A NASA Shuttle Engineer’s Guide to Self-Publishing

authors, self-publishing, books, ebooks, editing, covers, proofreadingThe journey to writing and launching that first book is one of the most challenging things anyone can do in their professional career. You’re constantly out of your comfort zone, having to learn a myriad of new things, and must wear every hat in the business realm.

It’s no wonder that as many as 80 percent of the books that hit the market fail to sell even 100 copies.

So how can a first-time author get into that 20 percent that sell? Based on my 20 years of experience in product development and marketing, and having run the gauntlet of self-publishing, I believe the following three tactics to be critical to success for a debut author.

Much more.

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Company Snapshots: Metrodigi (DBW)
Metrodigi is a small EdTech company, and our application, Chaucer, provides an open, flexible and intelligent solution for digital content creators who wish to bring their content to life in the quickly changing digital world. We aim to be the gold standard interactive authoring tool for content that educates, informs, advances and inspires minds everywhere, through every stage of life-long learning,

Amazon Is Quietly Eliminating List Prices (NY Times)
The retailer built a reputation and hit $100 billion in annual revenue by offering deals. The first thing a potential customer saw was a bargain: how much an item was reduced from its list price. Now, in many cases, Amazon has dropped any mention of a list price. There is just one price. Take it or leave it.

What Does ‘Brexit’ Mean for Publishing? (PW)
The day I feared since David Cameron stepped out the door of 10 Downing Street in May 2015 to declare victory for the Conservative Party came to pass in the early hours of June 24, when news spread that voters opted to take Britain out of the European Union, of which it had been a grouchy member for more than 40 years. “No man is an island,” John Donne wrote in his Devotions upon Emergent Occasions. “If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less.”

Media Outlook ‘Dismal’ Following Brexit, Analysts Warn (Bookseller)
Enders Analysis has downgraded its forecasts for the audiovisual sector following the referendum result that will likely see the United Kingdom exit the European Union. The analysts said the result offered “no clear benefits to the audiovisual sector” while a climate of uncertainty promised to be harmful across the entire creative sector, with the prospect of a recession now raised.

Self-Publishing and the ‘Curatorial Mark’ (Pub Perspectives)
The high view of self-publishing, in Jon Fine’s words, is peopled with ‘increasingly sophisticated authors’ supported by ‘increasingly sophisticated consultants’—a movement growing into its own alongside the ‘curatorial mark’ of trade publishing.

Publishing Industry Stocks Have Modest Six-Month Gain (PW)
The Publishers Weekly Stock Index closed at 942.02 on June 30, a 5-percent increase over the Dec. 31, 2015, value. The gain beat the 2.9-percent rise posted by the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the same period. Although Amazon’s stock rose a relatively modest 5.9 percent in the six-month period, in terms of dollars the online retailer’s share price jumped by $39.73, closing at $715.62, not too far off of its 52-week high of $731.50.

5 Common Mistakes That Even Longtime Bloggers Make (Jane Friedman)
Given the time and energy that’s involved in meaningful blogging, it’s an important question. Here are five things that I often discover when I evaluate authors’ blogging efforts.

How to Use Pinterest to Boost Your Website’s SEO (BookWorks)
On Pinterest, you can pin images from your website to dedicated pinboards and subsequently enjoy increased traffic to your blog, website, or other landing pages when readers pin the images to a favorite pinboard of their own and click on the website link or tape the image a second time.


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