Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Self-Publishing VBT

Frustration With Traditional Publishers Leads To Self Publishing

In 2007 my wife Barbara completed a wonderful children’s chapter book called Lottie’s Adventure and begin sending it to traditional publishers. Despite some great preliminary reviews, all she got was rejections and lack of response. This was quite frustrating for her and I wanted to help.

As an IT professional, I had read a lot about print on demand and made up my mind to learn all about it and then publish Lottie’s Adventure. It was a lengthy learning curve and I made lots of mistakes including the selection of a POD company that was more expensive than necessary. Nevertheless, we produced a high quality book and in spite of our lack of knowledge we sold quite a few copies of Lottie’s Adventure.

After this success I realized that self publishing had potential for some of my own writing and began developing effective, efficient, and lower cost methods to publish the books that I wrote. Since then I have written and published six books and a few ebooks of my own and established a publishing company that has published six books plus several ebooks for other writers.

After consistently producing and marketing quality books worldwide I decided to share these proven methods in a new book covering every step from idea through book creation to worldwide sales. That book is Self Publishing: Writing A Book and Publishing Books and Ebooks For Yourself and Others.

Choosing The Best Title For Your Book

A good title can contribute significantly to the successful marketing of your book. Take time to create a title that will be clear and easy to understand. Begin by making certain it relates directly to the content of your book. As simple as this sounds, it’s often ignored. By simply perusing the title a potential purchaser should learn exactly what your book is about and something about the content. A brief title should be followed by a subtitle adding to the clarity but it shouldn’t be essential and definitely not the sole explanation of the book content.

What Are They Advertising?

Ever noticed how, after viewing some TV commercials, you are left wondering what they were advertising? It’s definitely not sensible to spend millions on a TV commercial that almost no one understands but it happens often. The same thing can happen to books and the effects are just as negative. Make certain your title is clear and concise and not only tells the reader what to expect but also entices them to look inside.

Even though your book may be sold online instead of in a retail book store, a good cover is still important. Actually, there are even more factors to consider, especially keywords.

Keywords and The Keyword Tool

Your title should contain searchable keywords directly related to your book’s niche. Searchable means keywords that are searched for regularly, especially on Google. You can start by deciding what you believe is the best keyword for the niche you have selected. In the case of this book it was Self Publishing. Then you go to the Google Keyword Tool to find related keywords. You can find this tool at:

It’s a simple tool that gives you valuable information. The main function is to help those who use Google Adwords ads but you can use it to learn about the popularity of words and phrases on Google search. The first time you use it you are required to enter a captha word to make certain you are a person and not some robot trying to glean information automatically. A captha is the code you must copy accurately to enter various sites. After going through that you need only type in the words or phrases you want to check out. The tool will not only give you information regarding the popularity of your word or phrase but also create a long list of alternatives and their popularity. These alternatives are especially helpful in creating subtitles.

To develop the title of this book I used this tool with the word writing and the phrase self publishing. The tool came up with many possibilities but three keyword phrases stood out and I felt they described the content of this book clearly and were also quite popular. The phrases were “self publishing”, “writing a book”, and “publishing books.” I used all three in my title and subtitle and will also use them in the content and search engine listing for the web site for this book.

In addition to the search popularity, check that the title isn’t busy with confusing or difficult to read text. It should be clear at a glance whether on a web site or on a book store shelf. Don’t hesitate to change it several times as you progress through the writing of your book and the preparations for publishing. You want a cover that will give you the best potential for a sale no matter where your prospective buyer sees the book.

The Book Cover Font

The title of your book is critically important but it will be of little use online if the font is too small to view clearly. A large font is important because the first view of your book online will be the small cover photo. It is just barely larger than a thumbnail and a title will only be readable if it is large enough. This is why a short title followed by a concise subtitle is so important. The title can be brief and as large as possible so it is easy to read while the subtitle is smaller but still readable, especially after it is clicked on.

A prime example of this is my Woodworking Business book. After doing many searches it was clear that the term “Woodworking Business” was searched for a great deal. I could have started my title with words leading in to woodworking business but I decided to use those two words and then clarify them with a good and sufficiently long subtitle. This worked out well because not only does my woodworking buisness book place high on Google and other search engines, it is consistently number one when searching books for “woodworking business” even though it brings up over sixteen hundred listings.

Another important thing about my title is that the words “Woodworking Business” entirely dominate the cover of my book and show up really well even on small pictures on web sites or shopping carts.

A. William, thanks so much for stopping by. So, how did you get started writing?
Many years ago I worked for government in the housing field and a national organization asked me to write a book on housing rehabilitation. There was no money in it but valuable national recognition. I wrote the book and it was edited and designed entirely by someone else. In all honesty, the end product was a good book but it wasn’t my book even though I got credit. After this I knew that I would write many more books but I would control every aspect of the publishing.

What was the inspiration for your book?
I wanted to help other writers who wished to self publish books but didn’t know how, were afraid to try, or were shamed by the stigma often placed on self published books. I wanted to develop a proven self publishing method that could be used repeatedly and with success.

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
I have never tried my hand at fiction and really don’t see it as an option yet. Maybe sometime in the future.

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
I have no interest in writing about politics because most of the time it turns me off.

So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
I have three books recently published counting the one on Self Publishing. One is another book on the business of woodworking available in print and as a Kindle and the other is a woodworking how to book on how to use a tool called a biscuit joiner that has absolutely nothing to do with real biscuits.

Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color?     Blue

Favorite movie?     Doctor Zhivago

Alright, you have one superpower. What is it?
The ability to keep things simple. I enjoy analyzing and developing methods and then working to simplify and speed them up. I did it in my woodworking business and in many other areas.

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?     
Kahlil Gibran, Anthony DeMello, and Nelson Mendela

That’s all from me, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!

The author will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop and a Grand Prize of a $50 Amazon GC at the end of the tour. So the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

December 10: This Writer's Life
December 13: Bunny's Review
December 16: Dalene's Book Reviews
December 17: It's Raining Books
December 20: The Cerebral Writer
December 20 SECOND STOP Farm Girl Books

Author Bio and Links:
From age twelve I spent my summers and weekends working with my dad, a general contractor, building homes and buildings. I contracted my first home at age nineteen and built my own home by age twenty. For more than 30 years I have operated one-person businesses. Twelve years of my life were spent working for local government managing federally-assisted housing programs. I started as an inspector with a three month assignment and was Director of Community Improvement with 78 employees when I resigned to do writing and consulting.

Writing, Publishing and Consulting

During the 80’s I established Rehab Notes Library a publishing company that published a monthly newsletter (Rehab Notes) with subscribers in all 50 states, Canada and England. I also did consulting and public speaking on housing related topics for agencies and organizations in cities across the country and testified before the U.S. Congress on housing issues.

I wrote and published nine guidebooks on the subject of housing rehabilitation. After 1980 when most federal funding was pulled from housing activities, I took advantage of my construction and business experience and started a handyman and woodworking business.

Over Twenty Years of Woodworking

For over twenty years, first in Tampa, Florida and then in Austin, Texas, I built hundreds of small and large cabinet and furniture projects for individuals, companies and government agencies. During these years I began writing books about my woodworking business experiences.

Positive Publishing

In 2007 I established Positive Imaging, LLC, to publish a children’s book for my wife and then begin publishing my own books and that of other using methods I call positive publishing. To date we have published twelve paperback books, a half dozen ebooks, and presently have several books in various levels of completion.

Computer Experience

My computer experience dates back more than fifteen years and began in response to poor technical support for our computers.   I used home study to acquire A+ and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer Certifications.

I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and moved to Austin, Texas in 1986, where I now live with my wife, Barbara Frances. We have three adult children, eight grand-children, and two great grandchildren.

1.     Self Publishing Book Sales Pages


  1. There is certainly a lot to think about when publishing - successfully at that.


    1. Thanks Mary, there is a lot and I covered every step of how I do it in my book.

  2. Thank you for hosting my self publishing book. I hope your readers will have comments and questions.

  3. I really think this book sounds like an absolute necessity for writers to have on their shelf.

    1. I would like to think it is an absolute necessity but for certain it would be a valuable reference for any writer and especially anyone who wishes to self publish. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Great interview!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Happy Holidays!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks Natasha, I wish you luck and Happy Holidays also. Let me know if you have any questions about self publishing.