The Internet has literally changed how our day to day lives work, including how things are published. eBooks are all the rage with many people selling them or offering them as introduction offers to get people in the door. No longer are the days where one needs a publisher to publish and/or even to sell printed books. This is great news for those of us who wish to stay indie or for those who cannot find a publisher. However the process of self-publishing cloudy with a lot of questions left unanswered, thus leaving people to wonderif self-publishing is easy. Here is a quick run down on what I learned from my experiences so far.
- It is usually free. Yes, you can write it and save it as a PDF with a free program. No need to have a fancy software or to hire out the process to save it as an ebook.
- Formatting can be tough. Depending on if you will be just saving it as an ebook or also want printed copies, it can be tough. You want it to look good in both formats and most print on demand services have guidelines on how the book needs to be formatted for printing. They do give the guidelines, but you may need to use Google to learn how to format on your word processor software.
- Focus on what you know, love and have experience in. Don’t try to write a book on something you do not know as it will likely not come out well and you do not want to pass bad information on.
- If you book is small/thin, you will struggle to find a printing on demand service.
- Outsource what you are not good at. This for me was covers, and you may also want to outsource for fact checking and/or editing if that is not your strong point. This makes your job easier.
- Expect to promote heavily. Without a publisher, this steps fall heavy on you. Granted, you can outsource it. Also, the more common of the subject, the easier it will be to sell.
- Do not rush the writing process and do not worry about exact word counts. Let it flow and you will be surprised to see how quick your word count goes up.
- You may in general have issues finding a print on demand service, if you do not want to only offer bulk selling. Sites like Amazon, Lulu, The Bookpatch, and others are good options to look into. Some also offer you an option to buy an ISBN for your book if you wish to sell printed version.
As you can see, the answer is a little mixed. In some cases it is easier than expected and in other areas, it is tougher than I thought.
Please share your thoughts and experiences on self-publishing. I would love to hear your tips!