Thank goodness for self-publishing.
Originally, I planned to go indie and the hiccups along the way were stepping stones in the right direction. I simply needed to prove to myself my manuscript was worth publishing.
The onus now is on me, and being a control freak, nothing could please me more. My book is my product and I want to be responsible for its publication and marketing. In this way, the work I put in, comes back to me, in the way of royalties.
So, my next step?
Step 1. The book has been thoroughly edited and critiqued. It just needs a final proofread. I've learnt NEVER to proofread my own work. No matter how good I think I may be, I'm not that good. Thankfully, I have a marvellous critique partner who I believe was an editor in a previous life.
Step 2. Send my manuscript to CreateSpace. They will convert it into kindle format as well as POD. This will take a maximum of ten days as CS will send me back the proofs for any correcting. If all goes well, I'll press the 'Approve' button and my manuscript will appear as an ebook within a couple of days on Amazon. I also intend placing it on Smashwords, Apple, Sony and B&N and every other online retailer.
Step 3. Since I'm Australian, I'll need to send my EIN number and CS kindle number to the US IRS department for processing. Last thing I want is to be taxed at a higher rate than necessary. Australia has a tax treaty with the US which reduces the amount I have to pay to 5%.
Step 4. Convert my blog into a website. I'm on blogger (and happy to stay here, since I find Wordpress too damn complicated!) I'm only going to add extra pages, titled - Home, About Me, My Books, My Testimony, The World of Dantonville, Blog, Press. That should just about cover it. I've been searching the web and perusing the best blogs for inspiration and there are some incredible ones around. There's nothing wrong with looking to the best and emulating them.
Step 5. Create a series of promo images based on my book cover. Good publishers will use the book cover as a pseudo-eposter. Eg. They'll take the image, remove the title and add a line from the book, or a catchy blurb. It's a clever way to garner interest both prior to and after its release.
My graphic artist is currently in the process of creating some truly professional ones for me, but in the meanwhile, here are two promos I've been playing with.
Step 6. If you're don't already have a Goodreads author page, GET ONE! Sorry, don't mean to shout, but Goodreads is one of the best author platforms around. Readers go there to find books and authors, and a favourable review on Goodreads will start the process of gaining you a loyal reader following.
Well, I think that's all - for now. In the next few weeks I'll be adding to these steps as my publishing journey continues.
I'd love to hear from any authors who bravely struck out on their own. What has been your experience?