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Updated Prepared Mind Grant Proposal




My name is Benjamin Z. Scott and I’ve been writing stories and poetry since the third grade.  I began college with the intent of obtaining an English degree and becoming a novelist. Fast forward towards the end of college and I was graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Renewable Energy Management.  Despite my change of course I still had the desire to write when I could find time.  During the last year of my undergraduate degree, I obtained a job writing for the student paper and founded a student creative writing group.  It was the motivation for me to continue my dream of becoming a novelist.  Around this time, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and completed a 50,000-word novel in a month.  Once it was completed the next steps were to edit the manuscript and find a way to get it published.  That is where I got stuck as a writer.  Since then, I have self-published a small book of poetry and have been published in several small online magazines.


Project for the Prepared Mind Grant:

I would like to create a website showing the steps for self publishing.  The main focus of the website will be a bi-weekly blog.  This will be accomplished by taking my first draft novel and serializing the process from editing the first draft to final publication.  It will include how to edit the manuscript, format the book, design the cover, choose a printing service (Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Ingram Sparks, 48 Hour books), and promote it to the public.  

In addition to blogging the self publication process, I will post interviews with independent writers and publishers to give insight and tips for writers.  I plan to garner attention to the website through social media sites (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube).


Planned Output 

In the first two months I will need to build the website and edit the manuscript.  Once the website is completed, I will begin blog posts of how I got started and how the editing phase is going. 

In the third month I will finalize the manuscript and design a book cover.  I will compare the cost and ease of designing my own cover to that of hiring someone to do it instead.

In the fourth month I will explore different POD (print on demand) services and compare costs.  I will also investigate how and why to get an ISBN for your book.

In the fifth month I will send a PDF of the book to people to read and give feedback.  I will also be researching how to sell the book through the website. 

In the sixth month I will start promoting the book online, sending the manuscript to the printers, and begin selling it.  I will also review the process and highlight the good and the bad of self-publishing a book.


Strengths and Weaknesses

I’m familiar with the small online publishing community.  I have already contacted several publishers to ask advice and guidance regarding publishing.  I know how to utilize social media to draw attention to the website.  

Where I will need help is in building the website.  I will also be looking for feedback and any offered guidance to make the project a success.  I am open to collaboration and modification of this projection.  My goal is to learn how to publish a book. 

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