Friday, May 22, 2009

Getting Published: 5 Things You Can Do Right Now

Use the phrase "self-publishing" or "independent author" and most people think of books. I believe, however, the correct definition of "self-publishing" is someone who publishes his or her own work in any format. 
Publishing yourself is not limited to print books. The definition extends to all mediums: print, digital, video and audio. (Did you know the trendy terms today are: pbook, ebook, abook and vook?) 


Here are 5 ways you can start to get your message out to your audience today, if you wish. 


1. Blog: The fastest, cheapest way to get online with a blog is to go to or, sign up for an account, pick a template and start blogging. Yes, it's that easy. Now, cheap and easy are not the best way to go. Self-hosting a blog with your own domain name (rather than, for example) is preferred, but costs more and takes longer. The good news is that you can always transfer your Blogger or Wordpress blog later when you have the time and money to set it up in your own name.

2. Podcasts: Do you know how many people are listening to their favorite audio programs and books on iPods? Millions.  Record your blog posts, articles and audio programs and publish as podcasts in iTunes App Store. I am not a techie, so I won't begin to try to explain the process, but publishing your podcasts on iTunes is fairly simple, once you get your feed set up. Have someone help you if necessary. Get Apple's instructions on how to do here.


3. Digital Books: This is so easy, it's ridiculous not to do it. Do you have a completed manuscript? It could be an article, booklet or full-length book. If so, then you are ready to go digital. Simply creating a PDF from your Word document in the Print function will give you a file you can upload to and start selling. Or, you can upload your Word document at and they convert your manuscript to the format for downloading as an ebook to computer, iPhone, Kindle, Sony eReader and a host of other devices. You set your own price and keep most of the profit. Another place to publish digital and audio files is Be sure to read the terms of agreement and how you will be paid before you join any service.


4. Videos: Did you know is the No. 1 search engine for Generation Y? Yes, they go there before Google when searching for information. You do not need to be Steven Spielberg to shoot a video to upload to YouTube. Most digital cameras have video functions on them and if you don't have one, get a FlipCamera for about $129. You can plug the Flip right into your computer and upload your video. Have someone record you delivering your message (or set the camera up on a tripod and do it yourself). Read from your book, talk about your subject, interview someone else, or anything else you can think of.


5. Social Networking: Join any social networking group and you can set up a profile page with your photo, book information, book cover, event photos, and more.The additional benefit to joining and participating in these groups is that you can connect with other people who are interested in your topic, so you can build your audience from Day One. Many of the sites also offer you blog pages, ability to upload video, fan pages and more. The "Big Three" are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but there are many more smaller groups that are book industry-specific such as GoodReads,LibraryThing and BookMarketing Network. Costs you nothing and is lots of fun, too! Look me up on all those sites and add me as your friend.


So no more excuses about not getting published. Do it today. 


  1. Several of us in our family have a Kindle 1 and we share one account, which works out great, since we don't have to wait for someone to finish a good book before we can read it (or buy it ourselves). However, once the Kindle 2 launched, I have been thinking about it more frequently with each passing day. So, to demonstrate that I am a good American citizen and I want to do my part to revive our economy, I ordered a Kindle 2 (hey - that is as good an excuse as any and better than many!). It arrived yesterday as promised and I could not be more pleased, unless it had a color screen, which isn't due for probably the 4th or 5th iteration, if that, but who knows? Anyway, I love it, as I did the Kindle 1, but even more, because it offers more and is much more than just a marketable upgrade, in my opinion. The MP3 playing ability is still in development but the playback quality is quite good, although it still needs tweaking, as does the whole MP3 capability on K2. I am often amazed at the number of reviewers that are unaware that their negative, even hostile reviews speak volumes about their psychological make-up which is far more interesting than their so-called reviews. Anyway, if you liked Kindle 1, you are going to love Kindle 2. Just make certain that you clearly understand the few short-comings of the K2 and can overlook them in light of the far, far greater number of positive attributes of K2. Buy it and it truly will be one of those consumerist purchases that makes sense and you won't feel that you are taking part in the dismantling of our planet. Happy reading!