AN FAQ TO SELF-PUBLISHING

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When I first began researching self-publishing, I was overwhelmed, to say the least.
There are thousands of questions when it comes to publishing, and it can be daunting. It was so daunting, in fact, that I held of publishing my book for a couple months (yes, months) because I couldn’t convince myself if 1) self-publishing is even worth it, or 2) where to even start.
It’s no surprise to me when a question floats into my inbox asking one of the hundreds of questions I had when I began the self-publishing process.
I’m hoping today’s post will help you answer a question or two, and if it doesn’t, you know where to find me!…if you don’t, feel free to email me. :)

Which company did I choose to self-publish with?

Amazon, which is managed by Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). It was the most user friendly and recommended company, so I went with them. I don’t regret it.

How much does it cost?

Nothing.
To self-publish via KDP, it doesn’t cost you a dime. The only thing you technically pay is giving up a portion of your royalties (money you receive when a book sells) to them.
However, I did pay to have my book ready for publishing. I paid my editor to edit my entire book (a pretty big sum, but absolutely worth it). I did the cover myself, but I know many, many self-publishing authors hire someone to do their cover. It's very tedious and time consuming if you do it yourself, but not impossible. As always, do.your.research.

Has my self-published book done well?

Better than I thought it would!
Something to consider when you self-publish: the marketing is 100% on your shoulders. I also went into this in my “Things To Know Before You Self-Publish” post, but basically you have to be willing to put in the full effort of marketing. I have that effort, but I also work a part-time job, co-own a business with my husband, live in a fixer-upper, and keep a three-year-old alive on a daily basis, so I’m not always able to market my book as often as I’d like.
One day, definitely. Today, mostly.

What format is my book in?

Paperback, Kindle (e-book), and iBooks (e-book). When my book is purchased in e-book format, it’s available immediately for download. When the paperback format is purchased, it’s printed on-demand and shipped directly via Amazon’s warehouse, with no work on my end.

Is my book considered a “real” book?

Yep. My book has a legit ISBN and is legally copyrighted by the Library of Congress. I even have a certificate to prove it. :)

Do I plan to self-publish my next book/future books?

Yep! I’m nearly finished with my second book (praise hands) and I’m already in the process of preparing it for self-publishing.

Can self-published books be in bookstores or libraries?

Absolutely.
Let me start with libraries. Libraries hold no discrimination against books. My self-published romance novel was on the shelf of our local library within the first month after it was released. Why? I posted about my book release on social media, a friend of mine (who is a librarian at said library) asked me if I would be interested in having my book in her library.
YES YES YES.
Now, I understand that not everyone has librarian friends. However, there are ways of getting your SP book into libraries.
1) Ask them. One of the best ways of getting your book into the library is simply asking them if they’d be interested in having your book on their shelves. Sweeten the offer by offering to donate a couple copies to the library for shelving.
2) Have your friends request your book at their local libraries. Librarians take requests seriously. But don’t hound them with 150 empty requests in one day. That’s rude. A few will do.
Next: bookstores. This answer is a bit more complicated, so I think I’ll have to save the full answer for a separate blog post. But - long answer short: mostly. Let’s take Barnes & Noble for example. My book is available at B&N…but not in their stores, only online. But holy heck, my book is available at BARNES & NOBLE so I’m cool with it.

Is self-publishing hard?

The actual process of transforming your book from manuscript to book: not really. I do recommend you do your research, though. Self-publishing really teaches you a thing or two about how to research. It took me many, many hours to get everything just right, and I've learned quite a few things since I published "One Step Forward" that'll make it easier the second time around. I'll end it with this: whatever work you put into publishing your book is what readers will see whenever they pick up your book. They know which authors put more effort in - and so will you.
Whew, I think I got them all! I hope that answers some of your questions. If you have more, be sure to let me know. I’m here to help!

If you’re interested in buying the book I’m chatting about, check it out on Amazon/Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks!


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