Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! Self-publishing offers writers another choice on the road to publication, whether they’re already traditionally published and/or e-press published, or unpublished. Although the author maintains control of the process, she also has a lot of hard work ahead of her. Education about self-publishing and the publishing industry is vital to a good product and creating a professional image.
The day to upload manuscripts and covers will arrive too soon and not soon enough. To prepare for that day, the author needs to set up accounts at the retail platforms she’ll be using for distribution. Some only require twenty-four hours or less for activation. Others take a week or longer.
Plan ahead. Decide which outlets to use (KDP, Nook Press, iBooks, Kobo, ARe, CreateSpace, etc.) and gather the necessary information to create accounts (tax ID number—SSN or EIN, routing number for bank account for direct deposit, publisher name, etc.). Also allow time to apply for LLC or corporation status and an EIN (employer identification number) for tax purposes, if choosing that business model.
Once the accounts are set up, the manuscript and cover can be uploaded and book information can be completed. Be sure to complete all mandatory information and check the required boxes.
For e-books: ALWAYS use the preview option to check formatting before clicking the publish button. Make corrections and adjustments, if necessary, and upload the corrected version. Spacing can be affected by conversion to the retailer’s format. Also be sure to follow the recommended formatting guidelines to avoid problems during the upload process.
For print: ALWAYS order a proof copy for print books. Colors often appear differently on-screen vs. on paper. Be certain the cover adheres to size specifications to avoid delays caused by an improperly designed cover. The interior content must be in the correct format and print-ready. Remember that the print version also must have a different ISBN from the e-book version.
Several retail platforms offer a pre-order option, which means the book may be purchased before the release date but is delivered on release day. Or simply click publish to make the book available for immediate purchase and delivery.
Some publishing platforms can be utilized through a third-party retailer—such as All Romance eBooks, which distributes to iBooks, and Smashwords, which distributes to iBooks, Kobo, and other global retailers. Author uploading to iBooks requires a Mac and iTunes Producer software, so those authors with PCs must either go through another retailer with iBooks distribution or find someone with a Mac to upload directly.
When all information fields are completed and the cover and content have been reviewed, the book can be published. The book will be available on the retail site after the retailer reviews the book. This process can take from less than half an hour to several days. Most, but not all, retailers send an email notification when the book is available for purchase.
Another step on the To-Do List is completed! Check off #11.
The To-Do List
1) Finish the book.
2) Polish and edit the book.
3) Write taglines and blurbs.
4) Create or purchase cover art.
5) Purchase ISBNs, if using a single ISBN for all retailers using the same book format (print or e-book).
6) Create front and back matter.
7) Format for e-book and/or print.
7.a.) Add images.
7.b.) Create audio book.
8) Update website, blog, and social media.
9) Create metadata list.
10) Plan a marketing and promotion strategy.
11) Publish the book.
12) File copyright paperwork, if registering.
13) Add buy links to websites, blogs, and social media.
14) Implement marketing and promotion strategies.
15) Write the next book!
Be sure to check out the writing craft series, Writing Tip Wednesday: The Writing Craft Handbook, in e-book at Amazon, B&N, ARe/OmniLit, iBooks, and Kobo, and in print at Amazon and CreateSpace, and the writing career series, Writing Tip Wednesday: The Writing Career Handbook, in e-book at Amazon, B&N, ARe/OmniLit, iBooks, and Kobo, and in print at Amazon and CreateSpace.
Romance...With A Kick!