Mari Suggs Romance Author 

Self-Publishing 1.0

So, you’ve finished your manuscript! You’re ready for the world to marvel over your words and the creative way in which you’ve told your story. There’s only one problem, you have no idea what's next.

As many of you know, I have self-published three books: two novels and one nonfiction book which is due out September 26, 2017. Recently, I’ve been getting some questions about the self-publishing route and how I did it. Though I don’t consider myself an expert, I can certainly offer some tips—especially if you’re just getting started.

First thing’s first, if you don’t know the difference between self-published and traditionally published then please do your research to make sure this is the route you want to go in. I won’t go into detail here about the differences, but I will say this: There’s a lot of work to do in either case, but more so when you self-publish. This is because you’re all there is, you’re the writer, the marketer, the researcher, the creator, the point of contact- you’re everything!

In my opinion there are many reason that self-publishing is the way to go, but the most important one for me is the creative control I have over the entire process, including cover design. So if this is the way you want to go, here are a few tips to get you started.

Make sure your manuscript is in tip-top shape, this means that you’ve gone through your rounds of edits; that you’ve received your beta readers feedback; that you’ve gone back and fixed any problems you and/or your beta readers found, and that you’ve had it professionally edited. Once your novel is as close to perfect as possible (there’s no such thing as perfect) then you’re ready to self-publish.

Decide if your books will be in the format of eBook, paperback or both. You will need this information for my next tips.

Okay, so this one's a doozy, so I'll try to be brief but clear. Let's talk ISBN's, (International Standard Book Number) this is a number that's assigned to every book you publish and you will need one for each version of the book that you publish. For example, your eBook format will need one ISBN. Your paperback will need it's own ISBN. And your hardcopy will need another. Not to mention that each eBook format, will need it's own (Kindle, Nook, iBook). The leading company to obtain ISBN Numbers in the United States is Bowker Indentifier Services, you can purchase a batch of them--usually 10 for around $300. You can do this as individual using your social security number which essentially makes you the publisher of your books, or if you decide to start a publishing company you can buy them under that company's name. (On another post I'll discuss starting a publishing company). However, if this seems a bit pricey, then there's another option, you can allow the print on demand company you use to be the publisher and they will assign an ISBN number to your books for free--(print on demand companies like CreateSpace through Amazon). You will need these numbers to put them inside your manuscript, under the copyright verbiage page.

Hire someone to format your book, both the eBook and the paperback format. I do this myself, but it’s a lot of work to start off with. I recommend that you hire someone to do this for you; I believe companies charge anywhere from $35 to $65. But if you rather learn right from the start, then you can download templates that will help you do this for both your paperback and digital formats. DIY Books Format is one that I know a lot of people use.

Research the different print on demand self-publishing options, these are the two that indie authors use: Createspace and Ingram Sparks. I go through Createspace which is supported by Amazon. I don’t know anything about Ingram Sparks, except for that it’s an option to self-publish just like Createspace. I recommend that you do your research on both and see which avenue best supports your work.  I have a lot of experience with Createspace and I have no complaints. It’s free, it's easy to navigate through, and I’m completely satisfied with the quality of their work.

Hire a cover designer. Note, they can be pricey, but in my opinion well worth it. With a quick Google search you'll be directed to many different designers that are dedicated to this particular niche. I know that many self-published authors go through Fiverr because they are inexpensive, while also provide professional looking covers. I haven’t used them, so I personally can’t vouch for them. NOTE: You have to have the blurb for  the back cover written when you hire the cover designer, as they will need this information for the cover.

Okay, so there are so many more tips and things to consider when you decide to self-publish, but I will stop here as to not to overwhelm you. I’ve provided you with good starting points, and in my opinion, there’s no need to go past these steps if you haven’t completed these already.

In future post I will continue to offer tips from my own experience.

In case you didn’t know, my new book #Believe Dammit: 10 Principles For Attracting and Creating the Life You Crave comes out September 26, 2017. 

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If you loved this, then check out these:

A Writer's Life For Me

Writer Tip: How to Stay On Track While Living and Writing

Four Inspirational Place To Write (Other than Cafes)


Till Next Time!




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