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Part two of DIY versus Professional publication. Here is a link to Part One.

Today we will be looking at the art of acquiring new skills. After completing the cover design and editing of Awakening, my focus turned to preparing it for digital publication. My first obstacle, of many, was typesetting.

Typesetting, as it turned out, was a bit different from how I had imagined it. So, with no real knowledge of typesetting and no prior skills which could be of use, I set out to teach myself how to typeset. For this I mainly relied on two things: trial and error and the internet. From trial and error I learnt about formatting rules and style sets. From the internet (especially Smashwords series on formatting) I learnt about common formatting errors and typesetting do’s and don’ts.

My second obstacle was marketing, i.e. what I’m doing right now.

As I never studied marketing in university (unlike my older brother, Jethro), I was initially at a loss as to how one goes about marketing their product. Here, again, Smashwords came in handy by providing material on how to market your ebook. Marketing is a very broad subject, and everyone has a method that works for them (for me it seems to be creating and maintaining an online presence and slowly increasing my readership). My advise is to try a few different things, from physically marketing your book to participating on relevant forums and discussions to increase visibility of your product.

Long story short, I found that there were skills and techniques I could learn and apply if I was willing to make the effort. In the next writing tip, “If You Still Can’t, Find Someone Who Can”, I will detail what I did when those efforts still did not produce fruit. Look forward to it!

And remember, Never Lose Your Stride!