February 10, 2014

First Crack at Self-Publishing

Okay. So day one of self-publishing is over and how do I feel? Overwhelmed. I thought I'd share some of my troubles so far so you can either commiserate with me or learn from me. 

Let's start at the beginning. 

First off, I hired an exceptional editor to edit my book. I've worked with her before so I knew going in that I didn't have to worry about the quality of her work. Then I hired a cover artist who really delivered. I am over the moon in love with the cover for Beautiful & Broken and I'll definitely be using Steph from Steph's Cover Design again. So having these major ticks in the boxes, I was feeling pretty comfortable about self-publishing. I mean, what's left, right? 

I know you're probably laughing at my naivety right now. 

I decided to do my formatting myself because Scrivener pretty much formats your manuscript for you in any format you choose, and really, the only major one you need to upload to most places is ePub. I formatted the MS in PDF, Word, Mobi, and ePub and started to explore all the different distributors to upload my books. I began with Are and let me tell you, this was probably the simplest one. All I had to do was browse my desktop and drop in the files and poof, like magic my book was up and ready for sale. Kobo was almost as easy. It just took me a little bit longer to navigate it and figure out how and where to upload, plus the lag time between upload and sale was longer. 

Moving on to Barnes and Noble... Oh, Barnes and Noble, what can I say about you. I think I just might have to zip my mouth shut right now, but of course, I won't do that. Here's the thing, after you play around FOREVER with your MS to try and get it formatted right (believe me it took a long time and I still couldn't get it to work out even though my ePub document worked perfectly everywhere else and in preview) you discover that unless you're American you can't upload your books to B&N. What the hell? Apparently the routing numbers for their banks are different and it won't allow you to change the country of residence to anything other than USA. All I have to say is no wonder they're losing their market share. In the end, I ended up using Draft2Digital to upload, meaning that for every book I sell, they get 10% simply for uploading it for me. And the draft that I approved for upload was formatted perfectly and yet it is still messed up in B&N. So if you bought a copy of B&B from B&N, I am so sorry if some of the headings are off centre. It seems minor but when you pay for something you want a professional-looking product and I'm saddened that it's not perfect. I've contacted Draft2Digital and I'm sure they'll have it rectified shortly, but still...

Moving on to iTunes... This wasn't as bad as I expected it to be be. I magically uploaded my ePub document and it went off without a hitch. I thought I'd end up with crazy errors but not so much. Still, I uploaded it last night and it still isn't available to anyone in any country, although I'm told this can take a while so I'll be patient. I'm just happy that I'll have a book on iTunes since my other books aren't available there and probably won't be in the near future. 

So that's it so far. Oh, right! Amazon. Not so bad. I uploaded my ePub document without problems. B&B is live on all Amazon sites now except for US. Not sure why, but I'm sure it will be up soon. 

Here are the links for B&B in case you're interested:

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