Most of you won’t randomly pick this book up to read, but I’ve been reading Self-Printed – The Sane Persons Guide to Self-Publishing by Catherine Ryan Howard. I don’t think I was quite sane when I started the process of self-publishing! Some of it was a nightmare, but it was all worth it. Now I can see the many things I didn’t do right when I published Crossing The Line! I can also see what I did do right and how I can make the sequel, What Line, better.
Self-publishing is hard work. You have to write the book – edit the book – figure out how to save it in a template to include front matter and back matter – design your book cover – decide on pricing – and the list goes on and on and on…
I didn’t even know what front matter and back matter were when I decided to write a book. The front matter includes your title page, table of contents, copywrite page, your dedication and acknowledgements, among other assorted pages if you are an accomplished writer. Mine was pretty basic since this was my first book. The back matter includes your bio, epilogue, glossary, index and other assorted information that did not apply to me. I did include my bio and an epilogue. The more accomplished an author you are, the more front matter and back matter you will be able to include.
So much to think about and so much to put in order. It wasn’t easy to make my page numbers appear on the correct pages and not to appear at all on the pages they shouldn’t be on, i.e. your first page of each chapter. The headings were just as bad! I was tearing my hair out trying to get it all in place and when I finally did – hooray! I should have kept notes so I can write a book on what I did. Sometimes after working with the formatting for so long I would hit a key and magically it was formatted correctly. Now don’t ask me what key I hit because I don’t know. I think it was the “I’m mad key and the this should be easier key!” I can’t find them labeled anywhere on my keyboard now and hopefully I won’t need to use them again. I won’t know how much I retained of this process until I start publishing What Line.
Now back to Catherine’s book. She insists you need an editor besides yourself. She’s right. I did do that – in fact I had two. I still got in a hurry and had to republish after I published because of errors. That wasn’t so hard to do, but I wish it hadn’t happened. There is a lot you miss if you edit yourself because you are reading what you want to see. I am already working on the process of how to get What Line edited and it is only about a third of the way finished!
The book cover wasn’t so hard to design and I learned a lot. I’m pleased with it, but I know it could be better. I just felt that I wanted to do it all myself. It did take a few try’s and proofs to get it looking the way I wanted. I guess I have a control issue.
Pricing for me was really hard. Yes, I spent a lot of time on this book and didn’t want to give it away. I priced the paperback at $13.95 after I researched other books in the same genre and size of mine. I felt I would pay that much for a paperback if it looked interesting, even if I didn’t know the author. The e-book pricing was a lot harder. I wanted to include it on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords and priced them all at $4.99. Yes, I would pay that too. Some people have a hard time paying that much for an e-book though, especially if it is an author they haven’t heard of.
So… because of Catherine’s recommendation I just dropped the price of my e-book to $2.99 on all my listings! Yay! tell your friends and family, share it on Facebook and twitter, or on your own blog! You can even share on pinterest! Word of mouth is my best advertisement and when my readers share, I profit and that makes me happy! Hopefully this will sell more books and it will all even out in the long run. After all, that’s what I set out to do – sell books and lots of them!
I find it really hard to let go of what I worked on for so long and put it in someone else’s hands to format and design. There’s that control issue again! It’s the money too – I know – you have to spend money to make money, but I was trying to do it without spending money, as most self-published authors do. Take the advice and have a budget for the little things. Your process of publishing will be so much easier and rewarding when you don’t have so much on your plate to think about. Spend that time on perfecting your writing process.
Now if I can follow Catherine’s advice and the advice I passed on here, the publishing of What Line will be so much simpler – my hair won’t be gray and I will still have all of it!