Today I have a guest post from Catherine Ryan Howard, self-publishing guru extraordinaire whose book Self-Printed: the Sane Person’s Guide to Self Publishing, hand-holds you through the whole self-publishing process from start to finish. It was my bible when I started self-publishing, so I’m excited to tell you the totally revamped third edition of Self-Printed is out today in paperback and ebook.
To celebrate the launch, Catherine invited bloggers to ask her questions about her new book, with the answers being published today as part of her Self-Printed Splash. So here’s my contribution.
You’ve said that you’ve changed your mind about some things since writing Self-Printed 2. Pick one and say what it is and what made you take a different view of it.
In the first (and second) editions of Self-Printed, I advised self-publishers to do the “standard”: self-publish to Amazon KDP and Smashwords. But in the third edition – and in real life! – I’ve totally changed my mind about that.
Amazon KDP is converting Word to Mobi, and it does it well. So: you can get away with a lot. Or in other words: it’s easy to make a great-looking Kindle book all by yourself. BUT Smashwords is taking Word and converting it into multiple formats, and its Premium Catalogue (other retailers) has high standards and can be very demanding and quite difficult for the average self-publisher to achieve. So what I recommend now is something like:
1. Publish to Kindle exclusively first. It’s easy and you can take advantage of KDP Select’s free days to get this party started.
2. After 3 months (a KDP Select enrollment period) re-invest your profits in getting a conversion service (I recommend eBookPartnership) to take your manuscript and make all the e-book formats that aren’t Kindle out of it – they’ll do an amazing job and – yay! – you don’t have to worry about it.
3. Distribute to all other major retailers (eBookPartnership do this too – I’d recommend going with a company that does both OR going to Mark’s List on Smashwords and finding someone to do your formatting for you, and then upload that to Smashwords)
4. Release your paperback now too, if you’re doing one
5. Have some champagne. You’ve earned it!
I think self-publishers get into a panic, thinking OH MY GOD EVERY FORMAT HAS TO BE AVAILABLE ON PUB DAY OR ELSE, but this just isn’t the case. In the real world, the hardback can be used to build anticipation/momentum for the eventual trade paperback. That’s all you’re doing here. Think outside the box. Work harder not smarter. [Insert more motivational poster platitudes here…]
Thanks for your advice, Catherine!
Catherine Ryan Howard is a writer, self-publisher and caffeine enthusiast from Cork, Ireland. SELF-PRINTED: THE SANE PERSON’S GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING (3rd edition) is out now in paperback and e-book and available on Amazon UK and Amazon USA.
Follow the #selfprintedsplash on Twitter today (Friday 24th) and/or visit www.catherineryanhoward.com for chance to win an amazing prize that will get your self-publishing adventure started!
“SELF-PRINTED is my self-publishing bible. It taught me how to format, create and upload my e-books and print-on-demand paperbacks. It showed me practical things such as how to build a website/blog and how to promote my books. More importantly, it taught me how to compete with the professionals. Just look at the results – The Estate Series has sold nearly 100,000 copies and following that I got a traditional book deal with Thomas & Mercer too, so I’m now a hybrid author. Jam-packed full of hints and tips all in one place, I’m always referring back to it. In a word, it’s priceless.” – Mel Sherratt, author of The Estate Series and DS Allie Shenton Series