Thursday, November 29, 2018

What Do I Do? Self-Publish or Traditional Publishing?

What Do I Do? Self-Publish or Traditional Publishing?

This is a big one and a question I am often asked. There are two main routes, traditional publishing or self-publishing.

To go the traditional publishing route, you will generally need an agent. Not always but often, and it is the agent that approaches the publisher. This can be a difficult, and long journey. Publishing is a business and they want books that come with an audience and will sell. I am not a fan of this route. If you have a big following, then it is possible, but for most of us this route is very hard.  In traditional publishing your publisher gains control over your rights and content. If you control your rights you control your content. I teach using your book’s content for marketing and selling. I also want you to create other products by re-purposing your content. This isn’t available to you if you give up your rights and go with a traditional publisher. The author retains ownership and control of their rights and content. One of the best decisions Amazon made. The copyright stays with the author.

I am a huge fan and supporter of self-publishing. Self-publishing before had a bad taste to it, but not anymore. If you want to publish a book; you can publish a book. It is being done all over the place with great success. The gatekeepers have fallen. We have Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP),, and more. No one is going to say no to you publishing your book. It is all up to you. Self-publishing has become easier and easier to do and very often free. For self-publishers the world is opening up.

The writers I know, who have gone the more the traditional route, have found success with smaller, more focused publishers. Publishers who know their market and can work with an author. For me it comes down to control. Who controls the rights and uses to our content? I like being able to use my content anyway that I want.


  • No one can say no. If you want to publish your book, you can publish
  • Faster to market. I have done books in one weekend
  • Control of your content, you keep your copyright, this is super important
  • You can re-purpose your content for marketing. Create other products such as workbooks and journals. Make podcasts and videos
  • Free to publish or close to it. You pay the costs to edit, design and format your book, free if you do it yourself
  • You will have to market your book yourself. But even with most publishers these days you will have to handle the marketing
  • Higher royalties, estimate $2.50-$3.50+ vs. $.70 for traditional publishing

Traditional Publishing

  • You will need an agent to approach a publisher
  • Lots of people can and will say no to publishing your book
  • It can take a year to create and release your book
  • You loose your copyright and your rights to control your content
  • You will not be able to re-purpose your content. The publisher owns your material. This is important in marketing your book. You want to be able to use your content how you want
  • Publisher will do the production work for your project. Don’t pay a publisher to publish your book. 
  • You will most likely still have to handle all the marketing yourself. This can be a challenge because your publisher now controls your content and may not like your ideas.
Excerpt from my new book, The Self-Publishing Manual: Create and Publish Your Own Print or e-Book, by J. Bruce Jones. To get a PDF version Click Here

The Self-Publishing Manual is Now Available on, Please click here to buy the book 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Is Your Book Going to be Paperback, Hardcover, e-Book or 
All the Above?

Is Your Book Going to be Paperback, Hardcover, e-Book or 
All the Above?

Not something you think about when you start writing the book. But this question comes into play as you start to think about the publishing. Depending on where you want to take your book, the design and layout will change. E-books, you will stay in MS-Word or Google Docs for writing and Kindle for publishing, images will be 72 dpi. Paperback you will be looking at the print side of Kindle and using Adobe InDesign for layout. Hardcover books, for publishing, along with InDesign for layout and production. We start out writing but as we progress we will take different paths. We will cover more of this as we work through this book.

Excerpt from my new book, The Self-Publishing Manual: Create and Publish Your Own Print or e-Book, by J. Bruce Jones. To get a PDF version Click Here

The Self-Publishing Manual is Now Available on, Please click here to buy the book 

What Kind of Book are You Creating? A Novel, How to Book, Children’s Book, Picture Book, Coloring Book, Poetry Book, Business Book or Cook Book?

What Kind of Book are You Creating? A Novel, How to Book, Children’s Book, Picture Book, Coloring Book, Poetry Book, Business Book or Cook Book?

This question can open up all kinds of questions. It is usually a question I ask when I have my graphic designer hat on. It tells me what software to recommend and how to start preparing your artwork for the project. If you are going all text, then you are using MS-Word or Google Docs. If you are creating a book with a lot of design and images. We would talk about InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. Or freelance illustrators or designers. This question is very much of a ‘how to’ type of question.

Excerpt from my new book, The Self-Publishing Manual: Create and Publish Your Own Print or e-Book, by J. Bruce Jones. To get a PDF version Click Here

The Self-Publishing Manual is Now Available on, Please click here to buy the book 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Uploading Your Book's Interior and Cover PDF Files to KDP.Amazon for Publishing

Uploading Your Book's Interior and Cover PDF Files to KDP.Amazon for Publishing

After you have created your book's interior and cover PDF files you need to upload them to KDP.Amazon for publishing and selling. We use to send these files to CreateSpace, but now after the merging of CreateSpace and KDP.Amazon, it is KDP.Amazon. The process is pretty close to the old way but there are some differences. The form is a little cleaner and they have a new digital proofing process and more keywords.

Here is a video I put together on how to do it.

Uploading InDesign Book Interior and Cover PDF Files to KDP Amazon from Bruce Jones on Vimeo.

Check out the new journal at The Frog Journal, on Amazon

Visit to upload your own book.

Preparing Your InDesign PDF File for KDP.Amazon

Preparing Your InDesign PDF Interior and Cover Book Files for Uploading on KDP.Amazon. This video shows you how to make your book's interior and cover pdf files from your InDesign files.

Everything has changed recently in the self-publishing world with the merging of CreateSpace into KDP.Amazon. CreateSpace was the print-on-demand side of Amazon. It is where we went to get our paperback books published. It has now be combined into the KDP site. Do we call it KDP or Kindle? I don't know but it is all under on roof. The process is still basically the same. 

Here is a video on how to save your interior and cover InDesign book files for KDP. In the next post I will take you through the uploading process, which is similar but now has some different things. 

Preparing Your InDesign PDF Book Files for Uploading on KDP.Amazon from Bruce Jones on Vimeo.

Come over and join my Facebook publishing community, How to Publish Your Book, great place to ask questions.

To learn how to upload the files please visit

Where Are You in the Process? Are You Starting Out 
or Is the Book Complete?

Where Are You in the Process? Are You Starting Out 
or Is the Book Complete? 

The process of writing of each book is unique. But they all begin with sitting down and doing the hard work of getting your thoughts and ideas down. Along with words, we will also need pictures, illustrations or charts for our books.

There are many different ways to write a book. You can sit at a computer, or legal pad, you can also dictate or record it using audio or video and then transcribe. There is no correct way; there is only your way. I am not an expert on writing; I am an expert on creating the book. I didn’t learn how to write until I was 53 and I have now created over 40 of my own books and many more for others. All I know is keep going, do not stop, keep trying and you will get there. Write a little bit every day.

The goal is, you have to finish. But you do not have to be perfect, that is why we have editors. This is one of the biggest lessons I have learned from being a graphic designer. Our job is to create the ideas and story. The editor and graphic designers are to clean the story up and create the book's aesthetics.

One of the hardest, but most important things I have learned in writing my books, push the publish button. Release my ideas to the world. When you do, it can be a transformative experience. I find that writing and publishing can be the fulfillment of a dream that you might not know you even had.

Many people come to me and say, I am done with the writing. I don’t know where to start the creating and publishing the book? Let’s see if I can answer a few of those questions and get you through the process.

Excerpt from my new book, The Self-Publishing Manual: Create and Publish Your Own Print or e-Book, by J. Bruce Jones. To get a PDF version Click Here

The Self-Publishing Manual is Now Available on, Please click here to buy the book 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Marketing Your Book Using Simple Book Trailer Videos

Book Trailer Video Marketing Basics, Use Video to Promote Your Book from Bruce Jones on Vimeo.

Hi, I am Bruce Jones and this article is on marketing your book with video marketing, so one of the questions I see floating around in a couple of the publishing groups I am in, was how to get started marketing your book using video and somebody was talking about it was just too complicated. There were too many things to do. So what I want to do is just show you in this video how quickly how you can make a simple book trailer video and then get your video marketing going. So this is real bare bones, bottom level, but we'll just create the book trailer video and put it in the different places and show you what you can do. Videos are great if you're sort of launching your book. I'm going to use this book. There's one of my older books. This was probably. Oh I don't know. How old is this book? This book goes back to 2011. So this is probably old book and you can always put a video out about your books and sort of re promote it. 

Re-energize it. Alright, so what I'm going to do is just go into my Mac. I'm on a Mac and built into the Mac or you can use your phone or whatever you want to do. I'm just going to bring up one of the applications Photo Booth. Photo Booth makes the video super quick and easy and just looks like this. 

I want three things in my video. 

1. I want to say what I've got. So this is my book. 

2. What we'll will do, I'm just gonna talk a little bit about the insides, the benefits

3. what I want you to do. That's the call to action. What's next? 

So you want to tell people where to go or what to do, how to get it. So let's go. We'll just make a quick video. 

We'll load it up on Youtube and then just show you how to get going with video marketing. Alright. So we're just going to. This Photo Booth, if you have a Mac you will find it in the Applications folder. We're just making that quick picture to. This is a great way to make a quick promo shot. Like that, you have a picture just like that. If you don't like it, then do it over and over again the way you want. All right, the bottom here, you'll see a picture and you can also do all kinds of cool special effects to. This is the video one. So I'm just gonna Click on video number one. I've got what, uh, what it will do and what I want you to do next. 

Making the Video

Hi Bruce Jones here, and I'm just talking today about my World Regional Maps Coloring Book. This is one of my favorite books, it is a bestselling books and it's a book of maps that you can color. It has all the different regions of the world including the Middle East, the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, the continents of Antarctica and Arctic and all around. The book is set up with maps that are easy to color. You can photocopy them. They have names, city names in every map. Also has outline maps, so you have all the different versions all built into one book. Check it out, it's available at Amazon and the link will be somewhere around here. All right, see you next time. Bye. Bye. 

That's it. All right. Pretty simple. Pretty, pretty simple and that no editing. Just going to pull it off right here and I just talked to say about by world. There it is. Save the file to your desktop. Give your video a good name. That's especially an important for Youtube. The names are searchable. Pull that off of there. 

Here we go. World regional map coloring book. Okay, video is done. Let's go to YouTube. I'm going to bring up YouTube. You have a YouTube account, if you have a Gmail account. I'm just going to go right up here where it says create a video or post upload a video and we just have to drag the video to there and it's going to upload. Now for the description, this book is already published, but I can use my book description from Amazon, but I'm just going to go over here. 

While that's uploading, I'm just going to grab the description right here off of my Amazon book page. Here it is. I'm dropping it in here. This is. This is how fast can I put a video up and then I'm going to take this link. This Is the link for the book right there and we're just going to say check out the book at Amazon and just put the link below it. That's it. World Regional Map Coloring Book available on Amazon, right? That's pretty cool. Oh, some tags will do. World regional maps. World maps, a regional and rural regional. See Us maps, maps, Africa maps. 

You can always come back and add more keywords, better description etc. Your Color mapped coloring book. Cool, right. That's good enough for the moment. And uh, we'll let that be. We're going to hit publish, pressing this button and it is done. It published. Looks like everything is good. 

On to Video Marketing

There it is. Okay, so now we have published the video. I'm just going to remember this link right here and now we're going to do the video marketing. So this is how simple this can be done. All right, so I'm just going to go to facebook. So let me go show you the map or the videos. So here it is on Youtube. And right over here there's a share button. So now the object is to just spread it around to the world and then also use it. So if you have a blog, you can put this on your book page or a website. This is just the little promo video that goes on it. We have a Facebook page, you put it there, put on Pinterest, put it on Twitter. 

So let's just do that. Let's just spread it around. So I'm just going to go to share and use of all these here. These little share buttons that you can go in and you probably are already members of all these places. You have a YouTube address here and you also have an embed code if you're going into a blog, depending how it's gonna work. So we're just going to use, we're just going to do sort of the basic stuff, so let's just go and put it up on twitter. So we'll just go to twitter. Log in. 

It's been posted. I didn't do anything, so that was pretty easy. I should have put a little message in there. Um, let's do it again. So I'm going to do the coloring. All color, all the world. Okay. We're on Twitter. I have a Pinterest board or Pinterest site, so we'd go to Pinterest. And so here we are on Pinterest. Just pick what board. I'm have a bunch of boards. You can go figure out how to do that, but Pinterest gets a huge amount of traffic. I almost get more traffic on Pinterest than I do on some of my sites. Let's just put this in. Oh, we'll put it in here. We can edit this a little bit. World regional maps coloring book available on Amazon called the world. You can spend more time making it better words, but it's fine for the moment. It's good. Put it in here. Done Pinterest. Look at that. We're just spreading it around. Let's come back. Facebook. All right, so we can post automatically to Facebook or I can take this link. Someone do that. Take this link right here. I'm going to go to facebook and I had my how to publish your book facebook group. So we're just going to go there and uh, working on, uh, how to use video marketing for your bucks. Sample sample book, trailer, trailer, video, post that. It'll grab the link. 

There it is. The goal here is create a simple video. YouTube has have all of these different share buttons on what it is. So there's lots here to choose from. But the goal here is create a simple video however you do it. Your phone is perfect. That little Photo Booth that's built into our iMac is perfect. Whatever you have, just create a simple video. What I've got, what it will do, and what do you want me to do next? Just talk about your book, show the pages. I made a 40 second video, but it could certainly be longer, should be longer, and then spread it to all the places that you have your blog or website, your Facebook group, your Twitter, all that kind of stuff, and you can do this over and over again. Today isn't just a one time thing. You can go to the share button everyday and post something. You could send different messages, you can put it different places. And these little links can go in lots of places. All right, hope that helps. I'm Bruce Jones and uh, get going with your book trailer video. Alright, bye. Bye

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