Friday, July 22, 2011

Lessons learned about indie publishing

A few posts ago I listed questions I had about self publishing and the answers and help I got were amazing. I thought I'd recap some of the answers or directions I was pointed in for those who read the post before the comments were made.

First lesson learned: I don't need to buy an ISBN, most sites will provide some form of ID for the books. Createspace will provide a free ISBN for the printed version. BUT, I also learned you need an ID for each version so if you have a printed book and find errors, fix it and resubmit a new edition, you need a new ISBN for each paperback edition. Canada does ISBNs for free. Lucky Canucks.

Second lesson learned: Formatting for print and ebooks are different. But you should use some of the same steps to find spaces at the beginning and ending of paragraphs that aren't supposed to be there. Also, if you plan on having a paperback version of your novel, you need to get a back and spine designed for it as well.

Third lesson: Forming a publishing company is optional. You might want to get a DBA (Doing Business As) I looked into that when I started my jewelry business and since I was using my name I didn't have to but if you're not using your name in some part of the business name it was recommended so other people in the state can't use the same name. I imagine it might be a good idea to look into it if you use a pen name. In Michigan, getting a DBA was only $10. DBAs are registered only in the state you live in.

Fourth lesson: Formatting isn't insanely hard but time consuming. If you can find a step by step guide it's a piece of cake. (Also make use of the search and replace function. You can search for spaces!) Fiddling with Mobipocket Creator to see how books looks in Kindle.... not so easy. Their help section is very lacking.

Those are the questions I had that have been answered. I still have more. I'm starting to think budding up with a lawyer might be wise too. There are a few legal aspects that indie authors will need to deal with. (I'm thinking what do I say during tax time? How do I report any income I make? Or expenses?)

One last bit of help. Sarah McCabe posted some links. The only one I've checked out so far is passive voice and it is great.

The Self-Published Author's Lounge:
Author Dean Wesley Smith's Blog:
Author Kristine Kathryn Rusch's blog:
The Passive Voice blog:
Robin Sullivan's blog:

Thanks everyone who helped answer my questions. I still have more but plenty of time to figure them out and I'll keep you posted so if any of you decide to go indie, you'll have a nice and easy collection of info in one spot.

1 comment:

  1. Whenever I hear writers thinking about self-publishing, my first piece of advice is this: make sure the work is professionally edited beforehand because, when self publishing, editing becomes a step that isn't being imposed by anyone (e.g., a traditional publisher), but that is still crucial.

    Many self-publishers offer their own editors, but it's nice to shop around for better prices or for people whom you think you would work better with.

    That's all I've got for now. If you are thinking about self-publishing, Patricia, good luck! :)