At Awesome Indies, our goal is to take the risk out of buying independent literature. Part of that endeavor involves introducing our visitors to new independent authors who have written literature that is worthy of their attention. To that end, we are beginning a special Author Week feature in which we shine a spotlight on one of our Seal of Excellence recipients, pick their brain about the world of indie publishing and find out about their new projects. For our first week, we’re happy to introduce you to author Gwen Dandridge. Throughout the week we’ll be featuring posts by Gwen and encouraging you to check out her critically acclaimed and award-winning works. Her first piece is a beginner’s guide to indie publishing called All The Things I Didn’t Know The First Time. Read Part 1 below and come back Wednesday for Part 2!
All The Things I Didn’t Know The First Time
Why do you want to self publish your book?
This is the first question you need to ask. Why? If you think fame and fortune are going to leap into your lap, you need to step back and reconsider.
What are the steps needed before you start?
1. Get a critique group and use its input wisely.
3. After many, many critiques, send your completed manuscript out to beta readers – people you trust to give an honest and fair assessment of your book’s strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, some people hire a content editor to look for plot holes, issues with characters or any of the thousand overarching problems that manuscripts can have.
5. Read your book out loud. Yes, every page.
7. Spellcheck, grammar check, spellcheck again!
Once you think your manuscript is ready to publish, hire an editor, copy or line, to look for any errors you might have missed. Make sure that as you make modifications, you don’t add in new errors. Spellcheck AGAIN *Please note that I have royally screwed up before by not re-checking this.
OK, now my manuscript is ready. Where do I start?
There are lots of decisions to make at each step in this process and as you are taking on the roles of editor, publisher and marketer, you are the only person who can make these.
What kind of book do I want to produce: Kindle, paperback or hardcover (for picturebooks)?
In self-publishing, you employ a printer (publisher) to operate a press, but you, the author, retain the ownership of copyrights, ISBNs, the finished book and its distribution.
You would need to do all the steps yourself (or contract help) to produce your book: get a cover, do the formatting, get the editing done, etc. But the process itself is free or very inexpensive.
Here is a short list of self-publishing companies. Many of these can be selected in tandem. For example, I publish on KDP, Smashwords, Kobo and Createspace with the same books.
If you’re a budding indie author, checking out those links will give you a good idea of the options you have for getting your work out there. Join us on Wednesday for Part 2 of All The Things I Didn’t Know The First Time!