Course Description

Do you have writing—a fiction or nonfiction book, an essay, poetry, a memoir or family history, recipes, a children's picture book, a short story—and wonder how to publish your work? This course explores how to independently publish your writing in both digital and paperback formats, for audiences large or small! Examine the critical issues in deciding whether or not independent publishing (self-publishing) is for you. Explore the differences between “traditional” publishing and self-publishing and the reasons to self-publish, or not. Investigate the overall process and options and the ways to approach this publishing path as a hobby or as a part-time or full-time professional activity. Participants will be introduced to the process of publishing their writing on three of the most popular free publishing platforms: Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon/Kindle), Smashwords (Barnes & Noble/NOOK, iTunes), and Wattpad. The instructor brings direct experience to the course, with over sixty thousand digital downloads and sales of paperback books. Lecture (plus Questions) Facilitated Discussion Active Participation   

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Section Title
Self-Publishing Your Writing
11:00AM to 12:30PM
Sep 09, 2019 to Nov 11, 2019
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Durham - Westminster Presbyterian Church
Delivery Options
Course Fees
Section Notes

Participants must be comfortable with basic computer usage: word-processing, surfing the web, using email, and other common functions. Participants must bring a personal laptop computer to each class period. While tablets and mobile phones are welcome, these devices have functional limitations, and will not serve participant learning as well as a standard laptop.

Class Session Outline of Topics

Class #1 IS SELF-PUBLISHING FOR YOU? Overview of self-pub platforms & process, things to consider in deciding if self-publishing is for you, self-assessment matrix

Class #2 Overview of types of publishing (traditional, publishing packagers, self-publishing). Flavors of self-publishing. The self-publishing revolution. Success stories. How self-publishing services work. Overview of the main self-publishing platforms. Costs, genres, categories, rankings, reviews, royalties, markets, copyright, etc.

Class #3 Kindle Direct Publishing - an overview

Class #4 Smashwords - an overview

Class #5 Story and storytelling as the real deal, main event. Developing your story, etc. What an editor does and why you need one. Personal experience of success in publishing & process of learning from intensive work with an editor. Wattpad as a simple digital story-telling and self-publishing beginning.

Class #6 Nuts & Bolts: Formatting and converting text for publishing - MOBI, EPUB, PDF - Calibre, Sigil; Book Covers and why they matter, including different approaches to getting a cover

Class #7 Nuts & Bolts: What is an author platform and why is it important? Cheap & effective tools for authors - Wix, RebelMouse, etc.

Class #8 Marketing your book & maximizing your sales: The Four Ps of Self-Publishing, KDP Free & Countdown Days, Blog Tours, Giveaways, Advertising, Blogging, Social Media, etc.

Class #9 Working other issues of interest to the group.