Publishing 101

You can always ask other members for their advice or experience. That’s one of the best reasons to join NCPA. But to make sure you understand which questions you need to ask, learn the basics.

First of all, read at least one book about self-publishing. Books that cover the basics are Dan Poynter’sThe Self-Publishing ManualThe Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Tom & Marilyn Ross, and Fern Reiss’sThe Publishing Game series.

Join an e-mail discussion list devoted to publishing. Find out which printers other publishers have used and been satisfied with and which distributors believe invoices should age at least six months before they’re paid. Publishers are happy to share their experiences. We have our own list, which you will be automatically subscribed to when joining, and you’ll learn about local co-op marketing opportunities there.

Attend a publishing conference. The biggest one is BookExpo America, usually called BEA. It’s held every May-June in a different U.S. city. Just before BEA, the Independent Book Publishers Association presents Publishing University, the largest educational event for book publishers and their staff, presenting more than 70 courses during a three-day event.

Join a publishers association. Certainly we want you to join NCPA. But you should also consider these two:the Independent Book Publishers Association and the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS). If you’re an NCPA member you’ll receive a discount on your membership. The IBPA newsletter alone is worth the membership dues.

Ready to jump into publishing? Here are links to all the resources described above plus links to information about obtaining an ISBN or Cataloging-in-Publication data, and registering copyright.

Copyright, Cataloging, and ISBNs

BowkerLink: Publisher Access SystemPurchase ISBNs or add your title to the Books in Print database here.
The ISBN Users’
Library of Congress: Especially for PublishersInformation about International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSN), Cataloging in Publication (CIP), and Preassigned Control Numbers (PCN).
Quality Books Inc.Their Publisher’s-Cataloging in Publication service provides data blocks for publishers who are not participating in the Library of Congress CIP Program.
U.S. Copyright OfficeEverything you could want to know about copyright, right from the official sourc
Library of Congress Online CatalogResearch book titles and authors using the online searchable database.
Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D.Articles about intellectual property and copyright law.
Publishing Law CenterSearchable database of articles on various areas of publishing.
www.publaw.comReturn to top

Getting Started

Midwest Book ReviewOnline articles and links to resources. Don’t forget to send your published book to MBR for review — they give priority consideration to small presses and self-published authors, and their reviews are read by librarians nationwide.
Para PublishingDan Poynter’s site contains up-to-date reports that supplement his book, The Self-Publishing Manual.
Sensible Solutions for Getting Happily PublishedCompanion site to Judith Appelbaum’s book, How to Get Happily Published.
Aeonix Publishing GroupReview lists of printers, basic information about file preparation, and more.
www.aeonix.comReturn to top

Market Research

Book MarketingJohn Kremer publishes the list of top 500 independent book stores and offers an online Tip of the Week.
Bookselling This WeekBook news provided by the American Booksellers Association.
Book Industry Study GroupPurchase reports on the book industry here.
BookwireThis site, run by Bowker, bills itself as the “book industry resource.”
www.bookwire.comReturn to top

With Pen in Hand

ShawGuides: The Guide to Writers Conferences & WorkshopsDatabase of conferences searchable by location and date.
Writing WorldThis writing site includes information about book promotion and self-publishing.
Preditors & EditorsThis site lists businesses that offer services to writers and rates their services based on industry standards of ethical behavior. to top

Books About Publishing and Publicity

The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and PublishersCMS is the standard style guide for U.S. books. There are nifty sections on Bookmaking (the different parts of a book and their content, rights and permissions, more), Style (punctuation, how to handle foreign words and quotations, more), and Production and Printing.
The Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print, and Sell Your Own Bookby Dan Poynter,
The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Own Bookby Tom Ross & Marilyn J. Ross
How to Publish and Promote Onlineby M. J. Rose & Angela Adair-Hoy
1001 Ways to Market Your Books: For Authors and Publishersby John Kremer,
Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 Weapons to Help You Sell Your Workby Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, Michael Larsen
Jumpstart Your Book Sales: A Money-Making Guide for Authors, Independent Publishers and Small Pressesby Tom Ross & Marilyn J. Ross
The Publishing Game: Find an Agent in 30 Days, Publish a Book in 30 Days, Bestseller in 30 Daysby Fern Reiss, www.publishinggame.comReturn to top

E-mail Discussion Lists

Publish-LPublish-L provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information about publishing and marketing books and related materials.
Smallpub-civilA free-ranging discussion of independent and small-press publishing and marketing. Other than bullying, name-calling, rude flames, spam, or entire newsletters, pretty much anything goes. Anyone engaging in a personal attack will lose posting privileges.
Print on Demand PublishersA business- and marketing-oriented group for publishers of Print-on-Demand books. The moderators will strive to mantain a civilized forum, and they reserve the right to terminate without notice disruptive members.
Print-On-DemandAuthors who published through a POD service can exchange ideas of marketing, promotion and sales of their books as well as discuss the different publishers they have used.

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