This is a guest post by my friend, Teresa Trent, author of the Pecan Bayou cozy mystery series. You can find all of Teresa’s books here. As a successful independent author, Teresa is generous in helping other authors navigate the journey of self-publishing.
Teresa’s latest work, “The Deadliest Christmas Pageant Ever,” is part of a new anthology, Happy Homicides: Thirteen Cozy Holiday Mysteries. Happy Homicides will be released on October, 15, 2015 but you can pre-order the Kindle version for only $0.99. Click here to pre-order the Nook version.
Take it away, Teresa.
So, you’ve written your masterpiece and although you know it’s truly going to change the face of the world as we know it, all of those agents and publishers out there haven’t seemed to agree with you. What’s your next option? Publish it yourself? What is involved in doing something like that? It’s not as hard as you might think. If you have the organizational and creative skills to write a novel then that skill set can also help you self-publish. Oh, and by the way, it sounds so much more professional and less desperate if you call yourself an indie-writer. You know, just like the indie-film makers and indie game developers. You are now an indie author, and here are five things you should know.
Hire An Editor
You will need to hire someone to read through and edit your book. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. This is the first red flag for new readers who then become reviewers. You may be grammatically perfect but still hire someone to copy edit your book. If you don’t know where to start looking for someone like, this most of the self-publishing websites have links and prices for editorial types
Find Self-Publishing Sites
You will need to search out self-publishing sites. A few out there are Smashwords, Lulu, and Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Smashwords will distribute your book to Apple, Kobo, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony and few other sites. Lulu will distribute your book to Apple and Barnes and Noble. You can choose to opt out at these sites if you have already listed your book at Amazon.
You will have to format your book. My first attempt at self-publishing was through Smashwords. I learned all about something they lovingly called “the meat-grinder”. Your printed word has to be set up a certain way for it to work in all those ereaders. Smashwords has a style guide that worked for me not only at that site but at Amazon. It took me three weeks to get my manuscript right over at Smashwords. It took me one day to to do it at Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
Once you are “published” you will need to build ways for readers to find you. If you think, okay I’m published now I’ll just sit back and wait for those old royalty checks-Reality Check-because of the advent of self-publishing there are thousands and thousands of books coming out every day. All you have to do is look at the main page of Smashwords and you will see it’s newest books . They change by the second. Good books, bad books, things that aren’t really books—it’s all there competing with your book. Because you self-published, now you get to self-promote. You wouldn’t put together a store in the middle of a field with no roads, right? Start your road building. You will need to create these things.
- An author website
- An author central page on Amazon
- An author page on Goodreads
- A Facebook and or Twitter Account
- Anything else that would help to promote you within your genre
Keep Doing What You Do-WRITE
Through all of this you need to always remember that even though your book is finished, it’s time to go to work on your next book. Keep writing and learning about writing because that is what created 1-4 in the first place.
Teresa Trent writes hilarious cozy mysteries that take place in the small town of Pecan Bayou, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, three children and Martin, the dachshund, who loves to bark while she’s trying to write. Visit Teresa at www.teresatrent.com.