Tuesday, 4 February 2014

My Experience with Self-Publishing

I know many of you who took the NaNoWriMo challenge are wanting to self-publish, so I thought I'd do a post about my experience. The whole idea of self-publishing can be daunting; so many places offering to help you become a published author. But like anything else, it's Buyer Beware. Some companies only want your money, and don't offer good value. Others offer many services, but are also prohibitively expensive, especially for those of us on a hamburger budget!

I checked out many companies, and found that many only offer Ebook publishing, which is fine if that's what you are looking for, but not if you want a hard copy in your hot little hand! Smashwords is good for Ebooks, as is Kindle Direct, as long as you can do your own formatting to their specifications. I found Kindle much easier and more forgiving in that respect; Smashwords had me tearing my hair out before I finally got it right.

For paperbacks and hard covers, there is Lulu, which lets you publish for free, but also has a learning curve to get the formatting right. The problem is, I found them very expensive to produce, and you would have to sell your books at an awfully high price to break even, never mind make a profit.

If you're OK with a paperback, for my money, CreateSpace gives you the best bang for your buck, and their support line is great. You can publish yourself, if you can stand the formatting hassle. I couldn't and used their Simple Interior Design service. It was $349 US, but the best $349 I ever spent, for the frustration it prevented. They also offer editing services if you need them, and a book cover design service. However, one great thing is that they have an online cover designer that you can use for free. It is limited, but offers many templates, and variations. I used it and was pleasantly surprised at the quality. They will also distribute your books to many distributors at no cost to you, unless the books sell, and even then, their royalty system is more than fair. The interior is also very professional, and I am completely satisfied with my experience with them, and will definitely go with them again when my second book is ready for publishing.

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