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]

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Why I have chosen to Self-Publish

This post will share my ambition to traditionally publish and why that dream has changed to wanting to be an indie author.

The Traditional Author Dream

For years my dream was to be a published author. From the moment I realised someone wrote the story I was reading, I wanted to be that someone.

Back then, the only way to publish was to look inside a similar book for the contact details of the publisher and send your manuscript to them with a covering letter in the post.

Since then, things have changed. Many publishers won’t accept unsolicited manuscripts so you first need to get a Literary Agent. Most places won’t accept manuscripts by post so you now must send the document by email or using a form on their website. Their websites inform you of everything they want and don’t want. Most places now want:

  • A polished manuscript
  • A personalised covering letter (body of email) saying why you choose them
  • A synopsis (that fits on one page)
  • Comparative novels
  • A pitch
  • A marketing plan
  • And social media links.

Sounds like a lot! And often you need a good pitch to even get invited to send all that to them in the first place.

That’s not to add that rejection is high.

The Different Publishing Paths

As a result, it is no surprise that people have come up with solutions to this madness. One alternative method is to self publish and another is vanity publishing.

Here is a little info graphic on the basic differences between the different paths for novel publishing (from my interpretation):

Vanity Publishing is not for me. I don’t have the upfront costs and I want more control.

Traditional Publishing is no longer for me. I have a lot of admiration for people that are fortunate enough to get their Literary Agent and publisher. It instantly gives their novel validation that it is good enough to print. And, you know that it will have been processed by a number of industry professionals before going to print. But, I’m bored of querying.

Ready to publish

I have waited long enough and now I realise I don’t need someone else to say yes when I can give myself permission to publish today.

Con Artists

In recent years, the only requests I have had have been from ‘publishers’ I don’t trust. They requested my novel after a pitch event or via Instagram. Their websites were newly created and had no details about authors or books they have worked on/with or even who the agents or editors at the company are. I passed.

Costs

It has taken me years to find the money to pay for an editor myself. I need to pay as you go. I also like the idea that the sales will go to me.

Autonomy

After all the time I have put into it, I want my novel to be the way I want it. I want a say over the formatting and the cover. I want control.

Readership

I don’t want this to be my only novel. It is important that my novel is a quality product. I want to be confident and proud of my book. I want readers to enjoy it and want more. Once I publish, I don’t want to stop.

Self publishing is scary. But, I’m ready. And, I hope you will enjoy following me in my journey to publication.

If you enjoyed this you will like:

Seven tips for querying agents

How to Write a Synopsis

Felixstowe Book Festival – The Publishing Industry

Writers beware! Know who you are querying.


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@Redfae

Valentine Poetry Collection

Last year, on Wattpad I set myself a challenge. For the first 14 days in February, I posted one ‘romantic’ themed poem everyday.

I already hIce Cream Partyad a number of draft poems on Opuss but that didn’t make the challenge any easier.  First, I had to identify which poem to post.  Next, I had to edit them (they weren’t great).  Then, I had to remember to post one every day.

 

Poetry is not one of my strong points.  It’s always hard putting my writing out there for others to read and judge but with poetry it’s harder.  It’s raw, personal and makes me feel vulnerable.

Somehow we are already into the second week of February without me noticing, so, I won’t be doing my challenge this year. I’m a bit disappointed as I find it healthy to challenge myself and go outside my comfort zone.  It helps me develop as a writer to do something new, something difficult.

I will still add one more to the collection for Valentines day 2018.  Now I’ve promised, I’ll have to do it!  Please click here to view the collection from last year (and check up on me and see if I kept my word).