Self-Publishing Tips – Part 2

inkwellA couple months ago, I put in a few tips about self-publishing. As I contemplate the future of Meghan’s Choice, and other stories I’m writing, I want to make sure I do what’s right for each project.

Because aren’t our projects our – baby? And as such, we want what’s best for them. Even if traditional publishing can still be achieved, although difficult, self-publishing is sometimes still the best option. I’m still trying to get Meghan’s Choice published traditionally. Two royalty publishers are looking at it. I’m still hoping one of them will want it. OR that one of the two contests it’s entered into will pick it.

I’ve done some research on self-publishing packages. I’ll outline some of them here. Be advised that most of these are from a Christian publishing perspective. I’ll mention another publisher who’s good for famous people biographies. And lastly, I’ll mention the writer’s guides, that are the “go-to” resources for every writer.

What I saw more than anything else when I googled “self publishing” is that you can pick any website and go there and find out how to get more information. Some of them have PDF files of the publishing packages you can download. Sometimes they ask you for your name and email before you can download their publishing guides.

I’ll look at three Christian publishers and two secular. One of them has a huge and powerful built-in marketing system. The second secular publisher focuses strictly on classic TV/movie actor biographies. I’ll discuss them last.

The thing to know about publishing is that there are “royalty” and “subsidy” publishers. Maybe you already know this, but I’m getting hits from at least a dozen countries outside of the United States, so I’m not assuming anything. Royalty publishers usually pay an author an advance on royalties. The publisher gets the lion’s share of the sales totals – the author gets a percentage. A subsidy publisher is paid to publish the book. The author then sells the book themselves. But they get to keep all the profits. That’s a good thing, because they’ve already paid out of pocket to have the book in print. A lot of self-published authors go on to procure royalty contracts if their book is successful.

If you’re a Christian, and you want to self publish a book, I’d recommend looking into the following publishers. I would choose any of them should I ultimately need to self-publish Meghan’s Choice.

Disclaimer: Please know this is not an exhaustive list, but I feel confident in recommending these to you.

Secular Publisher

Create Space – a part of and it is a powerful way to get started. You get 70% royalties from the kindle version and 80% royalties from print. It’s easy to get started. You sign up. There’s help at every step. I’m going to use Create Space for novellas and short stories – things traditional publishers are generally not interested in from new authors. Create Space was created by Amazon, and all of Amazon’s promotional resources are available to you.

The ministry school through our church uses Create Space for their course notes. Just the other night, I heard my pastor recommend Create Space for anyone who wants to write a book. I know a couple authors who have used it. It’s POD – print on demand. As an author, you can order some books at a discount for yourself. The royalties come in and are deposited monthly. I haven’t gotten that far yet, as I am still writing my first novella, but I’ll let you know how it’s coming along.

NOTE: If you publish through Create Space, expect problems from bookstores. They don’t like Amazon for various reasons I won’t get into here, but just be aware.

The link is HERE.


Christian Publishers

A friend of mine started her own publishing company in the last couple of years and I’d recommend her in a minute. Mountainview Books, LLC, in Lancaster County, PA. The link is HERE.  C.J. Darlington and her mother Carol are the principles in this company. C.J. won the Christian Writer’s Guild Operation First Novel contest with her book, Thicker than Blood in 2008. Her deal is a 50/50 split. She doesn’t charge up front, only after sales come in. It would be hard to beat.

Fruitbearer Publishing from Delaware is also owned by a friend of mine. The link is here. Candy Abbott is who published my devotional 10 years ago. She gives you a quote, based on what you want. She’s easy to work and she knows her stuff. Once you pay, then you get 100% of all the sales, because her part is over. Yours is just beginning.

Believer’s Press, part of One Source. Click here for the link. Helps you with everything, from editing, to cover design. Everything you need is right there.

Celebrity Biography Publisher

Bear Manor Media is a publishing house that focuses on celebrity biographies from movies and television. I heard about them because they published Henry Darrow: Lightning in a Bottle. Information from their website about what they’re looking for: If you’re a writer with a manuscript, or are working on something in the radio, old movie or voice actor genre, please get in touch if you’re seeking a publisher. BearManor Media produces quality books, reasonably priced, that will never go out of print. Feel free to get in touch with us to chat about particulars.Their link is here.

Writer’s Guides

For Christian writers, it’s the Christian Writer’s Market Guide. They’re updated every year. Jerry Jenkins has taken over this guide from Sally Stuart.

For others – it’s the big, thick Writer’s Market Guide. It is all inclusive. It does more than give you contacts, it will instruct and help you make the most of your of writing gift.


Finally, it saddens me to report that my writing school, Christian Writers Guild has closed it’s doors after 50 years. Jerry Jenkins, of the Left Behind series, isn’t offering too much information yet, but I’m guessing it has to do with him moving on to a different season in his life and even he, who was a staunch proponent of royalty publishing, has become involved in self-publishing. I’ve heard him say a number of times in the last couple of years, “It used to be that if you were a good writer, you’d get published. No more.” Even Jerry has decided to enter into the “Indie” (independent) publishing house business. But I’m grateful to have taken the classes. I know I’m a better writer because of them. And even though, with my previous writing experience – I could have probably placed higher and skipped a class – I didn’t want to. I took all three classes – Apprentice, Journeyman, and Craftsman. And I’m glad I did. Christian writers of the future will have to depend on their local Christian colleges and universities now.

Where are you learning your craft? Leave a comment and let me know.




4 Comments on “Self-Publishing Tips – Part 2”

  1. Pingback: Meghan’s Next Step | Donna L.H. Smith

    • I love how God uses all kinds of ways to teach us what we need to know. Terry Brennan, who’s publishing his third book on the End Times, learned everything he knows from attending the Greater Philly conference. He told me that about six years ago. I met him again in St. Louis. Pretty cool. And Jeanette brings in good people. We writers have a saying…”Keep writing.” I’m going to amend that to “keep learning!” You go girl! I’ll keep learning, and pass it along.


  2. Pingback: What You Liked | Donna L.H. Smith

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