Monday was one the most exciting days I’ve had in a long time. I spent it, as usual, in front of my computer, but this was not story generation. It was story publication!
My first book, Descent (Book One of the Rephaim Series) is now live on Amazon and will soon be available on all formats, including in print through CreateSpace. There are a lot of steps in the process, but they are definitely worth it. Incredibly, I got my first sale this morning! I’m hoping it’s an omen of things to come.
So, first things first: I want to thank Susan Kiernan-Lewis, author of MANY books, including the awesome Tempus Fugit Time Travel Series. She is a wonderful author and friend and you can find her here. She walked me through the process of uploading the book, adding the cover, setting up payment information and etc. with patience, professionalism and a sweetness of spirit all teachers should emulate.
And now for five lessons I learned yesterday:
1) The process isn’t brain surgery, but a mentor/guide makes it so much easier, less time consuming and more fun. To anyone publishing their first book, I highly recommend finding someone experienced to guide you through. (But please get your own mentor. Susan is taken.)
2) Have all your “pieces” ready written so you can just copy and paste. This includes two blurbs, a long one for the back and a short description for electronic sources, the tag line, your bio and an author photo in addition to your manuscript and cover art. Save each piece in a file or series of files on your computer so you can find them easily and you don’t have to create them on the fly.
3) I don’t know about all vendors, but Amazon, Smashwords and CreateSpace all have a vetting process. Be patient as your book goes through it. Be prepared to go back and fix things that are wrong. Keep in mind that you want your book to be the best it can be and this vetting process is just a small step toward a good book. That said, don’t depend on the vetting process to produce a stellar product if your “raw material” isn’t in pretty good shape to begin with.
4) Be prepared to take some time with this process. It took us all day and I had an experienced professional helping me. For me, it wasn’t tedious or boring, but then, I love creating spreadsheets and power points. (Not that you will need to do that, but the type of work is comparable. Sort of.) Others, who don’t like computer tweakage, might find the process to be both tedious and boring. Be patient. Every career has a downside, and if this is as bad as it gets, I’ll pick writing every time.
5) If you haven’t already, download Calibre. It is a free resource and an absolute must for e-publishing. Calibre transforms an ordinary word document into a beautiful e-book in any format you like with minimal effort. You can upload cover art, edit metadata and change formats with a few clicks of the mouse and in less time than it takes to make toast.
More lessons are forthcoming, I am sure. But that’s all my over-excited, happy brain can think of at the moment. So, until I think of something else, happy writing!