This is Part Two of yesterday’s post on Self-Publishing.
Joel D Canfield writes: Self-publishing should lean heavily on the “self.” Take control of the process, as far as possible, and don’t go for a package that includes services you don’t need or prices that seem high. You can do this yourself. That’s what self-publishing is about.
This answer is enormously long, but if you’ll follow it, you can accomplish your desired outcome for a total cost of $7. Not per book, total. Complete cash outlay, seven dollars.
(He’s replying to the price I told him it would cost me per book in addition to the publishing package I bought. I was initially quoted “about six dollars a book,” then once I got started I found that the cost of printing would be almost $7. Now in the fine print I see that I can buy my books from them for 55% off suggested retail price, which would be $7.65 on $16.99. I have yet to see how this actually pans out once the printing is done. Note: I’m talking $7.65 Canadian; Joel is talking in US dollars. )
$7 per book is way high, unless that’s a giant book, or it’s hard cover, or color interior, or something. My 250-page business book, black and white interior, costs less than $4 to print on demand. My client’s hard cover dust jacketed books cost $2 each to print in lots of 1,000 (he has a waiting fan base so he buys in bulk.)
Here’s the very short painless process to self-publish without buying some complex package…it’s based on the 10 books I’ve done of my own, and many many others for clients, both paying and freebies.
1. Now that your manuscript is written, it should be edited (developmental and line editing.) Editing can be expensive. Get sample sections done and find an editor who loves your work, and who you love. Or, take the risk of editing it yourself, or having friends in a group assist you. If time is a concern, Do-it-yourself is faster in most cases.
2. Now that it’s ready to print, format it exactly like your favorite book on the shelf. MS Word is good enough, or Open Office’s word processor, which is free. Or, I can connect you with the person who does my formatting. She’s inexpensive, fast, and accurate.
3. You need a cover. Front, back, spine, all in one file. CreateSpace has templates you or your designer can use. Their ready-made covers are sorta limited. Again, hire someone, DIY, get help from a friend. If time matters, DIY is faster.
4. Upload the PDF of your cover and your interior to CreateSpace. Order a printed proof. Find all the errors you missed on screen. Fix ’em. Do it again. (Lightning Source charges you for this second upload; at CreateSpace it’s free.)
5. Now that you know your manuscript is neat and tidy, strip out the headers and footers, save it as “Filtered HTML” from the menu in MS Word (sorry; don’t know the equivalent in Open Office or other apps) and upload to Kindle Desktop Publishing. Now it’s on Kindle.
6. Upload your Word doc to Smashwords. Pay attention to their free formatting guide, and get into the Premium catalog. Now it’s on Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and everywhere else.
You can do EVERYTHING HERE ABSOLUTELY FREE except order the proof from CreateSpace. Of course, you have to either have the skills or learn them, but in the end, if you’re competent and patient and diligent, you can produce a book you’ll be proud of.
And, if you’d like to pay for any or all of these services, I offer them all. I guarantee it absolutely, and can provide references that will make you giddy with joy.
You can do this yourself. That’s what self-publishing is about.
I have Joels’s permission to quote him, but he has step-by-step articles posted on his blog, too, to help new writers get a handle on this. You can find him at http://somedaybox.com/
Another post to read for complete instructions on e-book publishing: