Monthly Archives: May 2013

Self-Publishing

Here is where I am at: waiting on my book to be reviewed for final printing.  I have only submitted it to the self-publishing place and need to get my own hard copy.  But, I thought I’d share my journey thus far.

First and foremost, I must mention a couple sites that you have to check out.

You must follow Catherine Ryan Howard, she is great.  Plain and simple.  And she has blogged about self-publishing for quite awhile.  This is her self-publishing page: http://catherineryanhoward.com/self-printing-home/self-printing-posts/, but I encourage everyone to check out her whole page and her books!

Also, check out Josh Hanagarne.  A very funny and inspirational guy, and great tips on self-publishing (http://worldsstrongestlibrarian.com/)

Finally, when you decide to start a blog or just plain old website (which you will need to do to promote your book), check out Michael Hyatt’s blog about starting a WordPress blog: http://michaelhyatt.com/ez-wordpress-setup.html

Remember those sites as we go, they come in handy.

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So, you wrote a novel.  A short story.  A poem.  A book of limericks.  Good job, it’s not easy, but you got there.  Don’t you feel great?  Ok, now what?!?

“Wait, I wrote this great book that everyone will love I’m sure, but…but…how do I get it to the people?”

Yep, we all get to that point.  I sure did.  So I did some Googling (or Binging if you prefer) and found some things out.  First off, if you want to get your work looked at by one of the big publishing firms, you need to be somebody or you need an agent.  OR, you can try self-publishing.  I decided to try the self-publishing way.

You have a few choices, but I went with CreateSpace (Amazon’s publishing division).  Ok, so just give them your manuscript and collect your royalties…wait, not quite that easy.  But not that hard either.  Let me tell you my steps:

  • Sign up at their website (www.createspace.com).
  • Now, decide what you are going to publish, a book in my case.
  • What size do you want the book?  I went with a 6 x 9.  Now you have to format your book to this size, but they are great: they have forms to download that are formatted for your size (I used Microsoft Word to write everything in).
  • How about your book cover?  They have a book cover designer or generic book covers or you can upload your own.  I decided to create my own (heck, I’m a computer guy I can handle some kind of photo shop thingy, right?).  Again, once you are done with your formatted book, you’ll know the number of pages for the size you’ve chosen.  Then you can download a book cover form from CreateSpace (it will have the front, back and spine dimensions for your book).
  • Next, think about ISBN numbers.  You can either go with one they assign you, or go with your own that you have to buy.  Again, after Googling and Binging, I found there were two sides to this argument.  First off, it’s cheaper and you don’t have to worry about anything if you just let them assign you one.  The downside to this is that CreateSpace will be the publisher of record.  It may or may not matter to you that your copyright page has them listed instead of yourself (some people feel that it might look amateurish to have a self-publishing firm list there).  I bought my own ISBNs (https://www.myidentifiers.com/ is where you get ISBNs).  I just wanted a little more control, and I wanted my name in the copyright page.
  • Another thing that popped up doing this was that CreateSpace sent me a message saying they needed a Federal Tax ID from me for tax purposes.  Another “panic” moment where I thought of just giving up.  Don’t worry, just use your social security number.  Sign up as an Individual at that point.  Again, you can get a tax ID and make yourself a business to keep it separate, but I figure I can change that down the road if something really happens!
  • Load it all up and let them review it to make sure it will print correctly.  While they are reviewing (they are not editing, just reviewing for proper fit, print, etc.), you can now look at how much you want to price your book and what distribution lines to use.
  • Some notes: CreateSpace has plenty of extras that you can pay for.  You can get someone to edit your book, do the art work for the cover, etc.  I chose to do it on my own, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable price wise for some of the professional help they offer.

Aside from CreateSpace, another thing you have to think of is promoting your work.  That comes in the form of a website or blog (for instance, you are reading mine!).  There are many choices, but I went with WordPress (www.wordpress.com) to create my site through.  They have many options and they are pretty easy to use.  I secured a website domain through Bluehost (www.bluehost.com).  Both are very easy to use and promote.

Use everything you can to promote: your site, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  To me, it’s just a matter of timing: I am still waiting on my book to be finalized, so do I start promoting with everything I have or wait?

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