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The Librarian’s Skillboook and Successful Indie Publishing

Librarian's SkillbookI have been on hiatus from writing for Information Edge as I’ve been doing writing of a different sort – co-authoring a book! It all began in 2010, when my colleague and co-author, David Grossman, and I, found many of our librarian and information professional colleagues out of work and trying to figure out the next steps in their careers. David and I have zigged and zagged in and out of libraries for years, always finding work in parallel careers, where there was plenty of opportunity and funding.

We hatched a plan to present in-person workshops and online webinars to share about alternative career paths and how to retool, strengthen existing or add new skills, and look at the universe of information and knowledge career opportunities to solidify an existing position, find a new job or seek a more diverse career path. Our webinars have reached over 1,000 info pros from as far away as Australia. Attendees at these webinars encouraged us to write a book about what we were teaching so they could tap into these skills and take their careers and job security to the next level.

In 2012, we began outlining our book content in earnest, met with a publisher to sign a contract, but decided to indie publish to

  • retain creative control over the content
  • keep the book price as affordable as possible for students and unemployed librarians
  • get published much faster

We plunged headlong into writing and explored how to publish both a print and electronic version. The result has been the very successful The Librarian’s Skillbook: 51 Essential Skills for Information Professionals, which had a soft launch in June 2013 and has gone viral since then.

In the next few posts, I will share about the process of writing a book — from the discipline required to actually get the content from one’s head onto paper, setting goals to get a certain number of words or chapters written each week, collaborating with a co-author, choosing the best title, finding trusted beta and proof readers, and more. I’ll cover both the excitement and frustration of self-publishing, what it’s like to finally see one’s book in print and then to go to book signings and see buyers excited to talk to the authors. I’ll also write about how to get the word out about one’s book, pricing and promoting it. Stay tuned. In the meantime, check out http://www.librarianskillbook.com/

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