Posts Tagged ‘self publishing’

KDP–Kindle Direct Publishing–I Tried It for Self-Publishing

Yes, I tried it. I published my short story, The Good Neighbors, on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) using my pen name, J.Q. Rose. I am not a guru when it comes to formatting, so I was really nervous about getting it right. I learned a LOT about formatting. I think the short story, 4000 words, was a good one for the first (and last?) project because there were no chapter headings to worry about formatting or any need to add hyperlinks to them.

The most difficult problem for me was to come up with a book cover. I am not satisfied with this one…pretty amateurish, but I wanted to clue readers into the idea that it is a funny, holiday story. And hey, selling a book for 99 cents doesn’t leave any cash to pay an artist to design a book cover. Since the same characters are in this story as in my e-book, Sunshine Boulevard, I wanted to connect the two stories.  I did that by choosing a flamingo. Two flamingos are on the cover of Sunshine.


Actually the process is very simple for a short story anyway. After I pubbed it, I discovered a ridiculous, obvious error, so I re-pubbed it with no problem after fixing the error. I was also amazed the story showed up within 24 hours for sale on amazon.

The story features characters, Jim and Gloria Hart, from my mystery e-book, Sunshine Boulevard, published in March from Muse It Up Publishing. I hope to use it as a promotional tool to garner interest in Sunshine Boulevard.  I am donating the royalties from the story to local food pantries. The story is only 99 cents, so not much income for donations, but I’ll just throw the change into the pot to add to my monthly donation to our  local food pantry.

Check out my humorous story, The Good Neighbors on amazon. While you’re there, discover Sunshine Boulevard on amazon or at the Muse It Up Publishing bookstore and major online booksellers.

Let me know about your experience with self-pubbing on KDP.

Happy New Year 2012!!


Do You Want to Self-Publish Your Book?

There are so many pros and cons when deciding to self-publish. Perhaps you are sick of querying publishers and getting rejections only.  Or you think why share the money with a publisher when I can have it all? Maybe you just want to publish something for your family and friends. If you have a niche market, you may have an audience who will buy your books.

Here is what I have learned:

If you want to self-publish fiction, I would suggest you exhaust all the list of publishers before making this decision. First be sure  your query letter is perfect! No spelling errors, punctuation problems, grammar goofs. Read the letter out loud to help determine if your sentence structure is awkward or lengthy. Target the correct publisher. If you have a sweet, romantic story, you do not want to query a publisher of dark horror.

Then when or if the rejection arrives, go over the letter and the story (you probably sent in the first three chapters) and work on improving every word and structure. If the rejection note makes suggestions, and most of them are impersonal, then re-write and re-send the story. The rejections can truly make you write a much better book.  BTW there are a ton of small presses now, not self-publishing companies, but ones that do not charge you a dime to publish your novel. Query the ones in your genre.

The reasons for going with a traditional publisher are many–no cost to the author, work with professional editors experienced in publlishing, support and help with promotion  from fellow authors, promotion/marketing to some degree, and distribution to so many more outlets than you can do on your own.

I understand how satisfying it would be to keep all the money from the sales of the book for yourself. But there are upfront costs for editing (which is mandatory), cover art (the real sales tool), ISBN number, formatting, etc. If you contract each one of these out to a professional, you will spend a lot of time working with the contractor, but even more time if you try and do it yourself.  You can sign up with a company that will do this for you, but you will definitely pay for the services. The author will have to sell a whole lotta books before being in the black. Sit down and study to get an idea of how much it will cost you.

If you spend $3000 to publish a book and it sells for $10.00 each, you will need to sell at least 300 just to pay for the services, not to mention the cost of the printing which should be between $2.00-$4.00 for black and white plus shipping and warehouse storage if you do not go with the more expensive print-on-demand (POD) book.

If you want to publish your book for family and friends, bless you for your generosity.

If you speak with groups or schools or attract readers with an online presence, you already have an audience for sales. This makes the most sense for deciding to self -publish. In fact many bloggers are turning their informative blogs focused on one topic into books.

The best advice is to do your homework. Check many, many self-publishing companies and compare their services. Take time to read a contract thoroughly. Know what you are signing.  Get out the pencil and paper (calculator) and scratch out the actual final total cost including everything. Self-publishing costs do add up.

Once you colect the information, make your decision to self-publish or go traditional. Best wishes for success!

The FREE Muse Online Writers Conference Deadline

The FREE Muse Online Writers Conference is a fantastic conference to attend in October 11-17. You can go in your jammies, eat chocolate at your desk, and catch up on laundry while you meet esteemed writers, publishers, workshop leaders, and writers of all genres.

You may attend the forums and interact any time of day or sign up for scheduled workshops that work into your day’s activities. The workshop  handouts are packed with information that you can save and peruse later at your leisure. (I know, what leisure???)

The Muse Online Writers Conference is FREE if you sign up before August 15. A nominal charge of $5.00 is added after August 15. (Just think, you aren’t spending any gas money to get to the workshops…) Registrations will not be accepted after September 10.

This workshop has been valuable to the development of my career. I think you will pick up a nugget or two that will help you in your writing as well as meet some wonderful, helpful, sincere folks at the conference.

Let me know if you sign up.  I will look for ya’!!!

Traditional Publishers Getting Cozy with Self-publishers

According to an article in Publishers Weekly by Marcia Nelson, Author Solutions, a company made up of well-known self-publishing service providers–AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford Publishing, Wordclay and Xlibris–is now establishing self-publishing associations with traditional publishers such as Hay House, Nelson, and evangelical Christian publisher, B&H. The plan is that the traditional publisher will monitor the self-published titles to glean books to add to their own lists.

Indications are that only self-pubbed titles selling 5000 or more could be considered for purchase by the traditional means. In self-pubbing circles, most books sell 300 copies.

This cozying up with the self-publishing services is a new way of thinking in the publishing world. Instead of looking down their noses at those who want to do all the work of publishing their fiction or non-fiction entries, the publishers are discovering that there really are worthwhile books written by authors who can not only write, but can offer different voices to topics that many traditionalists overlook. This opens up a whole new audience for purchasing books.

There are few and far between self-published books that are snapped up by a large publishing company, but with this new addition of self-publishing arms in the traditional field, there may be more opportunity to win a contract, if desired, with a traditional company.

Free Self-Publishers Online Conference

Are you thinking about self-pubbing or have your book already finished? Then you may be interested in this Free self-publishers online conference to be held May 12-14.  Their website states–“ learn about a wide range of book writing, publishing, and promotion topics from recognized experts in the publishing industry. Our speakers will inspire and motivate you, while helping you get the most out of your book publishing experience.”

From the information I read on the site, the conference was a huge success last year with glowing testimonials. I will attend this year and give you a report or hop on their site and check it out for yourself.

Traditional Publishing or Self-Publishing

A well-written, clear explanation of differences in publishing your book via traditional publishing or self publishing is presented on the Writers Chatroom blog.  Kim Richards breaks down the topic by informing the reader about big traditional publishers, small presses, subsidy pubs, and self-publishing.  If you are trying to make a decision as to what is best for your book, please check this blog  for good information.

The Muse Online Writers Conference Oct. 12-18 FREE

The Muse Online Writers Conference begins October 12, a unique writers conference that you can attend sitting in your jammies, eating chocolate at your computer, and not even wash your face! Plus the time you spend at this conference is determined by you because you can join in at your convenience to read the forums and interact with the presenters.

The old saying is “you just get what you paid for it” but in this FREE conference, you get a LOT more. Not only can you network with writers, editors, publishers, self publishers, you can pick up valuable writing tips, publishing information, writing courses, and even pitch your book idea to a publisher. BTW the conference is free, but you will want to throw in a donation because it is worth it.