A find at the might Greater Victoria Public Library. It took two renews, after which I had to return it (two is the max; the borrowing period is 3 weeks), and then one more renew to finish this one. What a saga! Close to 3 months, I think. There.s been lots of irons in the fire (blogging, writing, cover art search, and you name it) so I.m just happy to have finished. Alison Baverstock.s The Naked Author is one of those books you can slowly enjoy. Pick it up, read a few pages. Think about what she has to say. Put it down. And then pick it up again. There.s not much to be gained in reading it straight through blitzkrieg style like a tank going through the Ardennes forest. Some books are like that. They.re like pieces of music. You feel their tempi like a heartbeat.
So, as the full title says, this is The Naked Author: A Guide to Self-publishing. There.s a silhouette I guess of a naked author in red on the front with words going across his body. From a novel on Martin and Christmas and the sink, from what I can gather.
Here.s the back blurb (which I take notice of more and more because this book has informed me that either I will have to write one or ask for some help getting one written!)–
New digital technology, falling production costs and the emergence of a new type of publishing services company have led to self-publishing becoming a viable–and often desirable–option for writers, rather than a poor second to finding a commercial publishing deal.
Written by a publishing consultant and author, with plenty of advice from industry professionals, this book offers an objective analysis of both philosophy and process. It will help you to analyze your objectives and sharpen appreciation of the needs of your audience. There is guidance on how to commission services, grasp the range of design and format options available, plan efficient distribution, sales and marketing.
Crucially you will also find consideration of the responsibilities of the author embarking on self-publishing; both to their audience and themselves. This comprehensive guide will help yo scrutinize investment choices, make better decisions-and produce a product worthy of your name.
You learn something new each day: what I.ve been calling the back blurb is actually called the art of copywriting, otherwise known as a few words of introduction promoting your work and piquing further interest in the reader. It turns out copywriting (as opposed to copyright, another publishing term) is an art unto itself.
Baverstock.s The Naked Author has a British flavour (notice saucy British spelling!) because she.s course leader for MA Publishing at Kingston University. Some of the suggestions (ie Matador Press) are local in nature, but all in all, the book provides a solid description of what the aspiring author is getting into. One of the reasons why I selected this book was that I liked its presentation: choice of font, paper, size, feel, etc., all seemed just right. It.s actually quite distressing: many of the self-publishing books out there on how to self-publish look very self-published themselves! The presentation of The Naked Author was top notch.
If I had wanted a book to tell me how great and wonderful and easy things would be, this sure wasn.t the right book! I learned a lot. For one, I had though editing would be easy: check for spelling and grammar. But actually for a book there.s many stages of editing. There.s structural editing to make sure things are in the right place. There.s copy editing to make sure spaces, lines, paragraphs, and hyphens (i.e. make sure therapist doesn.t turn into the-rapist) are all correct. And then after this, then there.s the spelling and grammar.
I had thought before reading this book that 90% of the work would be writing the book and 10% of the work would be the other stuff such as promotion, editing, cover art, marketing, etc., Well, after reading this book, I think it.s more like 50:50. There.s a section marketing on the end, and it made me laugh to read how the writer can expect to have a lot less time writing since he will be occupied with blogging, marketing, and everything else. You ain.t kidding!
So, if you.re thinking of self-publishing, decide if you believe in what you.re doing. Because you will be working on a thing called faith! Yes, I know it moves mountains. But for it to do that, well, you have to believe in the first place! Well, until next time, I am Edwin Wong and I think after reading this great book I will be doing a whole lot more of Doing Melpomene.s Work than I had initially bargained for!