Psstâ€¦have you heard? Everybodyâ€™s doing it. Self-publishing.
Itâ€™s hip, itâ€™s coolâ€¦itâ€™s like winning the lottery.
Hmmâ€¦maybe. Maybe not. Itâ€™s the wild, wild west out in the land of Amazon, Smashwords and Nook. All you need is a dusty, old manuscript from under your bed, a sexy cover and a few .html codes and youâ€™re dancing with the stars.
Oh, what fools we writers be.
It ainâ€™t that easy.
Hereâ€™s the deal: Youâ€™ve written a good story and your manuscript is in the best shape possible–critique groups, professional editing, etc. Now what?
No doubt you need a good cover and nearly flawless formatting, but donâ€™t give up if you havenâ€™t gotten it all together. Before you push that old manuscript back under the bed with the dust bunnies, it is possible to hitch your wagon to the self-pubbed stars and join in the land rushâ€¦or should I say, digital rush.
I did it. I self-pubbed a holiday novella and a short story. There are many blogs that can help you with various aspects of the biz, from J.A. Konrath to Bob Mayerâ€™s Write It Forward (I highly recommend both!), but here are a few tips Iâ€™ve learned along the way.
Jinaâ€™s 5 tips to self-publishing:
1. I formatted my manuscript myself with help from Marie Forceâ€™s blog–I especially found the info about â€œtabsâ€ and indenting â€œ.33â€ on the first line helpful.
2. I bought my cover art from Dreamstime.com They have quality photos and high resolution. You can choose from 12 million photos available on their site.
3. Be prepared to spend time learning how to format. Itâ€™s a high learning curve, but Iâ€™ve found both the Amazon (short video) and Smashwords guides to be helpful if youâ€™re willing to make the effort.
4. Be realistic about your goals. No one can predict how a book will do, but reading the Kindle forums and following other authors can give you an idea of how theyâ€™re doing. I follow OCCâ€™s Dr. Debra Hollandâ€™s blog–sheâ€™s been open and forthright about her experience in self-publishing and her sales. Another OCC author, Jacqueline Diamond (author of 90 novels), has recently self-published books from her backlist and knows the value of promoting her books (she made the top 100 in Regency on Amazon).
5. Write another book or story right away. Quality and quanity are both important in self-pubbing. You need product to sell. Imagine if a shoe store opened and all they had to sell was one shoe style?
Which reminds me of Cinderella and her glass slipper.
Putting your self-pubbed book out there is like Cinderella going to the ball. She had a team of cute little mice to make her dress (editing, cover and formatting) and a fairy godmother (Amazon, Nook and Smashwords) to make the magic happen.
She also had the moxie to get to the ball. Thatâ€™s where you come in.
Be like Cinderella. Donâ€™t be late to the self-publishing party.
Youâ€™ll never know if the glass slipper fits until you try it.
TITANIC RHAPSODY — my romance novel about the ship of dreams from Ellora’s Cave.