Advice for Someone ready to Self-Publish
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Hi All,

I hope this is the appropriate group to post this in. I am ready to explore self-publishing my book. As with most things, there is a mountain of information when one Googles "Self-Publish." While I am aware of She Writes Press, I hope you won't mind steering me in the right direction concerning the following questions:

* Is it appropriate to approach self-published authors with my "how-to" questions?

* How does on choose an self-publisher? An editor? All the other little pieces one needs to see the book published?

* E-books vs hard copy?

* Is there a single resource with a library of this kind of information?

All these, I suppose, are different ways of saying: "I'm ready. Now What??"

Thanks a bunch, I find the discussions here very helpful and encouraging.

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Replies
  • Just my experience, Kenny: I wanted the book to look a certain way, and I learned that InDesign software was the only way to do what I wanted. The software is pretty deep water, and deep-water software is not my strong point! But I'm not made of money, either. I found a graphic design student who wanted the experience of designing a book. I liked her work, and she was very flexible. (Some book designers will give you three choices and that's it.)

    In other words, a design student might be the way to go, and cheaper than a seasoned pro. Kate and I ended up with a smashing cover, and you can see the interior here.

  • Kenny:

    First, congrats for exploring the self-publishing waters. While choppy, they can be very friendly once you learn your way around them.

    I've self-published over 50 ebooks. Following are a couple of quick insights.

    1) RE "Is it appropriate to approach self-published authors with my "how-to" questions?"

    Of course! Realize that many (especially the successful ones, are very busy though so it may take them a few days (or weeks) to get back to you).


    2) RE "How does on choose an self-publisher? An editor? All the other little pieces one needs to see the book published?"

    This depends on how much you want to do yourself and if you want to publish hard copies as well as digital copies. Freelancers can be found all over the place to handle most self-publishing tasks (eg, editing, web design, ebook cover design, marketing). The best way to find reputable ones is to frequent boards like this and ask for recommendations.

    FYI, here's an informative post on some costs of self-publishing: http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2013/05/the-real-costs-of-self-publishing-book. Again, you can hire freelancers to do all of this OR you can do it yourself.

    I self-publish most of my ebooks for $0 -- yes, nothing -- because I do it all myself (except for editing and ebook cover creation usually).

    Is it time consuming? Yes.

    Is it hard work? Yes.

    Do I make mistakes? Yes.

    Is it worth it? YES!

    IMO, it's not necessary to spend thousands of dollars to self-publish an ebook if you have the appropriate skills and are willing to put in the work. Some things I do advise paying for are ebook covers (if you're not adept at this) and editing (b/c it's practically impossible to edit/proofread your own work).

    The reason I say this is, most writers will put off their self-publishing dreams if they can't afford to pay $1,000 for the perfect ebook cover or $2,000 to have their work professionally edited. Now, I'm not saying to put out garbage. What I am saying is -- don't put OFF your dreams b/c you're limited by finances.

    I published probably 15 ebooks before I had A COVER (not a professional ebook cover; any kind of cover). It's because when I first started my goal was to just get the info into the hands of the customer. FYI, I publish mostly how-to, small biz ebooks so ebook covers weren't that important to the "story" like thy are to a fiction novel.

    As you grow as a writer and (hopefully) start earning, you can invest more in covers, developmental editing, marketing, etc. But be wary of being limited by finances. I've found that all too often this is a stalling tactic; one based in fear only you don't tell yourself that. You say instead, "Well, I can't publish it yet b/c I have to save up to get a professional to edit it, or create a cover for it, or build a website for it."

    You don't!

    Write it, spend what you can afford to get it ready to publish -- and publish it. Then, move on to the next work. You'll probably have to write quite a few books to become successful; so don't be help back by trying to make the first one "perfect" because none of them ever will be.

    Again, I've self-published over 50 and if I'd waited on ONE to be perfect, I'd be a self-publisher of NONE.

    I hope this insight helps, and good luck on your self-publishing journey.

    Yuwanda
    P.S.: Learn How to Write an Ebook in 3 Days, Market It & Start Getting Sales within a Week | http://j.mp/130nsAX

  • I was thinking bartender school, that way I'd get to see all my writer friends. At this point brain surgery does sound easier.