So, I’ve got a lot of texts/emails/messages concerning my self-publishing journey. I didn’t realize how many people had dreams of writing and publishing a book, so I’ve decided to share my journey.
I’ve written a ton of stories. Short stories, only story beginnings and even some novels. It takes me a while to finish because I have ADD when it comes to writing, but that’s besides the point. That’s not what we’re here for.
After I spent hours perfecting my manuscript, in this case, several short stories, I sent them to my friend who is an English major. (Confession: I don’t see SHORTIES as a “book” per se. It’s a collection of short, fun, quirky stories that I just did on a whim. I wasn’t going to invest that much money into it and to be honest, I didn’t.) My friend edited each short story for grammar, content, etc.
When I received all 20 short stories back separately, I then had to compile them all in one document.
THIS IS WHERE THE HARD PART CAME IN.
I had zero idea about typesetting, formatting, etc. I was under the impression I could just upload the word document somewhere and it would come out beautiful and pristine. I figured I could press a button and boom– out pops a book. I was wrong.
I did a lot of research! I was going to pay someone for typesetting services (which sometimes comes out to be close to the $100 range) but I was hell-bent on not spending a lot of money for a book that I didn’t even want to put out! At this time I was literally saving every.single.penny. for my novel. So after hours of research about formatting a manuscript for publication I just decided to do it myself.
That night I stayed up til around 3am formatting my manuscript. I changed the document size to 5.5 x 8.5 which is standard for a trade paperback. (The most popular is 6×9 but when I got the proof back from CreateSpace it was too big so I downsized) After that I used the Styles tool in Microsoft Word (I’m not obsessed with formatting. I format everything before I even start to write!) to define chapter text, chapter headings, page/section breaks, etc.
After this I copyrighted the entire document. I paid $35.00 and uploaded it to the US Copyright site and boom. My ideas were now protected and I could disseminate my writing to the world.
Now on to the part everyone wants to know about: publishing.
There are so many avenues to self-publishing. You can pay up to $2,000 – $5,000 to a company to handle everything for your manuscript. Formatting, editing, cover, dissemination, etc. Because I am broke I decided to go the free route. (If you’re balling, feel free to research other companies that will do all the work for you.)
I signed up for CreateSpace which is the self-publishing format for Amazon.com. You literally upload your document, CreateSpace will then do all the work…for free! It allows you to proof your work online and shows you what is wrong with it or if any of your images are out of place, etc.
I uploaded SHORTIES to CreateSpace. It assigned me a FREE ISBN number (which makes it possible for your book to actually be sold in other markets) and then I needed a cover.
I went over to Fiverr.com which is an amazing amazing place! Everything I’ve ever done for my writing career I’ve gotten done from Fiverr. You literally pay someone $5 (depending on what you want) and they deliver it to you. It’s not only for book stuff. There are gigs for business and advertising, graphics and more! Seriously, check it out!
I literally paid a girl $10.00 to do my book cover.
Google e-book cover. Check out those prices. Let me tell you I got a damn steal! I uploaded my cover to CreateSpace and I waited 24 hours for them to approve my proof.
After 24 hours I was able to buy a proof from CreateSpace (an actual book!) and have it shipped to my house. I found no errors and loved the proof, except it was 6×9 and it looked a little weird so then I changed the size to 5.5 x 8.5 which I mentioned earlier and that made it all better.
Once I approved the proof, CreateSpace uploaded it to the CreateSpace e-market. Shortly after it was available on Amazon. I also had the option to make it an e-book for Amazon as well. It took another couple of hours to upload to Amazon Kindle marketplace and BOOM I was a published author.
All in all, I spent about $60.00 publishing SHORTIES between copyrighting, Fiverr and expedited shipping for proofs. I am very thankful for the love that SHORTIES is getting. You can check out a sample story on this blog or on Amazon.
I hope this has cleared up some of the questions as to “how” I published my book. If you have any more questions please feel free to send me a message. I am on Facebook as Necole Ryse. You can also email me at necole dot ryse at gmail dot com. DONT.SPAM.ME.