I promised I’d go a bit more in depth about self-publishing this week, and here I am to spill the beans.
As I mentioned last week, I use Amazon.com as my self-publisher. That’s not a recommendation, although I’m very happy with them, but it’s a statement of fact. I use Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for my ebooks, CreateSpace for my paperbacks, and I tried Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) for an audiobook. Interesting experience. While I have thirteen ebooks and paperbacks, I only have one audiobook. The three companies are related to each other.
I’m sure each self-publisher has different guidelines and rules and I can only tell you about my experiences.
I’ll begin by using my experiences with ebooks.
After signing in, I click on Create New Title. I arrive at a list of things about the book to fill in. This is your first taste of Internet paperwork.
I read everything there is to read about the process. You never know, something might have changed since my last book.
Remember that every book needs an ISBN number. An ISBN number is to books like a social security number is to people. It’s an identifier. Every book must have one. However, an ebook and a paperback or hardcover book must have a different ISBN number. You can buy your own ISBN numbers at http://www.isbn.org/, or if you’re using Amazon, they can provide you with a free ISBN number.
You can do all kinds of things with covers.
This is one of the covers I created.
As you Create New Title, you’ll upload both your manuscript and the book cover. Two templates are available to upload your book. You have to decide which one works for you. I tried them both with some difficulty (because of not being techie) and finally figured out which one worked best for me. We’ll come back to your upload in a moment.
Last week I wrote about creating your book cover. If you’ve created your own cover, be sure to read the Guidelines. If not adhered to, your cover won’t come out right. There’s also a program to create a book cover on the site using their graphics.
Your manuscript and cover are things you take care of up front. You’ll Save and Continue from there, and follow each step. If you need an explanation for any part of this, you’ll see a place to click.
When your manuscript is downloaded, you’re provided with the opportunity to check the book and how it will appear. If need be, you can correct errors on your original manuscript and upload it again. (I’ve been known to upload a manuscript more than once when I discover errors I hadn’t recognized until I saw it in book format.)
Tip: There’s a little box on the bar of your Word program that looks like a paragraph mark. Click on that and you’ll see the things like an indent mark that might be incorrect, too many spaces between words, and all kinds of little errors. It will show you all of the formatting symbols you’ve used.
To a point, I’m glossing over this because I’m not in the process of uploading a book at the moment. In a couple of months (or less, I hope) I’ll be going through the same process as you are. Just keep following the directions and you’ll do fine.
The second part of this process is about your Rights and Pricing. Again, read everything. Use your common sense. I have a “thing” about pricing. I like my ebooks to be affordable. Therefore, I generally price my ebooks at $2.99. I’ll never get rich, but that’s not my goal. My goal is to entertain the reader.
You can choose your own price. This section will also explain how royalties are determined and paid, dependent on the price of your book.
I’m making this sound too easy. Depending on your knowledge of computers and programs, it could be. I have to learn everything through trial and error. I write notes for myself so that hopefully when I have a new book, I’ll remember how to do things.
Read about the Kindle Select Benefits. This is a program that only you can decide if you want to use or not.
That’s ebooks in a nutshell.
Next week I’ll share some tidbits with you about paperback books. I hope you’ll come back for more information. Just bear in mind, I’m not an expert, but I have had some experiences I can share.
Until next week, if you want to add something I’ve neglected to write about, please use Comments to make your point. I hope you all have a good and productive week.
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