The Process of Publishing a Novel – 3 of 3

This is the last post in this series.. If you missed the previous posts they are:

Step 1 – Write your novel

Step 2 – Edit your novel

Or check out the collection for all parts.

Step 3 – Publish your novel

Here is a handy info graphic of what I’m going to cover in this post.

You can save this to your Pinterest board.


If you are self publishing you will need a blurb for your book. You can write this yourself or hire a professional.

Here’s a post about the making of the blurb for Ocean Heart.

Cover Design

Your book cover will be one of the first official marketing materials for your book. They say “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!” Except, people do.

You can design it yourself but if you are going to do print copies, it can be tricky to get the spine right if you don’t know what you’re doing. I opted for a professional.

Look at other covers in your genre. These covers are what your ideal reader is expecting. If your cover appeals to the wrong audience it’s going to make it hard to sell.

Here’s a post about how I chose my cover designer.


Once you have the cover, start marketing your book. Don’t wait until it’s published to start marketing.

Fun things to do, are a cover reveal to drum up interest. Here’s a post going into more detail on how I did my cover reveal including tips on creating digital bookstagram pics for promoting your book.

You can also have a preorder period so people don’t have to wait until the release date to buy and can order it right away! These purchases won’t be counted until release day, boosting your release day sales.

I learnt a lot about marketing my book from author Pagan Malcolm and did the Storyseller Academy course that covers a lot of ways to promote your book and how to change your mindset.

Another, fabulous person to check out is Michelle Raab who specialises in Marketing for Indie Creative and is the founder of World Indie Warriors.

Check the links at the end of the post for posts on my book launch. They’re useful to check out if you need some ideas.


This is the person that makes the inside of your book pretty and accessible in different formats for different eBook readers. You can do it yourself, or use tools available online.

Here’s a post about my experience with my formatter.

If you want to do it yourself, you might find it useful to check out Brittany Wang’s YouTube video showing where to get a free template and how to edit it.

Alternatively, you can use the tools provided by your chosen distributor to turn your manuscript into a book. I believe Amazon, D2D, and Ingram Sparks offer these tools for free.


Big mistake I made was skipping this step. I uploaded my files to Ingram and then one of my ARC readers (author Cassidy Reyne) let me know where I’d missed some typos. 😱

My formatter was happy to amend my files for free but Ingram charged me for changing the files. 😢

Don’t skip this step. The last pair of eyes on your book are necessary. No matter all the edits already, and how perfect you believe it is, get a proof reader to do a final quality check.

Self Edit

If your proof reader spots any issues, you will need to make the changes and inform your formatter exactly what you needs changing!

And you thought you’d finished editing. 😂

Upload Files

If you are happy with everything, upload it to the distributor site you are using. Popular choices are:

  • Amazon
  • Ingram Spark
  • Draft 2 Digital
  • Lulu
  • Barnes & Noble

ARC Reader

Send your ARC readers a final copy. Between now and publishing you could make changes but we’d hope that by this point it is done.

The ARC readers need enough time to read it before you publish. This enables you to gather reviews for marketing and gives readers an idea of what others thought.

ARC readers will leave an honest review. Your book cover & blurb should attract the right readers. If your ARC readers are surprised by your book (and not in a good way) you might want to change the cover or blurb to ensure you attract the correct readers.

Check out my post on Betas vs ARC readers.


That’s it! Except now your book is out there, you still need to market it. Don’t be shy – every chance you get, give it a shout out. And, on that note…

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Shop Link.


If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Soul Heart Readers -Street Team

My Launch Month Plans

My Virtual Book Tour

My Live Stream Team

The Benefits of Having a Formatter

This post is based on my personal experience with Evenstar Books. I choose the Cinderella package because, if I was paying someone to do it, I wanted it to be everything I could possibly dream.

How I found my formatter?

It was mostly via recommendations. So, other authors had used. I bought Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom and something I loved was the unique formatting.

I found out other authors had used this formatter too. And, she does logos. She’s also listed as an Indie Service in the World Indie Warriors brochure.

If you’d like to discover more about my formatter, visit her website:

What was it like working with her?

First up, I love that the prices are on her website. It enabled me to plan my budget upfront before I committed to self publishing.

When I was ready, Julia was easy to contact and ask questions. I reached out to her via Instagram, @evanstarbooks.juliascott.

Working with my formatter

I had to wait until my manuscript had its final edit. Julia does include a round of corrections in her price but you want to save that as a “just incase theres a problem” safety net.

I emailed my manuscript to Julia and my ideas. She then mocked up a few designs. I shared these in my Soul Heart Readers FB Group, to get their opinions on which design to go with.

Early drafts of Ocean Heart, I had included mermaid silhouettes as my chapter breaks. It was incredible to see Julia’s talent bring my idea to life and to a level I could not have achieved.

Choosing the font

Before cover design and formatting, I had never given fonts much thought. Julia gave me some options and explained why serif fonts are used for the body of text.

I then spent a lot of time (with the help of my 7 year old son), analysing the fonts in my favourite books. One of the reasons I wanted a formatter was so my book could stand next to traditionally published books and fit in. I wanted a font that was similar to what readers expected.

Julia was so patient with me going through the options. She understood that getting this right for the first book in my series was incredibly important. She created different mocks with different fonts so I could see how it all looked together.

I finally went with: 

Heading Font: Alice

Body Font: Palatino Linotype

The formatted files

Julia then created my formatted manuscript ready for upload with Ingram Sparks and other popular formats I might need. I uploaded the print & eBook for distribution.

I then had to tell my Cover Designer the final page count so she could finish the spine for the print copy of the book.

Editing the files

One of my ARC readers, Cassidy Reyne, brought to my attention some mistakes I had made in my version. I made Julia aware of the mistakes and she corrected these for me, and provided the updated files free of charge.

Unfortunately, Ingram Sparks charged me for updating files. This was an expensive lesson I learned, but I won’t make this mistake again.

The printed book

Here is how the interior looks in the final version I chose:

I absolutely love it. Look at all that detail on the chapter page. The mermaid is simple and reminiscent of the one I used to use, so it’s very personal. The coral reef at the bottom is a nod to the cover designed by Original Book Cover Designs. The chapter breaks is a heart and a wave – what could say Ocean Heart more?

Is professional formatting worth it?

Yes! Being able to discuss my ideas with someone that had experience was very helpful. Julia also made sure I had the correct file types.

There’s a lot involved in publishing a book. Being able to delegate this task out freed me up to focus on other activities required for a successful book launch.

I wanted my book to fit in with traditional books, but Julia went one better. She helped make my book standout for all the right reasons.

I’m so happy with the result and can’t wait to work with her again for the rest of the series.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Shop Link.


If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Why & how I chose my cover designer!

Why you need a Copy Editor

The Process of Publishing a Novel – 1 of 3

About Ocean Heart