It is so freakin’ easy to self publish now that it is kind of embarrassing.
All you really need to self publish is a computer, Word, and internet access.
You don’t even need money!!! (that’s the awesome part)
Writing the book is really the hardest part. Not because it’s hard to write something (although that is a motivational obstacle as well – writing a GOOD book is far from “easy”) – but mostly because it’s the hardest thing in the world just to motivate yourself JUST TO WRITE.
I KNOW. I REALLY KNOW.
I’m a little nervous because now I have Book Two out, with a promise to have Book Three published by Spring, and I still have a lot of writing to do for Book Three. I’m PRAYING that I meet that deadline. I don’t know what my future holds this year. I might be insanely busy with freelance next month or two months from now, or get a new full time job soon – who knows – but regardless I know NOW is the time for me to get these books out, because NOW is the only time I KNOW I have.
Some people have been asking me how I’ve published my books, and I figure right here is a good place to write my “HOW TO” list!
1) Write your book. Don’t worry about the cover yet. Don’t even worry about how to publish it yet. Just write your book, and don’t let anything stop you from writing your book!
2) Create a free account with CreateSpace.com (I only advise it because I used it, because it was referred to me – it feels like a good place because it is so well connected with Amazon and Kindle – one stop publishing!). So far I am very satisfied with my results and experience there – and I’m not being paid at all to say that (not an affiliate).
3) When you’re ready to start, choose “ADD NEW TITLE” and go through the “GUIDED” steps.
4) You will first be asked to set up your title, etc. Don’t worry – you can change the title up until you approve the project to be printed, so don’t let that be an obstacle to move forward right off the bat. Then you’ll be asked to set up your book SIZE, which is important. Choose a size that you feel works best for you. I chose a size slightly smaller than what CreateSpace advised, and I’m happy. After you’ve chosen your book size, grab the TEMPLATE (I used the formatted template) to plop your story into. The hard part is finding where the templates are, so here’s a handy linky-doo: https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/InteriorPDF.jsp – just scroll down to find the size you chose for your book. Easy-piece-y!
5) After you finally have the interior of your book proofed to a point you are satisfied, then you move on to the cover design. And here’s the good news to people who are afraid of this part… If you don’t want to pay someone to make a cover for you, and you are not a Graphic Designer/Illustrator yourself (or if you don’t have a friend named Wendy who would be happy to help you out – hint hint), you can simply choose from a gallery of PRE-designed cover templates right there on CreateSpace.com. Yep. Just add the written info on the template, customize (for some templates, if you want) with your own image/photo and VOILA! You have a cover for your book without any stress or cost. OKAY… granted. As a designer, I am well aware of the fact that the cover is a very important part of the book… but I am also a huge advocate of JUST GETTING THE JOB DONE. If you choose the route of creating a cover yourself, there is a template for that as well. Again, the hardest thing was FINDING OUT where to get that template. So, HERE: https://www.createspace.com/Help/Book/Artwork.do
6) After you’ve either filled out your cover information on the template or uploaded your own custom cover, next is the proofing stage. It takes 24 hours for CreateSpace.com to review your files and check for print-problem areas. You’ll receive an email notification when it’s ready for your final proofing.
7) At this point, when your proof is ready for your final approval, you can review a digital proof, or order a printed copy to proof. The digital proof has worked for me so far, because I like the convenience of it, but it’s up to your personal preference.
8) Once you’ve approved your final proof, you’ll be asked to fill in the final information about your book which will appear on your CreateSpace.com sales page for your book. You will also have an option to create a Kindle version for your book (easy too).
9) CONGRATULATIONS! Your book is ready – time to promote the heck out of it! 🙂
If you are interested in independent publishing and still feel a little daunted by this process, I want to reach out here! Please comment to connect with me and I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about it. I’m no expert yet, but I’m happy that now I can say I’ve actually gone through the process and have been getting started with the last part which is marketing/promoting my books! I have a feeling that is truly the hardest part. And don’t let people tell you that when you traditionally publish you don’t have to be involved with marketing/promoting. The more involved you are in promoting your own book, the better your book will do in the marketplace!
So I’m off to contact a few bookstores today. See ya later!