Self Publishing

originally posted by Auna

I ran into this section when trying to find a home for a post relating to my website where the universe aligned and the Amazon ads I placed had Destiny’s Conflict right beside Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings. The stupid ad has done dumb stuff in the past, until that moment when two of my favorite authors came up side by side. I’m still a bit awed by that! I took a screen and posted it on my website. You can take a peek here: http://www.thegoldenelm.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Jannys-Book-on-my-Website .png

Then I read some of the scams trying to sucker in new authors from years ago. Sadly, someone posted just recently in the KDP forum that they got taken in by one of these vanity press operations. So that is still going on. (Rule of thumb – never pay someone to publish your book.)

That got me to thinking… I didn’t see anything up to date in this section about self publishing which has become quite the thing. So I thought I’d post a little something about it.

First a bit of background…
Around two years ago, I got involved with helping a friend write his books. When he had motivation issues, I used to write scenes where his characters would do terrible things to hopefully spur him onward. In order to be a better story editor and grammar fiend, I watched Brandon Sanderson’s BYU creative writing lectures on YouTube (Free is good!) and a grammar book somewhere that was more appropriate for non-fiction. Figures :stuck_out_tongue:

Reading more about how to write, I remembered my inklings of writing a book while in school. Work shoved that all to the side but I was no longer working. So why couldn’t I write a book?

At first, I was intimidated by the whole trad pub route–finding an agent, pitching your idea to an agent, and dealing with the long delays until you get your rejection notices. Not my thing.

However, with self publishing, you don’t need to deal with any of that. But how to get started?

There is an Amazon service called Kindle Direct Publishing (https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US) that can help you get started. If you read the info, you’ll see that you PAY NOTHING to publish your books on Amazon.

There is also Draft2Digital which is a service that publishes your books to multiple sites. Their web site is: https://draft2digital.com. And once again, you PAY NOTHING.

Sensing a theme here? You can get your ebooks sold on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers without paying. They take a small percentage off your book sales, but you get around 60-70% royalties in most cases. That is a huge chunk compared to trad pub deals.

But what about paperback books? You can also publish your books using print on demand services (also free!) KDP has a print option that’s still in beta. CreateSpace is Amazon’s other paperback print on demand service.

There is also IngramSpark which charges a setup fee but you can find codes to wave it. The advantage of IS is that they will actually do hard bound books and some really odd book sizes that the other POD services don’t cover.

A very handy forum to learn more about self publishing, including how to market your books, is the kboards.com forum. Specifically the Writers’ Cafe. They also have a Yellow Pages where you can find editors, cover artists, and all that jazz needed to make your books great.

Here are two articles I wrote on the KDP forum where I share what I’ve learned:

https://www.kdpcommunity.com/s/question/0D5f400000GAqhkCAD/article-why-isnt-my-b ook-selling
https://www.kdpcommunity.com/s/question/0D5f400000GB8jdCAD/article-genre-fiction -marketing-101

There is nothing wrong with going the traditional publishing route. But self publishing is now a very viable alternative.

Thanks for posting this, Auna, looks like a helpful resource.

I also recommend folks trying their hand read the Writer Beware page on SFWA's website so that you educate yourself what a scam looks like so you don't fall into the pit and get exploited.

(I didn't see any disreputable links in Auna's post at all, but it pays to stay up to date in case terms of service CHANGE as they can on any platform)

EDUCATE yourself thoroughly as to how the field works, no matter which gate of entry you choose, INFORMED DECISIONS make all the difference. Plan your route to fit your needs, but know exactly how it works to make the best choices.

Good hunting!