Hi! I thought it was the perfect time of year to write a post for those of you out there who have considered self-publishing because you love to write and want to share your words & work with others. I hope my checklist and some guidance from my personal experiences in publishing more than 4 books will be helpful in encouraging you to get started. I am passionate about writing & reading and hope those of you who have that same desire welling up inside of you will feel more ready & excited to begin after reading this post. You will have more concrete information in your back pocket and can feel confident that you-yourself are capable of converting your writings or pros into a self-published work others will appreciate or learn from. You will be an author.
This post is my effort to give you some direction, re-ingnite your inspiration & provide valuable information I wished I’d known before publishing my own first books.
I want to encourage anyone out there wanting to self-publish that it is well within your ability if you have the passion and desire to make it happen! So whether it is you-yourself who loves to write or you are a parent with a child who is gifted in the art of writing- this information is worthy of a bookmark in your favorites.
In life, I can’t count the number of times I have been grateful for others who have inspired me with their knowledge or passion for something. We can all benefit by learning from one another-and what a great thing it is to share knowledge, information and encouragement. Each individual has unique gifts they can contribute in our world and self-publishing allows you to share your experiences, your expertise, etc… so that others might learn and benefit from them as well.
✔️The first thing you need to do: Ask yourself what it is you’re most passionate about sharing?
✔️Next: Get started by writing all you know about that topic.
✔️Then start bookmarking and parusing through the following 3 sites listed here. These are the top three publishing platforms that have taken over in the Indie-Author movement. They provide both eBooks & Print on Demand: Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing www.kdp.amazon.com, CreateSpace www.createspace.com & Ingram Spark www.ingramspark.com. Set up is Free with the first two and Create Space is a division of Amazon. Ingram Sparks is also noteworthy not only for their size but because they also promote distribution to libraries, schools and many smaller book sellers. They can also produce hard-cover. The set up fee for Ingram Sparks is $49.
✔️I recommend these sites for self-publishing because in my experience, each has tremendous customer service and the process works efficiently if you are willing to get in there and get your ‘feet wet.’
✔️Now: Keep writing!!! – -With no set time demands – – Let the thoughts on your chosen passion flow naturally with no self-judgement or criticism.
✔️Writing at least a small amount every single day even if it’s in the dark of night when all are asleep or at the break of dawn.
✔️Share your ideas: talk with family & friends to get their ideas and candid feedback.
✔️Once you feel that you’ve gotten ‘it all’ down on paper (ha-ja-ja!) Riiighhhhhhttt!!!! Well, we all know a writer’s work is never done- so rest assured you may never feel that way, Non the less – -when you have reached a point where you think you are done – -this is when you’ll need proofreaders. Yes!- -others besides yourself. There are many people out there who LOVE to read and who also love to be called upon to help a new author with feedback for their first manuscript- – yes, even if you think the work is choppy. My advice: LET THEM! You may have heard the term: Beta Reader? Don’t be afraid to ask acquaintances if they’d be interested in giving you feedback. You’d be surprised how eager people can be to lend their support.
✔️Take all your feedback and proofreading edits into account and make any necessary changes. For experienced assistance refining your final edits- Click Here and scroll down to Proofreading and Editing.
✔️Now: You can begin to think about illustrations, style & the over-all look and feel of the book. Not all of us are artists, so if you desire illustrations- never fear. There are many amazing freelance illustrators out there who will work with you for a nominal fee, if this is not your primary skill set. Focus on what you do best. Twitter is a great resource for finding illustrators who will work to familiarize themselves with your writing and create high quality illustrations especially if you are sharing their work and crediting them by adding their name to the cover.
✔️Also: This is often a great time to Title your book because many of the best ideas come out after the writing process has begun and the ideas have already morphed into captivating words & gone through their beautiful metamorphosis. So the title itself is likely hidden right within the very pages of your manuscript. A good ole’ friend once told me this- and it was true!
✔️Know this: your manuscript will transfer over to the self-publishing site most smoothly if you use a PDF or (Portable Document File) and Microsoft Word is the Word Processing Doc. of choice among self-publishing platforms. So you Apple users out there may want to consider purchasing Microsoft Word for Apple since Apple’s word processing application: ‘Pages’ does not transfer over well yet in this industry.
SOME CRITICAL INFO FOR YOUR CHECK LIST BELOW:
Now that you know the basics. There are some other things I personally recommend as well. It doesn’t have to all get done at once, but let’s start with the item I consider most important because it will allow you to maintain the rights to your book and the ability to sell it on multiple platforms:
✔️Get an ISBN Number or (International Standard Book Number)!! Basically this is the bar code on the back of your book. This is where a little investing will go a long way and the costs range from $80-$125 per ISBN and can be purchased directly from the self-publishing platform you’ve selected. If you know you will be publishing more than one book and can buy multiple ISBN Numbers at the time of purchase for a savings through a company called Bowker (i.e.: 10 ISBN for $295) at www.myidentifiers.com. So if you are really planning on making writing your day job-that’s the way to go.
✔️A Copyright protects your book. The cost is only $35 and here is the link: www.copyright.gov.
✔️Get an LCNN or (Library of Congress Number) if you’d like your book to be available in libraries. This is free to complete, but you must apply and have an ISBN number. Create Space also offers the ability to get your ISBN right within their set up for a fee of $25 without the application process but if you are using a different platform then the site to apply is www.loc.gov.
✔️Join Professional Groups. New and seasoned authors can benefit greatly from the support of other like-minded individuals striving towards similar goals. There are of course social media outlets like Twitter and the rest. Additionally there are sites like Goodreads.com, which is a free and very well respected site for reviewing books and connecting with authors or illustrators within your genre. SCBWI or (The Society of Children’s Books, Writers & Illustrators) www.scbwi.com is another well respected professional group. Reach out to local independent book stores, local librarians, teachers and avid book-lovers who would all most certainly be thrilled to become a part of a new local Writers & Readers Group.
✔️Create a Website. As an author, it is important people know you, what you write about and generally feel connected with the person behind the pages. There’s nothing quite as personal as your own website. I will be happy to write about the topic of Self-Created Websites in a future post if there is interest.
I hope this information helps encourage anyone out there considering sharing their writing via the self-publishing route.
Below are some books I’ve self-published, one even deals more specifically with the topic of self-publishing- it’s a definite ‘think-different’ approach!
Click on the Book Images to learn more and order a copy.
⚫️SPANISH MADE EASY—Unique Teach Yourself Ebook Program on Amazon— Strategies to make you FLUENT—FAST…Coming Soon.
Stay tuned as I prepare to share my early fluency techniques with YOU!
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