Self Publishing

If you have a well-edited manuscript and have decided to self-publish it, your first task is to create, or have created for you, an awesome cover. No matter how spectacular your story is, few people will bother giving it a try unless you tempt them with an intriguing, eye-catching cover. Some authors have artistic talent of their own and can come up with their own designs. Some have a working relationship with a designer they like and trust. Others have no clue about how to begin this process, which is the predicament I was in when I began. I utilized the website , which resulted in my finding an excellent designer who happens to live in Italy. He has a knack for capturing the essence of my books’ themes and has been able to translate that into some incredible covers. I would recommend him in a heartbeat.

You will want your book published in digital and in print form. You will also want to see it offered for sale on the maximum number of venues. Therefore, I recommend using two distinct websites: and Draft2Digital will put the digital book on a number of sites including Barnes & Noble and Apple. KDP, or Kindle Direct Publishing, will put the digital book on Amazon. Both sites will also publish it in print form on a print-on-demand basis, which means that each book will be printed and sent out as it is ordered and paid for.

Both of these sites allow you to set up an account and establish a bookshelf that will hold as many books as you can write. They offer clear and easy steps to guide you through the publishing process. You will upload your manuscript file and your cover in either JPG or Adobe Acrobat format. You will also provide a short description of the book and its genre. They will supply the required ISBN free of charge. You will decide various details such as what trim size, interior paper color and cover finish you would like the print book to have, as well as what the selling price will be for both digital and print versions. They will tell you the minimum price required to cover the basic expense of the print version and will show you what your royalties would be at various pricing levels above the minimum. When the process is complete, they will offer author copies of the print version for you to buy at a reduced rate, although you must always pay any postage charges. Both sites allow you to contact them by telephone and/or e-mail for help with any problems you are unable to solve by yourself.

Once your book is published, the marketing is up to you, and your results will correlate directly with the amount of effort you are willing to put into it. Most writers create a website and establish themselves on various digital platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. I recommend soliciting people to review the book. The more gold stars that are displayed beside your title, the more readers you will attract. There is a great website called The Indie Review that lists people willing to review self-published books. The site specifies the genres each reviewer is willing to review and gives the web link to his or her Review Policy page. It is important to tailor each request based on the specific details listed in the review policy. Not every person you contact will ask to read the book. Reviewers, like agents, receive lots of requests and will usually ask for only what they think they can reasonably accommodate. So the more requests you send out, the more likely you are to receive several reviews. Some people hire outside agencies to help with marketing. Budget and time are the only two limiting factors where promotion is concerned.

All of the above takes time away from what you do best—writing. So even as you work to reveal your latest masterpiece to the world, always keep that next idea bubbling and fermenting in the mysterious cauldron of creativity that exists in the minds of those of us who write fiction.