Last week we started our journey into the world of self-publishing. We talked about the pros and cons of the self-publishing world and about how many well-known authors got their beginning by self-publishing. So, here we are – excited, driven, and ready to make our mark in the indie world.
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Nook, Kobo, and Lulu are just a few of the popular sites for self-publishing. I myself have used KDP to publish both e-books and print on demands. KDP has user friendly tools that can help you format your manuscript to the proper size and can even help you create covers for your books. (Canva also has cover creation options and is free and easy to use).
If you’re not comfortable designing a book cover, a quick search on Instagram, Fiverr, or Facebook will bring up many professionals. Take your time and shop around to find a creator who will work with you and will fit your aesthetic. If you’re planning on publishing exclusively to Amazon, they will provide an ISBN number and barcode for your books.
“Sometimes wandering the indirect path is exactly what’s required to get where we need to go.” - S.K. Quinn
It is important to know that if you use their number, you won’t be able to publish on multiple platforms. If you are creating something you’d like to publish in multiple places, it will be helpful to buy your own ISBN numbers (from Bowker or the International ISBN Agency). You can buy them in bundles, so they are cheaper and then apply them to your books.
If you publish through Nook, your book can be made available through stores like Barnes and Noble. You can also set up an account through IngramSpark, a print on demand website that will help you distribute your books!
At CCP we publish on both Ingramspark and KDP to get maximum coverage. Since Ingramspark caters to bookstores and KDP caters to online purchases by individual customers, we kind of get the best of both worlds. Ingramspark requires a mandatory discount for bookstores and its important to know most major bookstores will not carry your book without a 55% discount and the ability to send you returns.
While you ponder what self-publishing looks like for you, here’s a few things you should be doing:
For God’s sake, write. Write, write, write. And then craft. Be merciless and be open to ideas as you craft and shape your story. Be honest with yourself about how much time you are willing to dedicate to writing each day or every other day and then stick to it! Your deadline is your own but there will be nothing to publish if you don’t write.
Invest in a good editor. I don’t mean just take it to mom or your old English teacher. Yes, they might be able to spot some of your mistakes but if you want perfection, you want to pay someone who does it as a living. You can use sites like Reedsy or Upwork to check credentials. If you want to take it a step further (such as with a novel) you may want to hire a copy editor. They look for story plot holes and mistakes to make sure your work is well rounded and makes sense. Our editor-in-chief is Anna Corbeaux. She runs her own freelance editing business and is professional, affordable, and honestly just one of the best editors we’ve ever worked with! Find all her info here.