Self-Publishing Checklist Condensed Version
The following is a combined version of the Self-Publishing Checklists Part One and Part Two. I’ve also added information about pricing your eBook.
Step 1 — Write the book.
Step 1a — Join a critique group like Writers World. You want to put your best work forward when you publish and a critique group is the best way to do this.
Step 2 — Edit the book.
Step 2a — Start building a web presence. I consider this pre-marketing.
Start an author blog, create a Facebook account for you as an author, and create a website. If you are short on funds, Weebly and Wix are two great places to build a free website. Start an email list. For a blog, you can’t beat WordPress. Email list is another good idea to set up early. Mailchimp is one to use.
Step 3 — Send out to beta readers.
Step 3a — Book Blurb. Next to a cover, the blurb of your book is as important as the story itself. This is what potential readers will read, and decide whether they want to purchase the book or not.
Step 4 — Have someone proofread before you get into the process of final formatting for the eBook.
Step 5 — Formatting your eBook. Here you have two choices: One you can do it yourself or two you can hire someone to do the formatting for you. Since I’m doing my own formatting, I use MS Word and Scrivener for the formatting.
Step 5a — Parts of a book. You need to know what the parts of the book are:
Dedication Page (optional)
Table of Contents
Preface or Acknowledgments
Art (if you include a map for a fantasy world)
Body of the book (the story)
Back matter — author bio, promotional blurbs about other books, excerpts from other books, a lengthy acknowledgment section, Notes on any research you did, links to your website, etc. In nonfiction, appendices and the index.
Step 6 — Book cover. You can hire someone to make the cover for you. Other options:Canva, My Cover Maker, or use a program like Photoshop. Make sure the title and the author name can be read when th eimage is reduced to a thumbnail size.
Step 7 — Create an eBook. You need to see what it will look like before you publish it. Bad formatting is a turn off to readers. With various eReader apps out there, you can see how it will look in all of them. I use Scrivener for the initial epub format, then I use Calibre to convert to other formats as needed.
Step 8 — (Optional) Obtain ISBNs. If you plan to sell printed versions of your book in bookstores, you will need an ISBN for it. Bowker’s is the place to purchase these if you are self-publishing.
Step 9 — Copyrighting. United States Copyright Office Website
1) The symbol ©
2) The year of first publication
3) The name of the copyright owner
Step 10 — Pricing. You need to determine what price to set for your work.
- Go to Amazon and check the eBooks in the genre you have written in. Get an idea of what other authors charge for that type of book.
Minimum Price Maximum Price
- Less than or equal to 3 megabytes $ 0.99 $ 200.00
- Greater than 3 megabytes and less than 10 megabytes $ 1.99 $ 200.00
- 10 megabytes or greater $ 2.99 $ 200.00
Short Story (up to 15000 words) — 99 cents
Novella and Short Story Collection (15,000 – 50,000 words) — 1.99
Novel (50,000+ words) — 2.99 – 4.99
You could charge higher for the novel if you want. What I’ve listed above is just a guideline.
Another option available is selling directly to your readers from your author website. With PayPal, it’s easy to collect the money, and then email a copy of the eBook to the customer.
Marketing Your Work
Before the day of the book release, do something like a cover reveal, maybe an excerpt to whet the potential readers’ appetite. Use the email list you set up to let people know what’s coming. Send out a few ARCs – Advanced Reader Copies – for early reviews.
If you are publishing through Amazon and this is your first eBook, make sure you set up an Author Central Page.
Step 11 — Promoting your eBook with Social Media. Facebook and Twitter are the two best ways to start getting the word out about your new release. Quick reminder — Do not flood FB with promotions of your book. People will get tired of seeing it on their feed and ignore it. The same way you ignore TV commercials.
Step 12 — Book Trailer. (Optional) I have to admit, I don’t see the point of book trailers. If I’m going to buy a book, I base it on how the cover looks and most importantly, the blurb.
Step 13 — Author Interviews. A lot of bloggers and websites do author interviews, or podcasts. This gives you a chance to let your readers know a bit about you and your writing.
Step 14 — Blog Tours.
Step 15 — Release Party. With swag for prizes, maybe a gift card from Amazon as a grand prize. EBook copies of your work.
Step 16 — Reviews. Something to keep in mind with good reviews that you receive. Consider asking the reviewer if you can quote from the review of your book.
Now that you have published your first ebook, it’s time to get back to writing. Sales tend to increase when you have more than one eBook for sale.
May the w0rds ever flow!