripts; Chinese word for heart

I started a new format for my blog posts on November 16, 2011. Once a month, I will write a post to include 3 sections.

As 22-day Platform-Building Coach Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days:

Write Your Story Now! PLAYshop with Mary E. Knippel

Are you frustrated trying to find just exactly the right words
- for your blog posts?
-for that end-of-the-year letter to family or customers?
-to update your profile on your website or social media site?

Come and explore how you can overcome your writing challenges and have fun at the same time!

Nov. 19, 2011   9 a.m. -4 p.m. Free Event
$20 holds your seat (refunded at the door)
Workshop in Half Moon Bay, CA

Click here for more details.

Mary Tang tells me that George Kao teaches people/small businesses how to gain visibility and find customers via social networking
Learn how to craft your talking-tagline from Guru Elisa Sasa Southard Get Elisa’s book!
Job Seekers check out

As Editor & Manuscript Consultantidentify themes and archetypes:

Get yourself a book on grammar. I recommend Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O’Conner


Teresa LeYung-Ryan & Mary E. Knippel show writers how to polish their manuscripts before:

  • hiring book doctor/developmental editor
  • pitching to agents or acquisition editors
  • self-publishing

As author of Love Made of Heart:

November is:

“Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Please click here for details to Coach Teresa’s event.


Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

How to submit a question/comment to this post or any post in my blog:

  • Click on the blue header (title bar) of the post
  • Scroll down until you see boxes and fill in the boxes (you do need an email address to submit questions/comments; if you have a website/blog, do promote it  by keying in the address)
  • After you fill in the boxes, you might want to keep a copy of your question/comment before clicking the  “submit comment” button.

Coach Teresa here to announce that I have changed the cover price of the print edition of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW from $22 to $12.96

Why? When the workbook was $22, folks had to pay for’s shipping or buy another item to reach $25 for free shipping.  If you already have my workbook (Thank you! And please tell me how you’re building your platform by submitting a comment to this post!). . . . maybe as holiday gifts for yourself and a friend . . .  get another book on writing (like The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master or Blockbuster Plots: Pure & Simple — both books by Martha Alderson or any of the books I recommend click here to see or a movie to study dialogue as I discussed in my post of Nov. 12, 2011) for yourself and Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days for a friend who needs to reach out, not stress out, to build platform/fanbase/client-base.

If your friend prefers Ebook edition it is $9.81

A note to folks who shop only at brick-and-mortar bookstores . . .  I support independent bookstores and encourage writers to do the same. Independent booksellers order books through their distributors and if their distributors do not list the book you want, then your independent bookseller can’t order the book for you. BookShop West Portal in San Francisco carries my workbook and my novel Love Made of Heart.

Example:  If you go to (one of my favorite booksellers) and key in my name [ Teresa LeYung Ryan ] in the search box, you’ll see both my workbook and my novel in their database because Laurel Book Store’s distributor lists the titles.

A note to writers:  If there are bookstores near you, do visit them.  Study new releases (front cover, back cover, jacket copy, table of contents, read the first page) whether you are considering self-publishing or not; let booksellers know you support them; attend readings, meet other folks who are interested in what you’re interested about. The feature-author at a reading could turn into a mentor/advisor; everyone you meet could turn into your fans.


Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan helps fiction and nonfiction writers build their platforms and fanbases before and after publication--photo by MKWL

Please tell your friends who live in the San Francisco Greater Bay Area that I will be at these forums (click here for full schedule and details):

Dec. 1, 2011 San Francisco Public Library-Main Branch

Jan. 8, 2012 California Writers Club-Redwood Branch in Santa Rosa  “Writing-Career-Make-Over with Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan”

Jan. 12, 2012 teleseminar for National Association of Memoir Writers

February 2012 San Francisco Writers Conference

March 24, 2012 Women’s National Book Association presents “Meet the Agents/Speed Dating with Agents”  Teresa LeYung-Ryan will coach registrants on how to pitch.


Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Please visit my website

If you wish to email me, I’m writingcoachTeresa at

Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!



Hi Teresa,
Thought you may be interested in this self-publishing article in the Sac Bee.  Ken Umbach is in the article and gives great advice!
Margie Yee Webb
Thanks, Margie!  What a helpful article by Allen Pierleoni at The Sacramento Bee. . . which answers the questions “How do I self publish? Is it difficult?  Is it costly?” beautifully.

After you read the article, please check out these organizations

Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA)

Northern California Publishers & Authors (NCPA)

California Writers Club  18 branches in California

Women’s National Book Association


Publishing Panel: Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010 • 2-5 p.m.

San Francisco Main Public Library


Writing Career Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan

Self-publishing gets easier with online tools

By Allen Pierleoni
Published: Monday, Aug. 9, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 1D
Last Modified: Monday, Aug. 9, 2010 – 1:09 pm

You, too, can be an author.

In print and online, self-published authors have never had so many choices of where and how to place their memoirs, novels, cookbooks, essays and poetry.

Among those there to help them is Bob Young, co-founder of the giant online publishing company Lulu. Young says “the new publishing model” will not be dependent on best-sellers – the lifeblood of traditional publishing – but on niche publications.

“Our most successful authors generally fit into specialized knowledge-based categories,” said Lulu spokesman Jonathan Cox. “They write about business, economics, computers, the Internet, art.”

Among the major players accommodating aspiring writers – in a few cases, established authors as well, such as John Edgar Wideman (“Briefs”) – are Amazon (CreateSpace and Digital Text Platform), Author Solutions (parent company of AuthorHouse, Xlibris and iUniverse), Barnes & Noble (PubIt!), Apple (iBookstore), Lulu, Smashwords, Scribd and Fastpencil.

Profits from sales are split between publisher and author, with publishers getting 20 percent to 30 percent and writers getting 70 percent to 80 percent.

Self-published authors can choose to have their finished products as e-books downloadable to a variety of e-readers (including Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad), other mobile devices and PCs, or in traditional book form, or both.

They’re doing so in viral numbers. Last year, 764,448 self-published titles appeared – an increase of 181 percent from 2008. That compares with 289,729 titles from traditional publishing houses, according to the R.R. Bowker Co., which compiles bibliographic data.

Ideal for untested writers; not great for literary stars

E-books account for an estimated 5 percent to 10 percent of all U.S. book sales, according to book industry consultants, but within five years they could account for up to 25 percent.

On Friday, Dorchester Publishing announced that it will abandon its traditional print publishing business in favor of “an e-book/print-on-demand model.”

The decision came after sales of its mass-market paperbacks, its specialty, fell by 25 percent last year and have been even worse in 2010.

Jim Milliot, co-editorial director of Publishers Weekly, said the self-publishing movement “isn’t making any of the big publishers nervous, but they’re certainly watching it.”

“If they have a fear, it’s that one of their large-name authors will go out on his or her own,” Milliot said. “But what keeps the big authors tied to their houses is big advances. You’re not going to see a John Grisham go running to Smashwords.”

As e-readers, e-books and e-bookstores become more ingrained in our culture, the digital self-publishing model gets the most buzz.

Usually, the digital model works in conjunction with print on demand, in which a paper book isn’t physically printed until it’s been presold. That’s a double whammy for an author – an e-book and a paper version of the same title.

Start typing

How does a writer turn an electronic manuscript into an e-book? The process is simple.At www.barnesandnoble/pubit, for instance, the directions for the digital self-publishing template advise: “Set up your account (with us), then start loading files and cover art for … your e-books. PubIt! converts digital files to ePub format, the most widely accepted format for e-reader and mobile devices. … Now millions of readers can buy your e-books” through online bookstores.

Kenneth Umbach of Citrus Heights uses Lulu as a publishing platform for paper and digital books.

Through his Umbach Consulting and Publishing, he has produced his own titles (a collection of columns from the weekly newspaper Senior Spectrum, and a how-to-publish handbook) and those of others. Sales have been “modest,” he said.

Probably his company’s biggest seller was “Capitol Crimes,” a collection of mystery stories by members of the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime, published partly as a fundraiser.

Umbach advises aspiring self-publishers to be aware of add-on services for sale by tech publishers, from editing to promotional packages.

“Hire someone with expertise in laying out your book, and have a set of competent eyes editing it,” he said.

Publishing is just one step

One of the conceits of self-publishing is that it democratizes the process, allowing anyone to put a book in the marketplace and name his or her price. There is no longer the need for an agent, an editor or a monolithic publishing house.The nature of success changes, too.

“For successful authors, writing the book is the beginning,” said Cox of Lulu. “They maintain blogs, speak at conferences, stay active in online forums that potential readers are likely to visit.”

“Success is different for every author,” he added. “Some just want to share an idea with the world, so they give away their books or sell them at cost. Others want to build a personal brand. Many want to make money.”

Lulu has paid “millions of dollars in royalties to our authors,” Cox said. “Some earn a couple of dollars over the lifetime of their books. Others earn thousands of dollars every year. We have one author who has earned more than $196,000″ from a technical book.

“The market is broad and diverse,” said Amazon spokeswoman Sarah Gelman. “We think that our Digital Text Platform makes it possible for authors and publishers to offer more titles, at better prices, to Kindle customers. We also think this will allow more authors to make a living at their craft.”

Milliot of Publishers Weekly cautions: “For a new author with no established audience, the chances of succeeding are not very high.”

Some find fame

But there are success stories.Unable to break into traditional publishing, Boyd Morrison placed “The Ark” on Amazon’s Kindle bookstore. Sales were so great that Simon & Schuster – one of the publishers that had rejected the thriller – bought it and printed it in hardback.

Frustrated by publishers who turned down her novel “A Scattered Life,” Karen McQuestion published it online. The e-book sold nearly 40,000 copies and now McQuestion has a movie option.

J.A. Konrath says he’ll make $100,000 this year from Kindle sales of his thriller “Whiskey Sour.” That despite book critics calling the title “formulaic” and “cliché-ridden.”

Which brings up the issue of quality. If anybody can publish anything, how good will most of it be?

“In the ‘old days,’ after 30 rejection letters, you’d stick the manuscript in a drawer,” said Milliot. “Today you send it to (an online publisher). By far the lion’s share of self-published material – both print or digital – would never be published (in a traditional way) because, frankly, it’s not professional grade. That said, there is some good stuff out there.”

Laura Miller, co-founder of the online magazine, took self- publishing to task from the perspective of a former book editor who worked in the mainstream New York publishing industry.

In a brutal yet telling essay for, she wrote in part, “Civilians … can talk as much trash as they want about the supposedly low standards of traditional publishing. They haven’t seen the vast majority of what didn’t get published. Believe me, if you have, it’s enough to make your blood run cold, thinking about (it) being introduced into the general population.”

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128

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