Training #303 – Plan Your Next Book with Keri Barnum

You've finally done it! You wrote your first manuscript and you're excited to move from writer to published author.

But, what exactly goes in to publishing a book and how long does it take?

Keri Barnum of New Shelves Books is going to walk us through a publishing checklist and timeline so that you can confidently step into the role of published author with minimal stress and a realistic timeline and book publishing plan in place.

Additional Questions:

There were a few additional questions we didn't get a chance to answer live as we had a hard deadline at 60 minutes, so here are some resources to get answers:

Can Keri provide a price-range for what is reasonable to pay for these various designers/proofers/copiers/etc? I know the answer is, “it depends”, but a reasonable range would be useful.

Phillips Williams

It depends upon who you are hiring, what you are hiring for, and whether you are paying by the word or by the hour. Check out Training #242 for more information specifically about book editing.


Is Keri an author? Would love to see how she puts all of this into her book construction/design.

Phillips Williams

Keri does the marketing for New Shelves Books; you can check out one of their books for free right from their webstore.


Can you double-down on “not allowed to ask for Amazon reviews, only online reviews?”

Phillips Williams

Amazon has a set of Community Guidelines that govern what you can and can not do related to reviews. They do explicitly allow you to provide free or discounted books to readers, but you can't tell them to leave a 5-star review or require them to leave a review in exchange for the book.

Specifically, they state, “Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.

So basically, Keri's advice when providing readers with a copy of your book is to just ask them to leave a review on their favorite retailer, and not ask them to specifically leave an Amazon review.


I am writing in English for children 9-12, but it is not my mother tonque. I have lot of stories to be written. I like to write on my own, but I need someone who would be able to correct my style, grammar, etc. Not looking for a ghost writer but someone who can guide, mentor, and correct me. Can you recommend anyone who would enjoy to work with me on more permanent basis but is not expensive? Maybe willing to be a co-author and share the profits?

Artur Grzenkowicz

Co-Authoring would be a great topic for it's own full dedicated training; there's a lot that goes into that. Contracts, legal issues, royalty payments, workflow, technical issues with sharing files and working on them, etc. You can certainly hire (or find volunteer) readers and editors for various price points, but to find a co-author your best bet would be to network with other authors and build a relationship since you will need a lot of trust and comfort levels before taking on that sort of a role.


KDP produces paperbacks to send to customers ? I'm a novice. Sorry.

Karen Wolff

Amazon purchased a company called CreateSpace about 8 or 10 years ago, and they became their print-on-demand go-to company. Amazon already had Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and over time they added the ability to print your books directly through KDP (using a feature they call KDP Print) and began pushing their CreateSpace customers over to KDP so that everything would be in one dashboard. They have since closed down CreateSpace altogether, so other than transferring your books into KDP there isn't anything you can do directly with CreateSpace anymore. When you publish through KDP Print, you are basically adding your book into Amazon's catalogs, so that when a customer purchases your book from Amazon, they'll print a copy and mail it out directly to your reader for you. So you don't have to carry inventory and don't have to handle any of the customer service involved with selling your readers their books.


Thank you so much for this webinar. I need help editing in Kindle. My first book was ready awhile ago. Can I re-upload it again? Please make this lecture available for replay.

Agnes Mina

Yes, you can republish your book at any time, or even upload an updated version of your book into the same edition. That isn't a problem. You may also want to watch Training #242 for more information about editing your book.


Could you talk more about professional reviewers, how they work, and suggest the list again please – especially for non-fiction. Great presentation – thanks.

Pamela Cotton

We have a full presentation from Amy Collins about the professional review process that I recommend you watch for more information about how that works.