The term, “self-publishing,” says how I do it. I am the publisher, which means I have total control of my work, which means I go through many of the same steps traditional publishers do.
My Nine Steps to Self-publishing
I buy my International Standard Book Number (ISBN) from bowker.com. ISBNs are your book’s unique identifying number. They help buyers identify you as the author and enable places such as libraries to order your book. Bowker is the only legitimate company in the United States where these important numbers can be purchased.
Some self-publishers, such as Amazon KDP, will provide an ISBN for you for free. However, if Amazon provides the number, authors aren’t allowed to have their own imprint, but Amazon does give authors the option to use their own ISBN and imprint when they publish their books.
I write my book and revise and revise and revise till I’m happy with it. In other words, I strive to write the best book I can.
I submit my work to beta readers, those readers who read objectively and offer sound advice. I’ve written a blog about beta readers that discusses how to find the right one. Visit it at: https://wordpress.com/post/theauthorscove.com/2050
I hire a professional freelance editor to review my book and offer suggestions for improvement. Because each genre has its own rules, it’s important to find one who is knowledgeable about your genre and era. In historical fiction, for example, lots of narrative exposition is more acceptable than in other genres, such as thrillers.
Taking the editor’s advice into consideration and using what’s helpful, I make more changes. Since we’re all human, it’s easy to overlook things such as punctuation and spelling errors, so I proofread again.
I hire a good cover designer. Some of the companies I mentioned in my previous post do cover designs, but I hire my own because covers are hugely important. They’re the reader’s first impression of your book. A good cover encourages readers to look inside your book and perhaps even buy it.
I also hire a professional to format my book. A short while back, I did something I’ve never done before. I took a book I’d purchased back to the bookstore for a refund. I bought it because it dealt with a subject I had an interest in. I returned it because the formatting was bad, which led me to believe the author was an amateur. The writing wasn’t that great either.
For any who may be interested, my cover designer and the one who formats my books can be found at this website: www.teddiblack.com. I have used Teddi and Megan for many years.
Once step six is done, I proofread again, make suggestions for changes to my formatter and when I’m happy with the result, I upload my book on Amazon KDP.
After the book is published, I record it in my Bowker account beside the ISBN number I’d purchased.
I send two copies of my book to the Copyright Office. Why? Because it’s the law. The Copyright Office gives authors three months to do this.
Although it’s not required, I register my book with the Copyright Office. According to copyright law, once a work is in fixed form it’s automatically copyrighted. Registration just gives the work a little more legal protection and more money if the author sues someone who plagiarized him.
Well, folks, this is how I do it. Till next week, y’all.