Self-Publishing 101

Self-Publishing 101

This page is meant to be a one-stop shop for those interested in learning more about self-publishing, those already self-publishing, or anyone in-between. I’ve set-up this page to be free of my experience. Use this page as a resource to begin or continue your own personal research to conclude the best options available in your writing journey.

The Basics & Starting Fresh

Associations Available to Join:

  • Alli – “ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors, is a non-profit professional association for authors who self-publish.”
  • ibpa – “The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) is a not-for-profit membership organization serving and leading the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success.”

Coming soon.

Coming soon.

The Self-Publishing Process

Dive right into the steps you need to take if you’re thinking about self-publishing. If you’re curious about my self-publishing journey, please visit the self-publishing category on my blog. Also, if you have any questions regarding any of these links, or if any of them are no longer available, please feel free to contact me! I have not used all of these services. This page is a great info dump of my research convenient to all online.

Writing Software:

  • Scrivener – “Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.”
  • Ulysses – “A pleasant, focused writing experience combined with effective document management, fast syncing and flexible export make Ulysses the first choice for writers of all kinds.”

Writing Forums:

Helpful Writing Advice:

Great Articles About Writing:

Punctuation, Writing Elements, & Grammar:

Before you start your search, consider reading why you should skip paid-for beta reading services. According to an article by SmallBlueDog.com, “a beta reader tests your manuscript (by reading it), and tells you about the ‘bugs’ so you can improve its readability, its usefulness, and even its saleability.”

Basics of a Beta Reader:

Find Your Beta Readers (Groups):

Videos:

Basic Beta Reader Overviews:

Prepare for Your Beta Readers:

Managing Beta Readers/Feedback:

First Draft? Start here!

  • Hemingway Editor – “Hemingway App makes your writing bold and clear. The app highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors; if you see a yellow sentence, shorten or split it.
  • Consistency Checker – “The free, instant, online consistency checker is powered by PerfectIt and provides a secure and confidential report on your document.”
  • AutoCrit – “AutoCrit provides instant unbiased feedback on your writing. It highlights areas that can be improved and provides a comparison of your work with successful, published fiction.”
    • Fiction Quality Mark – “This provides a selection of verified high quality, self-published, and small press novels for readers who want to find new authors, without having to worry about the writing quality of the novels they want to buy.”

Editors & proofreaders:

  • Metamorphosis Editing
  • Edits by V – “Because indie authors are already on a tight budget, I wanted to make my services more affordable to them!
  • Helen Baggott – “Traditionally, a proofreader would read a manuscript three times and then return it. If an author needed to re-write any sections, those new words would not be checked. I offer a practical and affordable alternative.”
  • The Editing Sweetheart – “I offer very competitive flat rates. In all the “professionally edited” books I have worked on, I have found many errors, resulting in very pleased clients. Give me a try. Request your sample edit today. “
  • BZ Hercules – “The mission of BZHercules.com is to provide low-cost, high-quality services and products to authors, students, and others in need of assistance with editing and publishing work.”
  • Cece Carroll – “I am a freelance editor specializing in all genres of romance. I have experience working with both up-and-coming indie authors and established New York TimesUSA Today, and Amazon bestsellers. My aim is to not only help make your book the best it can be but to help you feel supported throughout the process. And best of all, do it at an affordable rate!”

Do It Yourself:

  • DIY Book Formats – “Sign up for easy-to-use book formatting templates in Word and InDesign, and a guided video course to help you format like a pro without wasting valuable time.”
  • Book Design Templates – “Now you can quickly and easily create beautiful books right in Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, or Adobe InDesign. Built to industry-standard specifications, our pre-designed templates will make your book stand out, without all of those newbie mistakes.”

Ebook Formatting Software:

  • Calibre (Free) – “Calibre is a powerful and easy to use e-book manager. Users say it’s outstanding and a must-have. It’ll allow you to do nearly everything and it takes things a step beyond normal e-book software. It’s also completely free and open source and great for both casual users and computer experts.”
  • Vellum 2.0 – “Love creating ebooks in Vellum? Creating books for print will be just as easy. With just a few clicks, you will have a beautiful interior ready for services like CreateSpace and IngramSpark.”
  • Pressbooks – “Publish everywhere. Pressbooks is easy-to-use book writing software that lets you create a book in all the formats you need to publish. Pressbooks delivers print-ready files for CreateSpace, IngramSpark and Lightning Source, as well as ebook files optimized to look great in all ebook stores: Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and more.”

Print Book Formatting Software:

  • Vellum 2.0 – “Love creating ebooks in Vellum? Creating books for print will be just as easy. With just a few clicks, you will have a beautiful interior ready for services like CreateSpace and IngramSpark.”
  • Pressbooks – “Publish everywhere. Pressbooks is easy-to-use book writing software that lets you create a book in all the formats you need to publish. Pressbooks delivers print-ready files for CreateSpace, IngramSpark and Lightning Source, as well as ebook files optimized to look great in all ebook stores: Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and more.”

Custom Book Cover Design:

  • Natasha Snow Designs** – “To this day, I’ve designed books from many genres, including romance, thriller, horror, LGBTQ, M/M, young adult, middle grade, fiction and non-fiction, and many more.”
  • By Hang Le* – “With more than 10 years’ experience in film, theatre, and interior design, Hang Le makes every project personal and every book come alive.”
  • Covers By Christian* – “Each of our book cover projects receives one-on-one attention with the goal of designing a professional, unique cover that will attract readers while staying true to the tone and content of the book.”
  • Joshua Jadon – “I am a book cover designer for New York Times bestselling authors, internationally bestselling authors, Amazon bestselling authors, and for many other writers, authors, and self-publishers of all genres.”
  • Deranged Doctor Design (Awarded) – “You know it’s a great book. You know readers will love it. But, before they can even know that, they will have to dive into that immense ocean of books, pass all of them, and grab yours. You need something that will attract their attention, intrigue them into opening your book, and at the end—love it.”
  • The Creative Penn Post – “Your book cover is one of the most important aspects of marketing your book. However much time you spend on getting people to your book sales page, they won’t download a sample or buy the book if the cover isn’t enticing.”
  • Extended Imagery – “Looking for a visually appealing cover for your new eBook or hardcopy/paperback?  I can help. I create book covers for best selling authors and newbies alike. From thrillers to romance novels, sci-fi to self-help, let me design a cover that will make your book stand out from the crowd.”
  • Damonza.com – “Having built an incredibly talented and passionate team, Damonza has produced thousands of book covers for a multitude of authors since its foundation, including many New York Times and USA Today bestsellers.”
  • Reedsy.com – “Reedsy is the foundry of bestselling books. We know that quality is the key aspect of any great book. That’s why we’ve built a marketplace of professional editors, designers, and marketers, who can assist authors and publishers through every stage of the publishing process.”
  • Killer Book Covers – “The book cover is your first impression to your audience. I’m here to help you nail that first impression and generate killer sales for your books because your magisterial stories deserve nothing but the most exquisite covers.”
  • Elizabeth Mackey Graphic Design – “I enjoy working with talented authors of all genres. I also enjoy designing logos, custom invitations, flyers, web banners, and more! “

**My current top choice cover artist. / *My most recommended/favorite.

Premade Book Covers:

Before shopping around, you may want to read this article from CreativIndie!

  • Rocking Book Covers – “RockingBookCovers.com was created to improve book cover design standards for those who don’t have one of Big 5 Publisher company behind them, doesn’t matter if you’re Self-Published author, Hybrid-Published or are a Indie Publisher, etc.”
  • Kingwood Creations – “We believe pre-made book cover design can look just as good as custom cover art. This is why we launched Kingwood Creations as an exclusive pre-made book cover shop where you can choose from over one hundred carefully crafted, ready made covers.”
  • Go On Write – “I’ve been a freelance graphic designer for the last twenty-years (yes I’m getting long in the tooth), and I’ve been designing book covers for the last couple of years, much to my own amusement.”
  • Paper & Sage – “We specialize in fiction (though we do accept non-fiction projects occasionally) and work across genres ranging from psychological thrillers and epic science fiction to young adult fantasy and new adult romance.”
  • ProBook Premade Book Covers – “Professional, beautiful and affordable premade ebook, audio book & paperback covers for self-published and indie authors.”
  • Melchelle Designs – “Dress up your book with a beautiful cover to entice readers & increase sales!”

Start here:

Articles on Starting a Publishing Company:

Business bank account tips:

Money & Tax Information (United States Only):

ISBNs:

Barcodes (free options only!):

Tools for Publishing:

Print On Demand Distributors

Information / Advice:

Websites:

Ebook Distributors:

  • IngramSpark (see above)
  • CreateSpace (see above)
  • Smashwords – “Smashwords is the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks.  We make it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to publish and distribute ebooks to the major retailers  and thousands of libraries.”

Extras:

Get Book Reviews:

A general concept of getting reviews (including a free tracking spreadsheet) can be found in this blog post about launching your book with 25 reviews on its release day. Much of this can be sped up through services listed below, but this is a great DIY method! It’s just a bit time consuming.

  • Author Marketing Club – “At the Author Marketing Club, you will join a robust community of other authors who feel your pain, and who want to work together to help each other learn how to promote their books.”
  • Indie Review – A list of indie book reviewers (specifically for ebooks).
  • Book Blogger List – A categorized (by genre) database of a fair amount of book bloggers & reviewers.
  • Story Cartel – “Since October 2012, 49374 people have downloaded 102266 books, helping 2016 authors get reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and blogs. Thousands of readers are connecting with new authors right now.”
  • BookRazor – “We’re sharp as a razor when it comes to finding potential reviewers. You write, we seek out potential reviewers who enjoy reading books in your genre!”
  • Self-Publishing Review – “Self-Publishing Review offers professional book reviews, book marketing and book editing services as well as featuring news, opinion, and how to’s on the self-publishing process.”
  • Choosy Bookworm – “Welcome to Choosy Bookworm!  Our mission is to bring together awesome authors and avid eBook lovers!”

Paid-for Book Reviews:

Author Events:

Coming soon.

Book Signings:

  • In-Person signings:
    • Coming soon
  • Digital signings:
    • Authorgraph – “Authorgraph makes it possible for authors to sign e-books for their readers. Really!”