Speaker Chris Lynch, Author of One-Eyed Jack

Speaker Bio:

Author Christopher J. Lynch is a Southern California native living in Los Angeles. A member of our group, CBW-LA, Chris has written articles for various newspapers and magazines, as well has various short stories.

His hobbies include cycling and mountain climbing. He recently trained and led a group of blind individuals to the summit of Mount Baldy, the highest point in Los Angeles County. A documentary film is being made of the adventure. www.baldyfortheblind.com.

In May of 2012, Christopher J. Lynch finished the first draft of his debut crime novel “One Eyed Jack.” By June 13th, he had it revised, edited, formatted, and published as both an e-book, and a “Print on Demand” on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Since then, he has enjoyed brisk sales, received rave reviews, done four author signings, and had it placed in Pages Bookstore, Small World Books, Apostrophe Books, and Frog Books. He also produced a video trailer and has done numerous guest blogs, author interviews, and promo pieces. How did he do it all in such a short time? He self-published.

Christopher J. Lynch will share his experience and talk candidly about the self-publishing route and what it means to the writer of the 21st. Century.

Workshop Summary:

Chris was a wonderful speaker. He offered us a no-holds barred presentation on the ups and downs of self-publishing and gave us a lot of helpful tips and tricks, which he had to learn the hard way.

 Some of the questions Chris answered included:

·What is traditional publishing versus self-publishing?

·Is self-publishing right for me, or for my book?
·What are the benefits of self-publishing?
·What are the downsides to self-publishing?
·What is POD (print on demand)?
·What are the steps necessary for self-publishing?
·What are the costs involved?


Workshop Highlights:

Is Self Publishing For You?


– Major bookstores (B&N) – and even some “indie” bookstores – will not carry self-published titles.

– If you are selling on consignment to bookstores, you will have to get a sellers permit and resale certificate from the franchise tax board.

– You may not be eligible for some book awards.

– The “New York Times” and many other mainstream publications, are reticent to review any self-published book.

– Some blogs may not review self-published books.

– You will have to pay for your own editing, formatting, cover design, etc.

– All promotion, bookkeeping, sales, etc.  is on you – You are a business!



– Time: Your completed book can be available as an e-book in under 8 hours, and a print version in about one day.

– Creative Control – This can be both good and bad.

– You can set the list price (minimums for e-book and POD).

– Higher royalties.

– If successful, you can always get an agent and a publisher and go the conventional route.


Where do you begin? An e-book from manuscript to product.

– Step one: Finish the damn thing!!

– Step two: Revise…Revise…Revise.

– Step three: Have your manuscript professionally edited…by a reputable editing service.

– Step four: Your cover is the first thing a customer sees – and it will only be a thumbnail on-line. Again, pay the pros. Only a front cover will be needed for an E-book (more on converting it to a full cover with spine and back for a POD).

– Step five: Formatting from mobi, to epub to pdf can be hell, so it’s worth it to get a professional to do this for you.


Why do a POD, if e-books are all the rage?

– It doesn’t cost you much more.

– It broadens your sales.

– Many people still like holding a physical book.

– You are going to have to do lots of in-face promotion (book fairs, signings, libraries, etc.)  and you can’t sign an e-book.


How the steps to do a POD differ from an e-book

– You will need to have your original, revised and edited manuscript, formatted into a different size (typically, trade size paperback).

– Companies like Ironhorse formatting can do this: Pricing: 20 to 45K words – $40

– You will have to have your e-book front cover made into a full cover with spine and back (app. $50.00)



Sales, the “driver” of all business

Three ways you will sell your book:

– On-line

– Consignment through bookstores

– Private sales


The truth about self-published book sales:

 – The average self-published book sells about 100-150 copies across all formats and venues.

– Some don’t sell at all.

– Don’t count on all of your family and friends – especially your F/B “friends” – to buy your book

– Sales require endless promotion: reviews, blogging, social media, author events, book fairs, swag…and some luck. It takes a lot of time…and some money.

– It’s a crowded marketplace

“The good news is, anyone can self-publish a book.”

“The bad news is, anyone can self-publish a book.”


Author Chris Lynch with CBW-LA Officers

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11 Responses to “October 13, 2012 (33rd meetup): Author Chris Lynch on Self-Publishing”

  1. Lynne says:

    Great great information.

  2. Good list of pros and cons for those considering it.

  3. mooderino says:

    That was great. I wish more people would share their experiences of this stuff.

    Moody Writing

  4. Monika Moreno says:

    Great stuff! So sorry I couldn’t attend.

  5. Interesting! These sound like really useful tips.

  6. Donna Atmur says:

    I wasn’t able to attend this workshop but it looks like some very useful tips were presented. Thank you for posting these!

  7. Senator says:

    Lol. Great advice. I still can’t get over that opening picture… Classic, just classic.

  8. Heather H. says:

    I would’ve loved to attend a workshop like this. Although I already knew a lot of this info from both research and experience (I’ve self-published in the past), some of it was still new to me. (Such as the stuff about the sellers permit.) Thanks for sharing!

  9. He sounds like he’s got a wealth of experience. That’s great if he lets you pick his mind for cheap.

  10. Stephanie Dreyer says:

    Thanks for the recap. I was so disappointed to miss this as I was all set to go. I found the info helpful, but am wondering what his take is for picture books. Does anyone have experience self publishing a picture book when they are only a writer and not an illustrator?

  11. Sarah S. says:

    From reading the highlights, it sounds like this was a fabulous and very informative workshop! Thanks for blogging about it. :)

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