If you want to self-publish, the best thing you can do is educate yourself about what’s out there. If you sign up for things or subscribe for things, download their Terms of Agreement and read it! Talk to other writers who are ahead of you in the process and see what worked for them and what didn’t. You may be able to avoid some pitfalls while making your own. It’s a process. Don’t be discouraged!
Here are some of the resources used by many of the writers on this website. They are organized by category. Also please go to Kayla Dawn Thomas’ website for more! She has a podcast link for writer’s resources as well.
For the process of writing: There is no one ‘right’ way. Everyone’s process is a little different. Figure out what works for you.
Being able to travel without actually going there is very important when you’re writing. Google Earth is a favorite resource. You can “see” places up close, you can calculate distances using different transportation methods (flying, driving, biking, walking, etc.), and do all kinds of armchair travel.
As writers we deal in words. Sometimes we need just the right shade of meaning or need another word entirely. Online dictionaries and thesauri are very helpful. If you are a paper person or don’t have great Internet, going to a used book store and buying a BAD (bigass dictionary) is another alternative.
For the process of publishing:
Finding editors, beta readers, artists: Try Good Reads. They have a number of forums that may help you find resources.
Formatting: The Book Designer by Joel Friedlander is a great resource. They have recently updated their site. They have advice on fonts, spacing, tools, goals, all kinds of things related to writing and self-publishing.
Jacket blurbs are very important! Here are the key points to include. Have a friend read it over and help you if you don’t think you have the knack. You can check out this website to see more on writing blurbs. Be sure to cover the following:
- Who is your main character?
- What do they want?
- What/who stands in their way?
- What will he/she do, or what must he/she do in order to get what they want?
- What’s at stake if they fail?
For promoting your work after it’s published:
Having a giveaway in the form of a business card or book mark or postcard to give people who are interested in your work but not ready to buy it yet is very helpful. Put your title(s), your contact info, and any relevant info like a jacket blurb and a cover picture if it is for a specific work. I have used Overnight Prints. They are fast and relatively cheap and have deals on a regular basis. You can format your card on line by typing and by uploading images as needed. They also have a live chat function that allows you to speak to a rep if you have trouble. Here’s the link.
Going to places where your fans and readers are likely to congregate is also important. If you write genre fiction, there is very likely a convention you can go to and promote your work, meet other writers, artists, publishers and learn more about the craft. If you are familiar with conventions, try and get on panels where people discuss specific topics. This may be a little hard to do without an “in” to the convention but email them during the planning phase and offer your expertise.
Get reviews for your work, both from your readers and from professional reviewers. Do a search for self published work reviewers and you’ll likely find a few sites that specialize in reading and reviewing self published work. You may have to pay for them to read, give feedback and promote your work, but having that pro review (as long as it’s kind to you) is worth it.