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When I first decided to become a writer, I was only thinking, “Wow! Writing is fun! If I could do that for a living, it would be great! La La La!” Oh, from the mouths of babes *in my mother’s voice*. I supposed, if I had finished my book, found an agent, and sat back while they did all the dirty work for me, it would have been a much easier process. I would have gotten paid an advance of some kind (although the advances are getting smaller these days). I would have been able to focus on the next book of my series. My appearances, book signings, book readings, and most of my other advertizing would have been setup for me. The only thing I would have had to worry about was showing up to events and producing a quality second book on time. Right?
I’m not actually sure about that.
After spending more hours and doing more research than I care to admit, I decided to take the publishing world head on and self-publish my series instead. Self-publishing a novel(especially for a first time author in any form of publishing), is not for the faint hearted, as they say. It’s BY FAR the more time-consuming and difficult road of the two. I found myself on many occasions closing my eyes and taking a few calming breathes only to move on to something else two minutes later because I got frustrated again. I wear my hair up a lot now because I have a bad habit of twisting my dreads when I’m concentrating too hard.
First I had to find places to publish, because I had NO idea… Luckily, I had friends and writer’s groups to guide me through this part. Here are a few free self-publishing sites for those interested in publishing their own book(s). I’m not publishing with all of these sites just yet, but it’s great to see what they each can offer.
www.lulu.com, www.createspace.com, www.smashwords.com, www.scribedigital.com, and www.publt.com. I am sure there are more free sites out there. If you know of anymore, please leave a comment and share the knowledge.
Each site that I will publish with, has different formatting requirements and those requirements change depending on whether your book is hardback, paperback, or electronic. On one site, I will publish only hardback books. They have restrictions on the book size and the book cover size requirements are much different for a book jacket than for a paperback cover, therefore, I had to re-size the book cover I made for the paperback version to work as a book jacket. Also, my eBook publishing site(s) has completely different publishing format requirements than my print publishing sites and, once again, I have to change the cover size. Has this all gotten confusing yet? Because I, for one, have had a very confusing journey and I’m still not finished with all the formatting just yet. Yay me!
But, even with the long nights, confusing formatting issues, and the annoying, ever lingering worry that my hard work just may not pay off, my choice has been made. Not only does self-publication reap more financial reward (not that I’m doing this just for the money), but doing everything myself, gives me a sense of satisfaction that I don’t think I could’ve gotten elsewhere. If you think about it, there is nothing sweeter than when you solve a problem that you’ve tried to work out for days, or you complete a big project (either educational or personal) and you can just sit back and say, “Ahhhh Yessss…” This is what I want to do with my life. Live for the “Ahhhh Yesssss” moments.
Thanks for reading this post! This is still only the beginning.
If you have any suggestions of topics you’d like me to write about, please make comments, ask questions, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to post that as my next topic. It’s sure to be an amazing adventure!!
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