Today I’m answering your questions on self-publishing that you curiously sent me all over the place when my anthology was released. Thank you lots and lots for all the support, it is truly motivating and reading back on your reviews still has my heart pumping! Anyway, here is what you were asking me about.
Can you tell us about the process?
Well, first you finish your book, proof-read and start deciding on a platform to self-publish your work on, then you format your book depending on what the requirements of your chosen platform are and which size for the book you are going for. You upload your document and you either design your own book front and back cover or you let a graphic designer hired by the platform to do so. Or you could ask friends, of course. It just has to adjust to the required sizes. Once you add a description, tags for searching purposes and get an ISBN number (you can buy one or get one for free from the platform), you’ll be asked to buy a proof copy which is crucial because you need to revise the physical copy first before publishing it.
What’s the best platform to self-publish my book?
It depends on what you need, basically. It depends on the quality you’re looking for, the sizes you need, the cover material you prefer and whether you want to simply publish it as an e-book or paperback of course.
Blurb offers amazing quality for everything printed you could ask for. There are many different papers you can choose from (I got a kit with all of them to compare beforehand). I got my very first edition of my anthology printed there when there were still photos included. But since it’s a company in the US, the shipping fees to everywhere else in the world were a downside.
Lulu is probably one of the most common self-publishing services and so far I’m very satisfied with the service and my printed goods. They are placed and represented in several parts of the world so the shipping fees are definitely much cheaper and humane on Lulu. I think the revenue might be the highest there as well. As a beginner, Lulu is a great starter.
Amazon’s Createspace has more sizes available and also more paper options to choose from. They help you automatically find mistakes as it proofreads after you’ve uploaded your document and it corrects the mistakes for you as you revise each and every mistake. The quality might be better on Createspace that this service I haven’t tried yet so I can only say things that I’ve heard from other people whilst I was researching.
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is what I ventured to for my e-book release. Everything is easily set up and quick. The service was great with me and all I had to do was format my book accordingly.
How long does it take to self-publish a book?
Again I must say, it depends! The longest time you’ll spend on in the whole process is probably going to be on the formatting, fonts, font sizes, page numbers, page margins, line spacing, everything. Other than that it’s actually quite easy and quick, depending on whatever you need to change about your content. You have to take into account that you have to revise the proof copies before release, too.
What are the requirements for self-publishing?
Your story and a will. A wifi-connection.
Do you have tips for aspiring authors on self-publishing?
Don’t feel rushed or stressed during the process. Take your time and don’t rush while proof-reading. Don’t stress if you’re unsure and don’t know anything about how it works. There are step-by-step instructions to help you with everything and customer service to answer your questions.
How did you get the courage to self-publish?
Writing is my passion and my dream. I wouldn’t rather do anything else. And because it is my passion, I don’t often doubt my abilities because I just do it for fun and if people enjoy my writing then I’m honored and if they don’t, then that is okay with me, too. So I don’t think it was about gathering the courage to grow familiar with the idea. I just want to share my work with the world so just because I don’t have an agent or a ridiculously high amount of following, it doesn’t mean I should stop trying to be heard. I will still try and do what I can to push my hard work and see it be rewarded if people appreciate my writing. I think my determination in that sense pushed me to go through with the idea of self-publishing.
If you have any more questions, leave them below or anywhere really, I’d love to write another Q&A about it for you.