Welcome back to our Featured Author Week. This week we’re talking to Gwen Dandridge about her tips for new authors entering the independent publishing arena and finding out about her upcoming work. If you joined us on Monday, you read part 1 of Gwen’s beginner’s guide to indie publishing called All The Things I Didn’t Know The First Time. If you haven’t, feel free to take the time to go back and catch up. Read Part 2 below and come back for our first post of 2017 to hear about what Gwen’s working on next!
All The Things I Didn’t Know The First Time, Part II
How much will it cost and where do I go to get it done?
With self-publishing (which is what I’ve done), here are some of the initial costs:
1. ISBN – ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It is a 13-digit number that’s used as a unique identifier for books. This morphs to the 10-digit ASIN for kindle books). ISBN is used internationally. A single ISBN costs around $125 but a bundle of ten are only $250. It pays to go in with others if you can.
2. Cover for a Kindle – As you know, every book must have a cover, something that graphically depicts what the reader can expect to see inside. $25-800
3. Cover for a paperback – You may be able to use your kindle cover, but if you’ll want a different cover for the paperback (along with the back cover) it will either cost time or money. $25-$800
How do I start?
It’s a daunting task in the beginning. There are so many things to learn and it does feel insurmountable. Take it one step at a time. Each of the publishers have a website that walks you through their process. Read any documentation they provide. Take it slow and set up your file correctly.
How long does all this take?
Obviously you’ve spent a lot of time, thought and effort into creating your book. This next step is also going to take time, effort and thought.
1. Creating a cover and formatting your book can take a goodly long time. But that time is well spent. This is the face of your book. It’s critical to have it look “right”. Cover creation design can take weeks or months.
2. Formatting the inside is another time sucker. I’ve spent many hours beating my head against formatting issues, fortunately, this is something that can be done during the same time period as the art work. They do not have to be done sequentially.
Once your book is properly formatted, the cover and spine are created, the font is chosen and all the miserly little details are selected, you are ready to rock and roll. It can take up to five weeks for a paperback to go through the process of being published. You will be asked to “approve” the final version and confirm that no weirdnesses crept in.
Kindle versions can go much, much quicker, a day or two, but you still need to do the triple checking of your final version.
How much do I charge for my book?
Here’s where it can get tricky. With CreateSpace (the paperback version for your book) there is a chart that will show how much you need to charge to make a profit for each venue. Make sure you check all the appropriate categories that are available to you. With different countries you get different amounts of royalties. I noticed with my first book that if I sold to independent book stores, I would lose .35 cents per book with a price I had originally set.
With a kindle version it’s very different. It’s on line so nothing is being produced that take tangible resources. I’ve seen people give their books away for free trying to establish a buzz. Prices range from .99 to 11.00. I just read an article this week from a woman stating you should never price it below $6.99 but many Indie people price their ebooks around 3.99 or so.