Self-Publishing Links

Here are some topics and related links I've found to be useful in my quest for success as a self-published author.


Publishing
Self-publishing, by definition, means that you have to publish somewhere, in some form.  Here are probably the most popular places to self-publish:

  • CreateSpace - Amazon's publishing arm for books in print (as well as music and film).  It seems that almost all self-publishers focus solely on ebooks, but print is still a powerful medium.  I wouldn't pass it up (and I don't), especially when - just like digital - it's essentially free to publish this way.
  • Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) - Amazon's affiliate for creating audiobooks.  There are other audio companies out there, but I highly recommend ACX.
  • Nook Press - This Barnes & Noble unit is taking the place of PubIt! with respect to ebook publishing.
  • Smashwords - A great place to publish and make your ebook available for various devices, including the Nook, Kindle, and Apple products (iPhone, iPad, etc.).
  • Draft 2 Digital - Another Aggregator that allows you to make your book available on multiple sites, such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and more.
  • Lulu.com - A place to publish both print and ebooks.
  • DriveThruFiction - A particularly good site if you publish Fantasy or Sci-Fi.

(FYI:  There's nothing that says you can't publish on all of these platforms simulatneously, and many people do.)  



Conversion/Formatting Services
Lots of people say that it's easy to convert your manuscript to an ebook.  I did it once and felt that it took far too long.  I'm sure that over time I'd become more proficient with it, but at present I'd rather devote that time to writing and let someone else do the conversion.  Bearing that in mind, it might be worthwhile to consider conversion services if you don't want to take the time to do it yourself:

  • Kindle-Ready File Conversion:  This one is from CreateSpace and is only $69.  I've used them before (because I wanted to make sure it was done right);  I was satisfied with the product, but the process takes far too long (3-4 weeks).  If they could get this down to about a week (2 weeks max), it would be a fantastic value in my opinion.
  • Kindle Direct Publishing also has a list of professional conversion/formatting services listed here.  I haven't used any of them, but they are certainly worth checking out.


Editing/Proofreading
I've done my own editing/proofreading thus far and find it to be a lengthy and exhausting process. As most of us already know, it is extremely hard to catch your own errors, because your brain has a tendency to "fill in the blanks" when it comes to typos and such.

Unfortunately, having fulfilled this function myself up to this point, I don't have any recommendations in this arena at present.  However, I expect that to change in the future, as I have sworn that proofreading will be someone else's job from this point forward.  I would likewise advise any aspiring writers to find a good resource in this field;  I am confident that they will be well worth the cost.  (Good ones, I hear, cost $1 per page or more.)

*Update: I decided to go back and have my work professionally proofed, and I used Faith Williams at The Atwater Group for this service.  Faith did an outstanding job on Sensation, and Warden is in her hands right now. I recommend her without reservation.


Cover Art/Design
A good cover can purportedly help increase sales by up to 20%.  That aside, unless you are a good graphic artist yourself, I would advocate spending the money to make your end product look high-end and professional.

With that in mind, I found a great artist in Greece named Isikol who has been doing my covers.  He has an uncanny knack for being able to get inside my head and see how things should look, even when I haven't laid everything out in detail.  He works fast and is reasonably priced.  In addition to my covers on this blog, you can view a gallery of his work here.  (And no, I don't get a kickback for referring him business.  I just consider him a great artist and am happy to do so.)


ISBN Numbers
Other than to say that they are unique identifiers for books, I won't go into a lengthy explanation of what ISBN numbers are; that topic is covered much better by Bowker, the U.S. ISBN agency, here.

The big questions is whether or not you actually need to have your own ISBN number (and this is an area of heated debate).  In truth, you do not.  Publishers like CreateSpace and Smashwords can provide you with one if you do not have your own, and using it will not affect your ownership or copyright of the written work.

That said, there are some distinct advantages to having your own ISBN number.  For instance, if you own the ISBN number then you are the publisher.  If you take a free ISBN number from, say, Smashwords, then guess who the publisher is?  That's right - Smashwords!  And while being named at the publisher probably relates more to vanity than practicality, if you and said publisher should later part ways, you'll need a new ISBN number for your book.

For me, it was an easy choice:  I bought my own ISBN numbers from Bowker, which can be done on Bowker's My Identifiers page.

*A word to the wise:  it's better to buy these in bulk.  A single ISBN will run you $125 (ouch!), but 10 of them will only cost $250.  (Yes, "only"!)  That's down to an average of $25 each from $125.  Also, 100 of them will cost $575 ($5.75 each) and 1000 will cost $1000 (a measly buck apiece).


Copyright
Like ISBN numbers, the need to register the copyright of your work is another polarizing area of debate.  In truth, copyright protection attaches to your work as soon as it's created.  The real question is whether you need to register that copyright. Registration establishes the facts surrounding your copyright and creates a public record of it.

My mother used to always say that it's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  And because it only costs $35 to do it online, I've decided to go the extra mile and always register the copyright for my books.

If you still have questions on this topic, you should probably check on the Copyright FAQ page.  If you're already sure that you want to register your copyright, then you can do so here.












1 comment:

Kay Winters said...

Thank you-my daughter Mignon Morgan and I have over 100 books and I appreciate any help for selling our books.

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