Self publishing - what tips do you have?

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Hello drgondog drgondog , my father self-published a book on the A-20 over Hungary. One thing that helped him is getting a great supportive community surrounding him and his project.
I have not self-published before as my most recent work (Verified Victories) was with Helion & Co., but I am toying with the idea of self-publishing for my future work(s).

All the best,
Dan.
 
Hello drgondog drgondog , my father self-published a book on the A-20 over Hungary. One thing that helped him is getting a great supportive community surrounding him and his project.
I have not self-published before as my most recent work (Verified Victories) was with Helion & Co., but I am toying with the idea of self-publishing for my future work(s).

All the best,
Dan.
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My wife just self-published a book. One advise, make sure you got some good editors to take a look at it. Many self-published books have bad editing. Don't do it yourself. As the author, you'll become blind for your own mistakes. My wife is an editor by profession herself, but even she has this problem.

Making the layout is quite a bit of work. Many of the self-publishing companies provide templates that you can start with. Quite convenient . Mostly these templates are MSOffice only, so you'll need an Office365 subscription.
 
Bill, I'll endorse the previous comments. Just a couple of thoughts:

Self publishing of course can be print or digital. Previously some authors were concerned about keeping an inventory but print-on-demand seems the way around that. Either way, I think your excellent 355th history (or anything else you might consider) are options.

One downside to digital: it's subject to duplication. That's why the late-great Frank Olynyk did not digitalize his superb victory credits series. He knew that as soon as the first disc was sold, it was probably going to be pirated.

Anyway, please lemme know how you proceed and I'll be glad to spread the word.
 
I second the advice to get an outside proofreader, preferably one somewhat familiar with the topic. Writers, including myself (only a hobby, no published works), often overlook mistakes because we understand what we mean, and spellcheck doesn't factor in context very well, especially on more-obscure topics.

Good luck with everything!
 
Bill, I'll endorse the previous comments. Just a couple of thoughts:

Self publishing of course can be print or digital. Previously some authors were concerned about keeping an inventory but print-on-demand seems the way around that. Either way, I think your excellent 355th history (or anything else you might consider) are options.

One downside to digital: it's subject to duplication. That's why the late-great Frank Olynyk did not digitalize his superb victory credits series. He knew that as soon as the first disc was sold, it was probably going to be pirated.

Anyway, please lemme know how you proceed and I'll be glad to spread the word.
As you may know Barrett, our Bastard Stepchild book was pirated almost immediately and PDF version downloaded via Russian website. You can imagine Osprey effectiveness at shutting them down.

Taylor Publishing is local and (I think) still in biz. IIRC both the American Fighter Aces album and Bluenose were contracted with Taylor to print the book and worked collaboratively on the format.

Just how does Print on Demand work? Use high quality Word to Pdf as the core template for the printer? I don't have my head around the order process, nor the actual business model of the Printer.
 
As you may know Barrett, our Bastard Stepchild book was pirated almost immediately and PDF version downloaded via Russian website. You can imagine Osprey effectiveness at shutting them down.

Taylor Publishing is local and (I think) still in biz. IIRC both the American Fighter Aces album and Bluenose were contracted with Taylor to print the book and worked collaboratively on the format.

Just how does Print on Demand work? Use high quality Word to Pdf as the core template for the printer? I don't have my head around the order process, nor the actual business model of the Printer.
My wife could do both, but with a Word file things don't always come out as expected. We suggest using a PDF.
 
My wife was a professional editor before retiring too, and she caught a LOT of things that I'd missed. But then when the publisher's editor(s?) got our manuscript, all kinds of odd things happened. Editing is more than catching errors in spelling and grammar, it extends into arranging text and figures, and anyone who's read our book will be scratching their heads at the way illustrations were put way ahead of when the subjects were brought up in the text, or way after. Things like that - well, we didn't anticipate them, and weren't able to get them changed by the publisher because of pressure to make it "fit with the appearance" of the rest of the books by other authors in that series. There are pitfalls for sure!

One other thing to consider about self-publishing is the whole mess called copyright permissions. If you publish on your own and use a photo or drawing that you've seen a hundred times before in other works, you can still be held legally liable for using it without the copyright owner's permission, assuming it's not 100% surely in the public domain. The common dodge of claiming "fair use" is risky at best, as numerous court cases can attest. It was a relief to have our publisher handle such things for us, although we did have to do the leg work ourselves, getting our sources to sign the publisher's forms.

Good luck, whichever road you take. There's nothing as overwhelming as opening a box and seeing copies of your very own book, with your name on the cover!
 
My wife was a professional editor before retiring too, and she caught a LOT of things that I'd missed. But then when the publisher's editor(s?) got our manuscript, all kinds of odd things happened. Editing is more than catching errors in spelling and grammar, it extends into arranging text and figures, and anyone who's read our book will be scratching their heads at the way illustrations were put way ahead of when the subjects were brought up in the text, or way after. Things like that - well, we didn't anticipate them, and weren't able to get them changed by the publisher because of pressure to make it "fit with the appearance" of the rest of the books by other authors in that series. There are pitfalls for sure!

One other thing to consider about self-publishing is the whole mess called copyright permissions. If you publish on your own and use a photo or drawing that you've seen a hundred times before in other works, you can still be held legally liable for using it without the copyright owner's permission, assuming it's not 100% surely in the public domain. The common dodge of claiming "fair use" is risky at best, as numerous court cases can attest. It was a relief to have our publisher handle such things for us, although we did have to do the leg work ourselves, getting our sources to sign the publisher's forms.

Good luck, whichever road you take. There's nothing as overwhelming as opening a box and seeing copies of your very own book, with your name on the cover!
I agree all the travails of working with publishers as they arrange for 'pretty' out of context with the narrative. I also have problems with Osprey's contractors transforming my spreadsheet tables into 'beauty' which resulted in many errors in final product. That said the only two things I have against Osprey is that they were so afraid of missing the release deadline and ignored the final edits - and that their security leaked somewhere, resulting in our book being free and downloadable on a Russian website.

I really only have one copyright focus, which is Boeing and have a decent relationship - plus trade bait.
 
Anybody self publishing? Need advice.
I have self published two books - one on the RAAF deployment to Soviet Russia in 1942. I only did a print run of 250 - the publisher advised that was about all I would sell. They went fairly quickly but did not assure me of interest in a second print run. My first publisher did a run of 1,000.

Then a friend who has an In-Law in Tromso Norway, sent me some pics recovered from a German desk at war's end. They were of Jimmy Catanach and his crew, having made a good wheels-down landing near Vadso some of the photos show the 5 airmen in their first hour of capture, being marched and loaded into the prison van (4 days to Dulag Luft). This let me put together Jimmy's last flight and his execution (bullet to the back of the head by an SS man who was destined to be hanged).

I re-wrote the book and included the new photos. Looking for a more international market, I offered it to Pen & Sword UK. The edits were wonderful, using their chap in the Cayman Islands, using mark-up in Word/email. We had less than a dozen exchanges, I had to stand my ground on some bits and he accepted why, on others I gracefully accepted the advice. Then I believe my Commissioning editor had a fatal medical episode.

The new editor had a lot of trouble with the quality of images, I went through hell! Finally I took a box of 120 size film negatives to a friend "This is rocking horse poop!" he exclaimed
I only used 4 of the negatives in the book but it got me over the line.

Still no book - but the Australian agent thinks it will be available next month. I sincerely hope pessimistically before - Christmas 2024 but could be August
Geoff Raebel

Geoff Raebel -
 

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I agree all the travails of working with publishers as they arrange for 'pretty' out of context with the narrative. I also have problems with Osprey's contractors transforming my spreadsheet tables into 'beauty' which resulted in many errors in final product. That said the only two things I have against Osprey is that they were so afraid of missing the release deadline and ignored the final edits - and that their security leaked somewhere, resulting in our book being free and downloadable on a Russian website.

I really only have one copyright focus, which is Boeing and have a decent relationship - plus trade bait.
That Russian website is notorious for this. They put our book there too, and I notified Osprey. They were taking action to put a stop to it. Then another website copied the whole book, and another. I notify Osprey every time I see a new one. It's all I can do, the rest is up to them. But at least they take an active interest, unlike some other publishers. :)
 
That Russian website is notorious for this. They put our book there too, and I notified Osprey. They were taking action to put a stop to it. Then another website copied the whole book, and another. I notify Osprey every time I see a new one. It's all I can do, the rest is up to them. But at least they take an active interest, unlike some other publishers. :)
that said, they were effectively powerless to stop the distribution. The real question is how did they get the PDF copy
 

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