This is the last part of a series on self-publishing, written by a non-expert, non-techie author. I can only share what my experiences have been, and I hope it’s helpful to a few of you.
This week I’m writing about paperback self-publishing. There are a number of companies out there, and once again you have to do your research to decide which company is right for you. I use CreateSpace, which is linked to Amazon. It’s worked well for me.
If this is your first self-pubbed paperback, start at the beginning (like I needed to tell you that). You’ll see tabs for everything from an Overview, Cover, and Interior to Royalties and buying copies of your own book. By the way, buying your own copies is affordable, at least in my opinion. There’s even a button to click on to “Talk to a Consultant”.
As I’ve mentioned before, be sure you read everything. It’s up to you to prepare the best book possible.
Are you ready to create a book after reading all of the information? The first page will ask for the name of your project. What’s your book title? You can click on the type of project, which in my case would be Paperback.
It will then ask you to choose a Setup Process. I still use the Guided Process. I’m simply not techie enough to use the Expert Process. A lot of this is filling in the blanks.
After you Save and Continue, you’ll be asked more questions about your title and the author’s name, Edition Number, if it’s part of a series, and so forth.
The next step will be obtaining the ISBN number. If you recall, in another post I mentioned that the ISBN number is to a book as a social security number to a person. It’s an identifier specific to each book. Ebooks and paperbacks use a different set of numbers. You can’t use the same number for each version of your book. As with the ebook, you can purchase your own ISBN number or obtain one from CreateSpace.
The next step is the Interior. You have your choice of page colors. I like using cream colored pages because they seem to be easier on the eyes. Here you’d also choose the size of your book. These are trade paperbacks and 6x9 seems to be the standard size these days. On this same page, you can click to add your book file, or manuscript.
They offer professional design services, which you would pay for. I prefer to do my own work, which is no cost to me.
Next is your book cover. You can choose a matte finish or a glossy finish for your book. You can create your own cover (which I do), pay to have it professionally done, or build your cover online. I do a combination. I create my cover and then use the Build Your Cover Online function. I use the Launch Cover Creator and when covers come up, I choose one called “The Palm”. It’s a cover that allows me to load my own cover instead of being pre-created.
When all is said and done, you can review and proof your manuscript. I suggest you look at it carefully. I’ve found, when my book is printed, that there are indents where there shouldn’t be any, and I can only blame myself. I missed something. If you find an error, you can go back to your original manuscript, fix it, and upload the book again.
The next step is Distribution. Again, fill in the blanks and read everything carefully. It covers Channels, Pricing, additional information, and a few other pertinent settings, and you can find out which book distributors will make your books available.
There’s even a portion that will offer marketing ideas, and if you don’t want to go through the hoops for a Kindle edition, you can do it from there.
That’s it in a nutshell. I’ve probably made it sound simple to some and confusing to others. Follow the steps provided by whatever company you’re using. Be sure to bring your patience along for the ride. If need be, ask for help. Most of the publishing companies are very helpful and easy to work with, trust me.
That’s it folks. It’ll make more sense when you’re actually taking the steps instead of reading about them.
I just finished a new book, the Time Travel Mystery I’ve been mentioning. I’m currently creating the cover, and then I’ll go back for more editing. After that, I’ll be following my own advice. I’d tell you the title, but at the moment I’m torn between two.
Until next time, I wish you the best with your self-publishing efforts. It’s not for everyone, but it sure works well for some of us.
CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw’s website
CLICK HERE for a quick trip to Amazon.com