Important details I didn’t think about until the night before I published my book
I always had my sight publishing books and showcasing my creative work to the world. However, at a younger age, I just knew a book deal was going to come my way. I know how to write so it’s easy right? WRONG?
As I grew older, I realized the constant work, rejection, restrictions, and obstacles that come along with writing and publishing under a company. I then asked myself: Why do I have to wait on the chance to become a published author when the digital era has created a way for me to give myself that chance?
Don’t get me wrong, if the opportunity presents itself GO FOR IT! However, I wanted the freedom to begin publishing my work on my terms. Also, show authenticity in displaying growth in my work, while my audience grows with me.
In learning these lessons of being a self-published author, I thought I’d share the wealth. Some tips you may already know and others you probably wouldn’t think about until it’s time to click the button, PUBLISH.
Ready? Here we go!
#1 Remember: You’re on Your Own
The main reason it’s called being a “self-published” author is that you’re doing EVERYTHING by yourself. Of course, there are freelancers, companies, and professionals who can assist with editing, book cover artwork, promotions, etc. (Take advantage of their services when possible) But there is no publishing company guiding you along the way. That in itself is overwhelming. Just thinking of the laundry list of “Things to Do” to write and prepare your book for publishing can send anyone running for the hills.
Don’t let that discourage you. There are blogs, articles, and indie author resources available that can aid in each step of the self-publishing journey. (This blog is one of them.) READ THEM, jot down notes and create an outline of what you need from start to finish. Learning things along the way is normal, however, being prepared will help you stay on task prevent you from having to push your release back another month.
#2 Book Logistics
You’ve written your book, made the necessary changes from the editing process, now you’re ready to go. Nope, you’re not. Book logistics are what I like to call the information printed on what is called a copyright page. The copyright page is where your reader will find out who owns the written work.
This information serves to protect you legally, format your book professionally, provide details of the unique identifiers of your book (i.e. ISBN), and provide the book’s credits and/or edition (if included in a series).
It is also a best practice to provide a disclaimer:
Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Whether you’re publishing non-fiction, fiction, or a memoir; the disclaimer sets the tone for the style of the book. It also protects you from any liability that may arise if you’re writing about people, events, and/or a specialty (even if you’re not a professional in that field).
Disclaimer: The Book Designer outlined great disclaimer options to use as examples in their 2010 blog, "6 Copyright Page Disclaimers to Copy and Paste, and Giving Credit".
Copyright Page Example:
This is a work of fiction, although experiences are based on some true events of the author. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is coincidental.
Cover Copyright © 2019 by E. Alexcina Brown
Cover design by Fearless Vision Marketing
DEVASTATION OR DESTINY???
the Heartbreak Diaries Book Series.
July 4, 2019.
Copyright © 2019 The Blakk Dahlia (E. Alexcina Brown).
Written by The Blakk Dahlia (E. Alexcina Brown).
Published by The Blakk Dahlia 2019.
#3 Pre-Order Deadlines
Oh, how we love to procrastinate. As a self-published author, we enjoy the freedom of creating and adhering to our own deadlines. However, when submitting your book to sell online, PLEASE make sure your manuscript is ready to go when it’s time to upload. Retailers like Amazon, allow you to set up your book by creating the description, choosing categories, upload book cover and more without uploading the manuscript. That way you’re able to have your book page available for interested parties to pre-order.
Take heed to the date given to have your FINAL manuscript ready and available. This is important because those who have pre-ordered your book will automatically receive it on their kindle device on the release date. Whatever is uploaded will be sent to your customer. Make sure your best and final product is delivered to their device to enjoy! The great thing about this is that Amazon Kindle will send you reminder emails to give a heads up on the last date and time to upload.
TIP: Research pre-order deadlines on your desired platform 2 to 3 months before the release date. This also helps in gaining momentum on your promotions and lock in early sales.
#4 Book Formatting
Technically my first published work was an e-guide “7-Day Guide to Forget About Your Heartbreak”. This process was easy as it was created on one platform, Canva, downloaded via PDF and uploaded to each medium to distribute. However, formatting an ebook and a novel are two different things. What we tend to forget is that we have to manually format the documents in preparing the margins, gutter, bleed, paper size, etc. That isn’t automatically done because as we all know books can be published in various sizes.
Luckily our friends at Amazon provide downloadable templates for various book sizes to cut/paste your manuscript OR just review the layout and input it within your document (my fav so that I don’t have to reformat the book text). In addition, other platforms (i.e. Draft2Digital) provides you with guidelines and tips on how to format your book so that your chapters are distinguished, for example.
Publishing my first book was definitely a learning process. Along with publishing my second and third books. In my case, the fourth time was the charm! Hopefully, these tidbits will help you create a process that will be smooth sailing in self-publishing your book(s).
Self-published authors & aspiring authors share what you’ve learned or are currently learning in the comments below!
The Blakk Dahlia (E. Alexcina Brown) is a New York City author/blogger from Macon, GA. Recently, she released the book series, the Heartbreak Diaries outlining different perspectives of heartbreak. The Dahlia Diaries is a lifestyle blog penned by The Blakk Dahlia, sharing her story in NYC along with life lessons and tips she's learned in her journey.
"I just like to write and create stuff. These are the diaries of how I'm living in NYC with sprinkles of life lessons I've learned along the way!"
- The Blakk Dahlia