Now comes the most teeth-grinding, skin-crawling part of the whole writing deal: publishing. Just the word used to send chills up my spine, but it was so intermingled with excitement and aspirations that it couldn’t help but pull me up short some times. Ever since I was a kid, I was nearly ninety-nine percent certain that I had ink running through my veins. I had almost always wanted to get published, and doing so was a dream that I had had for almost as long as I knew how to read and write.
A lot of people share this dream, which is awesome. Being able to push your innermost daydreams into the open takes a lot more guts than most people would expect. Of course, this is probably the toughest part of the whole novel spiel, depending on how difficult the actual writing was for you. There are two ways to go about getting published. Both can bring success and some serious cash, but both can be about as easy as pulling teeth. You can either self-publish or attempt major publishing.
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords are three great outlets for this. They both allow you to mass-produce your work internationally, and all you have to do is give them a percentage of your royalties (which they automatically deduct from your paycheck). You get paid every month or so (which goes straight to your bank account). Not to mention you can reap some serious publication benefits from blogging sites through doing this (which is free).
On this particular blog, we will explore the many fascinating aspects of self-publishing.
Make an account. This is pretty simple. You simply create an account on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, or some other website that offers self-publishing services. Fill out all the necessary information and- voila- your work is done. Piece of cake.
Convert your word file. Now, you can upload your book straight from Microsoft word, but chances are, it’s going to be a mess. Fear not, dear readers, there are several free word converters online that you can easily download onto your computer. My personal favorite to use is Calibre. It’s completely free and easy to use on any sort of computer format.
Finding the right one is only half of the battle, though. Converting files is probably the most tedious part of self-publishing. Most files are converted from regular documents into PDF or EPUB, although I find EPUB to be the most effective. For Calibre, you would want to press “convert books” to whatever format you would like. Then you go through “Look and Feel” and pretty much remove every check button except “Remove spaces between paragraphs.” In Heuristic Processes, you’ll want to do the same thing except excluding “Ensure scene breaks are consistently formatted” and “Replace entity indents with CSS indents.” Trust me; it’s a painful process. Yours truly is a technology illiterate, so I know the struggle. It took me at least eleven billion tries to complete, and that’s only a rough estimate.
Choose a book cover. This also can be a struggle, due to the fact that you cannot pick just any picture off of the internet. The picture you choose must be free of copyright. Finding one of those is much easier said than done. Devianart.com is a good place to look, although you need the artist’s permission in most cases. Also, another free program, Picassa, is a great way to edit text and other things into your cover. Make it pretty. Also, make it a PDF. Most websites only allow pictures converted to PDF, anyway.
Upload your text and cover. You should be able to do this through a series of questions and fill-in-the-blanks. Around this part is when you want to read the fine print on your contract. Be careful what you sign on to and make sure your bank account information is correct.
And now that the Kindle/Nook version of your book, it’s time for the fun part…
Publicize! This part is actually pretty cool. After all that tedious work on getting self-published, you finally get your work out there. You can do this by any form of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), word of mouth, or by getting hooked up with some free book blogging press. On this part, all you would have to do is email a specific book blogger, and if they’re interested, they’ll email you back. You would usually give them a free copy of your book and in exchange, they will conduct and interview, review your book and give you a lot of good press.
When my The Last Replacement trilogy came out, I ended up doing a lot of reviews for each book. Most of the interviewers seemed genuinely interested about the stories, and like many good things in life, it all came free. Free beneficial press is always good, especially in the publishing world.
So there you have it: a basic how-to guide on self-publishing. I hope you ended up taking a lot from this blog, and if you enjoyed it, leave a comment below. And why not follow me while you’re at it? Happy writing, you guys!