Friday, July 13, 2012

Trials (and Errors) of Self-Publication

I've just completed the process of self-publishing a fiction novella, and I'm currently working on the last leg of the same journey with a non-fiction book. I've learned two important things.

First, it's way easier than you probably expect as long as you keep one thing in mind. NOTHING goes into a self-pub book unless you put it there. That nifty paragraph in the front of books that declares it a work of fiction so any similarity to real people and such is not intended? And that paragraph telling people they can't utilize any part of that work without your written permission? Neither are there unless you put them there. And page numbers? Don't forget to number those pages before you upload the document. The companies don't do it for you. Trust me. I found out the hard way. he he

So ASSUME NOTHING. Don't assume they'll fill in any information. Chances are good they won't. If you want anything to show up in your book, whether it's a dedication, acknowledgements or those legal statements on the copyright page, put them in there yourself. That includes that lovely copyright info, BTW.

Second, it takes time to complete the process from start to finish. Be patient. I'm not talking about the writing and editing itself. Lord knows that takes LOTS of time. I'm referring to the actual publication process. Once the editing is done and your project is uploaded, you'll have a "review" to wait for. Then you'll be told your proof is ready to evaluate. Do yourself a favor, buy a hard copy of the PROOF and look at it closely. I was horrified by the number of simple things I missed perusing the document countless times on a computer screen. Others had missed those same things, too, so I didn't feel too bad. Thankfully, I bought a proof. Whew! Errors found. Corrections made. After uploading the corrected file, it was back to waiting for the review process again.

From start (uploading the first copy) to finish (approving the proof for distribution) took about 2 weeks (the proof copy took about a week to arrive in the mail), and that was for the paperback book.  We won't even discuss the Kindle version I submitted for review but forgot to tell them the author's name. Doh!

And don't forget to laugh at oversights like forgetting to put your name on your work or neglecting to number the pages of your project because you erroneously assume they'll do that for you. We all need a good laugh, and if we can't laugh at our flubs, we're probably taking ourselves way too seriously. It's not worth the stress. It'll come together eventually.

Oh, and if you're interested in what I just did, it's available through Amazon and Create Space, soon to be available elsewhere. Beyond Hope by Dawn M. Turner. Check it out!

Terry is beyond hope. Or so she believes. Disabled by an injury and dismissed by the medical profession, she has become a burden to her family. Or so she thinks. Her husband carries responsibilities that once were hers. Her grown sons no longer need her. Her 13-year-old daughter walks in shoes she shouldn't need to. All Terry can do is pray it will finally end, but God doesn't seem to be listening.

Then she receives an unexpected answer to prayer....

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