Wednesday, September 16, 2015


In an earlier blog (What Happens After the End, 9/22/15), I chronicled the steps in traditional publishing. Another option which is gaining a large slice of the market share is self-publishing. Writers no longer have to wait up to two years to see their book on a store shelf. It can take as little as 24 hours for an e-book to be on sale at Amazon.

There are two routes in self-publishing. The first is working with a so-called vanity press. In this method, the author pays a publisher several thousand dollars to go through the publishing process. This might be good for a book that promotes a business and has limited circulation. The second is indie publishing where the book is published free by an on-line store such as Amazon for worldwide distribution.

The process is easy. All you need to do is upload the manuscript, a blurb, keywords, and a cover. That should take five to ten minutes. If you are using Amazon, they will take a bit of time to review then within 24 hours you’ll be published.

Edit carefully before you submit your story. If it’s within your budget, hire a professional editor for this. After that you’ll need to format by using the easy to follow directions in Building Your Book for Kindle, which is free on Amazon.

 Amazon offers book covers. However, you can hire a professional to customize one for $40 and up. They must be 100x1600 pixels.

Have a book blurb ready that describes your story. Examples can be found on the back of book covers or by browsing through book pages on Amazon. Decide ahead of time what your categories are. These are equivalent to directions to the particular stack in a library where your book may be found. You are also allowed up to seven keywords or keyword phrases. These are used to direct readers to your book, so select these carefully.

E-publishing is easy and your book will never be out of print until you decide to remove it. You or your student might want to start with short stories.—Quinn