publishing: send your manuscript off to a publisher or agent. They
decide if they like it. They do all the work. They get a percentage
of the profits.
You do all the work. You make all the profit.
a tough decision. Traditional publishers have a lot of skill and
knowledge. They have cover artists, editors, proofreaders, marketing
teams, and bookstore contacts. They have decades of experience
publishing books and marketing them to readers.
your book gets selected, then it has a good chance of being
successful. You don't have to learn how to pick a good cover or run
can focus on just writing.
you will have to deal with rejection letters when they don't want
your book and you will get less money when they do want it.
the other hand, as a self-publisher you get to pick your cover. You
get to hire an editor that you like and not one that someone picks
for you. If the books succeeds, it's all because of what you did.
And, you'll get all the profits. It's a lot more risk, but a lot more
I love self publishing. From the couple of books I've pitched, it's very possible that I wouldn't be published at all if not for self-publishing. (Here's a link on how to get started!) However, my books sell well enough that this is my full time job.
a lot of work. I would love to get a publishing contract (it's
actually one of my goals this year) because I want to write more and
do the publishing side less. I'll still self-publish because I love
the freedom and choices. I love not getting rejection letters, too.
best of both: pitch your book to a publisher. If they don't want it,
Syndrome: Feeling like a fraud. That you don't deserve anything
you've worked for and that everyone will see you for what you are.
feel like this all the time.
didn't go to school for writing. (I wanted to be a doctor.) I don't
have a fancy publisher that picked me (and even if I did, I would
worry that it was a mistake.) I know that a lot of luck went into my
success as an author.
do you deal with this feeling?
it and put it into perspective. I feel like an impostor because I
don't have fancy credentials. But, that doesn't mean that I'm not
good at things. A person doesn't need fancy credentials to be
how you talk to yourself. The
only difference between someone who experiences impostor syndrome
and someone who does not is how they respond to what's happening to
them. You are as good as you tell yourself you are.
to friends and coworkers. Odds are, they feel the same. It helps to
know you aren't alone in this feeling. Plus, they will tell you the
truth of if you are an impostor or not.
is something that a lot of people struggle with. I see other authors
doing better or posting on social media about their latest release
and I feel like I'm not doing enough. Like I'm not earning my
position as an author.
writing this blog, I question my own credentials. I've been writing
and publishing romance novels for seven years. I've made enough money
doing it to support my family, yet somehow, I feel like I'm just
getting by on luck.
doesn't help when I have a book that fails. If anything, that just
solidifies how much I don't know what I'm doing. That I got here
purely on luck.
I know that isn't true. When I talk to other authors and we share
knowledge, I know that isn't true. I know a lot about what I'm doing.
That doesn't mean that I don't have a ton to learn, but I'm not a
syndrome is hard. It never goes away. It's always whispering in the
corners of the room, hinting that there is a fraud.
only way to get through it is to keep going. Keep learning. Keep
trying. Keep talking.
These are the basic steps for self-publishing a book. It's an overview, not a guide. Entire books are written about this subject, so this is very bare bones but should give you a good place to start and give you a basic idea of what to expect.
1. Write stuff. (You've done this part! Good job) Now figure out what genre you fit in (contemporary romance, urban fantasy, paranormal, ect). Look at Amazon and figure out similar works. Look at their covers, blurbs, excerpts, and categorization. You will want to mimic successful books.
A note for e-readers: anything more than about 3-4 sentences looks like a giant wall of text on small screens. Thus, try and make lots of small paragraphs to make it easier to read.
Do not use tabs to indent a paragraph. As your book will be read on a multitude of electronic devices, the tab is too much for most of them. Instead, in your word doc go to tools>paragraph>first line and set it to 0.3
2. Get a cover. A good cover is critical. People won't click on your book to even read the description if the cover doesn't catch your eye. This needs to be professional looking or no one will pick up your book. I don't recommend making your own unless you have a lot of practice making book covers. However, if you can't afford a premium cover there are plenty of premade covers available for reasonable prices. (www.goonwrite.com andSteveRicherBooks.com/covers/ are great options)
3. Write your blurb. To write a good blurb, it should sound like a movie announcer is reading it. Keep it short and sweet. This is harder than it sounds, so keep in mind that this is what is supposed to entice a reader to click buy. Read the best seller blurbs in your genre to get good examples of the tone and wording your readers are looking for.
*If you want to make going wide easy, you can distribute through draft2digital.com (D2D) or https://publishdrive.com. You upload your stuff and they will format it and send it out to Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Apple. They just take a portion of your sales as payment for the service./
Decide on a price. On Amazon, you will get 70% royalty if you price $2.99-9.99. If you price under/above that, you only qualify for 35%. Some countries are only 35% royalty rates, but they aren't the big ones.
Format your book. There are services (like D2D) that will do this for free or you can pay someone to make it super fancy.
Follow the directions on the screen and publish! It will take a few hours for it to go live, but you will get an email when it does.
Be sure to use your keywords! This is how people will find you!
KDP Select/KU: This is an OPTIONAL program for KDP authors, where you can choose to make your book exclusive to Amazon for a 90-day period.
Please note that returns are common on Amazon. Their return process is crazy simple so a lot of people use Amazon as their own personal free library. If it feels like you are getting a lot though, check your formatting to make sure they are actually just being cheap and that there isn't something actually wrong.
Rank: the more you sell the lower your rank. It is based on how all books in the store are selling compared to your book. The lower the number, the better you are selling.
Physical copies: Kindle Publishing and IngramSpark are venues to use Print-on-Demand publishing. You will need to format and make a print cover for your book.
Retailers pay out 60 days after the end of the month, so you won't see any money for the first two months.
Please note, you will need to pay taxes on this income at the end of the year. Taxes are not withheld like at a normal job.
Don't get discouraged if you don't sell very much. It is a tough market to get into (especially with the first book). Get on some blogs, goodreads, send out to reviewers, tweet, facebook and promote.
My first book barely made back my costs (cover, physical copies, and some small promotional stuff). I took it as a learning experience and wrote something a little more mainstream (a billionaire novel). Sometimes stuff just doesn't sell and then other times it will take off. The best advice is just to write more. If something doesn't sell, leave it. You can either spend your time trying to fix it (which might work) or you can write something new (which probably will work, and if nothing else brings in more readers).