So I have been getting a lot of people asking me to tell them how to do indie publishing of a book. It is actually not as hard as one would think.
First thing is you have to write the book. It is the hard part. Seriously.
Another question in this vein… How many poems equal a book of poetry? To be honest I am not able to give you a set number. I have seen poetry volumes of twelve poems. Most chapbooks tend towards 30. I personally always have 70 poems at least. (There have been a couple of volumes that I put smaller poems in so I added a few to the amount to feel less like I was cheating my readers.)
Most novels have a word count… But even that is flexible. Within reason. The numbers as given by this article are as follows.
Now notice that each genre has a range. That gives you an idea of what you need.
I highly recommend that you have a professional editor look at the manuscript. That way you are sure that it is up to snuff. Some will do a sample edit. The manuscript when sent to an editor should be double spaced and in a basic font. (Most have a preference like times new Roman.)
Ok. You have your book and it is edited, now what. Look into getting you some beta readers. Beta readers are people who read your book and give you constructive feedback. This is not as easy as it sounds. Finding good betas is something that all authors struggle with. Often writing groups on Facebook are a good place to look. Offer a trade of reading.
There are two sites that publish. Both are no upfront cost. If there is an upfront cost, honestly you should look closer at the company. There are some small publishing companies that can do the work for you… But they will take a cut of the payment. If that is the way you want to go, message me. I will steer you in the right direction.
Now, layout. Yuck. I despise layout. There is a program in windows by amazon called Kindle Create. It helps to simplify the process for Amazon. Currently Amazon is the only one that does paperback edition among the sites I am recommending. Though I think that Draft2Digital has a beta version that is working on paperback distribution.
The best format for Amazon is the Mobi. Kindle create helps you to make that. The best for D2d is Docx.
Your document should have a title page, a copyright page, the manuscript, an about the author page. If you are uncertain about how to write any of these let me know. I may make a Friday post about it.
Amazon pays every 60 days. Draft2digital pays when you reach $20.that doesn’t seem like a lot, but it depends on you. How good are you at marketing yourself? You are the sales team.
Now there’s one more thing that you need. A cover. Kdp has a cover creator that you can use for a truly basic cover. You can use Canva to create covers. (Though be careful there, they do have multiple types of licence for their picture files.) Or you can buy a cover. Covers tend to be anywhere from $30 – $250 USD.
You will need for the ebooks a jpg file and for the paperback a pdf. Here is an example. This is the cover I made in Canva for one of my yet to come books.
I am not going into branding in this post. I think that I will leave that for next Friday.
Both of the websites above have newbie friendly directions. However I am willing to answer questions. This is a fairly decent guide on YouTube. Ask other indie authors on social media for advice. Most remember the beginning and are willing to at least suggest places to find the information. Or if nothing else… Google it.
I can probably do a post on marketing, but it is the one area of the indie publishing that I really am not good at.
Whew. I have rambled here. If you have questions ask me in the comments. I will try to answer them.