More and more, writers do not have to go through traditional publishing channels to publish a great book that also sells well and looks beautiful. Nor do they need to spend the hundreds of dollars that so many self-publishers charge for their publishing packages. In fact, authors are often better off not spending the money and publishing their books themselves.
This is exactly what a number of Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild members have been doing, quite successfully in the last few months, by using the Amazon.com publishing tool CreateSpace. These authors include Rich Barnett, author of "The Discreet Charms of a Bourgeois Beach Town," which in its first three months sold more than 1,000 copies and continues to sell well; and Revere Reed, whose first novel, "On A Dime: Senseless in Lewes” sold, in its first three months, hundreds of copies, more than 300 in one local store alone. These numbers are exponentially better than the self-publishing average of anywhere from 10 to 100 copies. In part, this is due to the quality of the writing, but it might also be due to the fact that the cost of truly doing it yourself is exponentially cheaper, and authors retain much more control over every aspect of their book, including price.
The process is actually fairly straightforward, even easy. For those who are venturing into the Do It Yourself Publishing model for the first time, it helps to take a class. The RBWG is offering three social media/publishing classes that will help writers bring their publishing dreams to fruition.
Publish Your Paperback is a five-week class to be held from 10 a.m. to noon, Thursdays, Jan. 10 to Feb. 7. The class will show writers how to publish their own books effectively and inexpensively. Participants will be guided through the process of preparing their manuscript (editing, proofreading, writing a foreword and/or introduction and an author bio), designing a cover, typesetting and interior layout including creating a table of contents, establishing an account with a print-on-demand vendor (CreateSpace), and finally, publishing the book. Prerequisites are a finished (or nearly finished) work to publish, basic computer skills (using a mouse, basic typing and basic knowledge of Microsoft Word) and an open mind. At the end of the class, participants will have a book available for sale on Amazon.com and other booksellers. The class costs $200 for RBWG members and $225 for nonmembers.
Create Your Own Author Blog Website is also a five-week class to be held 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursdays, Jan. 10 to Feb. 7. This course leverages the WordPress website building platform, enabling writers and authors to create, customize and maintain their own personal blog site. Learn how to select and acquire a domain, build a website, add pages and blog posts, manage photos and galleries, and customize the website’s look and feel. No programming is required. Students will create a website for free, or for those who would like to use their own custom domain and choose a custom design template, the cost will be less than $50 per year. The class costs $200 for RBWG members and $225 for nonmembers
Finally, the Rehoboth Beach Writers' Guild is offering a single-session seminar, Introduction to Twitter, at the cost of S40 for RBWG members and $45 for nonmembers. The basic workshop will be held from 4 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19, and will instruct and illustrate setting up a Twitter account, configuring profile options and the basics of tweets, direct messages, favorites and retweets.
The classes will all take place in Nassau Commons near Five Points, Lewes, and will be taught by Steve Robison, an active member in the Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild. Robison melds creativity in his writing, photography and design with technical skill in computers, computer programming, and website development and management. His passion is utilizing technology in the sharing of art and writing through the use of modern publishing techniques, creative uses of website technologies and social networking. He has over 25 years of experience in technology fields. He is the founder and owner of Red Sky Websites, a website development and marketing firm.
To register for this or any writing class offered by the guild, email firstname.lastname@example.org or pay online through the Paypal option at www.rehobothbeachwritersguild.com. Payment is required with registration, which closes Saturday, Jan. 5.