Several weeks ago I presented a workshop at the local library about self publishing. That got me thinking about my own experiences and how they’ve evolved over time.
When I published my first book, Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life, in 2010, I hired someone to help me to navigate the process. She had a background in traditional publishing, so she had a lot of information to share. Her experience helped me to produce a very professional product.
That was only five years ago, and since then the publishing world has changed. Even better for DIY-ers, the technology allows us to create books with a lot less effort and better quality.
Now that I’ve published several books, I have my routine down. Instead of having to hire a company to convert my manuscript to .epub (and to design the layout) as I did in 2010, I use templates. Because I had to find cost-effective ways to get things done, I found free or low-cost tools to get my books out there.
However, I don’t take shortcuts when it comes to editing. Luckily I have a couple of professional editor friends, so I can get good rates (or “friend and family rates”) which is a big help. As far as the cover, I don’t scrimp there either, though it depends on the book whether I spend more or less.
I’ve accumulated a lot of resources along the way, and I’m sharing them below. This is based on my experiences, so your mileage may vary. If you have any recommendations to add, or any questions, share them in the comments.
After I finish my manuscript, I copy it into an MS Word template from Book Design Templates http://www.bookdesigntemplates.com. That template gets uploaded to KDP and to Draft2Digital for the books I want to distribute to booksellers other than Amazon.
One of the advantages of Draft2Digital http://Draft2Digital.com is you can upload your manuscript, convert it to .epub and download it without publishing your book. So if you just want to set it up and keep it in draft, you can.
At this point I don’t worry about getting ISBNs for my ebooks. For my print books I get them through CreateSpace http://www.CreateSpace.com for $10.00, using my account on Bowker.
But if you do decide to buy ISBNs from Bowker, don’t bother paying for UPC codes. You can get them generated for free on Bookow http://www.bookow.com/resources.ph.
For covers, I’ve used a few designers. Steph’s Cover Design http://www.stephscoverdesign.com/ for Hathor Legacy: Outcast, Hathor Legacy: Burn, Family Pride: Love and Challenges and Family Pride: Blood Fever.
For Electric Dreams: Seven Short Stories of the Future, I got a ready-made cover from Go On Write http://goonwrite.com.
Hathor Legacy: Revelations (my upcoming book) will have a cover designed by James T. Egan at Bookfly Design http://www.bookflydesign.com/.
Most people are aware of Amazon KDP, Smashwords and Amazon CreateSpace for publishing, but there are some new platforms gaining ground. For instance, there’s one I’ve only recently found: Pronoun https://pronoun.com/. You can publish your book there and select cover designers, editors and marketing specialists from their resource list. I haven’t had experience with them as yet, but it might be an alternative to keep in mind.