Blog on Book Outreach

Creating Your Book as a PDF by Gini Graham Scott


 by Gini Graham Scott

Author of 150+ Plus Books

Including Self-Publishing Secrets: How to Write, Publish, and Market a Best-Seller or Use Your Book to Build Your Business



Finally, another way to format your book as a PDF, which you can create, promote and sell in various ways.    Here are some of the ways:

– Creating individual chapters as blogs, which you can use to build traffic to your website;

– Using a chapter or section of a chapter as a “gift” to offer to prospects in a sales funnel, so they go on to purchase your whole book or related services and products;

– Using the PDF as a bonus for people who buy your book or take a course from you;

– Writing individual chapters as articles or blogs, which you later combine into a complete book;

– Using the PDF as a handout in a workshop or introductory meeting about what you do;

– Selling a short PDF on a specialized topic, where you are offering special high-value information, such as new investment opportunities, how you can save money on getting a mortgage, or how recently passed laws will affect your business.  Such high value information can be even one or two pages, since individuals are buying the information and are not concerned that this is in a much shorter format than a book.

Typically, PDF books range from a few pages to about 35-50 pages, and often they are double spaced like a manuscript rather than a published book.   Sometimes they are straight text, but often they include photos, illustrations, graphs, and charts.

Of course such a short PDF can also be published as a very short book, such as through CreateSpace or IngramSpark, but it doesn’t have to be.  Rather, you can offer it for free, as an incentive or bonus, or for sale and then provide it in the form of a download, which you can handle manually, if you have a small number of requests or orders, or you can set it up with one of the automatic responders, such as AWeber (, GetResponse (, or MailChimp (, so anytime someone places an order or sends in an email in response to an ad, they automatically get a link to your PDF which they can download.


Creating Your PDF


Since virtually everyone knows how to create and read a PDF from Adobe, I won’t go into how to do that.  But what many people don’t know is how to create a printer-friendly high resolution PDF with embedded fonts.  You need this for some printer programs, such as Ingram-Spark, which I already described, plus you may want to do this if you are selling your PDFs direct, especially if you are including photos, illustrations, and charts, which will show off better in a higher resolution PDF.  Typically, your PDF will be in the standard letter-sized (8 ½”x11”) format.

The way create a high-resolution PDF is to print your original Word document as a PDF, rather than using the “Save as PDF” function in Word.   Or if you are working in an Apple MacIntosh environment, you can do the equivalent in Pages, or save your document as a Word file.

Then, when you print your Word or other document, indicate that you want to print an Adobe PDF document and go to properties.  Then, instead of the standard default setting, indicate that you want to print it as a PDF/X-1a:2001 document.  That will provide the higher resolution and embed any fonts.  Or if you have used fonts you can’t embed, such as special fonts where you need a license to use them, you will get a message accordingly, and you can select another more common font that will embed.


Creating a Cover for Your PDF


While you don’t have to create a cover for your PDF, this is a nice touch, which you can place on the front of your PDF by simply inserting the cover page.  You can also use the cover to promote your PDF on your website or other online sales network, such as ClickBank (

To create the cover, create a design like you would for a front cover for a printed book or e-book.  You can use illustrations, stock photos, have a designer create a cover for you, whatever you want.  Just regard the cover as a promotional tool for selling your book from your website or landing page.


Including Sales Material in Your Book


You can include a sales page, just as you would in a print-book or e-book.  This can go in the front of the PDF, in the back, or both.  Presumably you can use it to sell whatever you want — from other PDFs or published books for sale to related products and services.

The sales page should include a link to your website or landing page where people can obtain the book.  It can also include links to Amazon, if you have any books or products for sale there, since you won’t run into problems for pitching a competitor, as is the case if you are publishing an e-book on IngramSpark, since Apple, which is one of IngramSpark’s distributors won’t market a book which has an Amazon link.  But you aren’t selling your PDF as a published book through any of these distributors and retailers.  Rather you are selling it direct to customers through your website, landing page, or an email or online marketing campaign.


Selling Your Book through Your Website, Landing Page, or Online Marketing


Exactly how to best market and promote your PDF book can be a complicated process, since you have to take into consideration your market and how to best reach your audience.  So I won’t cover that here and leave that for a future book.  Here I just want to cover the basics of setting up your book for sale.  The four basic ways to sell or use your PDF as a gift or incentive include the following, and you can do any or all of them:

Creating an offer on your website.  For this you can create a section on your home page or on a sales page, where you feature the cover of your book and the text of your offer.  Then, if a person clicks, you can then obtain information from them and a typical sequence is to either have them purchase it if for sale with a credit card or PayPal account or send them to a landing page if a gift or incentive, where you collect their email, send them an email from that address to verify they have given you a correct email, and that includes the link to click to get their PDF.

Creating an offer on a landing page.  This works the same way as an offer on your website, except you normally will have a stand-alone page that simply describes your PDF and provides a button to click to buy or a button to provide you with their email so you can send them the gift or incentive.

Offering your PDF in an email campaign.  In this case, your offer is coming through an email sent to a prospective customer or client.   Then, anyone interested in learning more, clicks a button to go to your website or landing page, and then you proceed as above.

Offering your PDF in an ad campaign.  In this case, your offer is coming in the form of an ad, such as through Facebook or Google AdWords.  As with the email campaign, the ad should direct the person to your website or landing page, where  you can provide more detail about the offer, and then you proceed as above.


Turning Your PDF into a Published Book


Just as you might turn a series of articles or blogs into a published book, so you can turn a PDF or series of PDF into a book published in any of the other formats.  For example, if you haven’t already published the whole book, you can build on a chapter turned into a PDF to complete the whole book.  Or if you have turned a blog or article into a PDF, then combine a series of them into the book.

You can then publish the PDF in any of the formats previously described — print, e-book, audiobook, or a class in a course.

One advantage of starting with a PDF is it can be a quick way to get started towards a larger project.  It can also be a way to test the waters to see what kind of interest there is in the project.  And if can be a way to introduce yourself to an audience for this subject, such as if you are setting up an introductory meeting and doing a workshop.

So if you aren’t already publishing a book, this can be a good way to get started.  Or use your PDF as a supplement to help introduce and promote your published book.


* * * * * *


GINI GRAHAM SCOTT, Ph.D., J.D., is a nationally known writer, consultant, speaker, and seminar leader, specializing in social trends, popular business, and self-help books. She has published over 50 books with major publishers, and has published over 100 books through her company Changemakers Publishing on multiple platforms, including print, e-books, audiobooks, and online courses.  She has worked with dozens of clients on writing and publishing memoirs, self-help, business books, and film scripts, and she has helped clients self-publish on both CreateSpace and IngramSpark.  Her websites include and



Creating Your Book as a Course



Gini Graham Scott

Author of 150+ Plus Books

Including Self-Publishing Secrets: How to Write, Publish, and Market a Best-Seller or Use Your Book to Build Your Business

Another format that is growing in popularity is the online course, which can also be turned into an interactive online or face-to-face workshop, and often a nonfiction book is the basis for such a course.  So you can consider the course as one more format for your book — and you may find that just as an audiobook can sell more than a print book, so can a course.  In fact, if your book is on a popular topic, you may develop that into one of the top courses generating thousands of dollars in income each day.

I didn’t realize the power of courses myself until I started taking a series of courses on online and email marketing, and then I began getting regular ads on Facebooks for courses on creating email lists and selling ebooks, followed by ads for creating and marketing courses.  And now there are even online platforms for selling courses or making them available to subscribers, such as Thrive Courses, which was developed by the workshop leader of a Meetup group and Mastermind group I was a part of.  And there are multiple platforms now for anyone seeking to create a course, as long as it meets some basic criteria of that platform, such as Teachable ( and ClickBank (, the biggest online platform for selling just about anything that can be sold online.

Of course, you can teach a course without a book, or create a course that later becomes a book.  But a book can also be turned into a course — and your course can be used to sell your print, e-book, and audiobook, too.    Or someone can simply take your course.

Continue reading “Creating Your Book as a Course”

Deciding to Create an Audio Book by Gini Graham Scott


 by Gini Graham Scott

Author of 150+ Plus Books

Including Self-Publishing Secrets: How to Write, Publish, and Market a Best-Seller or Use Your Book to Build Your Business

 Until a year ago, I used to think of an audio book as a kind of add-on to creating a paperback and e-book, and possibly creating a hardback book.  It seemed like one additional platform to include to make my books as widely available as possible.  But then, without my doing any promotion, I found my audio books were selling even more copies than my books on other platforms — about 800 copies in 8 months, an average of 3 or 4 a day, while one of my books sold nearly 200 copies, and I wondered why.

Now this isn’t very much when some authors are doing extensive promotions and selling thousands of books a day.  But when the average print or e-book is selling about 150 to 200 copies a year, audio books have become a growing market than can outperform other formats.

Why Are Audio Books Growing So Rapidly

A key reason that audio books are doing so well now is because people are tending to read less and get their information in other ways, including on video and audio channels.  Many people now listen to audio in their cars or if they are computing by train or bus, and that can include listening to audio books, along with radio, audio files, CDs, and DVs.  So for an on-the-go audience, especially for millennials, now age 18 to 34 and about 75 million strong in the U.S., audio has become especially popular.

Another reason is that audio books are typically cheaper, about $3.95 for a short book of under about 50 pages up to about $6.95 for a longer book of about 400 to 500 pages.

Creating an Audio Book

Thus, creating an audio book is increasingly the way to go.  While you can create an audio book as a stand-alone, so you publish an audio book only, a good approach is to start with a print book or ebook, and then turn that text into the narration for an audiobook.

Certainly, you can create your own audiobook by just reading it yourself into a mike or your computer audio.  But unless you know what you are doing to create high-quality audio, you may find that some distributors of audiobooks will reject your book for not being professional enough.

Thus, either learn how to do it yourself, which involves getting some high quality audio recording equipment, including a professional mike, such as sold by Yeti, and having a quiet setting, where you don’t have extraneous sounds — or you have the equipment to filter out such background noise.

Hiring a Narrator

Alternatively, hire a skilled narrator.   You can find freelance narrators if you go to, which sells audiobooks, or do a search for audiobook  or audio narrators on Google.  Or you can create an account and post your book  on ACX ( and invite a narrator to narrate your book, either by hiring a narrator or proposing a royalty split and an exclusive arrangement with ACX.

If you hire a narrator, you can figure on spending about $100 to $500 per finished hour, depending on the experience of the narrator, with most averaging around $200 per finished hour.  My own preference has been to find a volunteer narrator and split the royalty, and I have found narrators this way for all but 2 of my 65 books that have so far had audio narrations.  I have heard from professionals in the field that the most skilled, professional narrators won’t take a shared royalty gig, because the earnings typically aren’t that much, but I have found some great narrators willing to take a chance with me.

Generally, figure on the narrator taking about 2-3 weeks for a short book; about 4-6 weeks if it is much longer book.  On average, the narrator will speak about 8500-9300 words a minute, so if you have a 50 page book with about 10,000 words, that’ll be about an hour long.  However, it commonly takes the narrator about 2-3 hours for each finished hour, because they have to take care of various technical details, which include editing, adjusting sound levels, filtering out background noise, and the like.

Getting a Narrator through the ACX Platform

The ACX platform makes it very easy to find a narrator, since they have hundreds of narrators in the system, and you can either post a query about the availability of your book for narrators to offer to narrate your book or you can query particular narrators if you know them by name.

The service as a formal system which I have found works very well.  To start with you set up your account by putting in some basic information about yourself, your contact information, your bank and tax account, and you can arrange for notifications about activity in your account to be sent to your email or access it through your account.

Then, to use the platform, you first have to have a book already published on Amazon, either as a print book or ebook.  You add your book by finding it on Amazon, indicate that “this is my book,” and then you create an offer for the narrator.  If you want to hire a narrator, you will have a non-exclusive arrangement with ACX, get a 25% royalty, and you will own the book.  Alternatively, if you want a shared royalty arrangement, you agree to an exclusive with ACX, get a 40% royalty which you share with the narrator.  You still have a copyright in the original book and audiobook, but you can’t find another narrator and market the audiobook somewhere else.

You then have to include some information about your book, including a short description, indication of the length of the book, and the type of narrator you are looking for — such as if you want a male or female narrator or both, want a narrator with a general American accent or other type of accent, or want an adult or younger narrator.  You also indicate if you want to hire a narrator, want a shared royalty arrangement, or are open to either arrangement.

You additionally create an audition text — typically a file with about 500-1500 word and upload that.  Then, the prospective narrator creates and posts an audio file, so you can listen to the narrator.   After that, you can select the narrator you prefer and send an offer, usually giving the narrator 48 hours to respond, though you can make it 24 hours or offer a longer time frame.

Generally, I have gotten one to four narrators interested in reading my book, and on average, two to choose from.  Probably you will get more if you offer to hire a narrator, since there are many narrators, including some of the most experience ones, who won’t narrate a book on a shared royalty basis.

When you send this offer, you also indicate when you expect the narrator to complete the first 15 minutes, and the whole project, clicking on a calendar to indicate this.  After that, your offer remains open until a narrator accepts your offer.

From a Narrator Accepting Your Offer to a Completed Audiobook

Once a narrator accepts your offer, you then have to send the whole manuscript in a PDF or .doc(x) file.  If there are photos or illustrations, you generally provide these in a separate PDF which the ACX staff can arrange to provide a link for the customer to download this and they will post instructions as well, although commonly, the narrator will mention in the beginning of the narration that this PDF is available.  Or if there are only a few unimportant photos, you don’t have to include them in the audiobook, and the narrator will just read the next as if the photos aren’t there.

After that, you get the first 15 minutes, after which you can approve it or ask for changes.  For example, you might suggest the narrator reads it with more passion and enthusiasm or tone down an overly emotional reading, which I have done in a couple of cases.  Or if a narrator isn’t pronouncing something correctly or reading the text too fast or slow, you can recommend what the narrator should do, again something I have done.   Then, the narrator will correct this and send you another 15 minutes to review.

In the meantime, you can post the final cover art, which has to be a square format of at least 2400×2400 pixels.  Since your front cover is normally in a 6×9, 7×10, 8×10 or other book size format, you can’t use it as is.  However, in some cases, if you have a white or black background, you can increase the canvas size to create a square.  Or it may be possible to crop the cover and move your name as the author, and possibly the title around, on the original cover design.  Otherwise, you need to rework the cover to fit this square format.  You need to have this finished by the time you provide your final approval for the book.

When you finally approve the first 15 minutes, the narrator will complete the whole book, and can post up files as he or she goes along for you to review, or once they are all up, you will get an announcement that the full manuscript is ready for your review.  And again you can make suggestions for changes or approve the whole thing.

You can make a careful review of the whole narration if you want, although my approach has been to spot check the beginnings of a sampling of files, and if all sounds okay, I’ll approve it, and let the ACX staff of reviewers listen to everything closely, since they are skilled at noticing any errors, and especially any audio problems that the narrator has to fix.  For instance, in one case, a narrator had a lot of background noise and didn’t know how to correct this, but I put her in touch with someone who had the necessary filter equipment, and that saved the book.  Otherwise, I would have had to start again by finding another narrator.

In most cases, I have found that narrators do make the agreed upon deadlines, though some will ask for a few extra weeks because something unexpected has happened in their life, and I normally agree.  ACX is also fairly lax about holding narrators to strict standards, as long as the author is onboard.  However, if the delay is much too long or the narrator indicates that he or she can’t complete the project, you can explain this to the ACX staff, and if the narrator acknowledges and agrees to this, ACX will dissolve the contract and you can look for another narrator.  So far, that just happened to me once, and I quickly found a new narrator.

In general, I have found that narrators are more likely to quickly volunteer to be part of a royalty arrangement with a short book, because they can complete more quickly — in just a few hours.   In fact, the two books where I wasn’t able to find a narrator were much longer book — one a nonfiction book about ethics that clocked in at about 400 pages; the other a suspense thriller novel that was about 350 pages long.  Also, most of the delays have occurred with the longer books.  By contrast, some of the narrators have finished the much shorter books — say 3000-5000 words, in just a few days.

Commonly, the entire arrangement can go back and forth on the ACX platform without any direct communication with the narrator, although I have usually responded to the narrator accepting my offer with my phone number, if the narrator wants to call with any questions.  You can also send the narrator your direct email, and I sometimes have done so for more extended communication.   But otherwise, using the ACX platform to communicate with the narrator works fine.

Once you do send your final approval, you should also send any PDF with photos or illustrations directly to the support staff at ACX, along with a note that this is to accompany a particular manuscript.  Plus your cover art should be completed and  uploaded.

Then, it typically takes about 10 days to get a final approval, after which the audiobook is available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.  In the event there is a problem — usually some audio glitch that has to be fixed, ACX will let you know, and also advise the narrator, who normally has to make the requested fix.  Some typical complaints are that there is background noise, that there isn’t the necessary 30 seconds or so of space before the narration starts, or that there are mike clicks on the narration.  Once the narrator makes any requested fixes, the ACX staff will review the project again.  Or, as noted, if the narrator can’t fix the audio, ACX will dissolve your contract with the narrator, and you can start again.

But assuming that the audiobook is completed successfully, you’ll get a note that it has been approved, and then you will find it on sale on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes in about a week to 10 days.  Plus you may also get 20 or so coupons you can use to give out free promotional listens to your book — or at least I did when I first started creating audio books.

So now your audiobook is done.  You will find it priced based on its length from $3.95 to about $6.95.   And then ACX will give you a royalty statement of your earnings each month.  Plus if you want to chart your progress more regularly, you will find the number of sales updated every day or two in a bright orange number and below it, you’ll see a link to your sales dashboard where you can see how each audiobook you have created is doing.  After that, about the 20th of each month, you’ll get a royalty statement and about a week later, you’ll see the money magically appear in your bank account.

So now you know all you need to know about creating your audiobook.  So good luck, and then you can combine any promotion for your print or e-book with an audiobook promotion, giving potential buyers even more choice on what they want to buy.

* * * * * *

GINI GRAHAM SCOTT, Ph.D., J.D., is a nationally known writer, consultant, speaker, and seminar leader, specializing in social trends, popular business, and self-help books. She has published over 50 books with major publishers, and has published over 100 books through her company Changemakers Publishing on multiple platforms, including print, e-books, audiobooks, and online courses.  She has worked with dozens of clients on writing and publishing memoirs, self-help, business books, and film scripts, and she has helped clients self-publish on both CreateSpace and IngramSpark.  Her websites include and







 by Gini Graham Scott

Author of 150+ Plus Books

Including Self-Publishing Secrets: How to Write, Publish, and Market a Best-Seller or Use Your Book to Build Your Business

by Gini Graham Scott


            Unless you are using a book packager or hybrid publisher, the major options for self-publishers are CreateSpace and IngramSpark for print and Kindle and an IngramSpark e-book, plus there are a few other companies that involved in e-book distribution , most notably Smashwords and Draft2Digital.

So how do you decide what to do — use some of the platforms or all of them, and what are the major considerations to help you decide?  Here I’ll discuss the different options.

Deciding Where to Publish — CreateSpace, IngramSpark, or Other Platforms


Which platform should you choose?  Should you publish a print book on CreateSpace and an e-book through Kindle or publish through IngramSpark or IngramSpark’s e-book platform.  While you can publish the print and e-book separately, say by publishing a print book through CreateSpace and an e-book through IngramSpark, more generally, you’ll publish a print and e-book with the same publishing family — CreateSpace and Kindle or IngramSpark and its epub.  Plus other e-book options include Smashwords and Draft2Digital and publishing directly on some of the e-book platforms, such as Nook, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes.

My recommendations, which is what most independent publishers do, is to publish on all of the platforms, though use a Smashwords and Draft2Digital as intermediaries for publishing on the other e-book platforms.   Otherwise, you have to set up each of these separately, and sometimes, if you only have one or a small number of books, you may not be approved for that platform.  However, there are some good reasons for publishing on CreateSpace only, which I’ll explain.

To publish on both CreateSpace and IngramSpark, you need to leave unchecked the extended distribution options for libraries and bookstores on CreateSpace.   And to publish on both Kindle and IngramSpark’s e-book platform, you can’t participate in KDP Select, where you give Kindle an exclusive option for 90 days, which is renewed for an additional 90 days after each option period ends unless you opt out.  However, you can participate in KDP Select for the first 90 days and not renew, and then you can participate in other e-book platforms.  Deciding what to do is a marketing question to be discussed in a late discussion of marketing strategies.

Following are the basic benefits of choosing different platforms.

Why Publish on CreateSpace


CreateSpace is the easiest POD platform to publish on, and it is especially designed for new authors and independent publishers who only want to publish a paperback.   You can obtain a free ISBN, which is fine if you don’t care about bookstore or library sales, since it will identify CreateSpace as the publisher wherever that ISBN is used (such as on a sale through Amazon), although  you can still put your own publishing logo on the book.  Alternatively, you can get an ISBN for $99 from CreateSpace or bring your own ISBN from Bowker, and then you will be recognized as the publisher.

Another advantage of CreateSpace is that you can choose from 30 different templates, where you can select various style, type, and color options.  In most cases, you select a photo to fit a certain format, though some templates are type only, and a few offer you the option of uploading a completed front cover, front and back cover uploaded separately, or a complete cover.  Or you can submit a PDF with the cover completed according to the book’s specs, which based on the size and number of pages.

The cost of buying your own books is also less than publishing on IngramSpark — generally about $1.50 less per copy, so you can set a lower retail, too, if you think that will help to boost sales (though if you publish on both platforms, set the same retail price for both).

Another advantage of publishing on CreateSpace is the publishing process is faster — generally one day to get an approval if you have met all of the publishing requirements, versus two to three days with IngramSpark.

A big reason to publish only on CreateSpace is if you are mainly publishing your book to promote your business or sell copies at the back of the room at presentations and workshops.  In this case, you don’t care about bookstore or library sales.  Rather, you are most interested in keeping the cost as low as possible for book giveaways or your own retail sales.  Since the quality is about the same as if you publish through IngramSpark or an independent publisher, the cost savings is a good reason for choosing this option.  For example, say a small book through CreateSpace will cost $2.15 plus shipping, while the same small book published by IngramSpark will be about $3.60 plus shipping.   If you order 100 books, you are saving about $150 on a CreateSpace book.

The ease if preparing your manuscript is another benefit. Essentially all you need to publish on CreateSpace is a completed Word or PDF document set up in the size of the book you want to publish (ie: 6”x9,” 8”x10,” or “8 ½” x 11”)  with the appropriate margins based on the number of pages (ie: .75” if under 399 pages; 1” if 400 pages or more).  Additionally, you only need the text for your back cover copy,title and sub title, description, and a photo if required by the template, plus some information to set up your account, describe  your book in more detail, and choose 5 keywords.  Once you know what you are doing, it will take you about 2-3 hours to provide the needed information and submit your book.


Why Publish on IngramSpark — and Some Challenges to Using this Platform


The key reason for publishing with IngramSpark is that this will open up library and bookstore sales that are generally not available for CreateSpace books — largely because CreateSpace only offers a 25% discount on retail purchases and no returns.  By contrast, IngramSpark offers a standard 55% discount for wholesalers and large quantity sales and 40% for smaller retail orders.  Also, book reviewers and the media are more likely to take a book published and distributed through IngramSpark more seriously, so if your book might appeal to a broad audience, that’s another good reason you want an IngramSpark publication.  Then, too, you can publish a hardcover edition with IngramSpark, and many libraries and book stores prefer to buy hardbacks, whereas CreateSpace only publishes paperbacks.

On the downside, it is more expensive to publish a paperback on IngramSpark, though there are substantial savings if you are an Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) member, which costs about $129 a year. The basic expenses, which are waived for IBPA members, are the initial account set-up fee of $49, and the $25 set up fee and $25 market access fee for each book.  Plus when you buy an ISBN for each book from Bowker, that costs $125 for one or 10 for $295; though the IBPA member discount is about 15%.

Another potential difficulty is that IngramSpark is more particular about how you submit your book interior and cover.  You have to first obtain your ISBN with information about your book, usually from Bowker, though you can buy an ISBN from IngramSpark for about $85.  In addition, you have to have a 300 dpi PDF in which all of the fonts are embedded, and ideally all of the photos in the PDF meet that standard, although lower resolution photos can still be published.

The cover standards are even more exacting.  It has to meet certain design specs, although you can generate a template for formatting your cover based on the size of your book and the number of pages, and whether it is a paperback or hardback.  Then, you have to follow that template exactly, so your design fits within the parameters provided, and no text or images overlaps into a pink border area.  Otherwise, your design will be rejected, and you have to submit it again.  So unless you are a graphic designer, you may need to hire a book cover designer to create the cover for you — which can range from about $300-1500, depending on the type of cover you want and the cost of creating the cover from scratch.

Still, if you can overcome these hurdles do want your book in bookstores and libraries, and want to increase your chances of getting reviews, definitely seek to publish your book on IngramSpark, ideally in addition to publishing on CreateSpace.


Publishing an E-Book


Increasingly, some writers are only publishing e-books, and that can be an easier, faster way to go, although you are cutting out a large percentage of readers who still like a physical book.  In fact, according to the latest Publishers Weekly for September 25, 2017, e-book sales have leveled off, while print books are increasing again.  So I don’t recommend only publishing an e-book, though you can do it.

Kindle, like CreateSpace, makes publishing an e-book very easy. After setting up your account, you only need to have a Word file, which is preferred to a PDF, though if you publish on CreateSpace first, Kindle can convert your PDF proof into a Kindle document, though you get a caution that’s it’s better to upload  your Word doc original.

Then, you just need a front cover image of your book.  If you have already published your book in CreateSpace, you can use the front cover created there.  Otherwise, create a front cover using the same format you might use for the cover of a print book.  For example, a 6”x9” format is fine, and you can create it yourself or work with a book designer. Kindle will assign you an ISBN if you don’t have one.

If you publish an e-book with IngramSpark or on other e-book platforms, you need your interior and cover to be created in an epub format.  Plus you have to set up an ISBN for an e-book.  You can go to various services to create this epub file for you, or you can create these yourself using e-book creation software, such as Calibre, which you can download for free.  This conversion of a Word doc to an epub file will usually work, although there can be some glitches, which professionals who do e-book conversions will know about.  For instance, you can’t have a series of numbers that are broken up with headers; instead you have to turn the numbersinto bullet points for Calibre to read and convert the files.


A Recommended Order for Publishing Your Books


Given the way these different publishing platforms work, I would recommend the following order.

  1. Publish on CreateSpace.  This way you can easily design your cover using one of the templates, and that can help you in setting up your cover for Kindle.  It can also be a guide for setting up your cover in IngramSpark.  You can use all of the back cover text and descriptive information you write for CreateSpace for IngramSpark, too.
  2. Publish on Kindle.  You can take the original document prepared for your CreateSpace interior and use that on Kindle, or use the PDF created through CreateSpace.  Plus CreateSpace will generate the cover you need.  Now you just have to add some account information, details about pricing and distribution, and two extra keywords on Kindle, and you are done.
  3. Publish on IngramSpark as a hardcover or paperback, using the appropriate ISBN, which you have already set up in Bowker or purchase through IngramSpark.  Start with your original Word document and use it to create a PDF designed for printing.  Instead of saving Word as a PDF or printing it as a standard PDF, print it as a PDF/X-1a2001. To do so, when you print to Adobe, go to properties and select this.  This type of PDF will embed the fonts — or if you have special fonts that can’t be embedded, choose a more common font that can be.  Then, upload that PDF to IngramSpark.  For the cover, you or a book designer can use the design created in CreateSpace as a guide to create the cover in the IngramSpark template.  It’s easiest to do this in InDesign or create the cover in Photoshop and save the final image as a PDF.  The advantage of having the CreateSpace design is you already have a design which is a timesaver, and if you work with a book designer, it will cost you much less — perhaps $25-50 to set up the design in the template, rather than $300-1500 for designing your cover from scratch.
  4. Publish on IngramSpark as a hardcover and paperback book, using the appropriate ISBN from Bowker or obtain it from Ingram Spark.  For the interior, convert your Word document into an epub file through Calibre or other software — or hire someone who does these conversions.  You can use the front cover design created through CreateSpace as a guide to create your e-book cover.  If you have already created a 300 dpi front cover for a CreateSpace template, use that.  Otherwise, use PhotoShop or a graphics designer to create your final 300dpi cover.
  5. Publish on Draft2Digital, Smashwords, or other e-book platforms. With Draft2Digital you can use your original Word document.  Smashword has special requirements for the size of the type and spacing.   Then, upload the interior files.  For the coves, you can generally use the covers you have already created for these other programs, though you may need to make some adjustments for the size of the image.



Getting an ISBN


For each version of the book you publish — hardcover, paper, and e-book — you need a different ISBN, though you can use the same ISBN for a paperback published on CreateSpace and on IngramSpark, unless you opt for the free ISBN from CreateSpace.  Otherwise, follow the prompts for setting up your book, and when you are asked, indicate that you are using your own ISBN for your book.



Selling Your Book


With CreateSpace and Kindle, once you approve the final proof, your book immediately goes on sale; with Ingram-Spark you can schedule a publication date for the future.  A future pub date can be advantage if you want to do a special book launch.   If so, allow a month or two, or even three, to get all of your PR and marketing in place.


If you do publish on multiple platforms, be sure your price is the same for each version of the print book and for both e-book versions.


As for how do you turn your book into an audio book or a course — that’s what I’ll talk about next, and then how to go about marketing and promoting your book.


* * * * * *


GINI GRAHAM SCOTT, Ph.D., J.D., is a nationally known writer, consultant, speaker, and seminar leader, specializing in social trends, popular business, and self-help books. She has published over 50 books with major publishers, and has published over 100 books through her company Changemakers Publishing on multiple platforms, including print, e-books, audiobooks, and online courses.  She has worked with dozens of clients on writing and publishing memoirs, self-help, business books, and film scripts, and she has helped clients self-publish on both CreateSpace and IngramSpark.  Her websites include and

Deciding on the Format for Your Book, from Gini Graham Scott



 by Gini Graham Scott

Author of 150+ Plus Books

Including Self-Publishing Secrets: How to Write, Publish, and Market a Best-Seller or Use Your Book to Build Your Business

Once your manuscript is ready as a Word document, the next step is deciding on the format for your book – hardcover, paperback, or e-book.

Deciding on the Format – Print or E-Book

Sometimes writers decide to only publish an e-book, which is fine, though you are missing out on the market for people who like a physical book, and you will have more opportunities for reviews if you publish in both print and e-book formats.

Another reason to publish both a print and an e-book is you already have the necessary interior and the front cover already completed.  All you additionally need to do is to set up a back cover and, if the book is large enough, the title and author copy for the spine.  This back cover can be relatively easy to set up if you just include two or three main elements — a block of text for your copy, which includes the book description, and optionally, an author’s bio, and your photo if you want to include that.  Normally, the publisher will add the ISBN number in a box set aside for that, so you don’t have to add that.

Publishing a Print Book

When you publish a print book, the most common format is a paperback, which you can publish on both CreateSpace and IngramSpark, as well as through independent printers and publishing companies.  But if you want a hardcover book, you have to publish with IngramSpark or an independent printer/publishing company.  However, you can use the same interior with both, though your cover setup will differ slightly, since you have to allow for some extra space on the edges for the hardback cover binding.

Hardcover versus Paperback

In deciding on whether to publish in hardcover, paperback, or both, take into consideration the cost for both retail and your own purchase price.  A hardcover is good for certain types of books, such as children’s picture books, library books, and gift-books, because they will either get a lot of wear — as do picture books and library books, or because they look more elegant when you show them off or give them as presents.  But otherwise, paperbacks are more common, since they sell for less, and if you are going to buy your own books, hardbacks cost more because they are more expensive to print.

Generally, it will cost about $2-3 more to buy an author’s copy of your hardcover book, and when you add in the mark-up for the distributor and retailer, that translates into charging at least $10 more for a hardback copy at retail, though $15 to $20 more is common for retail pricing.  For instance, a paperback that retails for $14.95  will often cost $24.95 to $34.95 if a hardback.  So consumers more typically will opt for the paperback, so you’ll sell more of those.

What Size to Choose

As for size, the most popular format is a 6”x9” book, though you can select other sizes.  The other most common sizes include a 5 ½”x8 ½”, 7”x10”, 8”x10”, or 8 ½”x11 ½” size.  The smaller 5 ½”x8 ½” format might be a good choice, if you have a small number of pages and want a book that someone can easily carry around with them, such as in a pocket or purse.  A 7”x10” or 8”x10” format is good, if your book has illustrations and charts, so they show up better. The 8 ½” x 11 ½” size is good for workbooks, manuals, and instructional materials, or if you want to turn a regular sized PDF into a book.  You can choose any number of custom sizes, though you will find some limitations in the sizes available when you select a template, such as in using CreateSpace.

Print-on-Demand Versus Printing a Run of Books

Sometimes the question comes up as to whether to go with a print-on-demand publisher, such as the two that are most popular — CreateSpace and IngramSpark, or opt for a short run with a regular printer/publisher.  Today, most self-publishers choose the print-on-demand (POD) option, because it is less expensive and therefore less risky, because you aren’t paying several hundred or thousand dollars up front to print up at least 100 to 500 books for a typical initial run.  However, the cost per book will be a little more than the cost of a book in a print-run, because you are printing fewer books at a time and POD pricing is based on printing individual books.  The advantage with a print-on-demand publisher is that once you set up your master for publication, you can print any number of copies — even no copies, if you just want to post your book for sale.

But, while the cost per copy may generally be somewhat less for a print-run than for print-on-demand books, you have to figure on the cost of getting the minimum number of copies and determine if you have a way to sell them.  If not, the safer approach is to use POD publishing, at least in the beginning before you build up a large number of sales.  And that’s what most self-publishers do now.  They select a print-on-demand arrangement and order however many books they want to sell — or minimally they purchase one or two display copies to use in taking orders from customers.

* * * * * *

GINI GRAHAM SCOTT, Ph.D., J.D., is a nationally known writer, consultant, speaker, and seminar leader, specializing in social trends, popular business, and self-help books. She has published over 50 books with major publishers, and has published over 100 books through her company Changemakers Publishing on multiple platforms, including print, e-books, audiobooks, and online courses.  She has worked with dozens of clients on writing and publishing memoirs, self-help, business books, and film scripts, and she has helped clients self-publish on both CreateSpace and IngramSpark.  Her websites include and

Guest post from marketing coach Cathy Turney: Twitter, Why, Why, Why?

Gini Graham Scott’s series of publishing columns will return Wednesday, October 4th.


What does anyone with a product or service to promote need?

A way into millions of minds, hearts, and pocketbooks.

Twitter is the way into millions of minds hearts and pocketbooks…for free. Fast. Easy…if you know the workarounds! Twitter can be obtuse. As a right-brain technophobe, I sweated bullets to make Twitter just work because not only was it the best way to market the real estate how-to book I had written, but it fit my budget: free. Which, by the way, Facebook when used for marketing is not. But that’s another story.

Here I’ll share a few keys to getting what you create out there in front of thousands of targeted eyes. Let me skip ahead, though, and say that many more screen shots and easy step-by-step instructions for how to do these things are contained in my book, Get 10,000+ Twitter Followers—Easily, Quickly, Ethically, available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. Smooth those feathers! This will be fun.

Your Banner

Everyone seems to have a Twitter account, but few know how to work it to their advantage. It starts with the banner or header, the first impression you make, so it needs to be good. But you don’t need to create it yourself! The simple and inexpensive way is to have or another such service make it for you, and it can cost as little as $25. Simply tell them what you want in it, send them images to include if you have any (if you don’t, ask them to find some for you), and say you want it to fit Twitter banner format. Easy! They’ll send you the completed banner and you just upload it in the space provided on Twitter or tweak it at no additional cost; they’re eager to please. The more visuals you provide in your banner, the more diverse a group you’ll attract. Check out Twitter for others’ banners to see examples you might want to emulate.

Understand What # and @ Represent

Simply put, using “@” is similar to addressing someone by the title Mr. or Ms. Doing a Twitter search for either Cathy Turney or  @CathyTurneyLafs (my official Twitter name) would take you to my Twitter page. The hashtag (#) aggregates tweets, or posts, into categories: #cooking would take you to a stream of tweets about cooking.

Easily Target Those Who Want to Hear What You Have to Say

That’s where the # comes in. Say you have a yoga business and posted an article about it on your blog/website. You would simply go to Twitter’s search bar, type in #yoga (or some variation of that), hit return, and hundreds of recent posts on that topic would appear. Then you write and post a tweet, including #yoga in the text, and your message will appear in that same stream where everyone interested in #yoga will look. Like the one below:


The web address circled in red above directs readers to this business’s store. If you were to write a tweet directing people to your blog or website, you would put its web address there. This technique can be used to market anything you have to share—like your book!

Become More “Relevant” and Amass a Huge Following

Success breeds success. People want to see that others “endorse” you, and the at-a-glance way to say that is to have a large Twitter following. It’s easy to collect followers! Back to that #yoga stream you searched for; all you do is hover your mouse over either of the tweeter’s names (circled below):



A “FOLLOW” button would pop up, and you’d just click it. There—you just followed someone, and with any luck she’ll follow you back. Go through about 100 of those tweets a day (to begin with) and repeat that technique. Expect a 10 to 20 percent follow-back ratio. There is a much faster way which involves a very easy-to-use app (explained in detail in my book), but you can look more “relevant” every day by just doing this simple method.

Twitter can be fun, easy, and lucrative if you just know how to work it. Don’t think that you need to understand everything the program can do—no need. I just welcomed my 25,000th fledgling to my flock! With a few simple techniques and five to ten minutes a day, you can, too!


Cathy cropped facing right

Cathy Turney is the author of Get 10,000+ Twitter Followers—Easily, Quickly, Ethically, available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. Her humorous tell-all about the real estate sales industry (Laugh Your Way to Real Estate Sales Success) won the American Business Association Stevie Award for Best Business Book of the Year 2015. She is a contributor to Huffington Post, tweets at @CathyTurneyLafs, and blogs at Email Cathy at


Deciding How to Publish your Book by Gini Graham Scott, Publishing Coach




 by Gini Graham Scott

Author of 150+ Plus Books

Including Self-Publishing Secrets: How to Write, Publish, and Market a Best-Seller or Use Your Book to Build Your Business

Once a manuscript is completed, usually as a Word document or PDF or both, the next question is “What publishing platform should I choose?”

Many writers dream of traditional publishing.  They envision a big enough advance that’ll give them at least a small monthly stipend while they write their book.  They imagine the prestige and sense of “you made it,” that comes with a traditional publishing deal with a well-recognized publisher.

But for most writers, traditional publishing is not a realistic option.  It is an unlikely option for a relatively unknown writer; takes a long time to get published; advances from small publishers even if you get an offer are miniscule; publishers do little to market and promote you unless you are already famous; and you may be expected to contribute towards your book’s publication with many publishers.

So that leaves the various self-publishing platforms — primarily CreateSpace or IngramSpark for print books; Kindle or IngramSpark for e-books; and ACX or other audio producers for audiobooks. Or call it independent publishing, where you create an identity as a small publisher — and you publish yourself.

To help you decide what to do, here’s a more detailed look at the various publishing options.

Saying No to Traditional Publishing

Sometimes writers still hold out a hope of traditional publishing.  But this is unrealistic for most writers for several reasons:

– Traditional publishers and agents typically want an author who already is famous or has a large following as a speaker or through a social media platform.  So unless you have a great novel that is so powerful and unique it speaks for itself, you are unlikely to get a publishing deal with any major publisher or publishing imprint.   This is especially true if you are writing in the more popular and competitive genres today — self-help, popular business, and memoirs.

– You might still get an offer from a smaller publisher, but then you are likely to get a very small advance — about $1000-2000.  Or you may be offered a co-publishing or hybrid publishing deal, which can work if you can come up with $5000-10,000, sometimes more. Then, the publisher can help by marketing your book through its distribution network, sending information about your book to trade publications and reviewers, and including your book in its catalog.  But often small or hybrid publishers don’t do much with additional marketing and publicity.  So sales are likely to be small, unless you do a lot of the publicity yourself.

– Your book won’t come out for a year or two — commonly in about 18 months.  So if you want a book to build your credibility and help you get speaking engagements or more customers or clients, you won’t have your book to help you now.

– If you later become unhappy that the publisher isn’t doing enough for you, you will be locked into an agreement for that book, and you may have to pay the publisher to get out of it, or write another book.

– Unless you have written or revised the contract to permit you to have control over audio rights or dramatic rights, you won’t be able to turn your book into an audio book, develop videos for courses based on your book, or negotiate the rights to a film based on your book.

– The publisher will have control over your book, which can be fine if you have a major publisher that will back up your book with a big campaign.  But with a smaller publisher, you still have to give up control, which might become a problem if you disagree with some of the publishing decisions, such as for the cover, title, and positioning.  You might have the right to provide some input, but after that, the publisher has the right to decide what to do, even if you have gotten no or very little advance.

– You commonly have to write a longer books, such as for 250-350 pages, and you may not have the time, interest, or information to write that much.  But traditional publishers generally don’t want smaller books, since they can’t charge enough for them to make a sufficient profit.

Using Self-Publishing to Build Your Platform to Get a Traditional Publishing Deal

Thus, given the problems that can occur with traditional publishing, a good strategy which many writers use is to self-publish — or independently publish — a shorter book now — say 50-150 pages.  Then, they use that to build their platform — essentially by increasing their following and media presence, so after a year or two of platform building, they can go to a traditional publisher or agent, who may feel they finally have enough of a platform to take a chance on their book.

But if you do seek out a traditional publisher at this stage, the key to success is not to pitch your original book, unless you have a large sales track record, say at least 5000 or more in sales in a year.  Otherwise, if you have only a small number of sales, most publishers and agents will consider that book dead in the water.  Instead, you can pursue one of these two strategies, which I and many authors have done successfully.

1) You pitch what you have already written as a small section of the larger manuscript, and you point out in your proposal that you have used this mini-book to help you build your audience through speaking, the social media, and other methods.  For example, I did this in selling The Battle Against Internet Book Piracy to Allworth Press, which published it as Internet Book Piracy.

            2) You pitch your complete manuscript as a new manuscript, which is a follow-up or sequel to what you previously wrote.  And in this case, you revise what you previously wrote, so it is an updated section of the new manuscript.  Then, as above, you explain you have written this first book to build your platform.   For example, I sold Lies and Liars: Why and How Sociopaths Lie and How to Detect and Deal with Them to Sourcebook, based on using this approach, after I had written The Truth About Lying.   

If you still are set on trying to find a traditional publisher, even after publishing a book, you need a proposal for a non-fiction book.  This proposal consists of about 15 pages, with an overview and sections on the appeal of the book, the market and competition, your past publicity and media presence, your plans to promote the book, your author’s bio, and a chapter by chapter outline, plus an introduction and chapter or two of your proposed book.  Figure on about 25-40 more pages for your sample chapters.  Or for a novel, you need a synopsis and the completed manuscript.

Deciding on How to Publish a Longer Book – One Book or More

Alternatively, if you have your completed manuscript ready to go, the next decision is whether to publish it as a single book, if it is a long book of over 150 pages, or break it into smaller books.

If it makes sense, you can divide a longer book into two or three shorter books and publish those separately, rather than combining those two or three parts into the complete book.  This divide and conquer approach works well for a self-help or how to business book, where each part of the larger book becomes a stand-alone book.  I’ve done this myself with several books, such has The Complete Guide to Email Marketing, Make More Money with Your Book, Make More Money with Your Product or Service, and What’s Your Dog Type? In this case, each smaller book has the full title, plus a subtitle that begins Part I, Part II, and so forth.  Or I have come up with titles for the smaller books, such as Discovering Your Dog Type, Getting Help from Your Dogs, Getting Even More Help from Your Dogs, and Using the Dog Type System in Your Everyday Life.

 You can then publish the smaller books as you complete them or publish all of these books at the same time.  Once all of the books are complete, you can publish all of the parts together as a single book — which is a bargain for a reader who wants to get all of the parts, so the cost is now about $20 to $25 for a 350 page book instead of about $10 a book for each of eight parts.  But then the cost is only about $10 for someone who just wants to read one section.

So now you are ready to publish and ready to decide which of the self-publishing platforms are best for you.  That’s what I’ll describe next.

* * * * * *

GINI GRAHAM SCOTT, Ph.D., J.D., is a nationally known writer, consultant, speaker, and seminar leader, specializing in social trends, popular business, and self-help books. She has published over 50 books with major publishers, and has published over 100 books through her company Changemakers Publishing on multiple platforms, including print, e-books, audiobooks, and online courses.  She has worked with dozens of clients on writing and publishing memoirs, self-help, business books, and film scripts, and she has helped clients self-publish on both CreateSpace and IngramSpark.  Her websites include and



Preparing Your Manuscript for Self-Publication:

by Gini Graham Scott
Author of 150+ Plus Books
Including Self-Publishing Secrets: How to Write, Publish, and Market a Best-Seller or Use Your Book to Build Your Business
A question that many authors ask me is “How should I self-publish my book?”
Some have been introduced to self-publishing by workshops, seminars, and online
pitches that offer them an opportunity to write, publish, and distribute their book for anywhere from about $1500 to $35,000. The less expensive offers are essentially from printers who set up your ready-to print book for distribution on Amazon or Ingram, plus they might feature your book in an online catalog of their books; some add a few thousand if you need help in getting your book ready for print. The more expensive programs of $15,000 and up generally help you get your book written by advising you on how to outline it, write or record and transcribe chapters, and then edit the manuscript into your final book. Then they print and help with marketing.
But the process doesn’t have to be that complicated and expensive. In the following
article, I’ll describe the basics of preparing your manuscript for publication. In a subsequent article I’ll cover what platform to use: CreateSpace, IngramSpark, or both. I’ll also discuss how to create your cover for different platforms and how to set up your book to become an e-book, audiobook, and online course.
Writing and Preparing Your Book for Publication
Once you have a general idea of what your book is about, you can outline it into chapters
and subsections of a chapter, and then write or record those. Perhaps you might need an hour or two of assistance to guide you, but it seems like these expensive programs make the steps more involved than they need to be, and as long as you work at your own pace and set aside some time to write, you can get it done.
Another good approach is to divide your book into smaller books, so you get something
published, and later combine these together into a longer book. Once you have about 50-75 pages, that’s enough for a mini-book, and some people do even shorter books of 25-50 pages.
This mini-book approach works well for how-to, self-help, and popular business books, where you are giving out tips on how to do something, and you plan to use the book to increase your credibility, visibility, authority, and branding to get more customers or clients or set up speaking engagements. But if you want your book to appeal to bookstores and libraries, your book should usually be about 150 pages or more.
Recording, Transcribing, and Editing Your Book
If you record your book, you can talk into your phone or other recording device, do an
interview, or record a workshop or seminar. Afterwards, however you do it, get it transcribed.
Then, figure on editing the manuscript yourself or hiring an editor, since you can’t normally go directly from a transcript to a finished book. There are some software programs you can use to automatically turn your recording into text, such as Dragon software, but automated transcribing generally only works if you have a single clear voice.
Otherwise, if you have a workshop with multiple voices or record in a noisy environment, the software can get confused and you can end up with gibberish featuring short phrases, skips, and other mishaps, as I discovered myself in sending some workshop files to a couple of automated online voice to text services. So for that you need a human transcriber, typically at $1 a minute from a service like or a local transcriber.
Once you have the transcript, figure on about an hour for editing and rewriting for every 750-1000 words. Plus you may want to add in other ideas suggested by the topics you cover briefly in your recording — and some editors knowledgeable your subject can add material for you if you don’t do this yourself. Aside from top of your head additions, Internet research is another source of additional material.
Preparing Your Files for Publication
Once you have written and edited your book, you are almost ready to publish it. You then have to format your copy and any photos or illustrations, depending on the platform you choose for publication.
If you have an illustrations or photos, insert them where you want them in the book. Just click insert pictures and add the file. Ideally, you should take, scan, or purchase photos so there are 300 dpi (dots per inch) or higher resolution. You can get away with lower resolution photos on most publishing platforms in your book’s interior, though they can appear fuzzy due to the lower resolution. But if they are small interior photos or illustrations, they will probably look okay.
You also need to format your book according to the finished size you want. Most trade books are now 6”x9”, so it’s usually a good idea to go with that, though if you want to show of photos and illustrations in your book, such as in a gift or children’s book, a 7”x10” or 8”x10” is a good size. For workbooks and handbooks, an 8 1/2”x11” format is ideal, and if you want a small pocket-sized book, some writers like a 5 ½” x 8 ½” book.
Whatever size you choose, set up your margins based on the number of pages. Typically I use .75” on the left and right and 1” on the top and bottom for a book of 350 pages or less. If the book has more pages, allow a larger margin on the right and left, say 1”.
Also, choose your font and font size based on your type of book. A common font type is Times New Roman. I usually use 12-point type for books with a lot of text; 13 point if I want a slightly larger book with less text, and 14 point for gift and children’s books.
Use the headers in Word to mark each chapter and subsection, and then Word will create your Table of Contents. Adjust your copy so any chapters and section headers, such as for a Preface, Foreword, Acknowledgments, Author’s Bio, and Contact Information, start on the right or odd number page. That way, when the reader opens your book, each chapter or section header will pop out on the right.
Finally, once your book is edited, formatted, and ready to go in a Word document, you can use that to create your e-book, or for a print book, it is preferable and sometimes mandatory to turn it into a PDF with embedded fonts. An embedded font is one which will always appear the same way as in your PDF file, so no matter what fonts a reader has on their computer, they will see the same font style you chose.
One way to embed your fonts is to print your Word document as an Adobe PDF (don’t just save it as a regular PDF), and instead of a standard PDF, set your printer for Adobe, click properties, and turn your Word doc into a PDF/X1a-2001 document. Then, print. That will embed any fonts. If you use any special fonts and get a notice that the program can’t embed these fonts, which occurs because you don’t have a special license for them, choose another font — preferably a common one — and try again.
You can use your original Word document if you use CreateSpace as your publishing platform, but it is preferable to use this printed PDF. But if you publish on IngramSpark, you need a PDF with embedded fonts, such as a PDF/X1a-2001 document.
Now you’ve got the interior of your book ready to publish. I’ll cover how to prepare your cover in a subsequent article.
* * * * * *
GINI GRAHAM SCOTT, Ph.D., J.D., is a nationally known writer, consultant, speaker,and seminar leader, specializing in social trends, popular business, and self-help books. She has published over 50 books with major publishers, and has published over 100 books through her company Changemakers Publishing on multiple platforms, including print, e-books, audiobooks, and online courses. She has worked with dozens of clients on writing and publishing memoirs, self-help, business books, and film scripts, and she has helped clients self-publish on both CreateSpace and IngramSpark. Her websites include Changemakers Publishing and Writing and her personal site.



Marketing a Book: Post from team member Brett Matthew Axel, author of the published children’s book Goblinheart


When​ ​my​ ​first​ ​book​ ​was​ ​coming​ ​out,​ ​I​ ​got​ ​some​ ​good​ ​advice​ ​from​ ​Steve​ ​Cannon,​ ​the director​ ​of​ ​A​ ​Gathering​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Tribes,​ ​the​ ​non​ profit​ ​organization​ ​that​ ​was​ ​releasing​ ​my​ ​book.​ ​​ ​He told​ ​me​ ​that​ ​the​ ​hardest​ ​thing​ ​to​ ​get​ ​in​ ​this​ ​industry​ ​was​ ​a​ ​second​ ​book​ ​deal.

The​ ​first​ ​is​ ​not​ ​so​ ​easy.​ ​​ ​There​ ​are​ ​hundreds​ ​of​ ​aspiring​ ​authors​ ​making submissions​ ​and​ ​collecting​ ​rejection​ ​slips​ ​for​ ​every​ ​one​ ​that​ ​ever​ ​sees​ ​a​ ​book​ ​in​ ​print. He​ ​explained​ ​that​ ​when​ ​you​ ​have​ ​had​ ​no​ ​book​ ​out​ ​you​ ​are​ ​an​ ​unknown​ ​quantity.​ ​​ ​You have​ ​no​ ​track​ ​record.​ ​​ ​But​ ​once​ ​you​ ​have​ ​had​ ​a​ ​book​ ​out​ ​your​ ​next​ ​book​ ​will​ ​always​ ​be​ ​judged by​ ​how​ ​well​ ​your​ ​last​ ​book​ ​performed. It’s​ ​true.​ ​​ ​Most​ ​first​ ​books​ ​fail​ ​and​ ​if​ ​your​ ​last​ ​book​ ​failed​ ​you​ ​are​ ​a​ ​pariah.

I​ ​got​ ​lucky.​ ​​ ​My​ ​first​ ​book​ ​took​ ​so​ ​long​ ​from​ ​contract​ ​to​ ​release​ ​(over​ ​two​ ​years)​ ​that​ ​I had​ ​a​ ​second​ ​book​ ​contract​ ​with​ ​a​ ​different​ ​publisher​ ​by​ ​the​ ​time​ ​the​ ​first​ ​one​ ​came​ ​out. My​ ​first​ ​book​ ​did​ ​fail. 1500​ ​copies​ ​were​ ​printed​ ​and​ ​after​ ​a​ ​year​ ​there​ ​were​ ​900​ ​copies​ ​left. That’s​ ​after​ ​close​ ​to​ ​100​ ​review​ ​copies​ ​and​ ​promotional​ ​copies​ ​were​ ​handed​ ​out. That​ ​book​ ​got​ ​a​ ​grand​ ​total​ ​of​ ​zero​ ​reviews​ ​despite​ ​many​ ​review​ ​copies​ ​being​ ​provided to​ ​reviewers. 500​ ​copies​ ​sold.​ ​That​ ​was​ ​failure.​ ​

What​ ​is​ ​success? For​ ​a​ ​small​ ​press,​ ​a​ ​success​ ​is​ ​5000​ ​copies.​ ​​ ​That​ ​is​ ​the​ ​approximate​ ​point​ ​at​ ​which​ ​a publisher​ ​breaks​ ​even​ ​for​ ​the​ ​cost​ ​of​ ​releasing​ ​a​ ​book. I​ ​was​ ​lucky​ ​that​ ​my​ ​first​ ​book’s​ ​failure​ ​didn’t​ ​keep​ ​me​ ​from​ ​a​ ​second​ ​book​ ​deal​ ​because​ ​I already​ ​had​ ​one.​ ​​ ​Nine​ ​months​ ​after​ ​my​ ​first​ ​book​ ​came​ ​out,​ ​my​ ​second​ ​book​ ​was​ ​in​ ​print.​ ​​ ​My second​ ​book​ ​sold​ ​very​ ​well.​ ​​ ​10,000​ ​in​ ​its​ ​first​ ​year,​ ​24,000​ ​in​ ​the​ ​three​ ​years​ ​it​ ​was​ ​in​ ​print. I​ ​still​ ​didn’t​ ​know​ ​what​ ​made​ ​one​ ​successful​ ​and​ ​the​ ​other​ ​not. My​ ​third​ ​book​ ​was​ ​out​ ​3​ ​years​ ​later​ ​and​ ​it​ ​did​ ​even​ ​better.​ ​​ ​28,000​ ​copies.​ ​​ ​And​ ​then​ ​my fourth,​ ​two​ ​years​ ​later,​ ​fell​ ​flat.​ ​​ ​Less​ ​than​ ​900​ ​copies​ ​sold​ ​in​ ​6​ ​months.​ ​​ ​My​ ​previous​ ​books​ ​were outselling​ ​my​ ​new​ ​book​ ​every​ ​month.

It​ ​was​ ​2004​ ​and​ ​I​ ​got​ ​serious​ ​about​ ​learning​ ​what​ ​made​ ​one​ ​book​ ​succeed​ ​and​ ​another fail.​ ​​ ​I​ ​had​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​time​ ​to​ ​work​ ​on​ ​it.​ ​​ ​It​ ​was​ ​5​ ​years​ ​before​ ​I​ ​signed​ ​another​ ​book​ ​deal,​ ​8​ ​years before​ ​I​ ​had​ ​another​ ​book​ ​in​ ​print. During​ ​that​ ​time​ ​I​ ​was​ ​helping​ ​other​ ​people​ ​with​ ​their​ ​books.​ ​​ ​At​ ​first​ ​just​ ​friends​ ​but​ ​word spread​ ​and​ ​in​ ​a​ ​little​ ​while​ ​I​ ​was​ ​doing​ ​marketing​ ​work​ ​freelance​ ​which​ ​ultimately​ ​landed​ ​me​ ​a job​ ​with​ ​authors​ ​Large​ ​and​ ​Small.

I’m​ ​by​ ​no​ ​means​ ​an​ ​authority,​ ​but​ ​I​ ​have​ ​learned​ ​quite​ ​a​ ​few​ ​things​ ​along​ ​the​ ​way. The​ ​first​ ​is​ ​have​ ​a​ ​good​ ​book. All​ ​marketing,​ ​publicity,​ ​and​ ​advertising​ ​can​ ​do​ ​is​ ​get​ ​a​ ​potential​ ​reader​ ​to​ ​take​ ​a​ ​peek inside​ ​the​ ​book.​ ​​ ​That​ ​reader​ ​may​ ​open​ ​the​ ​book​ ​to​ ​any​ ​page​ ​and​ ​read​ ​two​ ​of​ ​three​ ​sentences. Then​ ​they​ ​decide​ ​if​ ​they​ ​are​ ​going​ ​to​ ​buy​ ​that​ ​book​ ​or​ ​not. It​ ​doesn’t​ ​matter​ ​if​ ​the​ ​book​ ​contains​ ​the​ ​greatest​ ​two​ ​of​ ​three​ ​sentences​ ​ever​ ​written​ ​if those​ ​are​ ​not​ ​the​ ​ones​ ​that​ ​potential​ ​reader​ ​tries.​ ​​ ​It​ ​doesn’t​ ​matter​ ​to​ ​the​ ​success​ ​of​ ​that​ ​book how​ ​great​ ​the​ ​greatest​ ​thing​ ​in​ ​the​ ​book​ ​is,​ ​the​ ​final​ ​decision​ ​comes​ ​down​ ​to​ ​how​ ​great​ ​any random​ ​segment​ ​on​ ​any​ ​page​ ​is. Step​ ​one​ ​is​ ​to​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​that​ ​any​ ​paragraph​ ​on​ ​any​ ​page​ ​in​ ​the​ ​book,​ ​standing​ ​alone, will​ ​sell​ ​that​ ​book​ ​to​ ​the​ ​reader​ ​who​ ​happens​ ​to​ ​open​ ​to​ ​that​ ​one​ ​to​ ​check​ ​it​ ​out.
How​ ​good​ ​that​ ​book​ ​ends​ ​up​ ​being​ ​will​ ​sell​ ​the​ ​author’s​ ​next​ ​book. My​ ​fourth​ ​book​ ​failed​ ​because​ ​my​ ​third​ ​book​ ​wasn’t​ ​very​ ​good.​ ​​ ​Lots​ ​of​ ​people​ ​knew​ ​my third​ ​book​ ​wasn’t​ ​very​ ​good​ ​because​ ​lots​ ​of​ ​people​ ​bought​ ​it.​ ​​ ​And​ ​lots​ ​of​ ​people​ ​bought​ ​it because​ ​my​ ​second​ ​book​ ​was​ ​good​ ​and​ ​buyers​ ​expected​ ​the​ ​third​ ​to​ ​be. My​ ​fifth​ ​book​ ​was​ ​in​ ​a​ ​new​ ​genre.​ ​​ ​I​ ​went​ ​from​ ​poetry​ ​to​ ​children’s.​ ​​ ​That​ ​meant​ ​a​ ​whole new​ ​audience​ ​to​ ​try​ ​to​ ​reach. That​ ​book​ ​is​ ​still​ ​in​ ​print.​ ​​ ​It​ ​has​ ​sold​ ​about​ ​7500​ ​copies​ ​in​ ​hardcover​ ​so​ ​far​ ​and​ ​looks​ ​like it​ ​will​ ​get​ ​up​ ​to​ ​9000​ ​before​ ​it​ ​goes​ ​to​ ​paperback.​ ​​ ​Not​ ​28,000​ ​but​ ​still​ ​not​ ​bad.​ ​​ ​My​ ​sixth​ ​book comes​ ​out​ ​soon​ ​and​ ​we​ ​will​ ​see​ ​how​ ​well​ ​it​ ​does.

Having​ ​a​ ​good​ ​book​ ​is​ ​not​ ​just​ ​up​ ​to​ ​your​ ​luck​ ​and​ ​your​ ​skill.​ ​​ ​I​ ​had​ ​a​ ​good​ ​book​ ​with​ ​my second​ ​and​ ​it​ ​sold​ ​my​ ​third,​ ​I​ ​had​ ​a​ ​bad​ ​book​ ​with​ ​my​ ​third​ ​and​ ​it​ ​torpedoed​ ​my​ ​fourth.​ ​​ ​The difference​ ​was​ ​a​ ​good​ ​editor​ ​and​ ​enough​ ​time. To​ ​be​ ​sure​ ​you​ ​have​ ​a​ ​good​ ​book,​ ​use​ ​a​ ​good​ ​editor​ ​and​ ​take​ ​the​ ​time​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​go over​ ​the​ ​book​ ​again​ ​and​ ​again. In​ ​the​ ​years​ ​since​ ​my​ ​first​ ​book​ ​came​ ​out​ ​the​ ​industry​ ​has​ ​moved​ ​in​ ​the​ ​exact​ ​opposite direction.​ ​​ ​Self​ ​publishing​ ​has​ ​never​ ​been​ ​easier.​ ​​ ​

Books​ ​go​ ​from​ ​idea​ ​to​ ​first​ ​draft​ ​to​ ​print​ ​so quickly​ ​that​ ​readers​ ​get​ ​books​ ​in​ ​their​ ​hands​ ​that​ ​they​ ​might​ ​have​ ​loved​ ​had​ ​they​ ​been​ ​edited and​ ​polished,​ ​but​ ​instead​ ​they​ ​say,​ ​meh. The​ ​good​ ​side​ ​of​ ​this​ ​is​ ​that​ ​it​ ​gives​ ​you​ ​a​ ​chance​ ​to​ ​stand​ ​out​ ​by​ ​being​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​few that​ ​put​ ​in​ ​the​ ​time​ ​and​ ​effort​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​make​ ​your​ ​book​ ​a​ ​gem. The​ ​second​ ​thing​ ​I​ ​would​ ​suggest​ ​is​ ​don’t​ ​wait​ ​until​ ​the​ ​book​ ​has​ ​a​ ​release​ ​date​ ​to​ ​get your​ ​publicist​ ​working.​ ​​ ​Your​ ​book​ ​will​ ​do​ ​better​ ​if​ ​we​ ​see​ ​it​ ​in​ ​its​ ​rough​ ​draft​ ​stage​ ​and​ ​can​ ​point out​ ​details​ ​that​ ​will​ ​help​ ​or​ ​hurt​ ​its​ ​marketing​ ​along​ ​the​ ​way.​ ​​ ​

Of​ ​course,​ ​don’t​ ​compromise​ ​the integrity​ ​of​ ​your​ ​work​ ​to​ ​make​ ​it​ ​more​ ​salable,​ ​but​ ​being​ ​more​ ​salable​ ​is​ ​important.​ ​​ ​Do​ ​consider every​ ​chance​ ​to​ ​make​ ​your​ ​book​ ​more​ ​salable​ ​that​ ​does​ ​not​ ​compromise​ ​your​ ​integrity. Maybe​ ​you​ ​want​ ​your​ ​book​ ​to​ ​change​ ​the​ ​world,​ ​maybe​ ​you​ ​want​ ​it​ ​to​ ​comfort​ ​those​ ​in pain​ ​or​ ​teach​ ​a​ ​valuable​ ​lesson​ ​or​ ​even​ ​just​ ​make​ ​people​ ​smile​ ​or​ ​laugh.​ ​​ ​It​ ​can’t​ ​do​ ​any​ ​of​ ​that if​ ​it​ ​doesn’t​ ​get​ ​read​ ​and​ ​it​ ​won’t​ ​get​ ​read​ ​if​ ​it​ ​doesn’t​ ​get​ ​sold.

At​ ​this​ ​point​ ​you​ ​may​ ​be​ ​expecting​ ​a​ ​check​ ​list​ ​of​ ​things​ ​to​ ​do​ ​to​ ​market​ ​your​ ​book.​ ​​ ​I could​ ​make​ ​a​ ​list​ ​of​ ​things​ ​one​ ​can​ ​do,​ ​but​ ​it​ ​would​ ​be​ ​like​ ​writing​ ​out​ ​a​ ​list​ ​of​ ​possible​ ​medical procedures​ ​a​ ​doctor​ ​can​ ​prescribe​ ​for​ ​an​ ​ailment.​ ​​ ​A​ ​cast​ ​might​ ​work​ ​great​ ​for​ ​a​ ​broken​ ​leg​ ​but do​ ​nothing​ ​for​ ​an​ ​ear​ ​infection. No​ ​two​ ​marketing​ ​campaigns​ ​are​ ​exactly​ ​alike​ ​nor​ ​should​ ​be.​ ​​ ​One​ ​thing​ ​you​ ​want​ ​your book​ ​to​ ​do​ ​is​ ​stand​ ​out,​ ​so​ ​if​ ​every​ ​book​ ​got​ ​the​ ​same​ ​treatment,​ ​none​ ​would​ ​stand​ ​out.​ ​​ ​The best​ ​marketing​ ​are​ ​customized​ ​for​ ​your​ ​book.

Brett Axel’s Goblinheart is available here.

Insights and Advice – Our Weekly Column

Here are some insights Authors, Large and Small’s crew has gleaned over the years that guide our approach to book outreach and publicity.

We invite everyone to take a look at these. We’re also open to providing general advice and answering some of the questions people have in this column, so if you have a book outreach-related question, please feel welcome to contact us at and we’ll see if we can assist.

  • Find your audience where they already gather, reach them how they already communicate. It’s always easier, especially in the beginning, to work with an existing audience rather than trying to build one from scratch. So think of the kinds of people who would likely take an interest in your book right away and reach out to them.
  • Who’s your audience? For many authors, yes, ultimately, most everyone. People are more likely, though, to buy a book if they are either already interested in the topic or genre or if someone they know recommends it to them. So, start by reaching a small and highly targeted group of people and encourage them to spread the word to people they know. That way, ‘most everyone’ can hear about your title from friends and family rather than from you, a stranger to them.
  • It’s better to come into a group of people, especially a group of strangers, with something to give rather than something to ask of people or sell to them. That goes for online groups too! So think of how you can partner with groups so that you can offer them something that will benefit them. For example, you can offer news outlets an engaging story about a local writer that would interest their readers, or offer a book club free/discounted copies of your books in exchange for reviews.
  • Traditional and social media work together and a solid publicity campaign involves both approaches. You can use social media to communicate directly with your readers and to find new groups of readers outside of your geographic area – and to announce and show off photos of your in-person events. And the coverage you land in traditional media – newspapers, podcasts, radio/TV etc – becomes news that you can share with your readers over social media. So it’s not a matter of choosing between approaches, it’s a question of figuring out a strategy for outreach for your project and which combination of tools will be most useful to help with that.
  • Yes, your book has value and is worthy of a solid publicity effort, whether you do it yourself or work with a team such as Authors, Large and Small. Good writing has value regardless of genre and books can get us through rough patches and help us to make sense of our world. I still remember the historical fiction, romance, and other random titles I read while sitting at family members’ bedsides in the hospital – there were times when I couldn’t have handled high end Shakespeare or Toni Morrison work but needed something to break me out of isolation and connect me to the larger world. Your book may be able to do something similar for someone and it’s worth it to go look for that reader and find them.