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

ebook.jpg

 

 

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,

 

FORMATING…

 

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 www.bookdesigntemplates.com, 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.

 

EBOOK…

 

I chose to buy my own individual ISBN numbers and Bowker (www.bowker.com) 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 (www.calibre-ebook.com) It was easy to install and we will see how easy it will be to convert..

 

PRINT…

 

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.

 

 

An Indie Author’s Journey: Ebook Eeny Meeny, Which Way To Go?

maze.jpg

 

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.

My book cover designer just turned in the final artwork but I still have three tiny tweaks I’d like her to be able to change if possible before I proudly show off LUNADAR:Homeward Bound’s beautiful cover. Kelly did such a fabulous job on it and I hope to get a chance to interview her soon for this blog.

That being said, I’ve also finished all the final edits…just have to type them into the formatted file and my manuscript will be ready to be loaded for the ebook release. That might come as early as late next month, once I sort through the maze of who will help me get the ebook out in front of readers…

 

STEP SEVEN: EBOOK RETAILER, AGGREGATOR, OR LIBRARY DISTRIBUTOR?

 

Which route to take totally depends on what the author wants to do with their ebook. I COULD go with individual ebook retailers like Amazon, Apple iBook, Nook Press, or Kobo,  but then I would have to individually load each file in either PDF, ePUB, or MOBI file (depending on each site’s requirements). Some are free but most come with servicing fees tied into the retail profits before I would get my cut. If you have the time and keep good records of all the many site you need to incorporate into your overall marketing plan, that might be the route to go. Here’s a list of the most common ebook retailers found in the US…

 

EBOOK RETAILERS:

 

Amazon (http://www.amazon.com)

  1. CreateSpace (https://www.createspace.com/)
  2. KDP (https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/)
  3. Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/)

Apple iBook (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201183)

Google Play (https://play.google.com/books/publish/)

Kobo (https://www.kobo.com/us/en/p/writinglife)

Nook Press (https://press.barnesandnoble.com/how-it-works)

 

I’ve decided to go with an ebook aggregator for convenience more than anything else. An ebook aggregator is a company that will take my manuscript, convert it into several different formats if necessary and then forward those file to many distribution channels like online ebook retailers, libraries, and other sources. I like the fact I will only have to provide one file and THEY will do the work getting everything distributed for a small percentage of the overall profit from each ebook sold. 

IngramSpark is by far the largest ebook and print distributor, so I will send my file to them and let them do the rest so I can concentrate on the upcoming marketing. Reports of ALL sales can be seen on a daily basis and my profits will be paid monthly.

Here is a list of the most common ebook aggregators in the US.

 

EBOOK AGGREGATORS:

 

Draft2Digital (https://www.draft2digital.com)

IngramSpark (http://www.ingramspark.com/)

PublishDrive (https://admin.publishdrive.com/home/)

I will also look into library ebook distributors to see if I need to focus on reaching out to any of them. Here are some of the most common library ebook distributors in the US.

 

LIBRARY EBOOK DISTRIBUTORS:

 

3M Cloud Library (http://www.bibliotheca.com/3/index.php/en-us/)
ProQuest Ebook Central (https://www.proquest.com/products-services/ebooks/ebooks-main.html#whatsnewSection)
Rakuten OverDrive  (https://company.overdrive.com/?_ga=2.214516439.1543725505.1526268579-3c2898e6-197e-4aaf-84f6-f5ded66b6ce7)

 

Next week I will talk about the great deal I got on my ISBN numbers as well as a conversion special and even copyright formalities.

If you are an indie author, which publishing/distribution choices and challenges did you encounter? Share with my readers by leaving a comment below!

 

donna

 

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, My Journey, My Journal, is scheduled to be released by Expert Insights Publishing in the Fall 2018.

 

 

An Indie Author’s Journey: Converting Files

 

ebook.jpg

 

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.

If you missed the first two installments of this new series you can go here for step one, and here for step two in my process. Now onto…

 

STEP THREE: Choosing The Right Publishing Software

 

When I decided to self publish my novel, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound, I started researching how I needed to convert my Word document into the proper files for publishing. I knew I wanted to offer both an eBook and Print On Demand paper back, so I would need something to convert my manuscript into both an EPub and Mobi files to be able to work with the most distribution channels.

Sites like CreateSpace will convert your manuscript for you free of charge. but it basically restricts you to the Kindle world only, and I wanted more for my first venture into self publishing.

 

book design

 

With so many to choose from, I finally decided on Book Design Templates (https://www.bookdesigntemplates.com). Their state of the art software allows me to copy & paste chapters of my novel into any one of their many book templates with ease and with just a few tweaks, I have a file ready to upload to either eBook or POD format. I purchased two different programs (one for novels and one for chapter books) and the entire package, including a multiple use license allowing Story Catcher Publishing to produce unlimited files only cost me $120. Now, instead of paying someone else each time I need to convert a manuscript, I will be able to use the Book Design Template to convert ALL my books to reduce my overall publishing costs.

I also received my LUNADAR postcards in the mail last week. I am working a booth at the Children’s Festival of Reading next month and with over 12,000 people attending, it’s the perfect opportunity to spread a little writerly love…

 

LUNADAR postcard

 

Next week I’ll talk about editing and accounting as I continue to set up STORY CATCHER PUBLISHING into the best little press on a poor gal’s budget that I can make it!

 

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. Donna’s latest book, My Journey, My Journal, is schedule to be released in the fall of 2018.