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Writing Process? part seven – Self-publishing

Okay, so you have your manuscript. You’ve done all the things I recommended in my prep entry.

Make a new word document and copy paste the beautifully edited version of your book into it. Then copy paste your copyright page in the front, and your end matter into the back.

Formatting: you can format for free via Draft2Digital (and some people do it through Word, somehow), but the best and prettiest formatting is done through software called Vellum. It’s Mac only, and it’s expensive. If you have a kind friend who already has it, bribe them to do it for you.

Take a look around online for books similar to yours, and see what other people are pricing theirs at. You want your book to be a competitive price. Sometimes people price their books very high to start off with and it’s a bad call. Try and slot in with what others in your genre are charging.

Now, go upload your book on your chosen publishing platform. I’ve used Draft2Digital and Amazon, and I’ve found both of them very straightforward to use. Just make sure you have your ISBN, cover art and manuscript all ready to go.

They’ll take some time to process your book but just follow the steps and it’s done! It’s super easy.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel a little like you’re getting away with something you shouldn’t be allowed to do – but it’s fine!

You’re allowed to publish!

Go for it!

Once your book is out and live on Amazon (or wherever), comes the marketing part of things. I’m no expert, but I’ll post another blog about what I’ve learned about marketing soon. For now, once you’ve uploaded a book, you should set up your Author Central page, it allows people to click on your name and see all your books together. It also prevents other things coming up which aren’t yours.

For example if you don’t have a terribly unique pen name, and you don’t set up your Author Central page, you might have screeds of results for people who have used or mentioned your name. Imagine all the John Smiths, and all the things various John Smiths may have published on Amazon, and your things are just jumbled into the results. Some of them may write in your genre, some may be publishing political diatribes which you don’t agree with and some may be so wildly outside your genre that you really don’t want their work showing up. Trust me, there’s a lot of bizarre stuff on Amazon…

What you want is for people to click on your name and ONLY see your things, plus with an Author Central page you can put a little biography and links to your social media, so it’s all good stuff.

Author Central is the website you need to sign up to. You can make three Author Central pen names under one KDP account, so it’s very worth setting up.

Author Central isn’t terribly intuitive to use, so I recommend you refer to this help page for guidance.

Previously in this series:
Part One – Starting out
Part Two – Characters
Part Three – Actually writing
Part Four – Sticking to it
Part Five – Editing and redrafting
Part Six – Publishing preparation

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