Self-publishing isn’t as cheap or easy as I thought.

I should start by saying that I love to write. I will always love to write. I’m not sure I will ever enjoy the publishing process or the promotion that goes with it. 

I wrote my book. I actually wrote three books. And they sat there. I had no idea what to do with them. So, I did what any normal introvert would do. I went online looking for options. Advice is a dense forest without decent navigation. Everyone has an opinion. I read articles, I searched self-publishing groups. Each one had tons of advice and opinions but not much real substance as to how to actually do anything.

The first great piece of advice was to have my writing professionally edited. There are a couple of good places to get editing on a budget without skimping on the quality. Upwork and Fiverr are both littered with talented resources. Like anywhere else, you need to make sure you perform your due diligence and research your candidates before you hire. Make sure the editor works in your genre. Look at their portfolio. And one major step that most will skip; check their reviews. Anyone can compile a great portfolio. You are about to part with a substantial amount of your hard earned money. No legitimate editor will be uncomfortable providing references if they don’t have verified reviews. There are four main levels of editing. Make sure you know what type you need. Be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars minimum depending on what type of detail you need.

I like both of the resources above because they escrow your payment. You deposit the fee. The service holds it until your project is complete or a project milestone is reached before you release a portion or the entirety of your fee. The editor you pick has incentive to complete the work in a timely manner and you have peace of mind knowing you control when the payments are made.

If you have enough technical capabilities, formatting for an e-book release is relatively easy. There is a great Kindle tool if you want to post on Amazon but you can also upload directly from a document. Aggregate publishers can load painlessly from a document as well. Setting up for a paperback is not quite as easy. I will write another article about how I put mine together withing the next few weeks.

The major publishing question is, do you start with KDP or an aggregate publisher? I ended up doing both. Nothing sold, which led me back to the internet to find out what I was doing wrong.

Next piece of advice, market the book. Okay, sounds easy until you search to see there are thousands of places to market. So far, I’ve taken three basic steps. First, I set up a Facebook Author page and a Twitter page. Second, I set up this website and now I am working on the most difficult part for me. I’m building a social media presence. I have no idea where this is going to lead me or how difficult it is going to be. I do plan on detailing as much of my journey as possible while I continue to write and add to my published work.

I hope this helps at least one person.

Wish me luck.