How To Self Publish From Someone Who’s Been Through It

For those of us who have already self published a book or three, we had our reasons for doing so.

For those of you thinking of going this route, you may have the same reasons: you don’t want to wait that long to hear back from a traditional publisher, you don’t know where to begin, or if you’re like me, you aren’t happy with your current publisher.

There are several reasons why you may to go the self publishing route, and whatever your reason, it’s worth it in the end.

How To Self Publish From Someone Who’s Been Through It

Once you’ve decided self publishing is the right thing for you, you may wonder where to start.

Researching different outlets for self publishing is definitely something you should consider. There are several places you can use, like CreateSpace, Lulu, Kindle Direct, and PubIt (Barnes and Noble).

Essentially, you can use one or all of them, but in my experiences, I use Lulu because you have the option to publish eBooks as well as hard copies to Amazon and Barnes and Noble. EBooks can be published to iBooks, as well.

You set the prices and control what content goes where and all your sales can be monitored from one place.

Lulu also has several different services you can choose from that will help you with editing, cover design, interior layout, and marketing. Putting your title on the site is completely free and is free to publish.

They only take a small percent from each sake to cover their costs of printing and distributing.

If you want to order a copy for yourself you have the option of paying the printing cost, which is often times less than half of the cost of what you can usually sell for. (One of my titles lists for around ten dollars and I can buy a copy for about four dollars.)

This option is good if you decide to do a book signing or sell them your self. Keep in mind you won’t be paid for these kinds of sales because you’re getting the book at cost.

I know there are other self publishing companies out there, but Lulu is the one that has worked the best for me.

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My Journey In Writing – A City Without Walls

As long as I have been able to write, I have always imagined becoming a famous writer one day.

I fell in love with the written word and in the places that the stories took me.

I published my first work in a literary magazine while in high school, but it wasn’t until 2009 that I finally held my first book in my hands.

MY JOURNEY IN WRITING – A City Without Walls

My books are of a Spiritual nature and I believe were inspired by God.

I knew that I wasn’t writing in order to get rich; I just wanted to get my message out there in hopes of helping or inspiring someone else.

When it came time to actually publish my book, I searched different avenues in order to get it done.

Most sites that I went to wanted to charge me large fees, which I didn’t have at that time.

I even found sites that wanted me to sign the rights of my work over to them!

Finally, I discovered createspace.com. It took a few tries to get my book just the way I wanted it to look inside and out.

I had to edit it myself, however, and that was the hardest part.

We all know that, when we read our work, our minds usually see the words the way we think it is and not how it actually is. It is always good to have someone else edit your work for grammatical errors before you self-publish.

Another big thing is that you will have to do your own promoting if your intention is to sell your books for profit. One more thing I like about createspace.com is that you can set your own price and it breaks the price down to show you exactly where the money goes and how much your profit will be. I also enjoy the fact that I can order as many copies of my books as I choose to at a much lower rate.

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A Quick Guide to Self Publishing on Createspace

The hardest part is putting all the information in the order you want as a manuscript.

I think you will probably want to make a book with photographs 8.5 x 11 inches size. Novels are usually printed in 6 x 9 inch size.

If you create your manuscript in the actual size you want the book, it is easier to proofread and edit it as you go along. It won’t stop you from making mistakes, but it helps.

Start with a blank page as they print the book exactly as you send it in.

I then put a sketch I made of my old cabin as the next page with copyright date, Publisher (my self or whatever you want to name your new publishing company) and I usually place a quote of some sort.

The 3rd page has the technical stuff, photo credits, thanks to proof readers, all rights reserved, liable disclaimer (for my autobiography, posted here as an example) “This is my point of view of my life, told from my perspective and totally my own opinion.

It is not politically correct, nor is it prettied up to suit anyone else. If we learn from our mistakes, I should be just about the smartest person on earth. Obviously that isn’t true.”

Then I list other books I have written which may take another page if you have been busy or want to give a wonderful dedication.

If you are going to separate your book into sections, you will want to add a Table of Contents here and possibly an index at the end of the book.

Finally, you are ready to start the actual book itself. Make a title page, using larger font usually. Make your font an easy to read font.

Garamond is a good font as it is compatible with the publishing system we are using.

Then, usually the start of each chapter is a set number of spaces down the page from the top, I usually center and bold the font for chapters.

A Quick Guide to Self Publishing on Createspace

Chapter 1

Try to be as consistent as possible so the book looks fairly professional. Each chapter should start at the same distance down on the page.

If you are adding photographs, place them either evenly throughout with their descriptions, if you wish or make a separate section of only photographs.

Personally, for the books I made each Grandchild for Christmas, I interspersed family history with photographs as I started having photos to illustrate the family members being told about. I usually do each chapter as a separate file while working on it, unless it is a novel, then I just write. Once I am mostly done, I copy/paste the whole thing together.

Once you have the body of the book fleshed out and are fairly happy with it, save the entire book as one file. Then make another copy by saving as a PDF file which no one else can edit or change and is the easiest one to upload to Createspace for publishing.

You can join Createspace at any time, it is free. It’s an affiliate of Amazon. When you sign up, it will ask what your new project is, book, video, cd, whatever. You may choose to make it a combo Kindle and paperback book.

You can skip making a choice about whether to buy an ISBN number or using one of their free ones until later in the process.

There is the option of using a free ISBN number from them, but that gives them partial control over your book which I don’t like, so I choose to buy the ISBN number used on each novel and cookbook. Those are $99 each and other than paying for whatever books you want to purchase for yourself of the books you make, that is the only expense to do this, it is print on demand.

My personal choice is not to publish on Kindle. It was a personal decision after reading the entire Agreement.

Living where I do, with no phone and usually try to only come to town once a month, less if possible, it was impossible to really find a regular publisher willing to work with me.

Createspace gives me total control of my project and it is ready and on the market just as fast as I want to work at it and get it ready.

There you go, a self publishing guide for createspace.

Take care and have fun writing,
Rosalyn

Self Publishing Advice

Hi, I’d like to start by saying I am an indie author, going on a year and a half now. And granted I don’t know a lot.

But what I do know may help you NEW AUTHORS out there. First thing is first. You need a story, something original.

My first book was about a soldier, his life during the war, and then coming home and readjusting to civilian life. So I had some basic knowledge.

Then there comes research. And I did A LOT of it. Google will be your best friend for all things research.

Now you have to pick a POV. Which is your favorite to read? Is it FIRST person, or THIRD? There’s also second POV but it isn’t used a lot. Play around with it and see what’s best for YOU.

While you are writing, make connections. I do NOT advise you to contact people for the sole purpose of advertising your book. I repeat DO NOT reach out for other authors to help YOU. This will get you unfriended real quick.

There are some that will share your stuff, but it’s bad form. I would advise to try to form some friendships, yes you can ask for advice (in a nice way). Find some authors that inspire you. Now there are blogs that are MORE THAN WILLING to help you, by promoting you, your book, your future book, as well as teasers.

Okay, now you have your story outlined and it’s wrote. Now what?

It won’t cost you millions, thousands or even hundreds to write a book. Nope! The only thing I can say is that editing CAN be expensive and it CAN break the bank. But there are some cheaply priced editors out there, it will take some searching.

Do you have a friend that’s good at English, or even an English major that can help? Reach out to them and see if they can proof your book. Maybe you have two friends who can catch your errors.

BEFORE it’s edited though, you could probably use a few beta readers. What are beta readers? Well, they will read your WIP, critique it, and give you feedback on the story. There are some awesome people out there ready and willing to this for you…….and it’s FREE.

Some might even catch some of the misspelled words, or notice something in the story line you didn’t realize at the time. Getting some beta readers on your team is a GOOD THING.

Alright, now you need a cover. Do you plan on having paperbacks, e-books or both? Most authors do both. Look up cover designers, they vary in price. This will cost you, but find someone whose work that you like, that you can envision doing your cover.

This will also take some research. Heck, maybe you are creative enough to do your own.

I think my first book cost me, guessing maybe $25 if that! And still I don’t pay a lot for my books. It’s all about trial and error, finding the right people and making connections with other authors, bloggers and readers.

So after all that, now you have to figure out where to publish your book. You can go to Amazon exclusively or go for ALL the platforms like Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iBooks as well as others.

Then you need to price your book accordingly. See what other books like yours are being priced at and go from there. Again, experiment.

And please DO NOT copy another authors work and pass it off as yours. There are copyright laws that you need to follow.

Okay you have it published now what? Reach out to bloggers to see if they are willing to share your release, send them your buy links and voila.

This concludes my advice on what to do and what not to do. I hope that maybe you learned a thing or two. Best of luck!!! I’m author Renea Porter, and I’m out. J.

Tips For Self Publishing A Book

The industry of self-publishing has continued to register a rapid growth as more authors continue to throw out new information. This information is also constantly upgraded and what a certain author says today might be considered wrong in a month according another expert or author’s opinion.

The prices of self-publications keep fluctuating as competition continues to tighten. However, self-publishing makes it easier for you to publish your own work whether fiction, non-fiction or collections of short stories.

Here are what I believe to be the best tips for self-publishing a book:

  1. Successful self-publishing is value oriented. Don’t just write to make money, but aim at providing entertaining and useful information to people, and to influence their lives in a positive way. A publication that does not benefit the reader is likely to fail.
  2. Most successful self-publishers supplement their work with a blog or a website (please contact us for that, we can help). Ensure that you prepare a blog in advance and use it to introduce your book long before you actually release the publication into the market.

This creates an audience and connects with potential customers who will most likely want to buy a copy of the book, depending on how you have marketed it.

Providing free but useful information to your audience on a blog will convince them to return the favor by buying your book. Furthermore, blogs are among the biggest determinants of successful self-publishing in the current era.

  1. Stay connected and available. Some authors just disappear into thin air after the publishing of their books making it difficult for readers to reach them. If readers send you emails about the book, make sure you are in a position to at least respond to 90% of them. Avoid acting like a celebrity-author and be more of a friendly writer.
  2. Create an attractive book cover for your publication. It is important to remember that the cover is what greets the eye when a potential reader sees your book, and if it is not catchy, the publication may not sell well.

Although you might not have the resources to design the cover, there are a lot of options to design a great cover for less than $200.

  1. Readers might tolerate grammatical and prose mistakes, but most readers hate typing errors and it makes your publication appear unprofessional. Therefore, before releasing your book into the market, pass it through a copyeditor for proof reading.
  2. Consider sending free samples to friends and welcome any type of comments. We offer one of the best proof reading services available on the market, don’t be afraid to reach us.

To ensure that your book sells in the long term, avoid parsimony with millions of review copies. Despite the size of your audience, always release an adequate number of review copies to prepare the reader for what to really expect in the book.

Giving review copy works great for non-fiction if done right in order to get leads.

  1. Set the appropriate price for the book. Selling the book at a price you think is appropriate may lead to a miserable failure of the publication. Find out what similar books are selling for and the price the market will bear. This may help you understand what readers are willing to pay.

Remember, readers don’t really care how much you want to make with the publication, they just want a good book at a good deal.

  1. The self-publishing industry is greatly affected by piracy. However, fighting it affects the reader more than it affects the pirate. Applying passwords on each of your PDF files is a good way of protecting them from pirates, but this irritates your readers in return.

With the available amount of technology, it is almost impossible to stop piracy, and attempts to do so will make your audience feel like you care more about the money than their experience.

The only way to reduce the effects of piracy is to make your publication available in all the available outlets. Outlets such as Amazon, Smashwords and Createspace are important tools as far as counteracting piracy is concerned. Don’t let your readers search on Google for pirated copies of your own book.

Another way of preventing piracy is ensuring that your readers  This could be done by providing much of the information for free through newsletters and blogs.

For instance, if you provide as much as 80% of the work for free to the customer, they will probably return the favor by buying the original book for the remaining 20% instead of buying a pirated copy. The point here is to seek to satisfy the customer’s reading desire, and the money will come as a reward.

  1. It is important to promote your publication, but too much promotion will affect its sale. Avoid the mention of the book in every status update on Facebook or Twitter. If you have a big list of followers on Twitter or a huge amount of traffic to your blog, it doesn’t necessarily mean those people want to receive advertisements.

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Traditional Publishing vs Self-Publishing

Advantages of Traditional Publishing:

  1. Traditional publications attain more exposure and a wider distribution.
  2. The work of formatting, editing and cover art is the responsibility of the publishing company.
  3. They have a lot of marketing power.

Disadvantages:

  1. It takes a long period of time to publish a single book, sometimes up to 6 months or more.
  2. Traditional publishers set the prices of eBooks way too high.
  3. The publishing company has power over the title and cover art.
  4. You must pay royalties to the publisher twice a year.
  5. As the author, the publisher will not involve you when making decisions concerning your own book.
  6. It is not easy to change the book once it is published.
  7. The publisher will charge high royalty rates, normally between 6-25%.
  8. They do not use the marketing power they have effectively.

Advantages of Self-Publishing:

  1. As the author, you have full control over pricing and cover art.
  2. Every decision is your responsibility.
  3. Publishing a book is quite fast and almost instant.
  4. It does not require any special qualifications and anyone can do it. It is easy to make changes on the book even after publishing.

Disadvantages:

  1. There are no free services and you must pay for expert cover art, formatting or editing.
  2. Self-publications attain fewer sales.
  3. They occupy less than 10% of the current book market