Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Katie Salidas on Go Publish Yourself/Review and Giveaway

Today, I welcome Katie Salidas back to Immortyl Revolution.  She's currently on her Virtual Book Tour.  I've been following Katie's career since the publication of her first novel, Immortalis Carpe Noctem.  She's the owner of Rising Sign Books and has been on before to talk about self-publishing. 
Recently, she released a how-to book called
Go Publish Yourself!.

Contest: Two ways to win!
1. You can enter to win a ebook of Go Publish Yourself! To enter, leave a comment for Katie.  Deadline is 4/26/12, 11:59 p.m. Winner will be chose by random drawing. Please leave a contact email.
2. By leaving a comment for Katie, you'll also be entered in my monthly drawing.  This month's prize is an ebook (Nook, Kindle or PDF format) of my vampire novel, My Fearful Symmetry.  Deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m., 4/30/12.  Winner will be chosen by random drawing from all commenters at this blog throughout the month of April.  Please leave a contact email.

Review of Go Publish Yourself!

Go Publish Yourself! is a step-by-step, easy-to-read guide about the self-publishing process. Author Katie Salidas draws upon her experience of starting her own publishing company and offers not only a guide to putting together a polished product, but information on how to market it, something even a traditionally published author will find useful. The book encompasses everything from obtaining ISBN numbers to creating an attractive cover. There are sections on both bound and ebooks. Salidas also provides several useful links at the end of the book.

I like that the author stresses the importance of submitting a book to multiple critiques and hiring the services of a professional editor before publication. Right off the bat, she cautions that self-publishing isn’t likely to make one a millionaire and that creating and promoting a book takes a lot of effort. She also stresses that there is a financial investment and hard work involved in doing the job right, but if someone is willing to put in the work, it can be done. I would recommend this book to anyone researching the possibility of self-publishing.

Interview with Author Katie Salidas

What led you to form Rising Sign Books and self-publish?

KS: Publishing has been a dream of mine for a long time. When I originally looked to publish Immortalis Carpe Noctem, book one in the Immortalis series, I attempted the traditional route. The book, while well received was looked at as too late to reach the hot market. Vampires at that point (thanks to Twilight) were a popular creature, sadly though, that also meant the market was being flooded with vampire-related stories. In traditional publishing it can take up to 24 months from the sale of a story to seeing it in print. At that rate, even if I had sold the story, I might still have missed the hot market by the time it was published. That’s when I began looking into self-publishing. Doing it myself, I could get it to the market while it was still hot. That’s what gave me the inspiration to pursue self-publishing, and Rising Sign Books was born.

What would you say is the most important consideration for an author seeking to self-publish?

KS: If you’re going to self-publish, you need to take the time to do it right. One of the biggest reasons that self-publishing had a bad name to begin with is quality. Back before it became more mainstream, self-publishing was super expensive. Editing for example could cost thousands. Many authors couldn’t afford to do it right and self-publishing became synonymous with poor quality. It left a bad taste in many reader’s mouths. Today it is cheaper and much easier to do, but quality is still key. So if you’re interested in self-publishing, take your time, do your research, and put out the best quality product you can.

Give a brief run-down of the steps you take to develop, create and market your work.

KS: Brief is hard to do. That’s exactly why I wrote a book on the subject. Go Publish Yourself does exactly that. It begins with budgeting your book, taking into consideration things like: editing, layout, and book cover art, etc… Then, it runs through both print and ebook formatting tips. After that, you’ll look at pricing, copyright, and getting the book into book stores. Finally, it ends on marketing with topics such as: press kits, blog tours, giveaways, and book signings. There’s a whole wealth of information inside that I think will really help any self-publisher, both novices and even seasoned authors.

Realistically, what kind of investment in time and money (aside from the actual writing) should a self-published author anticipate?

KS: Rather than say, “it should take you 4 months” to self-publish, I’d say it really boils down to steps. Once your manuscript is finished (meaning you’ve written all the way to “the end.”) you’ll need to have it critiqued. This is not editing. This is where you give the book to a few readers to pick apart. Consider that a first pass. You should revise after this. Then, you’ll want to beta read the revisions. This is another pass by a different set of eyes. There is usually another round of revisions here too. After that, if you’re completely satisfied with all of the changes, you can move on to editing. Once edited then you’ll need to lay it out for your publishing formats. At this stage you’ll need to nail down your cover art, file your copyright, and assign your ISBN. Then when it’s all ready, you can put it all together and publish.

As far as money is concerned. You’ll want to budget for: Editing (variable pricing dependent on who you hire), Cover art (variable pricing dependent on who you hire), ISBN (purchase a pack of 10 for about $250), Copyright (file online for $35), Layout (you can do this yourself or hire out for $100-200), and if you’re going to have print copies, you’ll have some setup fees from your printer.

While it no longer has to cost thousands of dollars to print, the actual cost will vary from person to person depending on the options you chose and the freelancers you hire. Just be aware of your budget and do your homework when looking for freelancers to hire. To help get you started, you can look at this list of websites and freelance editors and artists.

What would you say is the most valuable marketing tool you've utilized? Is it important to give out free copies and keep your price point low?

Giving free copies away, if done right, is a wonderful way to draw readers to your new book. When I say, done right I mean with a purpose. Don’t just give away copies to everyone, you’ll never make any money on them that way. My favorite way to do this is to go on blog tour and offer various giveaways as part of each tour stop. I often give each tour host a free e-copy of my newest release. This way the blog hosts gets an incentive to host you. They can read the book at their leisure, and may also give a review on their book (Book reviews are a very important thing). I also like to offer an additional copy of the book to offer as a giveaway for their readers. Contests are great ways to excite readers and get more exposure for your book. Just remember, when marketing, have a purpose behind everything you do.

Do you recommend placing books in big bookstores like Barnes and Noble or independent booksellers?

That’s a tough one. Yes, we all want big bookstore exposure but it can be a little easier said than done. It’s actually a topic I cover in Go Publish Yourself, with a few calculations to show you what price points you would have to set your book at in order to make it cost effective. In short, I would say try to get yourself into indie book stores first before hitting the big chain stores.

Does your company have any plans to publish other authors? What are some of the services your company has to offer writers?

Rising Sign Books is working on creating a boilerplate Author contract and will look to take on new authors later this year. To be notified about upcoming Rising Sign Books news and request for submissions please sign up for our newsletter at

As of right now we are not open to submissions but we do offer some a la carte services to assist authors in self-publishing their novels. Services such as: Manuscript critiquing at $0.0025 per word and

Katie, than you for joining me today and sharing your wealth of knowlege. 

You can also follow Katie at these links:


Denise Verrico said...

Katie, thanks for joining me today!

Katie Salidas said...

Thanks for having me here Denise! And thanks for reviewing the book! I'm glad you found it informative and helpful. I hope others will benefit from the information inside.

Good luck to all those entering to win a copy.

Katie Salidas

Does my comment enter me to win your book. *Wink*


Louise Wise said...

Great interview! I'm a fan of Katie too, and first "met" her when I bought and reviewed her first book.

It's great that she has this non-fic book out, and I'm keen to learn all her tricks, tips and knowledge on the subject of self-publishing.

Denise Verrico said...

Thanks for stopping by, Louise!

Lindsey R. Loucks said...

Great interview! I'd sure love to win a copy of this book!

Katie Salidas said...

Louise, thank you so much for the kind words. I'm happy you've enjoyed my work. And thank you for allowing me to be on your blog as well for this tour. You're so kind! And I need to take a look at your latest work too.


Katie Salidas said...

Thanks for stopping by Lindsey R. Loucks. Good luck in the giveaway!

Katie Salidas

Bk Walker said...

Wonderful interview and review. Thank you for hosting Katie.

bn100 said...

Great interview! Thanks for sharing your advice and insights.


Alyssa said...

Good interview! I'd really love to win a copy of Katie's book! :)