“Whatever you may have heard, self-publishing is not a short cut to anything. Except maybe insanity. Self-publishing, like every other kind of publishing, is hard work. You don’t wake up one morning good at it. You have to work for that.”
Indeed! But, as I’ve mentioned before, this is an adventure. (Bilbo Baggins’ definition of adventure, paraphrased: Adventure is a nasty thing that makes you late for supper.)
Since my last Indie-related blog on March 8th, there’s been a bit more water under the fridge bridge.
* I have completed my manuscript edits for Other Side of the River, including a painstaking review in “non-printing character” mode (on my MacWord there is a backwards P (known as a Pilcrow or paragraph mark) at the top of the Word page. It shows me where all the spaces, returns, indents and page/section breaks are).
I also spent many nasty hours trying to figure out how to make my footers and headers engage independently, and although I’m still not clear on this step, I managed to get page numbers to show up on every page while having different odd and even headers.
Thanks to Ruth Snyder who suggested using Master Pages, and Pat Gerbrandt who consulted a family member and offered feedback.
I am consistently humbled by the people who go out of their way to help other writers. I’m also thankful to those non-tech people who listened, albeit with glazed eyes, as I described my formatting challenges.
Professional services are beyond my price range at the moment, and these services do not set out to train authors to do their own interior formatting. Rather, they offer fee-based services. And who can blame them?
But enough of the format fiasco.
* Bottom line is that my book uploaded to CreateSpace without any glitches. As soon as the cover arrives in my inbox, I will upload that as well. I would add that the CreateSpace method of creating a print book isn’t too difficult to follow. Once successfully uploaded, my virtual book allowed me to page through it, making sure all my front and back matter appeared on the proper pages (recto/verso).
News Flash: If you are a Canadian using CreateSpace, you no longer need to apply for an EIN tax ID number. Simply fill out the non-U.S. form for a W-8BEN, which is part of the sign-up, and include your SIN number. That’s it!
Another Note: If your sole address is a box number, as mine is, fill in the Permanent Residence box with your physical land description instead. Your box number can be used in the Mailing Address section. Then keep a copy of the form for when you fill out the same thing at Kindle Direct Publishing! No reason to completely re-invent the wheel.
* The next step for me has been to sign up with KDP and re-create the adventure to format my e-book versions. This will require a few more Youtube videos and referral to notes from Janet Sketchley and Valerie Comer, but I think I’ll mange, with a little bit (or a lot) of help from my friends.
* Another essential element of this adventure is to choose keywords/phrases, and then write a book description that features these keywords, if at all possible. An excellent resource for keywords and Search Engine Optimization is C.S. Lakin’s blog, Live Write Thrive. I’d recommend this site for anything from writing to editing to marketing. Suzanne also offers classes, for a fee. If you have the budget for it, sign up.
* I think the best takeaway I can leave you with today is that although self-publishing is not a short-cut to getting our work out there in the big wide world, it is an excellent route.
It is doable (read: if I can do it, anyone can).
It is affordable, as long as you take time to consider what you can do yourself and what you definitely need someone to do for you. Since I don’t possess a single visual arts skill, I could not manage my own covers.
It is easier the second time around. I’m counting on this! I’ve taken copious notes on this process to make the next book format adventure more straightforward.
Until next month, keep your fingers on the keys and don’t give up. The end result will be worth all the work.