Tootling Along

Christine Sutton -writer, editor and publisher

About publishing

What is self publishing?

Self-publishing happens when a writer, artist, composer or other creative person chooses to publish their work without the use of a publishing house or company. An author that publishes a book on their own has complete creative control, higher book royalty rates, and full autonomy over the publishing process.   In other words, when you self-publish, you as an author write a book and complete the entire publishing process by yourself. As a self-publishing author, you will;

  • oversee the entire book writing and production process, from start to finish, including
    • editing,
    • designing, and
    • formatting the book.
  • send it to the printer and
  • organise distribution
  • market and sell your book
  • retain full ownership of your book rights.

And all of this at your own expense. In the process, you will therefore receive more return on the investment of your time and effort writing the book because you retain all the profits from sales. At least that is the theory.

The reality can be very, very different. It all sounds very attractive. However the big question is, “Do you, as a writer, have all the skills necessary to take your book from the first word written to the book on the shelf of the local book store?”

If the answer is “Yes” – good, it will take you a lot of effort and you’ll learn a lot on the way. Just remember that the last thing any author should do is proof read, copy proof and edit their own work. So do yourself a favour and get a good proof reader. From experience, you will otherwise upload the book to the printer many, many many times (at additional $$$) before you have a book that is 99.7% error free. (100% is not humanly possible, even with the best of editorial help.)

If the answer is “No”, then you have two alternatives.

  1. Traditional publishing through a publishing house – submit your manuscript to a publishing company and keep trying until it is accepted, or hire a literary agent to do this for you. I might add, if your ambition is to win a literary prize or fame and fortune, then this is probably the only pathway that will get you there.
  2. Find the professional help that you need. Find a good copy proofer, proof reader and editor and be prepared to pay them for the job they are trained to do. It’s well worth it. They take your book from a good third draft where you think it’s perfect and find all the typos, misuse of words, spell checker misses and repetition you didn’t see because you are so used to reading it that you read what you think you typed, not what you did type.
    The editor will then help you make your writer’s voice stronger, your writing more readable and your story more engaging, without taking your story away from you.
    An experience editor can lay your book out for printing, or e-book publication, in an acceptable form, including formatting any photos or graphics in the correct resolution, format and colour mode.

That’s where I come in. I offer all of these service for beginning writers. I step you through the process, teaching you a great deal of what I know, as we work together towards producing your first book. We won’t “self publish” in the true meaning of the phrase, but you will have the following advantages over those who try to self publish alone. You will;

  • End up with a polished, readable, high quality book, while spending more time writing and less time on technical tasks.
  • Retain complete control over your book. You will always have the final say over your book. When we finish working on a chapter together you will sign off on the final proof of the book to that point. At the end of the final chapter and the editing process you will sign off on the upload file before it goes to the printer and the proof that is sent back by the printer.
  • Retain all rights to the book. Once it is in print or published to online distribution my job is done. Any proceeds from the sale of your book, and your copyright and rights remain your own. Even if you sell the print book through the M C Sutton online Book Shop.
  • Not have to buy large numbers of the book in advance and find a distribution network yourself. I will guide you through the Print-on-demand process, whereby the printer will print books as you require from a minimum to of 1 book to as many as you wish and will add the book to their distribution network, which includes all of the large booksellers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble, if you wish.

You have complete control over your book, under the guidance of a mentor.

Is there a cost?

Of course there is a cost. There’s a lot of work involved in turning a manuscript into a book. It depends on the number of words/pages in the book, how much proofing and spell checking has already been done before I see it, which affects the amount of editing and lay out that I have to do.

If you bring the book to me in electronic form (Word NOT .pdf) already throughly spell checked and grammar checked and with any graphics already prepared for print, the cost will be less than one you bring to me at second draft stage with a great deal of grammar editing and spelling correction needed and a large number of graphics that need preparing for print.

For example;
If an A5 book of 250 pages came to me with only basic Word spell checking, and has lots of graphics that need preparation for printing, the process would include;

  • Editing ( extra grammar checking, repeated words, long paragraphs etc. followed by readability and engagement.)
  • Copy-proofing (at least 2 proofings – before and after editing )
  • Proof reading (at least 2 proofings – before and after editing)
  • Preparation of graphics (conversion to 300 dpi, CYMK and sizing and cropping)
  • Layout
  • Submission of the final file to print-on-demand

The cost would start at $600

However, the same book with all spellcheck and copy proof tasks completed and including provision of a seperate file for each graphic, prepared for printing at 300 dpi and in CYMK colour mode, ready for editing and layout would include the same services but would cost a maximum of $500 as the process would be shorter;

  • Editing ( readability and engagement.)
  • Copy-proofing (after editing )
  • Proof reading (after editing)
  • Placement of graphics
  • Layout
  • Submission of the final file to print-on-demand

There is no charge for mentoring you through the Print on Demand publication process nor for selling the book through our online store . All profits from your book come to you and no royalties or fees are charged.

Helping you publish your work and sell your books is my way of paying forward the help that I have received, and continue to receive, throughout my storytelling journey.