In recent months, I have been thinking about self-publishing my young adult novels. For as long as I can remember, my goal when writing is to share my stories with the world. I love the writing process so much that it feels like a limb has been cut off if I don't write at least a little everyday.
Anyway, I'm trying to gather as much information about Self-Publishing as I can before I take the plunge and hit "publish."
If you have any advice as to where to start, what companies to use, the dos and don'ts, how to make book covers, marketing advise, or links to blog posts that talk about how to start self-publishing, please share them in the comments section. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is learning the ropes.
I look forward to your response. And thank you for your help.
self publishing has its pros and cons. But so does traditional publishing. Do your homework, educate yourself and go for it. And most important--EDIT YOUR MANUSCRIPT. Have people edit it for you, because you can't see all the mistakes you make, it's your work and sometimes words just play tricks on us (like writing whole instead of hole, thorn instead of torn, etc.).
I went self-publishing with my first novel, "Hidden Heart" back in March of this year, and I never looked back. My second novel, "A World Apart" is coming out in December of this year. I'm in complete control of format, price, cover, size, number of pages, EVERYTHING. I market myself, I sell my books in paperback and eformat. Amazon, Barnes&Nobles, Smashwords, GoodReads, you name it, my book is there.
I'm not saying it's easier than traditional publishing. But it works for me. It's a constant learning experience. I do enjoy every step I make, sometimes baby steps, sometimes giant leaps.
After you edit your manuscript, go on www.createspace.com and sign in. They offer a free version of publishing your novels with them, but also a paid one. I chose the free one. I found the photo for my cover on www.dreamstime.com. I became good friend with the photographer and the model (who at the time we began exchanging emails she was his fiance, now turned wife). I am lucky to have them as my friends, because I can always ask for another photo. You can check his portfolio at http://www.dreamstime.com/Konradbak_info
If you find anything in his portfolio you might like, let me know. He can adjust any of those photos to your liking, for a modest amount.
I am not very good at marketing. I am a shy person, therefore even asking someone to become my friend on any site is a hard thing for me. But as I said, I'm still learning, getting each day more and more comfortable in my own skin, using my "writer" label.
Go to http://cindybennett.blogspot.com/ Cindy is a dear friend of mine who has tremendous information on her blog on how to format, publishing and marketing info.
I hope the little bit of info I gave you it's a start for you. Shoot me an email anytime you need help at firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of luck,
As a shy person myself, I know how you feel. But being on the internet has helped me tremendously. It's the face to face that's hard sometimes, but on the Net, I don't know. It just seems easier. :-P
And thank you so much for your valuable input. And, editing is truly key. I don't want to release anything that I'm not a hundred percent on. This is why I'm really taking the "ber" months to learn and think things through. And you have been a great help there. I will take you up on that email offer.
I'm brand new, also. I've got one work complet and started on the sequel. My quandry was about publishing/self-publishing and by whom. Since reading your 'encouragement' I've come off the fence. It was just what I needed. Thanks, and good luck in your endeavors.
What a great question and excellent reply, Camelia!! I'm sure this response has helped several of us!!
hi... I am also looking at self publishing as an option for my YA paranormal series and have done lot of research into it. The first and most important thing I have learned is that you book has to be properly edited - and by that I mean by a professional. You may be a professional writer, but you aren't a professional editor. It is a totally different set of skills. Nothing shouts 'self-published book that didn't warrant a real publisher bothering with it' louder than a book riddled with typos, plot holes and other fundamental things that an editor would pick up in a few hours. If you are looking for a company to do it for you - at a fee - then try Xlibris.com. they offer extensive packages. Or just get in a designer for your cover and an editor for the text, then upload to Amazon and Smashwords. It is fairly straightforward. But that is the asy part. then you need to market. A Goodread account is vital I think. And a busy blog and other bloggers who would be willing to do reviews. There are a lot of blogs out there dealing with self-publishing and it's worth reading up on it. Good luck.
As a reviewer who sees a lot of self-published work, let me give you one piece of advice: EDIT! If you can stretch to it, pay someone to professionally edit your work. It will put you ahead of 99% of self-pubs I read.
(Oh, ok, and a second. Pay for good cover design. You won't regret it.)
Matthew - Bibliofreak.net - A Book Review Blog
I completely agree with the coverart... 9-10 books are passed up on because of cheesy or boring cover art. People really do judge books by their covers.
As a reviewer who has read many a self pub, my biggest advice is hire an editor. Invest the money and do it. I can really tell when a book hasn't been looked over by a fresh set of eyes.
Second, it doesn't matter who you go through, readers see self pubs as self pubs. What will matter more is how much work you put into marketing yourself. Book reviews, giveaways, interviews, swag, ad space- you will need to create waves in order to be noticed. Don't be shy, dive in!
Congrats on finishing your novel! That in itself is an amazing feat!
Best of luck!
I know you posted this ages ago but I thought you might like to know of a great book designer: Vikiana at fiverr.com.
It's a terrific service that she provides and you can see her work on my book
(http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007IX4NI2) which I self-published but just for Kindle right now.
Still the biggest issue is publicity and promotion is hard to achieve.
According to someone I have met from SImon & Schuster, they regularly look at self-published books to see if there is anything viable in the new listings. So I don't think it is a total negative. Publishers rarely provide an editor these days anyway. The poor old writer ends up having to be 'left brain-right brain' yet again! Much to do!
All the best,