Podcasting – How To Self-Publish – Covers and Titles
In my monthly column for Podertainment, I write about topics to help people maximize their content with repackaging, cross-promoting and repurposing. One of the most common ways to do that is with publishing a book out of the content that went into a series of podcast episodes. Podcasters in general are DIY type of people, and this article helps those who want to learn the process of publishing a book with step by step procedures. If you want to do this, and want to work with me, feel free to email me or give me a call at 310-664-9969.
How to publish that book – An overview of self-publishing for podcasters who like to Do It Themselves
Part One: Titles and Covers
Podcasters are Do It Yourselfers. We like to figure things out on our own usually. Sure we’ll watch training videos and rely on experts like Cliff Ravenscraft, after all he’s how I learned to podcast. But when it comes down to the actual tab A into slot B, and noodling through software, we like to get our virtual hands dirty.
I’ve written and published six books, and I know the emotional toll it takes to produce a book, and it’s easier than most people think. I have felt the fear and dread of thinking “I can’t write that much!” or “I don’t’ know what to write.”
I’m here to tell you the hardest part is just getting started. When I do my inspirational speech, The First Pancake Rule, I encourage people to just start and not worry about the results. Often we let perfection be the enemy of good, and that is what leads to procrastination. Like I say in my speech, How to Write A Book In 10 Easy Years “You spend the first 9 and a half years learning the subject, spend the next 3 months on the title and the last 3 months writing the book.”
My idea for publishing a book is a simple 5 step process that carves out the big areas of what you need to know to publish your first book in the next 90 days.
Step One – Decide on a title
I believe the title of a book should convey two things: 1) the audience for the book and 2) the subject matter of the book. For example, my book “A Man’s Guide To Divorce Strategy” says who it is for, “men,” and what it is about “divorce strategy.” Your title is simply a mashup of the subject matter and your audience, but it doesn’t have to be as explicit as mine. For example “Stop Chasing Influencers: The True Path To Building Your Business and Living Your Dream”
By Jared Easley and Kimanzi Constable has an audience of entrepreneurs . The phrases “your business” and “your dream” speak to to the audience’s goals of “building your business.”
Step Two – Design a cover and book pages
Book cover design is a specialty among designers because you have many elements to think about. If you’re not a designer, you may consider hiring a professional off of Fiverr or Craigslist. I dabble in design work so I did my first few books myself. My basic designs were images of men with their children for my divorce and child custody books.
I used Pages on my MacBoookPro to design my covers and used Word to do the book’s interior layout. Professionals will use programs like Adobe InDesign which is created for big projects. In the past I’ve also used Publisher to design when I was on a PC, it’s just as effective if you know the program.
When I was working on ‘What About Wally? Co-Parenting a Pet With An Ex” we used a professional who came up with the idea of a dog with two leashes coming off of it, one pink one blue to convey the book’s subject.
Covers are important if you are selling in stores, and even more so if you are only selling online and the image will be seen in small sizes like on iTunes or Amazon. They need to be eye-catching just like your podcast cover image has to be. It’s the same principle but with more information crammed in.
If you’re going to have a photo on the cover, you can use a stock photo you bought, but remember that someone else may use it as well. Consider doing your own photo shoot or hiring someone to create an image just for you. Fiverr and Craigslist are great for this, or talk to your local arts college about using a photography student and getting them credit for working with you.
Graphic images are also available, but generally you should have a designer modify them to help convey the underlying message. Looking at Stop Chasing Influencers, you can see the image of a person who is ripping away the book cover to reveal the subtitle of the book – it’s very creative.