Wednesday, October 9, 2013
A Newbie's Baby Steps Toward Self Publishing
Friends, welcome to my first Indie Life post! I'm like the new kid who joins an AP English class mid-semester and has to catch up to the smart kids. Bonus: those smart kids are super helpful and share tons of info online. Wanna join the class late with me? Sign up for Indie Life here!
My journey into self publishing began with the HUGE decision to go indie. You can read about it here.
Decision made. Now what?
I started here...
Step 1--Get Acquainted With the Process
In my opinion, the best place to start is Susan Kaye Quinn's blog. She's chronicled her experiences as a self-published author, and these posts are golden. She's also written the book, Indie Author Survival Guide. Totally packed with meaty information. I'm reading it right now!
Step 2--Hire an Editor
My manuscript had been edited like crazy, using my agent's keen eye for plot holes and grammar, but still, it's not ready. I hired a freelance editor to help me polish it up and make it stronger. This part is what made me the most nervous about self-publishing. I went through the manuscript once more then sent it off to the editor. That way she could be working through it while I progressed in other areas. More about the editor and the editing process in another post.
Step 3--Hire a Cover Designer
Covers sell books. If a cover is cheesy, it's not likely I'd pick up the book. Judgmental, I know, but it's the truth. I want to have a quality cover. I asked around and got names of cover designers. I connected with one who I hope will deliver a great image. More on cover design in another post.
Step4--Prep for Formatting
I'm going to try formatting my own book. If I become overwhelmed and it takes over my life, I'll hire someone to do it for me.
Referring to Susan's blog again...she suggests reading Smashwords Style Guide, by Smashwords creator Mark Coker (free!). This step-by-step instruction guide to formatting is great for those who use Word.
I don't use Word. I use Apple Pages. I downloaded From Pages '09 to Kindle Format in Minutes. Best $.99 I've ever spent. It's like flipping a switch, and the guy who speaks Portuguese suddenly speaks English.
Step 5--Prep for Success
When I downloaded the Style Guide to my Kindle, another Mark Coker book popped up: Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (free!). This book goes into detail about how to make the self-publishing experience great for the author and their readers.
From what I've read, success can be boiled down to this: great story, great editing, great cover, reasonable price, word of mouth, luck.
Step 6--Learn About Marketing
I'm reading Mark Coker's Smashwords Book Marketing Guide (free!). Still so much for me to learn in this area, but Coker lists lots of ideas to help spread the word.
As you can see, I've been a busy girl! But I tell ya, I'm having so much fun with this.
So? What do you think of my newbie steps? Am I missing something gigantic? Indie authors, how did you get started? Traditionally published authors, how does this compare to your own steps? Please share!