I’ve spent a lot of time reading about self-publishing, and I’ve definitely drunk the Kool Aid – I’m sold, all in, committed. Self-publishing has come a long way from the days when it was vanity publishing for those who couldn’t get a “real” publishing contract. These days, people are making a living as authors through the power of selling their work online by themselves – and they’re retaining copyrights, keeping much more of the profit, and working on their own release schedules, too. It’s a glorious new age, and I want to be a part of it.
I’ve been working on a slim little book of short stories and I’m going to be self-publishing it – soon! I wanted a small project to get my feet wet in the world of self-pub, and because the learning curve is a little steep.
But now, what started as a loose sort-of goal about a year and a half ago is actually in the works – I have an editor! and a cover! and a formatted book! It should actually be available for purchase within six weeks or so.
So, how do you go about self-publishing a book?
Step one – write a book. Make it awesome. Show it to awesome beta readers and take their feedback and rework it. Repeat until it is as awesome as you think it can be.
Step two – find an editor. Don’t skimp on this! Get a good copy editor and proofreader, at least. Take all their comments and think about every single one. Make it perfect. (Shout out to my amazing editor, Jennifer Jaquith of Morning Rain Publishing.)
Step three – time to think about publishing! You’ll need to format the inside of the book for both print and eBook (if you want to do both). You’ll need a cover. You can do both of these things yourself, or hire a graphic designer to do it for you. If it’s in the budget, a real designer is worth it – they say not to judge a book by its cover, but that’s what a lot of book buyers do. I personally am using a purchased template from Joel Frielander for the interior of the print version, and my editor is making the eBook version as part of my package. The cover is coming soon, and it looks so, so good – it’s by Vivian Cheng of Blend Creations.
Step four – got an inside, an outside, and an eBook? Time to put it all together – and list it for sale! I’ll be using CreateSpace to create my books; you can just upload everything, pick a price for it, and bam! you’re good to go. They are affiliated with Amazon, so your book should appear there within a few days, both for eBook download and the print version, which is printed on demand.
And that’s it! Okay, it sounds simple when laid out like this, but there are a few details and stumbling blocks here and there. But really, when it comes to getting your writing into the hands of your readers, doesn’t this sound much easier than going through the publishing process – sending your work out, waiting months to hear, possibly winning that 1 in 1000 lottery slot, only to have to wait, wait, and wait some more while they design a cover you don’t like, sell it whenever they get around to it, at a price you have no say over?
I think so. So it’s happening – cover reveal soon!