Guest Blog Post: “My Personal Path to Self-Publishing” by Lisa Kentgen, Ph.D.

When it comes to publishing, deciding which route to take can be a challenge.

For the traditional route, once an author writes a book, they sign on with an agent or publishing house. The author shares a hefty percentage of the sales, in exchange for the agent doing everything involved in getting attention and sales.

A self-publisher keeps all the money — but does everything, including possible hiring of an editor and book designer, buying advertising, etc.

New York City psychologist, Lisa Kentgen, Ph.D., debuted, “An Intentional Life: Five Foundations of Authenticity and Purpose,” June 2018. Here how she went about it…

Cover of, "An Intentional Life" by Lisa Kentgen

Turning down a book contract was a painful decision. My book emphasizes listening to your internal voice. My voice told me I wouldn’t be happy signing a contract that didn’t feel mutual. The morning after making this decision the idea for my next book came to me. I then knew self-publishing was the right path.

Two things were clear. 1) I would create a publishing imprint to house this and future books. 2) I would be intimately part of the process.

Creating a publishing imprint meant establishing an LLC. Its mission is broad enough to cover other professional activities, like public speaking, so that my writing will be an essential part of my professional life.

Photo of author Lisa Kentgen by Todd Estrin Photography
Photo of author Lisa Kentgen by Todd Estrin Photography

There are reputable companies, like Girl Friday Productions, that help authors from concept to final production. I believe they quoted me $16,000. I chose not to go with this sort of company because I had a manuscript that already was far along and, also, it means not taking the lead in creating my team. Establishing my team meant spending hours finding a top quality editor, cover designer, and interior designer.

I was fortunate enough to find a developmental editor who is the vice president of a publishing company. She had me reduce my manuscript by 30%. She told me that while I don’t like telling people what to do (I am a psychologist) – as a writer I needed to be more directive. After a major edit, I hired another editor to polish the final manuscript.

For book design, I chose Reedsy, an online company that has wonderful professionals for hire. Inexpensive cover designs cost around $500. For an experienced, artistic designer it is closer to $1000. My cover designer was so good that I persuaded him to do my interior design which cost about $2000.

I learned the hard way that what makes for a beautiful physical book creates complications for the ebook. (Suggestion: Make a copy of the interior before getting fancy!) Creating the ebook to look like the physical copy proved difficult. I had no way to assess the actual skill level of designers. The first person misrepresented their experience, and I paid $450 for something I couldn’t use. The next person charged $500 and what I wanted took more time than estimated–so we negotiated a higher price.

My experience creating the audiobook with Brickshop Audio in Brooklyn was a pleasure. The audiobook, with production help, costs $250 per finished hour. My 55,000-word book (on ACX) cost $1650.

I recommend my path to authors who enjoy creating a business and who have the time and desire to address countless creative details. It means a lot more work upfront, but having finished products closer to your vision. I am excited to take what I have learned to new ventures!

Quote by Lisa Kentgen: Living with intention you understand that your interests are intimately bound to the well-being of others.

Dear readers, share your experiences below with self-publishing vs. traditional publishing…

Guest Blog Post: How Blog Posts and Articles Can Promote Your Book By Angela

Photo of white lettering in sky
Awesome pic by Ryan McGuire of Gratisography.com

Self-publishing a book? Angela shares her experience…

Review Tales by Jeyran Main

How blog posts and articles can promote your book!

Want to increase readership and book sales, write an article or blog post?

Writing material related to a non-fiction is a no-brainer. Chances are you’re an expert and can easily expand or provoke further discussion on your book’s topic through a blog post or article. But fiction writers have a challenge and need to be creative. Here are some of the areas to explore:

  • Your book’s central theme(s).
  • The main location(s) described.
  • Expand on historical references and the era.
  • Your inspiration for writing the book such as an event or other trigger.
  • Backstory of one of your main characters and if based on a real person.
  • Any unusual practice or method you used to write the book.
  • Bonus material in form of background stories or information.

I was fortunate my last book “Suddenly Single Sylvia” about a newly divorced mature…

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Guest Blog Post: “My Life: Kuala Lumpur vs Singapore” in Kally’s exact words

Singapore Night View

Kally’s blog features excellent professional advice serves everyone anywhere.

Overview of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Here she writes about the contrasts between her old home vs. her new home…

MiddleMe

I have relocated from Shanghai to Kuala Lumpur for almost 2 years now. From a small cosmopolitan country Singapore to a major city Shanghai and a buzzing world in Kuala Lumpur. For the past 4 years, it has been nothing short of an adventure.

One thing that my friends love to ask me is what is life like between Malaysia and Singapore, what is the difference. Yes, I do get that question all the time. I mean besides the exchange rates at the current SGD$1 is to RM3. There is a vast difference between the two countries even though they shared a long history and are neighbours.

U9109P1274DT20121226202058.png Singapore Night View

People
One major draw to me living in Kuala Lumpur is the local population here. I’m a Singaporean, and I love my fellow countrymen, but local Malaysian folks are just too friendly to ignore. I thought I would have a…

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Guest Blog Post: “Yet Another Attempt for Redemption,” by Harshvardhan Shukla

Enjoy this blog’s (da-AL’s) first guest post …

A few years ago, I wasn’t really a big fan of literature. As a matter of fact, I was completely involved in the technicality and complexity of “Mechanical Components” during my undergrad years.

Harshvardhan Shukla smiling and walking down the road, hoping for something good to happen.
Harshvardhan Shukla smiles and walks down the road, hoping for something good to happen.

It was only when I began working as an analyst that I discovered the beauty of reading and analyzing from industrial journals. My joy was enhanced by the fact that I was making getting paid for the experience.

I am from Pune, India. These days I reside in Pennsylvania where I am pursuing a Masters in Business Analytics. Fortunately, I have plenty of time to visit public libraries, where I read more than corporate and industrial tomes. It wasn’t until I met people at libraries that I realized how bizarre the skills that I possess as a writer are. I am able to write a blog or an article within minutes with the help of my quick and witty thinking, add a little humor to it, and thus make it a little captivating.

Before I knew it, I was visiting a variety of libraries for fun in addition to browsing various styles of literature. The self-help section showed me that others share my interests.

More than 90% of U.S. libraries offer free internet, a service that attracts a surprisingly large audience. At libraries, not only do I expand my reading horizon, but I meet new people.

As a result, I started a blog where I now channel my personal thoughts onto my own website. This is something I never before imagined I would do.

I am honored to write my first guest post for da-AL, a brilliant blogger with an even more brilliant approach towards writing. As she mentioned, a public library is indeed a paradise. It is a dynamic, versatile community that offers so much to people and it provides a place where people can organize their thoughts.

Harshvardhan Shukla’s blog.