I met a fellow indie author, Lisa Lagaly, at a recent book festival and after a few conversations, we decided to write a post about indie publishing. My contribution is below.
I decided to publish my second book, The Love Labyrinth, through CreateSpace. Like my first book, I wrote and re-wrote, edited and re-edited. Although I use Microsoft Word when writing, I won’t begin to say that I’m an expert. I’m a bit of a perfectionist; however, so if I can’t do it, I will hire someone to do it. Professional editing and proofreading, formatting and cover design. Sure, it all added up and even though I shelled out a lot of money, I still collaborated with all of them. Since I was the approving authority, going back-and-forth with each of them took weeks, sometimes months. It was a time-consuming, at times, frustrating, draining but ultimately rewarding endeavor.
Although I didn’t relish spending additional money for ISBNs to self-publish my book, I was sure that I would write more books so they will pay for themselves in the long run. Also, I want to own my books and be able to do what I want with them because both CreateSpace and Amazon are famous for their changes to their policies–some welcome, some not. I’m not a fan of not having as wide a distribution net as those authors who publish their books using CreateSpace’s ISBNs but some authors have found ways around that. In fact, a librarian came to my table during a book festival and purchased one of each of my books to place in her library in Austin, Texas, which was a welcome surprise.
Cover Design –
If you are a graphic designer, artist or someone who can draw, paint or design well, I say, have at it! If not, don’t. My first book cover felt like it took almost as long as it did to write the book itself. After what I felt was a clever, semi-abstract cover, I still had a member of a book club declare in her review that she didn’t like it. Ah well, opinions. She had a right to hers but you can’t please them all. Nevertheless, you should try to design (or pay someone to design) the best cover you can. In addition, keep in the back of your mind that you will spend some money unless you can perform these skills well.
As for marketing, with my second book I did a Facebook ad, requested reviews from other bloggers, had it developed into an audiobook, I participated in an audiobook tour, book festivals, donated books to local libraries and participated in an authors’ reception. With my first book, Relations, I did some of the same things as I did with the second. The major difference this time; however, is that I only purchase paperback books as needed for book festivals, etc. It is all still a work in progress because I would love to be a best-selling author. It would be nice to be in the black with all of my book-related expenses for a change or, dare I say it, to even surpass that benchmark. Ultimately, an author’s greatest wish is to have her book read.
Head over to my new friend, Lisa Lagaly’s site, https://authorlisalagly.wordpress.com/2018/03/12/a-tale-of-two-indies/ to read her part of this post and let us know what do you think the each of us could have done better?