Thursday, February 25, 2010

How Do I Get My Book Published for Free?

It’s possibly the most common question I get by e-mail from my Blog viewers, “How do I publish my book for free?” My answer; it can be done.

The odds of being picked up by a traditional publisher are slim; especially for the first-time author. This is likely the reason more than 80 percent of books are self-published. Most of these new self-published authors spend much more money on their book publishing than necessary. Companies such as Authorhouse or Outskirts Press charge a minimum of $200.00 for their basic services. This amount excludes some of the most important services such as editing, layout, and cover design; all “over-priced” additional fees. I’ve spoken to some new authors who invested over $10,000.00 to publish their first book. If you look at these company Websites you will see this is not even close to the most expensive package they offer. Visiting these self-publishing Websites can make a new author believe it is necessary to spend this much to release a successful book-not true.

If you are looking to publish your first book, or if you overspent your budget on your first book and are looking for a better avenue for your next, there are some free self-publishing options available to you. But remember, there will always be those unavoidable “extras” with any book publishing project. You do not want to skimp on things like page layout, cover design, and editing, and editing, and editing!!! A poorly designed book will get poor reviews and most likely WILL NOT SELL!

In my book, A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story, I cover the proper way to layout your pages as well as itemizing the necessary components for your particular book. I strongly suggest if this will be your first book project or you have minimal success with your first release, you order this book and do it the right way from the start. Everything needed from start to finish to complete your book the right way and publish a professional looking piece of literature is covered in the book as an easy-to-follow guide.

In reference to editing your manuscript, do not do-it-yourself unless you are at a minimum, an English major with a Master’s Degree. Even then, I previously read one manuscript self-edited by a writer with such a degree and found numerous typos which made the script hard to read.

If you must, and only if you must, follow these guidelines to get the best you can from your editing efforts;

*Use your spell check program.
*Read your script out loud at least 3 times looking for mistakes.
*Check for the same words repeated to closely and use Thesaurus to find other word options.
*Ask at least three non-bias friends to read your manuscript to help find your mistakes.
*Read it, read it, and read it more!

There are a few “truly” free book publishers available. Again, your book must be ready-to-publish before you attempt to submit to these sites. Otherwise, your final product may not present professionally at all. One of the best I’ve heard of (from authors who have used it) is by Amazon. It’s fairly easy and the only requirement is you must buy one of your own books. Your book is also listed on automatically and the ISBN is free.

Another with fair reviews by users is However, with LuLu you still will need to submit your book to other bookseller sites such as unless you purchase their distribution package (no longer free).

Publish America will accept most manuscripts for publishing and will do the basic editing and cover design for you free. However, I caution you to accept their cover designs as most of the ones I’ve seen are horrific. You can design your own and submit it to them for approval.

In this post, I may be coming on as if book publishing is free and easy—it’s not. More than 90 percent of the books I used to review (quit because of this issue), were unprofessional, unedited, or just plain poorly written. Books such as these are not enjoyable to read. This may be why I feel so strongly about writers doing it correctly the first time. It’s your dream—don’t disappoint yourself. Be proud of your finished book! Learn the right process and professional way to write and publish your story before you leap in.

A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story is available through and direct from the author at Authors Box Bookstore.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Do Books Outdate?

When you write your first novel or non-fiction work, is there any way to know for sure if the book will become outdated? Do authors even consider the possibility?
Gone With the Wind was released decades ago but remains a favorite and is truly a legend in the literary world. Yet an original and complete set of 1920 Britannia Encyclopedias are virtually worth nothing—why?

A well written fiction book should never outdate; a story is a story. But non-fiction writers beware, or should I say, “be aware.” Although history is history and will no longer change, many informational books suffer due to new science or technology. Even a family history book might be considered outdated once new family members are born into this world.

When and if your book outdates you can re-publish it with the same name as a new edition. Understand that with each new edition or format, you will need a new ISBN (International Standard Book Number). ISBN’s are assigned each time a book changes. If you create a recorded or CD version to sell, you will need a new ISBN. Any changes made to a published book with an original ISBN require a new number. FYI, printing additional copies with no changes at all, does not require a new ISBN.

There are few ways to get past the need for a new ISBN. When I wrote my latest non-fiction book, 100 Ways to Market Your Book for Free (or really cheap), I knew all along the book would outdate, and rapidly. I had to decide if I would be willing to re-write updated versions on a regular basis or come up with another solution—I did just that. I published the book as an e-book without an ISBN. Although this does limit my coverage in the book world, because I work directly with authors, I still get direct exposure through my Websites and Blogs. “My audience” is right here.

As an e-book, I can make changes to the text and update the content anytime the information in the book changes, i.e., Website links, new ideas, recommendations from the books readers. Then I simply re-publish the book with the same name. It’s not the traditional method of book publishing, but sometimes you need to think outside the box and do what works for your publication.

So when you are considering writing a non-fiction book, ask yourself these questions:

*Will the content or information in the book outdate?
*Will I need to re-publish the book with updated content in the future?
*Should I purchase a rack of ISBN’s (10-15) rather than just one?
*What is the most cost-effective and simplest way to produce the book based on the need to update the information?
*Should I make the book into a series (see post below at
Authors, please share your own insight in the comment section below.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How do You Market a Book with the “S” Word Attached? An Interview with Author Nancy Murdoch

In this final interview of our series (appropriately timed towards Valentine’s Day), we will visit with Nancy Murdoch, the author of It’s Mostly About Sex…And the Pleasures of Pleasing a Woman.

For typical non-fiction books like my own, there isn’t generally an issue with marketing; most avenues are open to me with little restriction. But for Nancy Murdoch, many doors slam on her in her attempts to promote her new book. Why? It’s all about “sex.”

In this interview I will talk with Nancy and see how she is able, or not, to overcome these obstacles and the stigma that comes along with “sex.”

Carol Denbow: Welcome Nancy. Let’s start with you telling us a little about your book.

Nancy Murdoch: Okay Carol. Married, single, divorced, dating or in a committed relationship …LOVE is everything, and without it we cease to thrive and flourish in all areas of our lives because life is about relationships. We are in relationship with family, friends, co-workers, our environment, the air we breathe and even the food we eat. But few people can honestly say they are truly happy in their love relationships.

Many men have come to me feeling empty, brokenhearted and disillusioned searching for the secrets to connecting intimately with that one special woman. And even more men want to know how to lavish a woman with the selfless giving of pleasure. So I wrote this book to help all men become more self-empowered so they can engage in healthy, loving relationships with everyone, including a significant romantic partner.

It’s Mostly About Sex…And the Pleasures of Pleasing a Woman gets down to the nitty gritty of why men are attracting women they don’t want to be with in relationships and are repelling the women with whom they are interested. I use many real-life stories throughout the book in order to provide readers with clear examples of how to shift the energy that draws them into painfully unhealthy relationships, and change it into a natural, radiant sex appeal that women can’t say “no” to.

But I’m going to warn you right now that if you have an ego you may feel a sting. There is no ego in love and this book intentionally strikes at the core of what drives men because I want you to succeed. I truly believe in love and happy-ever-after relationships.

Carol Denbow: Although your book is non-fiction self-help, it also falls into the erotica genre. Some advertisers, reviewers, etc. still see this as taboo. Has this posed problems with your efforts to market and promote your book?

Nancy Murdoch: I was actually dumbfounded to learn that my book was judged by some reviewers and advertisers without them even reading the first page! Every time someone said, “Sorry, we don’t deal with that type of book.” I felt I was back in the days when they hanged “witches” or burned women at the stake because these women had knowledge to help people heal that was feared by those in authority. Each time I’m perceived as a threat to someone’s antiquated belief system, I’m shocked. But then again, I’ve known for many years that I’m a catalyst to individual and mass transformation and “change” isn’t always comfortable for those who need to do the changing. When people attempt to avoid change the most popular path of resistance is to shoot the messenger – or ban, burn and ignore the book, the message or the messenger.

Challenges are merely opportunities in disguise. Thus, I do not look at this “taboo” as a marketing problem, but rather an unexpected edge I have over other books that are playing it safe. I never play it safe; I always play it real and give everything I’ve got to help people find lasting happiness in love and life. If this means bringing sexual energy, porn, prostitution, intimacy and love to the table, then I’m going to dish it out in heaping portions. There is already an inherently strong opinion about my subject matter which can play in my favor. Strong opinions attract equally strong contrasting points of view which creates a virtual breeding ground for controversy, discussions and media attention. This book has the power to generate enough attention to help humanity as a whole start to lessen the gap between men and women and begin to truly love one another. Whether this happens or not is up to the readers.

There is nothing erotic about my book - not even the cover. The image on the cover is a charcoal drawing I did about 20 years ago in university when I was going through the Fine Arts Program. It was my first ever drawing class and I was so thrilled to get my drawing to look like the live model and not some weirdly contorted monster from Planet Distortion. So I definitely view this cover as fine art, not erotica. I’ve even got the degree to prove it. A woman’s body has beautiful shapes, contours, colors and textures that are as much a part of nature as are the flowers, oceans, sky and earth. That’s why I love drawing, painting and sculpting the female figure. Tell me the last time you saw a lioness hide her naked body in modesty or shame? Why should men and women feel demoralized by the image of a nude human body whether it’s on the cover of a book or standing on the beach in front of you?

So, if love, happiness, deep intimacy, caring, sharing, selflessness and self-understanding are considered erotica, then get out the X-Rated stamp because this book is loaded from cover to cover.

Carol Denbow: What have you found to be the most effective ways to market your book?

Nancy Murdoch: Marketing has been my greatest challenge. I want someone else to do it for me so I can get back to doing what I am most passionate about and what I do best – writing more books and creating art. But what author can afford that, right? I have 5 books in various stages of completion and 3 bodies of art work waiting impatiently for me to stop marketing and start manifesting again. Contrary to what unknown authors are taught by seasoned authors who have been around the publishing block a few times, I KNOW I’m not meant to do my own marketing. But my mystery marketer hasn’t shown up yet. So, I’m going to market by intuition; which basically means getting out of my own way in order to allow space for the “real” marketer (a complement to the gifts I’ve got to throw into the mix) to enter the scene.

I’m also setting intentions for how I want this to play out and shifting my beliefs to be in alignment with my intentions. In other words, I’m creating my own success story. Time will tell if my methods are working or not. Meanwhile, I am continuing to take heart-inspired actions, which could mean sending a few paperback copies to newspapers and magazines, renting a booth at a mind/body/spirit show or setting up a virtual book tour. It’s too early in the game to decide what’s effective and what isn’t.

Carol Denbow: I’m curious; do you have more book orders or inquiries from men or women?

Nancy Murdoch: Men. But I’m sensing that women may be the ones who initially read the book then gift it to their boyfriends, husbands, brothers and sons . . . and even to their girlfriends to pass on to their men. The general consensus is that men prefer to watch and listen rather than read a book. So, I created an audio MP3 version men can listen to on their compute to and from work.

Carol Denbow: Okay, you’re here, right now, with a book that’s difficult to market. Show us how this is done. Valentine’s Day is approaching; sell us on your book!

Nancy Murdoch: There are books you read....and then there are books that change your life. This book holds all the secrets to attracting a quality woman and maintaining a healthy, happy, growthful relationship that can span the test of time. Secrets that are relevant to every man's life regardless of age, size, relationship status or profession, while challenging a man to be the best he can be.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and for many people it’s THE most depressing day of the year. But whether you are single, married, dating or somewhere in between, every day can be a day of joy and love that lasts an entire lifetime – with or without a partner in your life!

And, to make it super easy I’ve put together a power-packed Valentine’s Day Special that includes the PDF book, It’s Mostly About Sex…And the Pleasures of Pleasing a Woman, 140 minute Audio Book MP3, 2 - 30 minute Magical Love Meditations For Men MP3s and a Relationships Survival Guide PDF. I can’t guarantee you’ll find love by Valentine’s Day . . . but I guarantee that this package will be the best kick-start a man will ever need to become a better lover.

Carol Denbow: Alright authors, there’s your tip for the day! Nancy, where can we learn more about this juicy new book of yours? Website? Blog?

Nancy Murdoch: Additional information can be found at And, until February 14th I’ll be posting strategies to improve confidence and increase self-esteem on my blog so everyone can be revved up and ready for luv. For articles on self-awareness, life purpose, health and inspiration, please check out

Carol Denbow: Thank you Nancy for sharing the in’s and out’s of book promotion for sensitive issued books!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Are Pyramids Too Big for Publishing? The Day Steven Myers Fulfilled His Dream

We’ve all been there-the big day. We worked for months, sometimes years. And now it’s here-our book is done! Can we all reach this goal? Of course we can. But we need guidance, persistence, and most of all the courage to see it through and believe we can do it. Our own book in print-yes we can!

Steven Myers has now joined the rank of “published author.” How did he do it and how does he feel now? In this interview, I will talk to him about his first book, hot off the press, Lost Technologies of the Great Pyramid, How the Great Pyramid was Built.

Carol Denbow: Steven, so glad you’re here to share this amazing experience with us. First I would like to congratulate you on this massive accomplishment and say, I can’t wait to read your book!

You and I met more than a year ago in a small town in Oregon where I had a vendor booth set up at a summer festival. I was talking with, and selling my books to festival attendees; you were one of them. In fact, you bought a copy of my book, A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story. Out of sheer curiosity (and I should have more confidence than to ask), did the book help guide you in any way?

Steven Myers: Absolutely! Your book was a goldmine of technical information to be sure. It helped in a big way as a reference to guide me through the labyrinth of creating a manuscript and turning it into a finished product. I referred often to your book as a guide virtually every step of the way.

Carol Denbow: Wow, thank you Steven! That’s great to hear.

Many writers work on their book projects for long periods of time and eventually give up on ever finishing. How did you stay focused on yours, how long did it take you to complete the book?

Steven Myers: Wow, that’s a good question! The best way I can answer is that I had a book inside of me; I felt compelled to get it out. The book became more than a project, it was a compulsion. I gave all that I could to the book project. I allocated huge blocks of time to researching the subject matter and worked everyday writing the manuscript. I had been researching the subject for over twenty years and it took about seven years to write the manuscript. All I know concerning why I was able to finish this work, is that it became a life-quest for me. I knew that if I kept working I would not fail; only if I quit would I be defeated. So I simply kept working until the manuscript was finished and the book was completed!

Carol Denbow: That’s inspirational to hear and I hope your story helps influence other writers to keep on going with their projects.

You live in a small town of about 4,500 population. This must have limited your access to resources. So where and how did you find the resources to complete and publish your book?

Steven Myers: You are right that a small town offers limitations. Yet we live in a time of many resources. Certainly I borrowed countless books from the local town library. That was a great resource. But the most fantastic wonder that transcends any small town’s limitations is the computer and the internet. These resources, unavailable to generations past, give us the tools and information to complete research, write a manuscript, and create a book.

Carol Denbow: Not everyone is an accomplished author who writes a book. What were your strengths and weaknesses as an author?

Steven Myers: As for weakness I have quite a few. I am actually not well suited to be an author. I am dyslexic and have a very difficult time spelling. That makes proofreading extremely frustrating. Also, I created the illustrations for my book, yet I am quite colorblind. Through perseverance, and help from family, friends, and associates, I was able to transcend these deficiencies to reach my goal of creating a book. I do have a few attributes a writer needs. I have a wholehearted commitment to the project and I am able to put together my thoughts into sentences. But my best attribute is that when I am faced with a research or writing obstacle, I am able to be tenacious in solving the problem. Transforming the manuscript into a PDF document created a number of hurtles for me. I was able to research and find out what I need to know to complete the tasks of creating my book.

Carol Denbow: You published your book through, would you now recommend them as a publishing option for others, and why?

Steven Myers: Yes I would, because they seem to be easy to work with and a well organized company. The book is produced very professionally. Also Createspace is associated with which should help in a number of ways.

Carol Denbow: Did you submit your manuscript to any traditional publishers? Did you receive the “Dear John” letter from any? If so, how did that make you feel?

Steven Myers: Yes I did. Actually, I negotiated with two different conventional publishers. One wanted me to water-down the manuscript making the book less controversial; that was unacceptable. The other publisher was very interested in the book but I wanted to keep the TV and movie rights. The publisher was adamant in wanting me to give up those rights. Only then would they publish the book. I came to realize that the publisher would not have done any promotion for the book. I came to the understating as well that in this new era of publication options, I can eliminate the middleman and be actively involved in the publishing myself. I will be proactive in book promotion and keep the TV and movie rights. In this day and age, conventional publishers did not offer a significant advantage to use their services.

Carol Denbow: You are a smart fellow. I noticed that long before your book was to be released, you started a non-profit foundation for the study of the Great Pyramid; what a wonderful idea, as this will work as a pre-marketing prompt and “should” help with book sales. Please tell us about the foundation.

Steven Myers: Yes I am the founder of a 501 (c) 3 Oregon based non-profit organization called the Pharaoh’s Pump Foundation. Our Website is at: The subject matter of my book is the result of the research conducted at our foundation. It is a natural tie-in to promote my book at the foundation’s Website just as the book promotes the foundation. It is a perfect synergistic relationship. I have donated a limited number of signed copies to the foundation. There the books are offered as a fundraising campaign. In this way I can have a “virtual book signing” and the foundation can raise some needed funding.

Carol Denbow: You have recently experienced the joys of being published. Simply put, how does this make you feel?

Steven Myers: I have written a number of articles on this same subject which has been published in various print magazines. But I cannot tell you the absolute thrill and sense of accomplishment of first holding a book in your hands that you created. To see someone reading your book will give any new author a rush of excitement that words cannot convey.

Carol Denbow: Many pre-published authors are not aware that the “real work” begins after their book is released. What additional plans do you have to market your book now that it’s out in the world?

Steven Myers: You’re correct. Believe it or not there is as much work in promotion as there is in writing a manuscript. It is important to realize that the skills to write a manuscript are quite different than the skills needed to promote a book. Many well written books are poorly promoted. I have experience in promoting the foundation I am involved in and will use those skills to promote the book. I have been on numerous radio shows as a guest promoting the research about the Great Pyramid. My goal is to be the guest on fifty radio shows to promote the book. Several of the local newspapers have done articles on me and the research I’ve done. Now they can do articles about me and the book. I also intend to write a number of articles in print magazines which will help promote the book. We are going to produce a YouTube documentary which will promote the book as well. We will use this documentary to “pitch a deal” to a TV network to create a TV quality documentary. Plus I will do some lectures and book readings and of course I have a Website at:

Carol Denbow: I could go on forever Steven. This is “the” moment so many of my Blog viewers are awaiting; to be published and actually hold in hand a copy of their book. Unfortunately, we have to close this interview (running out of room on the home page!). What advice do you have for writers wanting to write a book and get published?

Steven Myers: To be an author is the most completive endeavor on earth. The reader can choose from reading the classics, Shakespeare, or virtually any book on earth. That is what every contemporary author is facing as competition. Yet the world always craves new books to read. The world needs authors to meet this challenge. Writing my book was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Yet at the same time, it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I recommend to anyone who has a book inside of them to do the work to reach the daunting goal of making that book a reality. The rewards will make the effort worth it!

Carol Denbow: Okay, Lost Technologies of the Great Pyramid, How the Great Pyramid was Built; Steven Myers first release. Give us some links to order this book or learn more about it.

Steven Myers: For more information about my book you can go directly to the publisher at: For the link go You can also go to the Pharaoh’s Pump Foundations or my web page at: to find out more about the book and our research.

Carol Denbow: Steven, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful time with us, and again, congratulation on what looks to be an intriguing piece of literature.

Steven Myers: Thank you for your book, A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story. Your book helped my book become a reality. We have met in person and you are a very intelligent author who is outstanding in actively promoting your work. That is a powerful combination! I know that you will be a constant resource in the months ahead as I do what I can to promote my book. Thanks again for the opportunity this interview provides.