Ok I have been promising a post about how to self publish. I am terrible at writing instructions and I suspect it is because I rarely read instructions. There are many different ways to self publish but I am going to summarize what I did and what I learned. Check out my books on Amazon if you haven’t yet.
I used CreateSpace to publish. I wanted something easy for me and CreateSpace was easy, it is also free. I would want to do more research about other ways to publish hardback books, or full color; such as maybe a Childrens book.
CreateSpace guides you through the process by asking you to give your project a name, what your project is, and then if you want to be guided through the process or not. You will be asked whether or not you want a free CreateSpace ISBN or other options and there are plenty of help buttons to help you with making your decisions.
The hardest part about creating a poetry book with pictures is formatting. I had trouble finding the right program that would line my pictures and my poetry up correctly when I converted it into a pdf.
“You can upload your work as a print-ready .pdf, .doc, .docx, or .rtf. Your page count will be detected and an automated print check will run once your upload is complete. You’ll be able to see any issues online using the Interior Reviewer tool.” ~ CreateSpace
I won’t lie there was a lot of trial and error and a fair amount of cussing. I don’t spend a lot of time reading directions but in this case reading their help on uploading your work would have been time well spent.
I finally settled on using Microsoft Publisher. Once I was done putting my book together in MS Publisher I converted the file to pdf and then uploaded it into their software. If you want the actual file and setting details I used for MS Publisher and PDF conversion leave me a note because those might need to be separate blog posts.
If you plan on using this same file to upload to kindle it won’t work. I had to totally redo the entire book by creating it in Word. I am still trying to figure out how to do the original project in Word so that it uploads for the paperback version correctly.
Once you create your book in whatever program you find that works for you (and you can successfully upload it the way you want into CreateSpace) you can then create a book cover. You can use templates they have or create your own. I used one of their templates, uploaded my own picture, and answered several questions to create mine.
CreateSpace really makes publishing your book to Amazon easy. You have the option in CreateSpace of creating an electronic version. I said yes to converting the final product to kindle and they created the book in KDP Amazon. Now, at least, I had the book cover converted but the rest of the file was a formatting mess. When you set up your account in KDP you can edit the mess. I of course had to redo my book in Word to get it to work correctly in an electronic format. I wanted the picture to come first and then the poem. I didn’t want it to just show up without any page breaks which is what kept happening with the file that came straight from CreateSpace.
OK… once I successfully finished with CreateSpace and KDP and fed my bank numbers into each one I simply waited for the books to show up in both formats on Amazon. Amazon automatically creates the look inside tool and links both the paper and electronic formats together. I had trouble with the first book but an email to them fixed it right away.
Once you are published you have to start the grueling process of self promotion and if you ask me it is the HARDEST part of publishing. It may be free to create and publish (and self promotion can be free) but I have found offering a copy of your book in giveaways is a good way to get your title noticed.
Goodreads has a really great giveaway tool to help with that. However, if you want to do that you have to buy copies of your own book. So this is where it starts to cost you. You can order copies of your own book straight from CreateSpace at cost. If you do the goodreads giveaway then you will need to be prepared with a copy of the book/s you are giving away and money to pay for postage. In return goodreads winners hopefully reply with a nice review of your book that end up as sales.
Reviews are important. They can come as recommendation blogs, a good book review site such as Goodreads, Amazon and other social media sites. I just found a site I can’t wait to check out that you can check out for yourself here named TipsyLit. I have seen this site recommended by some of my favorite bloggers and it just so happens to fit perfectly in this post. I can’t wait to become a member and see what the blogging site offers.
Ok so bottom line. Stop worrying, stop waiting and go for it. Put your self-confidence problems behind you and become your own dream maker.