Self-Publishing Adventures

My editorial assistant.

With my bookstore sold, I settled down in 2003 to write that soon-to-be best selling novel that lurked inside my head for about a year.  I pitched the book to some publishers and received some polite no thank you notes.  Patience not being my gift, and the blossoming self-publishing world trying hard to rise above “vanity press” moniker, sent me to DIY book publishing.  I knew how to promote a book, my literary friends were happy to serve as editors, and so on. 

“The Gathering Basket” published in August 2003, minus $1500 from my bank account, and 50 books in hand. 

Lesson One.

Editing. PAY A REAL EDITOR, A PRO.

Fast forward to 2020. The self-publishing world has significantly changed for the better. Even best-selling authors now self-publish.

Lesson Two.

Research the true cost of publishing your book. There are a gazillion options out there. Editorial costs. Will you pay for the book’s ISBN number.  Bar code? What about the cost to copyright? Do you want to hire someone to format your book?  Cost of printing? Cost of marketing?

Lesson Three

Be honest about your market. Does the book have the potential of selling mega quantities, or is the subject matter wedged into a smaller market category?  These are elements to how much you might want to invest in your book.

In my manuscript file were two book potentials: A children’s picture book and a self-help, spiritual journey book.  Both books have limited sales potential, which is exactly why I was unable to hook into a publisher and/or agent. I’m an unknown author, the subject matter of the children’s book has limited interest being mostly regional interest; and my adult book, categorized in the eco-spirituality slot, again, has limited interest unless I was heavy on social media followers, etc. (Who are you and who cares?)

I also had to let go of my snobby attitude about being self-published. What with Covid impacting almost every sort of business, my health issues, and that there are already notable best-selling self-published authors now, I let the USS Snob sail into the sunset.

The USS Snob sailed into the sunset.

Also weighing in on my self-publishing choice is time. I sense that my books are timed for right now and cannot sit in a stack of queries that may or may not get read, and if sold, then there’s up to a year  (or longer) to actual publication.

My intent with these books is to simply share what I know. (And that’s a whole ‘nuther blog.)

I explored three recommended self-publishing options:

  • Apple Book
  • Barnes & Noble Press
  • Amazon KDP

A total DIY self-publishing option through DiggyPod.com attracted me. But once I ran the numbers, I put that back in my file “Check Later.” 

I queried successful self-published authors about their experience, and each of them recommended Amazon KDP.  Why? 

  • Amazon KDP is fairly easy to use
  • Amazon offers interesting royalties on book sales.
  • Your book can be sold through Amazon to other booksellers, libraries and more.
  • Your book can be available internationally.

Check out kdp.amazon.com and read through their extensive prompts on self-publication.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue in the next few days and admit to the LEARNING CURVE FROM HELL!  But right now, I’m working on my third book to self publish and I’ve got to giddy-up on that project.

To be continued.

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