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August 9, 2011 / navigatorguild

Step 2 Publish

Step 2: Publish

I went on the web and did some research and discovered that writing a book is the easy bit, getting a book published is where authors really struggle. The system seems to be that authors send of hundreds of letters and sample chapters to agents or publishers and then receive hundred of letters back saying how brilliant the book is but unfortunately not …..etc. Even the great J.K Rowling struggled to get published.

I then started thinking – this is the 21st century, I have an e-reader, millions of kids around the world have e-readers  – why have I started going through a process to get a Publisher?  When indie authors like Amanda Hocking and John Locke have already proven that ebooks are a great way to sell books. I did some more research and discovered www.smashwords.com. This allows authors to publish online, provides free ISBN number and distributes their ebooks to online retailers. They charge nothing up front and take commission on sales. I love the business model – If their authors are successful, they are successful.

I followed their instructions on formatting word documents for epublishing, a reasonable knowledge of word is required but you don’t need to be an expert, and uploaded my book. Their software reported formatting errors which I corrected and re-uploaded.

The next stage was a professional looking book cover. I do a bit of photography and am familiar with photoshop so I designed the book cover myself using a  stock photo (see below) from Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

Once I uploaded the cover, set the price entered the metadata (basically the bit on the back cover of a book) My book was published and available for the public to buy. It takes a few weeks for a book to be available for distribution etc as Smashwords have to do a manual quality checks first. ‘Contact’ is already for sale in the diesel eBook store and should be up on Kobo, Barnes & Noble etc in the next week or so.

I went through a similar process with Amazon Kindle direct publishing and ‘Contact’ will be available in a few days time on Amazon .com, .co.uk and .de.

My next step is to get ‘Contact’ in print. For this I am using Amazons ‘CreateSpace’ a free Amazon facility which prints the book on demand. I.e order one on Amazon and they will print a copy and send it to you – more about this  in my next blog

Eoin

 

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