AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: The Cost of Painful Mistakes




I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

After hours…days and weeks even…of reading and editing, and editing and reading once more…I had LUNADAR formatted and files ready to convert to both Print on Demand and ebook file. Here is the path I took,




I heard many horror stories about the challenges of formatting my own manuscript. Apparently Word has issues when manually trying to format it for ebooks or print on demand books if you are technologically challenged like I am. I decided to  go with Book Design Templates, a formatting software program for everything from picture books to full length novels. The copy/paste feature made it super easy to format my Word manuscript to a PDF file I could then use for the next step in the publishing process.




I chose to buy my own individual ISBN numbers and Bowker ( is the ONLY approved ISBN source in the United States. They also provide other editing/publishing sources like Ebook Creator, which I used to convert my PDF file into an ebook file. I read…edited…edited again…reread again and thought everything was perfect when I pushed the send button.

I was wrong.

Shortly after hitting that button I realized I’d overlooked some grammar errors in my manuscript. I tried to retrieve the ebook file I’d sent to Bowker for processing, but to no avail. It will cost me $50 per hour per line edit if I use them to fix my dumb mistakes. A costly lesson in the finer points of self publishing, but far better for me to learn it now, rather than later when I have multiple books to convert. I needed an alternative to creating the ebook file as I couldn’t afford to go the Bowker Ebook Creator service again, and I have discovered Calibre ( It was easy to install and we will see how easy it will be to convert..




IngramSpark is the number one distributor in the United States as well as most of the world. They will distribute all Print On Demand as well as Ebooks to over 30,000 online bookstores, brick and mortar stores, and libraries around the globe, as well as numerous ebook options. Once my formatting software program converted the Word document to a PDF format, it easily uploaded to IngramSpark’s request for print. I have offered a wholesale discount to retails interested in taking a chance on my book, and IngramSpark will take a portion of the profit for being my distributor. 

I don’t plan on becoming a millionaire writing books, but would like to establish STORY CATCHER PUBLISHING as a strong, small publishing house with a good foundation so in a year or two I can expand my publishing goals (more about THAT later…)


Author Profile Pic

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy) is scheduled to be released in ebook edition by June 2018 from Story Catcher Publishing, with the print edition hopefully coming out late fall 2018.



Donna L

Hybrid award winning author; aspiring sketch artist; and 4th Degree Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor. Host of BOOK NOOK REVIEWS. Member of SCBWI. Mom to fabulous son and adventurer delving into the tricky world of indie-publishing.

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