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How to Self Publish When You're Blind and Broke

When I was ready to publish my book How to Make a Silver Lining I went to a course called “Getting published.” There I discovered that even if you were lucky enough to get published, you seldom made any money from it.  Squashed by this prospect, I decided to follow a message from my own book “find your own solutions” - in this case - to self publish.  I turned to my vision rather than my bank balance for inspiration and got into action. Following are the eight steps that took me from having a draft copy of my book to my very own book launch.

1. Get your draft copy edited: Until you have an edited copy of your book it’s still only a draft. By getting someone to edit your book you are one step closer to your final product. Get this bound at your local copy centre and don’t forget to get multiple copies so you can pass them around the people you trust. 

2. Make your launch your vision: Your book launch is your vision for getting the book published. Sit down and write a paragraph on the launch, what it’s like, where it is, who’s there etc. Get a clear picture in your mind of the launch and pick a launch date. 

3. Form a publishing committee: Pass those bound copies around your friends and colleagues you trust.  From this group choose up to five of them to form your “publishing committee. Tell them launch date then they’ll know what they are committing to.  Don’t forget to give your committee a name – ours was called the “Silver Lining” Committee.  

4. Regularly meet: Make a suitable meeting time with your committee and put down in writing the meeting dates. The “Silver Lining” Committee met on a Thursday night at 7.30 pm fortnightly for three months. (Approximately 7 meetings) We met around our dining table until launch date.  

5. Get a quotation from a printer: Choose someone in the print industry you trust. This is critical as the relationship you have with your print rep is a key part to this project. I was very fortunate to have my fantastic friend Ange play this role and also be willing to be on the Publishing Committee.

6. Create a sponsorship scheme: Break your book into its final number of pages and divide the number of pages by the printing cost. This gives you a cost per page. Create a sponsorship form outlining the book, its benefits and who you are going to help in return for their sponsorship. Now send this form out to all your personal, community and business contacts asking them to sponsor a page.     You can sponsor off the cover for a higher amount as well as any other significant pages in the book. I used the last page of the book to include the recipe for my truffles and contacted RJ’s Licorice who manufactured one of the truffles ingredients to ask them to sponsor this recipe page. Make sure you acknowledge your individual sponsors somewhere in the book. We did this at the bottom of each page allowing each sponsor to write an eight word dedication. 

7. Plan your launch: As part of your committee meetings start planning your book launch. This pressure will give you a deadline to work towards and will make you accountable. Write up a guest list and don’t forget to invite all your sponsors. As part of the sponsorship scheme, each sponsor received a free copy of my book which we incorporated as a presentation into the launch, making it a significant part of the afternoon’s celebrations.

8. Lift off: its launch time! Now it’s time to relax and enjoy the celebrations. Now your book’s been printed, your planning and hard work has finally paid off. Don’t forget to invite your local media. They will want to be there. Have a fabulous celebration and don’t forget to enjoy the moment with your family, friends and sponsors!

by Julie Woods

Known as that blind woman, Julie Woods is famous for having vision when it comes to seeing the opportunities in negative situations and the creativity to turn them into positives.

If you love this article then check out Julie’s flagship product, her book,  “how to make a silver lining” in which Julie identifies 8 keys for adapting to extraordinary change.    

You can find out more about Julie on her web site www.thatblindwoman.co.nz