Self Publishing

Self-publishing makes it easier for authors to get their work out there.  However, the information out on the web can be daunting.  Having just gone through the process, I wanted to document for other Indie authors the steps I went through to publish my book.  I hope this will make your path a bit easier. 

  1. Write a great book.

  1. Get beta readers to critique your plot, flow of the story, character development, etc...  I had 5 beta readers.  I asked them not to comment on editing or typos, because I knew I would be hiring an editor later in the process.  I wanted my beta readers to focus on the story and content, more than whether or not I was missing a comma.
  2. Once I had my completed draft, I did my own round of edits, before turning it over to an editor.  I strongly recommend you find a professional editor to review your book.  There are a lot of great editors out there that work independently and support Indie authors.  Just ask around the indie author / blogging community.  You'll easily get a list of names.  I worked with Erin Roth, from Wise Owl Editing.  I was referred to her by a book formatter.  Erin has edited many best selling indie author novels.  She was fabulous and blunt and she made my book better.  Since indie editors get booked up early, I recommend getting on their schedules early.  When I contacted Erin, she was booked out about 6-8 months.  Plan accordingly.
  3. While you're booking your editor, I recommend also booking your cover designer.  I worked with Sarah Hansen, with Okay Creations.  She's one of the best in the Indie industry.  I had to book her about 8 months in advance.  Again, plan accordingly.  She was so easy to work with, so responsive, and amazingly talented.   If you can't wait for Sarah, then look inside the cover of some of your favorite indie books and see who they used to design their cover. Your cover designer will give you several images:
  • Front cover image for Goodreads, Amazon, Smashwords
  • Front cover image for Kobo
  • Front cover image for iBook
  • .jpg for book cover reveals that show both front, spine, and back
  • Paperback image for CreateSpace
  1. You should also book a formatter.  The formatter formats your book so that you can upload it w/out issue to Amazon and Smashwords.  They book out early too, but not as long of a lead time as a cover designer and editor.  I used Angela McLaurin from Fictional Formats.   You could try formatting the book yourself, but I heard it can become  a frustrating experience of trial or error.   I just didn't want to deal with that.  Angela sent me files for mobi (Amazon), epub, pdf (Createspace), and word.  Each of them uploaded smoothly to the correct e-book website without any issues. 
  2. Legal and compliance:   You will need the following information before you set up your accounts on distribution sites like Amazon, Smashwords, and CreateSpace.
    • ISBN - Createspace and Smashwords provide you an ISBN.  Go to their website and just search on instructions on how to get your ISBN number.   You need an ISBN number for each book type.  For Amazon, I had to buy my ISBN.  I got this on 
    • Copyright - be sure to set up your copyright for your book.  They require you to upload a copy of your work online.  They whole process will take several months, but as long as the application has been submitted and your work has been uploaded, you are ok to publish.  This costs $35.
    • Set up your Tax ID.  Get an EIN number.  Go to the IRS website and follow the instructions.  DO NOT go to any other website.  There are a lot that charge for it.  You DO NOT have to pay for it if you go to the IRS website.
  3. Set up your distribution accounts.  I set up accounts on:
  4. Marketing your book…  I'm still working on this.  I'm new to this too!  I'll update this in a month and tell you all how it's going.