Writing in the Glory

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

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by Jennifer A. Miskov, PhD, author of Writing in the Glory

I have published through traditional publishers as well as through self-publishing. There are pros and cons for each of these and sometimes it depends on what project you are working on to determine which direction to go. When deciding which route to go, pray about what fits best with you and how much time and resources you have to invest into your book project. For first time authors, I encourage many to eventually self-publish if doors don’t open up for traditional publishing so that they can make sure to get their work out there.

Self-Publishing

Pros

  • Total creative freedom

  • You own all your copyrights

  • Usually cheaper to buy books

  • Higher royalties (sometimes up to 70%)

  • Print on demand means you won’t have a garage full of books

Cons

  • Higher setup costs (you are responsible for the editing, cover design, format, ISBN)

  • You are responsible for promotion, marketing, and distribution

Traditional Publishing

Pros

  • More collaboration

  • Cover design and formatting included

  • Help with marketing and wider distribution

  • Built-in editor; second opinion by a skilled professional

Cons

  • Lower royalties per book (8–17%)

  • Less creative freedom; they usually have the final say

  • Many times they own the copyright to your work

There are also other hybrids of these in vanity presses and co-publishing houses that I have not addressed here. One word of caution is that if you are having to invest a lot of money into buying the first round of books as a requirement for the publishing contract, you may want to do your research to see if that’s the most cost effective direction to go and also if you or the publishing house will retain your copyright.

If you feel you want to go the traditional publishing route and are not sure how to choose a publisher, spend time researching books that are in a similar genre as your book or authors who have a similar message. Find out who is publishing those books and explore if that company might also be a fit for you. Look at it more as building a relationship with a community who wants to run with you in releasing this book to the world. Look for partnership and camaraderie. Look for a publishing house that believes in you and your work and who will champion you. Be led by the Spirit and don’t give up.

And always remember:

Rejection is redirection to something better.

Many best-selling authors were rejected in their earliest pursuits of a publisher.

Gone With the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell was rejected 38 times before it was published.

Chicken Soup for the Soul (1993) by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen was rejected 140 times. The authors were told that their material was “too positive.” Finally, one publisher took them on, and today they have sold more than 80 million copies in 37 languages.

Don’t ever give up. If you have put in all of the hard work and effort of writing your book, then make sure you follow through with getting it out there so that it can also touch people’s lives. You’ve got this. Let God direct you in these final steps.

-Much of this is taken from Writing in the Glory: Living from your Heart to Release a Message that will Impact the World

Overcoming Writer’s Block

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by Jennifer A. Miskov, Ph.D.

“When you get stuck on a sentence, paragraph, or the structure of the project, invite the Holy Spirit to guide you. If you keep hitting a wall in one area, set that portion down and begin to work on another chapter or section for some time.

Usually a short break from the problem area will refresh you and cause you to see it through a new lens. Taking walks, swimming, and doing other activities are good times to reflect, process your work, and prepare yourself to re-engage with it. While I was writing my Ph.D. thesis, I regularly went for walks in nature. This time of processing and reflection helped bring clarity, alignment, and synergy to my writing in ways that might not have come while I was sitting in front of a computer screen.

I share this so you realize that times of prayer, play, processing, and reflection are also important parts of the writing process.”

-Excerpt taken from Writing in the Glory: How to live from your heart to release a book that will impact the world

 

Usually a change in scenery will help to add perspective when returning to the project. I have also noticed that take a whole day or two completely off from the project and doing something fun or enjoying a Sabbaths break will also do wonders for fresh creativity, vision, and energy when diving back into the project.

 

*See also article by Jeff Goins entitled "How to Overcome Writer's Block: 14 Tricks that Work"  that might be helpful.

7 Steps to get your Manuscript Self-Published

by Jennifer A. Miskov, Ph.D., Founding Director of Writing in the Glory

If you have decided to go the self-publishing route, here are some next steps once you have finished your manuscript and now have the best draft out of it. This means you have revised, edited, and went over it many times over (20+) and have also invited friends or others to read it who provided you with feedback. Once you have your best draft, then it is time to do a few things to take your manuscript to the next level. If you are not sure the difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing, make sure to review the Writing in the Glory book and Ecourse to know which direction to take.

 

1. Manuscript Evaluation

Before moving any further, it is highly suggested that you invest in a Manuscript Evaluation if you are able to make this investment. This is a big picture overview of your project where someone will read through the whole manuscript and make sure the book flows, is not missing anything, or doesn’t have anything unnecessary in it. They may do some light editing but the main purpose of this it to give you constructive feedback to make sure the global scope of the project looks good and all the pieces are in their right spots. After receiving this feedback, go back over your manuscript to make any necessary revisions or improvements you feel would help. Once you have finalized your best possible manuscript, then it is time for the next step.

 

2. Hire an Editor

Hire an editor who is good with line-by-line edit and who is skilled at grammar, punctuation, etc. You don’t want to bring in a professional editor before this point because you may have to make some major changes and then you will have to go back and then re-hire/re-invest into this which can become expensive. Hiring a professional editor is saved for this time in the process.

 

3. Book Cover Design

You can also begin working with a graphic artist on your book cover design whenever best suits you. Before approaching them, you will need to have purchased an ISBN code as well as buy a barcode that goes with that number, write out a short compelling summary of what your book is about, your bio, any branding or logos, and your vision for the cover. You need to go over to Bowker.com to buy ISBN  numbers. If you think you may write multiple books in the future, I would order a block of 10 so that you will save money in the long run. Once you have bought your numbers, the one you will use for this book needs to be made into a bar code. Once you have all of these pieces, you are ready to connect and share your vision with a graphic artist who will then go on to design your book cover. The book cover can be done in any order.

 4. Make Final Revisions

Once you have received your detailed edited manuscript back from the professional or highly skilled editor, go through and make any necessary changes you need to and finalize the manuscript so it’s print ready. Make sure to go through the manuscript several times and have others read through to make sure there are NO errors. This is now your final final draft and excellence is important here. By this time, your ability to find errors may be limiting since you have already read through the manuscript like a million times that is why it’s always good to also get a few extra set of eyes to read through to help point out any lingering mistakes you’ve missed. Once you have the perfected manuscript you’re ready for the next step.

 5. Format Your Book

Your book is now ready to be formatted. This is the same as the interior design for your book. If you have already prepared your book cover then the same graphic artist may be able to do the interior design as well. If not, make sure your interior designer has access to your cover so they can make sure it’s a similar style. Some graphic designers do both cover designs and interior design so it’s up to you who you want to go with. It is important that you give your final and best draft because after your manuscript is formatted, you will no longer be able to make any changes at this point or else it will begin to be very expensive. After the cover and interior design is finished for the book, go over and read through the entire book and have some friends do so as well to make sure there are no errors that happened during the formatting process. Sometimes when things are moved around, there are things that get missed or out of place.

 

6. Submit PDF files to Printer

Once you’ve finalized the cover and the interior of the book, have your graphic artist send you the highest resolution pdf files of it. Now you are ready to submit these files for self -publishing. If you want to publish through Amazon that is one of the best and most affordable outlets I have found. If you follow the instructions, it will lead you to enter in all of your pertinent information as well as upload files. Once you have everything set up, before you make your book go live, send yourself a hard copy proof of the book so you can see, smell, and feel what the actual book is like.

 

7. Go Live and Celebrate

Once you receive the book and there are no other changes that need to be made, you are ready to activate and make your book go live. From here you can purchase author copies at a highly discounted rate that are books on demand printed as needed. Publishing through amazon also makes your books accessible around the world and can even be made into e-books. If you have a big conference and need to make 1000+ copies of your book for an event, you can also hire a private printing company and send them your pdf files. The nice thing about self-publishing is that you own all of the rights to your book so you can publish or print them through these various channels.

 

I hope these next steps helped you in your process of self-publishing and releasing your incredible message to the world. Now that your book is birthed, remember to celebrate and throw a book launch party to let people know. For those still early on in their writing process who need some inspiration and help in the beginning phases of setting goals, getting over writer’s block, knowing your audience, etc., make sure to do the Writing in the Glory Workshop or online e-course to get catalyzed today!


Jennifer A. Miskov, Ph.D., is an Author, Writing Coach, Itinerant Minister, and Revival Historian who loves to lead people into life-changing encounters with Jesus and invite them into the fullness of the Holy Spirit through her books and ministry. Jen facilities Writing in the Glory Workshops around the nation to catalyze authors to write their first books. She has supported Bill Johnson in his Defining Moments book as well as authored Walking on Water, Ignite Azusa: Positioning for a New Jesus Revolution, Writing in the Glory, Life on Wings, Spirit Flood, and Silver to Gold. Jen loves to lead people into a greater lifestyle of union with Jesus through her writing, teaching, and ministry. She is ordained by Heidi Baker with Iris Global and received her Ph.D. in Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies from the University of Birmingham, U.K. Learn more about her HERE