So you want to try self-publishing? After my publisher went broke and returned my rights to me, I decided to become an indie author. At first I used CreateSpace by Amazon. That’s okay, but it doesn’t put your book in bookstores.
When I tried to arrange a reading at a local bookstore, they were snobby and dismissive. They didn’t accept ANY indie authors at that time.
I read about Lightning Source. By the time I was ready for them, they were more than ready for me — they had created IngramSpark, which gives you everything Lightning Source offers, but makes it simpler for people who are publishing one book or five or ten. If you want to self-publish, I recommend IngramSpark (which is part of Lightning Source). Go here to see the benefits.
Here are the steps I took:
- Wrote a book.
- Copy-edited it. (See last week’s post for the 17 steps to ridding your book of typos.)
- Sent it to a professional editor.
- Hired a professional cover designer, and spent time getting the cover to look exactly like I wanted it. This included writing copy for the back cover.
- Sent it to a professional formatter.
- Registered my publishing imprint as a business.
- Ordered ISBN numbers from Bowker.
- Registered with IngramSpark and followed all their steps to self-publishing.
- Once the book was approved for printing by Ingram, I ordered proof copies.
- If you use beta readers, and I highly recommend you do, this is the point where you send out the proof copies to your readers and collect as much data about your book from them as you can. You can send them hard copies, or some will accept a pdf copy.
- When the proof arrived, I once again read it aloud to check for typos, and checked over the entire book carefully for any errors of any kind. Send copies to your readers. These copies are called ARCs or Advance Reading Copies.
- Once I had collected all the suggested corrections and/or changes, I completed my revised copy and returned it to the formatter one more time.
- Resubmitted the revised and reformatted copy to Ingram. Ordered another proof, checked it over, approved it.
- Book was distributed.
- Ordered books to sell at readings and to give as gifts.
Here are some things I should have done, but didn’t know yet:
- Get reviews to go live on the same day the book is live on Amazon.
- Have a book launch party and reading. This can be the same day the book is live on Amazon, or it can be later. For indie authors, I recommend having the official launch later in case of a glitch in the publishing process, or in case you decide to rewrite the book once you see it in print.