My Process – How to Publish a Book (collection)

I’m constantly learning and revising everything I do. Sometimes it’s to strengthen existing knowledge and skills, and other times it’s because new things come out.

When I decided to self publish, I didn’t know where to start. I wrote this blog series reflecting on what I did. I hope my process provides others with an outline to get started.

With self publishing you do it your way, so if you want to do it different to me then you can. That’s the beauty of self publishing, you are in control of it all. Equally as empowering as that is, it can also be very daunting when you’re starting out.

Step 1 – Write Your Novel

My process starts right at the beginning with a blank page! I’ve included links to useful guides to help you writing the first draft.

Click here for step 1.

Step 2 – Edit Your Novel

Your novel should go through several edits before publishing. I include links to previous posts about the editing services I used to help you figure out which you need.

Click here for step 2.

Step 3 – Publish Your Book

This step covers what to do to get your interior and exterior right, and some of the different publishing options. I’ve linked to posts about my cover designer and formatter.

Click here for step 3.

Live This April!

During Camp NaNo, authors Cassidy Reyne and J D Groom have organised some Live sessions this April. They take place every Wednesday at 9pm (UK), on Instagram via @worldindiewarriors.

These sessions will support those doing Camp Nano, but each week they’ll have a different guest to discuss a topic of the week.

I’m their guest on 21 April at 9pm to discuss self publishing and answer any questions. Please do come join us.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Don’t put off writing your novel

How I did my cover reveal

My virtual Book Tour

My virtual Book Launch

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.

Blurb

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.

Marketing

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.

Formatter

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.

Proofread

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.

Publish

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 Bookshop.org Shop Link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Soul Heart Readers -Street Team

My Launch Month Plans

My Virtual Book Tour

My Live Stream Team

My plans for 2020

You may have caught my last post of 2019 where I reflected on how last year went. As I welcome in the new year it’s time to set new goals. Oh my, some of these are big!

I’m always looking for ways to improve myself and to start the year I am changing up how I set goals.

Publishing – Jewel of the Sea

This is the big project of 2020.  I have no idea how long things will take me as I have no benchmark to compare it to.  I’ve set these deadlines to help keep my on track but I will need to check progress often to adjust deadlines as I figure out what is realistic.

Here is my rough outline of all the different things that need to happen if I want to release my book by June.  I have a feeling that these goals are rather ambitious but there is no harm in trying.  

Publish Novel info graphic
JOTS = Jewel of the Sea; DITS = Diamond in the Sky

General Writing Goals

Here are my everyday writing goals. 

social media 2nd

Social Media

Blog (Word Press):  Aim to post once or twice a week.  

Instagram:  Aim to post to feed every other day.

Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr:  Continue to share links to my content on these platforms.

News letter:  Aim to send out my newsletter at least once every other month.

Writing 2nd

Writing

Jewel of the Sea: Aim to publish my novel by June.  See info graphic that breaks down activities required to achieve this.

Diamond in the Sky: Finish writing first draft in full.  Start editing. 

Festivals:  Attend festivals:

  • London Book Fair
  • Felixstowe Book Festival
  • YALC
  • Bradford UK Indie Lit Fest 
  • MK Lit Fest
  • Wow-Con

World Indie Warriors:  Continue to be part of this awesome group.  I loved making their brochure and if they’d allow me to do this again, I would love to do this.  

Personal 2nd

Personal

Crafts: Make time at least once a week:

  • Planner:  try different methods of managing my time and goals to find a method that works for me
  • Pocket letter:  write another pocket letter
  • Scrapbook:  Do at least one page
  • Crochet:  Finish Aria’s blanket… I know, I feel awful that I haven’t finished it yet.  I just need to tuck in the loose ends.

Read more:  Last year I set the bar low at only 6 books.  This year, I am going to double it and aim for 12 books.  I know that isn’t many to some people but with everything else I have planned… I have got to be realistic.  

Development 2nd Set

Development

Editing course:  Complete the Self Editing course provided by Willow Editing

Resource book:  Buy and read a book to develop my writing craft.  

What are your goals?

I shall review these throughout the year.  I will likely need to check in on my big goal every month but the general goals I’ll do once every three months.  

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy:

Suffolk UKPA Meet

World Indie Warriors Brochure

How was NaNoWriMo 2019

I got to tour Ingram Spark’s print facility


To discover more ways to connect with me, please click my link tree

@Redfae

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