Self-Publishing

So you have written a book and you want to share it with the world? How are you going to achieve that?


Well there are a couple of ways.


You can try the traditional publishing way. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact it is a dream for most writers. Just be cautious. There are a lot of scams out there. Do your research. Don't sign anything without reading the fine print. If you have a lawyer, take the contract to him/her to review it before you commit. If it sounds too good to be true it just might be. Now, since this blog is about self-publishing we will move on to options for achieving that.


One good way to self-publish is to give it away for free on different sites like Inkitt.com or Wattpad.com to name a couple. Both are good sites to get exposure. You can publish as you write. Yup, chapter by chapter and gain readers at the same time!


How is people reading my book for free a good thing?


Well, for a number of reasons actually.


  1. You get feedback from your readers as you go by them leaving comments on paragraphs, chapters, even a specific sentence or word. These messages tell you what they like, what they don't like. Sometimes the comments left are them pointing out a misspelled word, or an inconsistency in the story. How great is that? Readers help you edit! That said, don't rely on them to edit your book. They are there to enjoy the free books as they love to read, and won't always point out your mistakes.

  2. Since every chapter read is counted you can see what chapter the majority of your readers fall off. This in itself tells you something about your book.

  3. You gain followers on these platforms just like you would Facebook or any other social media site.

  4. Publishing this way doesn't just help you find out what is or isn't working inside your book, but whether or not your book cover or blurb is working. By this I mean, if lots of people are reading your book odds are your cover and or blurb is doing its job. But if in a reasonable amount of time you only have a handful or no readers it is very likely that one or the other, maybe even both aren’t working.

  5. Speaking of covers, this is a good place to try out another cover if you wanted to change it. If your book is really popular on these sites odds are you have a lot of followers on there, so you can simply ask your followers what they think of the new cover. Also implementing the cover and seeing how many new readers you gain if any.

  6. There are also writing competitions on Wattpad. I wasn't on Inkitt long enough to delve into it to tell you what they do for authors aside from what I mentioned above.


Finally, there is self-publishing which allows you to get your ebook out to the masses and in all the major stores like Kobo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indigo Chapters, Apple Store and to some major libraries to name a bunch, and make money. Your book won't be distributed in physical form, but in ebook to these stores, but it is still everywhere. That is not to say your paperback never will be, but to do that, first you need to do expanded distribution. This puts you on the Ingram Sparks list. If you become very popular and customers are asking for your paperback book at these stores, the store might be inclined to carry it as part of their stock. If this isn't happening and you really want your book in stores, you still need to be on this list, but now you are approaching the stores yourself and working on a consignment option. That is a whole other blog. Just know it is possible.


Three self-publishing sites I use are Draft2Digital.com, kdp.amazon.com, and Smashwords.com. There are others but these three are the major ones, and the ones I like. Leave a comment if you have a different one that you prefer.


Draft2Digital and KDP Amazon offer print on demand options. That means that some of the stores Draft2Digital published your ebook with the paperback version is available for purchase also. This is excellent for customers searching a store website like Barnes & Noble or Amazon for example, to either download the ebook or to order the physical book. Lets face it, there are many readers that prefer to hold a book over downloading a file. I am one of those readers. KDP Amazon even offers a hardcover option. Note: Smashwords does not provide print on demand services.


At Draft2Digital, Smashwords, KDP Amazon should you find something in your formatting, or a spelling error in your book no problem! You can update your files as often as you need to. You want to change your cover? No problem! You can make changes whenever you want, as often as you want at no cost to you. These sites have it right! They want to sell quality work and sell lots of it making it easy for you to perfect it. NOTE: Draft2Digital does put limits on updating the print on demand version of your book. You can do it but last I looked it had to be 60 days since the last time. I am not sure if they have increased that time frame. If you choose to do it before that window opens again it will cost you.


Draft2Digital and Smashwords allows you to put your books on sale either at a discount price or for free forever, or a limited time. These two publishers will publish your book to their major stores, and when your book is on sale it will show at Barnes & Noble for example as a sale.


NOTE: KDP Amazon does not allow free or show your book on sale. You can lower the price but it won't show it as a sale price. If you opt to enroll your book into KDP Amazon's KDP Select program you can put your book on sale.


With KDP Select you have to agree to your ebook being exclusive to them - meaning Amazon only. This does not include any other format of your book. It is only a three month commitment so might be worth the try.


In the three month enrollment you can then put your book on sale by using Free Days or a Discount Price. Your book will be shown as a sale and listed in either free books or sale books. You only have five days in the three months to do either of these, and only one or the other. You can break the five days up, or run your sale for a full five days.


In KDP Select you also get paid by pages read by readers that downloaded your book through Kindle Unlimited. There is not a set penny or dollar amount per read. This changes by the month where you receive an email telling you how the money will be allotted and what the full purse is. Readers that are not part of KDP Unlimited can still purchase your ebook and you get paid a royalty.


My take on KDP Select? I am nearing my three months on one of my books, and I am about half way through the three months on the other. So far, I am not liking it to be honest. I can't see how many books have been downloaded. This always feels shady to me. I like to know how many people have downloaded my book. Is that so weird? Also, the readers can download and go offline to read. Until they come back online I have no idea on the reads I have. I also don't like the limitations to the sales. Five days in three months limits my promotion strategies.


Customer Service on Smashwords, Draft2Digital and KDP Amazon? In the years that I have published with Samshwords I have not had to reach out to Customer Service so I can't speak to theirs. Draft2Digital is very responsive, always providing clear answers and a resolution. KDP Amazon Customer Service is also great. They are fast at replying and always resolve issues. What is lacking with KDP Amazon is one person from start to finish when communicating via email. If you have a question that leads to another - which I find with KDP Amazon often happens - you get another agent responding to your email the next time, that obviously hasn't read the entire conversation. I have found myself frustrated with them more often than not. Now, I will say if you can call them instead, they are excellent - super friendly, knowledgable and work really hard to assist. Regardless of how I communicate with them I always get my answer or my issue resolved, but by email it can be very aggravating getting there.



Please do your research on all options before jumping in to any of them. If your heart is set on traditional publishing research that first. Find the publishers you would like to publish with prior to doing any self-publishing! Some publishers will not accept a book that has been previously published. Do your homework!




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