Last week I wrote about how I got into self-publishing. Is it for you or not? Keep reading and make your decision after you give it a lot of thought.
First, let me repeat what I said about trying to find a traditional publisher. Not only will it look good on your Writer’s Resume, but you’ll learn a lot about the publishing business. If you’re serious about a writing career, you need to know as much as possible. Research done with books will teach you, too, but having a traditional publisher will introduce you to the real world of, well, publishing.
Let’s say that you’ve decided self-publishing is right for you. Search the Internet for self-publishers. Read everything about the company, their requirements, fees (?), and contracts. Study all of the information they provide you. Read carefully and compare one to the other. Remember, they’re a business, but so are you.
Prepare yourself and your book. When the story is finished, go through it again. If need be, hire a professional editor to look at your work. Make sure everything is as perfect as it can be, from the writing to each period, comma and question mark. Do you have a lot of exclamation points in your book? Get rid of most of them. When the book is as good as it can be, prepare to move on.
Let me break the momentum for a moment. If you write a book and it’s published, who’s going to buy it if they’ve never heard of you? Start now, not after the book is published. Get your name out there. A website and a blog are always a good start. Read the blogs of others and leave comments. People will begin to recognize your name. Start a Facebook page or use whatever social media you think will benefit you. Do whatever it takes, without being obnoxious, to make your name recognizable. You’re not a joiner? Do it anyway. Name recognition is important.
Okay, back to business. Well, that last paragraph is an important part of business. Don’t take it lightly. Now back to business.
I’m published through Amazon. I can only tell you of my experiences, and I’m certainly no expert.
My books are available in ebook format through Kindle Direct Publishing, but I wanted them to be released in paperback, too. I opted for CreateSpace, which is affiliated with Amazon. I’ve been very pleased with my experiences. Even so, be sure to read everything on their sites. What’s right for me might not be for you.
A Techie Might Just Be Your Best Friend
Are you a techie? I’m not. I know very little about technical things. I’ve learned through trial and error, and often I’ve had to fight with frustration. Frustration is not my friend. I had no one to show me how to do things, either. Try going in with a good attitude. Leave frustration out of the equation. Trust me on this one. Patience is your friend.
The programs they use to “check” your manuscript when you download it are great. They helped me a lot. One of the first things I learned is to use “automatic indents” while creating my manuscript. It saves a lot of time and heartache. Things like that can make getting started a lot easier.
I can’t speak for other self-publishers, but Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace provided me with step-by-step instructions when I was ready to download my books. You can’t simply skim the directions. You really need to understand the process.
Remember, you’re your own boss now and if there’s an error, it’s probably your own. Yes, as much as I don’t want to say it, it’s easy to make a mistake.
Be patient, take your time, and read everything carefully.
Do I sound repetitive? There’s a reason. If you’re going to self-publish, you need to get it right from the beginning. The little things matter as much as the big ones.
What do you need to do initially?
Make sure your manuscript is as perfect as possible.
Start working on name recognition.
Create a website (optional), a blog (optional), and set up a page or two in social media.
Research self-publishers and don’t rush into the process.
Research the site of the one you choose and study their requirements.
Be ready to become at least a bit of a Techie.
I gave you some general information about self-publishing and I’ll go into a little more detail next week. At least you have some idea of what you’ll be facing if you self-publish.
Time to stop “talking”. I can get carried away. If any of you have self-published and you have something you’d like to add at this point, please do, but don’t get ahead of me.
Until next time, if you’re a writer, think things over carefully. If you’re a reader, I hope this helps you to understand there’s quite a process involved, even if the author is self-published.
CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw’s website
CLICK HERE for a quick trip to Amazon.com