If you had asked me in June 2010 whether I would have considered self publishing my second book, Murder At The Rocks, I would have given you a blank stare because the thought had never occurred to me. I planned to do what many authors do - look endlessly for an agent to represent me or a publisher who would consent to read my unsolicited manuscript. As you know, this can take months before you get a reply be it positive or negative. After spending two years steaming ahead writing a book it’s like you have come to a brick wall built right across your path. Everything comes to a standstill. A year ago I would have accepted this however frustrating, but now I’m not willing to. Not since I can now self publish.
I’m going to cover my self publishing journey over the next few blogs hoping that it will help others if they choose to go down that road.
Where to start
I wanted to publish my book as an eBook as well as a paperback, and after looking into the process for both, I decided to start with the eBook edition first. This you can do through Smashwords and Kindle Direct Publishing which is owned by Amazon.
· I started by opening an account on Smashwords and reading all the information they make available.
· Next I chose someone to create a book cover. (On request, Smashwords will email you a list of people who can create a cover.) I supplied my own background photograph and the cost ended up being $57. I think the cost depends largely on a number of things such as time spent, images used, and how many proofs are done.
· My next step was to acquire an ISBN number. This I bought from Thorpe-Bowker for $40 plus a (once only) registration fee of $50. It is possible to get a free ISBN number from Smashwords, but not until you have been approved for their Premium Catalogue.
· With my book cover in the making and having entered my ISBN number onto the site, I looked into formatting my manuscript as an eBook. This process is rather more challenging, but not insurmountable with the help of Smashwords Style Guide. It is a 75 page document and free to download. There again, Smashwords will email a list of people who can do this for you at a cost. I decided to try it myself.