Self-Publishing Program 2018

Do you want to self-publish your book, but you’re not sure where to start? This extended program isn’t just about covering the specifics of how to take your edited manuscript through the process of self-publishing – when you complete the program you will be able to have your book for sale in print and digital formats. Taking a hands-on approach, this program will guide you through a professional quality self-publishing process, including briefing a cover design, typesetting and creating digital files, establishing ebook and print on demand distribution, as well as learning the fundamentals of marketing your book.

At the end of the program your book will be available for sale globally in ebook and print on demand formats. The program does not include the cost of book printing. Please note, you will be required to complete specific tasks at home and on deadline.

The tutor
Joel Naoum will lead you through this guided self-publishing process. He’s the director of Critical Mass, a consultancy for authors and publishers. He previously established and ran Pan Macmillan Australia’s digital-first imprint Momentum.

To enrol, you must have a completed, edited and proofread manuscript ready for publication without need of any further edits or changes as of the start of the program, 28 June. Your manuscript must be primarily text; some B&W photos or illustrations can be included (if you own the copyright), but this program is not suitable for illustrated or picture books.

This program includes 7 evening sessions of either 2 or 3 hours in length.

  • Thursday 28 June, 6:30-9:30pm
  • Thursday 5 July, 6:30-9:30pm
  • Thursday 12 July, 6:30-8:30pm – note two-week break between sessions
  • Thursday 26 July, 6:30-8:30pm
  • Thursday 2 August, 6:30-8:30pm – note three-week break between sessions
  • Thursday 23 August, 6:30-9:30pm
  • Thursday 30 August, 6:30-9:30pm

Scroll down for the complete Self-Publishing Schedule 2018, including the program overview.

Program price
Non-member $1640 | Member $1365

Pricing includes these external service costs:
Digital conversion – $90
Print typesetting – $160
Print + ebook cover design – $450
ISBNs – $15
TOTAL – $715

Please note:
The program does not include the cost of printing your book.
The cover design costs include up to three proposed concepts, and once a concept is agreed on, up to three rounds of amendments.
There is an additional cost of approximately $68 for print on demand (POD) distribution. This must be paid on the author’s credit card.

How to enrol
If you will have a completed, edited and proofread manuscript ready for publication without need of any further edits or changes as of 28 June, follow these steps to enrol:

  1. Email us for the Self-Publishing Program 2018 enrolment form.
  2. Complete the enrolment form on page 2.
  3. Include your payment details on the form, or pay via phone (9555 9757) or online.
  4. Submit your completed form to [email protected]


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the external service costs? What am I paying for?

  • Digital conversion: Typesetting team takes your manuscript and converts it into an XML-based digital format that can then be used to output different ebook formats that might be needed, including EPUB and MOBI.
  • Print typesetting: Typesetting team lays out your manuscript as a print-ready PDF, ensuring the book is properly paginated and free of common typesetting issues.
  • Print + ebook cover design: this is the cost for a professional graphic designer with book industry expertise to produce up to three proposed concepts, and once a concept is agreed on, up to three rounds of amendments. We have negotiated a group discount, giving you a professional quality cover at a better price.
  • ISBNs: Two ISBNs will be provided per manuscript, one for ebook format and the other for print on demand (POD) format. ISBNs are used to uniquely identify your book to retailers. Their full use and why you need them will be covered in the program.

Why can’t I make changes to my manuscript after the program starts? What if I find typos?
There will be an opportunity to fix very small single-word typos. However, changes on a larger scale won’t be possible to fix. This is because once a book is typeset, any changes can cause run-on issues to the flow of the pages – these are time consuming and costly to fix. So you must finalise the content of your book before starting the program.

I have two completed manuscripts – can I use both in this program?
The program costs cover the publication of one manuscript only. 

Is there a maximum length for the manuscript?
If your manuscript is more than 200,000 words in length, please get in touch with us to discuss. 

Is there a minimum length for the manuscript?
The minimum length is 30,000 words.

Can I include quoted material in my book, such as song lyrics?

While you are welcome to include material like this, you must seek and gain permission to use this material before you start the course. Read more about it here.

I have images I’d like to use for the cover. Is that possible?
If you have images for which you own the copyright and have permission to use globally for commercial purposes, then it may be possible to use them. However, the program will cover hints, tips and strategies for briefing a successful book cover – if you’ve already pre-selected your image it may not fit with your cover brief after you go through the program material. You’re welcome to bring an image you like, but keep an open mind.

Why is the $68 print on demand distribution fee paid separately?
The author needs to pay this on credit card because there are ongoing yearly costs for market distribution from the POD distributor.

After the program, I’d like to print copies of my book. What is the cost?
It depends. For a standard 90,000-word book using standard options, the printing cost would be approximately $8 per copy, not including shipping and handling or any savings based on ordering in bulk.

What is your cancellation policy?
Your enrolment is non-refundable. If you should wish to withdraw, you must inform the NSW Writers’ Centre at least 14 days in advance of the start of the program to receive a full credit. Withdrawals up to seven days prior to program commencement will be eligible for a 50% credit. Withdrawals in the week prior to the program are ineligible for credit.


Self-Publishing Program Schedule

Please make careful note of dates and times as the duration between sessions and the length of individual sessions varies.

All classes start at 6:30pm and finish at either 8:30 or 9:30pm.

Session One
Thursday 28 June, 6:30-9:30pm

  • Overview of full program
  • Market overview
  • Scheduling overview (how long does it take to make a book)
  • Comparison titles/positioning
  • How to do a cover brief
  • Metadata – what is it?
  • How to write an effective book blurb and author bio

Mandatory tasks to complete before the next session:

  • Make a cover brief
  • Submit book blurb and author bio for review

Session Two
Thursday 5 July

  • Review of cover brief
  • Review of book blurb and author bio
  • Deeper dive into metadata – pricing, territorial distribution, channels
  • Typesetting overview
  • Preparing a Word document for digital conversion

Mandatory tasks to complete before the next session:

  • Submit metadata
  • Submit styled-up Word document for typesetting

Session Three
Thursday 12 July 6:30-8:30pm

  • Review of metadata
  • Review of styled-up Word document
  • How an ebook file works
  • Ebook file formats & which stores use what type of file

Session Four
Thursday 26 July 6:30-8:30pm

  • Review cover designs – how to give feedback to designers
  • Review digital files – how to do quality checks for ebook files
  • Distribution overview

Mandatory tasks to complete before the next session:

  • Send feedback to designer
  • Send ebook file feedback to tutor (for typesetter to incorporate)

Session Five
Thursday 2 August 6:30-8:30pm

  • Print on demand (POD) overview
  • Setting up POD distribution
  • How to brief a full cover

Mandatory tasks to complete before the next session:

  • Send full cover feedback to designer
  • Liaise with designer to fix issues

Session Six
Thursday 23 August 6:30-9:30pm

  • Setting publication dates/realistic schedules
  • Amazon and distribution services
  • Compensation rates, territories, discounts
  • Set up of ebook distribution

Mandatory tasks to complete before the next session:

  • Final covers should be done
  • Final internal files should be done

Session Seven
Thursday 30 August 6:30-9:30pm

  • Pushing the upload button
  • Importance of pre-sales
  • Marketing strategy
  • General wrap-up

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