The Gospel of John, Photographed: A Self-Publishing Success
Not only is The Gospel of John, Photographed a wonderful book, it’s a strong example of self-publishing success. Last week’s blog post spoke about Weaver’s award-winning photography book; this week, Weaver explains his decision to self-publish and gives 6 tips for prospective self-publishers.
David Kevin Weaver decided to self-publish because he wanted to remain true to the vision he had at the outset of his project. To do this, he knew he’d need full control over his book’s creation. A first-time self-publisher, Weaver came to iocolor to advise him as he embarked on the book-making process. With the help of book designer John Hubbard, we collaborated to turn David’s vision into reality. We asked David to share a few things he’s learned about publishing along the way. He has six actionable tips for anyone looking to self-publish.
David Kevin Weaver’s 6 Self-Publishing Tips
I’ve learned so much about publishing since I began this project in the summer of 2010. While I still have much to learn, I offer the following to anyone out there thinking of publishing their own book:
- Focus on the Product First: Make sure the written or visual work you are producing comes from your heart; don’t hold anything back. And when seeking advice, filter it carefully–this is your book.
- Share Your Work: Tell everyone what you’re doing and show your drafts to as many people as possible. The process of sharing will guide you in its own unique way.
- Find Good Partners: The printer, the color separator, the proofreader, the designer. Although this is your project, you do need help.
- Figure out Fulfillment: Figure out very early on how you are going to fulfill orders–whether out of your garage or by using a fulfillment house. You need to have this one set well before you place the print order.
- Be Prepared to Sell: As hard as it is to produce the final product, selling it is at least twice as hard. There’s a lot of good competition out there and breaking through the chatter is difficult. So watch your initial order quantity and pricing, and beware of big orders that require huge price discounts. Personally, I’m changing my distribution strategy to direct sales.
- Don’t Make Just One Book: Make sure that you have more than one book in you. I’ve heard from so many people that you never really sell your first book until you start selling your second.
Good luck and publish great stuff!
Join the Conversation
We’d love to hear from you. Was this post helpful? Do you have additional questions about self-publishing, or advice to add? Leave a comment and we’ll keep the discussion going!