Are you a good candidate for self-publishing or should you consider traditional or hybrid? Carol Saller gives her advice on the different routes to publishing, tips for self-publishing, tips for submitting to an agent, and more.
Just when Carol Saller thought her publishing journey had reached a dead end, she stumbled upon the unexpected twist that would change everything. But what she discovered about self-publishing will surprise you. Are you ready to hear her story?
If you're in a hurry to get your book out, self-publishing allows you to move ahead and take control. – Carol Saller
When considering self-publishing, it's important to understand the various types of writers who may benefit from this route.
About Carol Saller:
Carol Saller’s books include The Subversive Copy Editor and several books for children. A career copyeditor at the University of Chicago Press, she now serves as contributing editor to The Chicago Manual of Style and writes for the manual’s Shop Talk blog. In the past, she was a senior editor of children’s books for Front Street/Cricket Books.
To help writers understand the writer-editor relationship and prepare their manuscripts for submission, Carol has given keynotes, sessions, and workshops at national, regional, and local conferences, serving as faculty at Novelists, Inc., Midwest Writers Workshop, and the Willamette Writers Conference. She guest lectures for the University of Chicago Graham School’s publishing program and has appeared on Chicago’s PBS news program Chicago Tonight as well as at writers' events, bookstores, panels, webinars, and workshops on writing, editing, and publishing.
Carol’s young adult historical novel Eddie’s War was named a Best Book of the Year by Bankstreet and Kirkus Reviews, and a Best of the Best Fiction for Teens by the Chicago Public Library. Her picture book The Bridge Dancers received the Carl Sandburg Award for Children’s Literature. George Washington Carver was a NCSS/CBC Notable, and Pug, Slug, and Doug the Thug was a main feature on PBS Storytime television. Now in its second edition, The Subversive Copy Editor was Publishers Weekly Online’s starred “Pick of the Week.”
In this episode, you will learn to:
- Uncover the advantages and drawbacks of self-publishing compared to traditional publishing.
- Emphasize the significance of quality, copy-editing, and book design in the realm of self-publishing.
- Grasp essential marketing expertise for self-publishing and grammatical knowledge needed for traditional publishing.
- Recognize the importance of adhering to submission guidelines and the role of copy editors.
- Discover the valuable insights within The Chicago Manual of Style on writing and style.
Preparing a Manuscript
A crucial element of both traditional and self-publishing is creating a polished, professional manuscript. This involves careful editing, proofreading, formatting, and ensuring that the work adheres to the chosen style guide. The author should also research the submission guidelines for the target publisher or platform to ensure their manuscript complies with those standards. By taking the time to properly prepare the manuscript, writers increase the chances that their work will be well-received and taken seriously by publishers or readers. During her conversation with Alexa Bigwarfe, Carol Saller discusses the importance of a good copy editor in improving the readability and consistency of a manuscript. She points out that copy editors can also provide formatting services upon request, ultimately helping the author prepare their work for submission. Carol further emphasizes the significance of following the recipient's guidelines when submitting, as failure to do so can result in a negative impression. She also suggests having others read the manuscript prior to submission to ensure it is polished and consistent with the chosen style.
- Examine the key differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing in terms of benefits and limitations.
- Recognize the crucial role of quality, copy-editing, and appealing book design in successful self-publishing.
- Develop essential marketing and grammatical skills to conquer both the self-publishing and traditional publishing worlds.
- Explore the value of following submission guidelines and utilizing the skills of copy editors.
00:04:08 – Five Categories of Writers for Self-Publishing,
Carol Saller discusses the five types of writers who are good candidates for self-publishing: celebrities/social media stars, business owners, writers of genre fiction, writers who want to print a book for personal reasons, and writers who are in a hurry.
00:09:45 – Factors to Consider,
Carol Saller mentions additional factors that should be considered when deciding between traditional and self-publishing, such as the need for tech support, desire for cachet, and the difficulty of marketing quiet literary fiction.
00:17:34 – Formatting in Manuscripts,
Copy editors often offer formatting services or as an add-on service. Manuscripts require proper formatting to easily convert into the coded product. It is important to ask if a copy editor includes formatting and negotiate this service.
00:20:05 – Mistakes in Manuscript Preparation,
Not researching the recipient's guidelines is a big mistake. It shows a lack of respect and professionalism. Always follow formatting conventions, such as double spacing, page numbers, and using a standard font. Have your work read and edited by others for consistency and readability.