Self-Publishing Made Simple – Conclusion

Final Thoughts on Indie Publishing
Here are my final words on the topic of indie publishing.

Self-Publishing Conclusion

For Backlist Titles
Once you have your rights reverted, you can reissue these titles yourself. Follow the steps in this series. I always make sure to say it’s a reissue in my promo posts and to mention the original publisher on the copyright page. Since I do a new round of editing, I call these my Authors Editions. Your other choice would be to find a new publisher but it depends on what books you’ll have available and how much control you want. It’s gratifying to improve and launch these titles yourself. You can add your own front and back material, hire your own cover artist, and choose the formats and distributors of your choice. Plus, you can set your own price, and that’s an important benefit considering how high the trad publishers price their e-books.

Once your book is published at https://kdp.amazon.com, go to your account at Amazon Author Central https://authorcentral.amazon.com/. Hit Add Book and claim your title with the ASIN or ISBN number.

Allow a few hours or a day for this book to show up on your Author Central site. Sign in again to Amazon Author Central. Click on Books. Find your new title and click on it. Scroll down to where it says, not finding what you need, contact us. Fill in form and say “Please link this revised paperback edition with the Kindle and other editions.” Or, “Please link this newly revised Kindle edition with my previous mass market edition.” Provide ISBN numbers. Once linked, your customer reviews will show up on all editions. While on this page, you can add your author bio, improve the book description, or add editorial reviews.

Consider bundling your published backlist titles into box sets. Add a special enticement for fans who’ve read these books before, such as a new short story, craft tips, recipes, or character interviews. Make this bonus material exclusive to the box set. Offer a discount so the set costs less than if a reader bought the books individually.

For Original Titles
If you’re writing a series, make sure your series title is consistent at each distributor. Prepare a cover reveal notice and a book launch party. Solicit reviewers with advance reading copies. Consider offering your digital arcs through BookFunnel. You can format your book for free at Draft2Digital without having to publish it there. Use these files for your ebook ARCs. Midwest Book Review offers a pre-published review for a $50 fee. This site is well worth it but be wary of other paid reviews. Look on your social media sites for book review groups where you can post your offer. Ask your FB friends and newsletter subscribers for advance reviewers. If you ask other authors, don’t be pushy and understand that published writers have busy schedules and may have to turn you down.

The Finale
This concludes our series on Self-Publishing Made Simple. If you want more information, both BookBub and IngramSpark offer excellent blogs that you’ll find helpful, as do many other authors out there. Do your homework, present a professional product, become active on social media, and you’ll be headed in the right direction.

Did you miss our earlier posts on Self-Publishing Made Simple Blog Series? Go here to catch up:
Part 10 – The Library Market, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qq
Part 9 – How to Use IngramSpark, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qn
Part 8 – Why Choose Ingram, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qk
Part 7 – Print Book Distributors, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qh
Part 6 – E-book Distributors, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qf
Part 5 – Book Production for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4q6
Part 4 – Buying and Assigning ISBNs, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pO
Part 3 – Adding Front & Back Material, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pz
Part 2 – Manuscript Preparation for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oX
Part 1 – Getting Started as an Indie Publisher, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oQ

GIVEAWAY

Enter Here to win a free book from the Prize Vault at Booklovers Bench.

Self-Publishing Made Simple – Part 10

This is Part 10 in my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series.

Self-Publishing

The Library Market

What format do libraries prefer?

Librarians responded to one author’s query stating they preferred trade paperback in large print over hardcover books, because hardcovers were heavier, more expensive, took up more space on the shelves, and were difficult to hold for older patrons. This may not be true across the board, but it’s something to keep in mind. You might want to conduct your own survey.

E-book Pricing Suggestions for Libraries
$.99 retail – $2.99 library
$3.99 retail – $7.99 library
$4.99 retail – $9.99 library

Library of Congress Control Number
Libraries use the Library of Congress number to organize their materials. This program allows them to catalog books before they’re published and to add the digital record to their computer search program.

If you have an imprint that buys ISBNs from Bowker, you can set up an account with the LOC. You cannot, as an individual, order a number for a book. You have to buy at least 10 ISBNs. Publishers must list a U.S. city as place of publication on the title or copyright page.

Apply online through the small press option at https://www.loc.gov/publish/pcn/ about two to four weeks before you go to final formatting. You’ll need to assign your ISBN number first, because LOC will ask for the title and ISBN. They email you the LOC number and how you should put it on the copyright page.

Be aware that getting a Library of Congress Control Number does not guarantee the LOC will catalog your book. If they choose not to, when a librarian plugs your number into their system, they will pull up a blank entry.

Items that are NOT eligible include works under fifty pages unless it’s children’s literature, E-books, mass market paperbacks, books that have already been published, and more. Complete list is here: https://www.loc.gov/publish/pcn/about/scope.html

Getting Your Book Into Libraries

You can help make your print book available to librarians by offering a discount through IngramSpark and by listing your book in their new release catalog. You can also offer it through Baker & Taylor at Draft2Digital. Having an LOC number is an optional choice.

See if your county or city library system accepts books by local indie authors. Some have special programs just for this purpose. Offer to give talks and participate in panel discussions to get to know your librarians. For e-books, make sure your book is available through Overdrive. See Part 6 below.

How to Reach the Library Market for Indie Authors #indiepub #indieauthors Click To Tweet

Coming Next: Final Thoughts on Indie Publishing

Did you miss the earlier posts on my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series? Go here to catch up:
Part 9 – How to Use IngramSpark, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qn
Part 8 – Why Choose IngramSpark, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qk
Part 7 – Print Book Distributors, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qh
Part 6 – E-book Distributors, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qf
Part 5 – Book Production for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4q6
Part 4 – Buying and Assigning ISBNs, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pO
Part 3 – Adding Front & Back Material, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pz
Part 2 – Manuscript Preparation for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oX
Part 1 – Getting Started as an Indie Publisher, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oQ

 

Self-Publishing Made Simple – Part 9

This is Part 9 in my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series.

How to Use Ingram Spark

How to Use Ingramspark

Getting Started

Open a free account at https://www.ingramspark.com/. See if a coupon code is available for title setup. There is a one-time setup fee of $49 for print or for print and ebook. Put your imprint as the publisher or company.

Decide your trim size (i.e. 8.5 x 5.5) and format (trade paperback). Hardcover options are available with a laminated cover or full dust jacket. For paperback, choose perfect bound for the binding, meaning the spine is glued and not stapled. Choose black and white interior, and pages to be cream or white (white is my choice). Laminated cover with gloss or matte finish.

Go to the Help page, find Tools, then find the Cover Template Generator. You will need to know the page count, ISBN and price. Fill out the form and send the template to your cover designer. Tell her to save the cover as a pdf file. Note that cover requirements differ for KDP.

Your book file will need to be a pdf file with embedded fonts. This ensures that no matter what fonts a reader has on their device, they’ll be able to see the file as you intend it to be seen.

Upload a pdf file for the book and one for the cover. You can use the same interior pdf file for KDP and Ingram.

The Publication Date is when you plan to make the book available for purchase to bookstores, libraries and online retailers. The On Sale Date is the date that you mean to release a title to be printed and delivered. This should be the same as or later than the Publication Date. My advice is to make them both the same to avoid confusion. If you want to do pre-orders, set the Publication date and the On Sale date to the same date in the future. This will be the actual release date.

International Pricing
Global Connect Program at Ingram: http://bit.ly/2xOH5T0
Price using the Currency Converter and rounding up for a $14.99 title (USD):
14.99 USD; 11.99 GBP (UK); 12.99 EUR; 19.99 CAD; 19.99 AUD

Physical Proof Copies
At IngramSpark, you have to approve the ebook proof before you can order a physical proof. From your Dashboard, click on the Order link by your book title. You’ll have several choices. One proof at $14.99 retail costs $4.69 (economy service takes up to 5 days to print the book) + $1.99 handling + $3.80 (basic shipping takes 7-10 business days and is not trackable) + $.40 tax = $10.88. Click Override On-Sale Date if your book is available for pre-order.

The proof from KDP costs less than Ingram. It’ll say “Not for Resale” across the front of the book. Your number of proof copies might be limited at KDP. Ingram has no limit on the number of copies you may order and the books are not labeled. These are great for advance reading copies and look the same as the final printed book.

Discounts and Returns
A full trade discount between 53% and 55% of your list price encourages booksellers to buy your book, especially if you offer returns. You can choose from three different types of returns—return and destroy, return and ship, or non-returnable. Be aware that if you allow returns, you will be charged for them. I do a 40% discount with no returns. This means the bookseller gets 20% off and Ingram gets 20%. Decide if you want your books on bookstore shelves or want them available for readers to order through their favorite bookstore.

How to Use IngramSpark #indieauthors #indiepub Click To Tweet

Coming Next: The Library Market

Disclaimer: This information changes rapidly, so it only represents my interpretation at the time this article was written. Please let me know if you have any updates or corrections.

Did you miss our earlier posts on Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series? Go here to catch up:
Part 8 – Why Choose Ingram Spark, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qk
Part 7 – Print Book Distributors, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qh
Part 6 – E-book Distributors, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qf
Part 5 – Book Production for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4q6
Part 4 – Buying and Assigning ISBNs, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pO
Part 3 – Adding Front & Back Material, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pz
Part 2 – Manuscript Preparation for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oX
Part 1 – Getting Started as an Indie Publisher, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oQ

 

Self-Publishing Made Simple – Part 8

This is Part 8 in my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series.

Why Choose IngramSpark as your Print Book Distributor?

Why Choose Ingram

Why Choose Ingram?
• Book distribution to over 39,000 retailers, libraries, schools and universities.
• Direct shipping and global delivery. IngramSpark distributes to Canada from the U.S. and has print facilities in the UK and Australia. With their Global Connect program, they have relationships with print partners in China, Germany, Italy, India, Poland, Russia, South Korea.
• Ingram does not sell directly to the public, but it gets your book into more online bookstores. You can use these bookstore links on your website pages.
• Bookstores can order your book directly from Ingram.
• Booksellers are attracted by deeper wholesale discounts, returnability, and not having to buy your book at Amazon.
• You can produce your book in hardcover, paperback, and e-book editions.
• You can choose a discount between 30% to 55% on the IS print version. In KDP, you lack flexibility.
• Payment is royalty percentage of retail price minus printing costs. For example, you set a retail price of $14.99. With a 40% discount, this means you’ll earn 60% royalty. That comes to $8.99 per book minus the print cost of $4.56 equals a net royalty of $4.43. Ingram takes half of the discount, and the retailer gets the other half. So for a 40% discount, a bookseller only sees 20% off.
• Librarians most often will not order from KDP. So even if you choose their Expanded Distribution, it does not guarantee librarians will have access to your books. They prefer to deal with Baker & Taylor (accessed through Draft2Digital) or Ingram, among other sources. They use Overdrive for e-books (accessed through Kobo, D2D, or Smashwords).
• On Ingram, you can personalize your orders with an extra page inserted at the front.

Disadvantages

• There is a one-time setup fee at IS of $49 for print or print plus e-book. This $49 is refunded if you order 50 print books within 60 days of title setup. Or, for the e-book alone, it’ll cost you $25 setup fee at Ingram. It costs nothing to upload a book to KDP. However, Ingram offers coupon codes periodically if you sign up for their author mailing list or blog. Some professional writing organizations have Ingram codes as well.
• Uploading a revised manuscript costs $25 at IngramSpark. No charge at KDP. Ingram will only process this revised file after all current orders have been filled.
• Ingram can be more complicated to learn than KDP.
• It costs $85 to get into the advance Ingram catalog.

What’s the difference between IngramSpark and Lightning Source?
IngramSpark combines Lighting Source print-on-demand services with e-book distribution. This gives authors a single platform to manage both print and electronic titles. IngramSpark is more user friendly. Royalty statements in either case come from Lightning Source.

Why Choose IngramSpark as your Print Book Distributor? #indieauthors #indiepub Click To Tweet

Coming Next: How to Use IngramSpark

Disclaimer: This information changes rapidly, so it only represents my interpretation at the time this article was written. Please let me know if you have any updates or corrections.

Did you miss the earlier posts on my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series? Go here to catch up:
Part 7 – Print Book Distributors, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qh
Part 6 – E-book Distributors, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qf
Part 5 – Book Production for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4q6
Part 4 – Buying and Assigning ISBNs, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pO
Part 3 – Adding Front & Back Material, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pz
Part 2 – Manuscript Preparation for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oX
Part 1 – Getting Started as an Indie Publisher, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oQ

Self-Publishing Made Simple – Part 7

This is Part 7 in my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series.

Self-Publishing Part 7

Print Book Distributors for Indie Authors

Print distribution options for indie authors include, but are not exclusive to, Ingramspark, KDP Print, Barnes and Noble Press, and Draft2Digital Print. Uploading is free, or in Ingram’s case, free with a coupon code. Books are printed on demand, so there is no print book run like for a traditional publisher. You may order author’s copies at a discount. Usually, you’ll bring your own books on consignment to a signing event.

Print Options
Amazon KDP Print: https://kdp.amazon.com
IngramSpark: https://www.ingramspark.com/
Barnes & Noble Press: https://press.barnesandnoble.com/
Draft2Digital: https://draft2digital.com

Disclaimer: This information changes rapidly, so it only represents my interpretation at the time this article was written. Please let me know if you have any updates or corrections.

KDP Print
Benefits of publishing paperbacks with KDP include:
• You can reach readers through Amazon websites in the US, Europe, and Japan.
• Physical proofs and author copies are available. Your KDP proof and author copies for the UK and Europe will be printed and shipped from within Europe. For author’s copies, you pay printing costs plus shipping and tax.
• Use your own ISBN, or KDP can supply one for you. This free ISBN can only be used on KDP for distribution to Amazon and its partners. It cannot be used with another publisher or a self-publishing service.
• If you use your own ISBN, KDP will check to see if your imprint matches what is on file at Bowker. If you are reprinting your book, the title, author name, and trim size/binding type must stay the same. The ISBN cannot be changed after publication. A new edition requires a new ISBN.
• Royalty is 60% of retail price minus printing costs. Printing Cost for a 77,000 word book that’s 268 pages in pdf format is $4.07. So for $14.99 x 60% royalty = 8.99 – 4.07 = $4.92 royalty
• You can save your book as a draft and order proof copies before publication. Proof copies will have a “Not for Resale” watermark on the cover and a unique bar code but no ISBN. You pay only the printing cost for your selected marketplace plus shipping.

kdp print proofs

Barnes & Noble Press
• Print preorders are available up to 180 days in advance.
• E-book preorders are available up to 12 months in advance.
• One free correction for print book files per cover and interior file.
• Can order advance copies of print books ahead of publication even if the book is available for preorder, before your on-sale date.
• To transfer a title from D2D: B&N will give you a transfer request form that you send to D2D. They will release the book over to B&N. You keep your reviews and EANs so you don’t have to change any links.
• Print books published by B&N Press will more likely be available to their own booksellers for ordering.
• You’ll be able to create an e-book coupon code to sell your books at a specially discounted price to NOOK readers, without worrying about price matching on other retail sites. Go to the Manage Promotions section from your Projects page.
• Series Management allows you to view your titles’ metadata grouped by Series.

Draft2Digital Print
• Cover Converter—If you need a print-ready version of your e-book cover, they’ll generate one for you.
• Cover Templates—If you want to supply your own existing print cover, you can use their free cover templates to ensure it is the right size.
• Various Trim Sizes—All of the POD industry-standard trim sizes are here.
• Auto-Generated Interior—If you submit a .doc file, this can help keep the weird line breaks and widowed and orphaned text to a minimum. You can also upload your own print-ready pdf file.
• Other Choices—Matte or glossy finish for your cover, cream or white paper for your interior, a free ISBN from D2D or supply your own.
• Brick & Mortar Distribution—You will need to request that a bookstore order and carry your books. They can place orders through their regular channels. Draft2Digital does not distribute directly to physical bookstores. They do distribute to Baker & Taylor.

The Best Choice
• Use KDP for print distribution to Amazon and Amazon Europe only. Do not enable expanded distribution.
• Use BN Press for distribution to Barnes and Noble.
• Use Ingram for print distribution everywhere else. The next two posts will focus on this distributor.
• You can use the same ISBN number for all print editions in the same format, such as trade paperbacks. If you want a hardcover edition, you’ll need a different ISBN. This is assuming you own the ISBNs and not the distributor.

If you’ve uploaded to Ingram first, and Amazon is showing your book as unavailable, submit your KDP print edition. Amazon will use this version instead of the Ingram book and your title will show up as being available. But you can only upload your file to KDP when you are ready to release the title.

Likely you’ll have to access your account at Amazon Author Central, claim your new title, and request the print edition on Amazon be linked to the e-book edition.

Print Book Distributors for Indie Authors - Part 7 in my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series #indieauthors #indiepub Click To Tweet

Coming Next: Why Choose Ingram?

Did you miss our earlier posts on Self-Publishing Made Simple Blog Series? Go here to catch up:
Part 6 – E-book Distributors, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qf
Part 5 – Book Production for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4q6
Part 4 – Buying and Assigning ISBNs, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pO
Part 3 – Adding Front & Back Material, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pz
Part 2 – Manuscript Preparation for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oX
Part 1 – Getting Started as an Indie Publisher, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oQ

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For updates on my new releases, giveaways, special offers and events, sign up for my newsletter at https://nancyjcohen.com/newsletter. Free Book Sampler for new subscribers.

 

Self-Publishing Made Simple – Part 6

This is Part 6 in my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series.

E-book Distribution Options for the Indie Author

Self-Publishing Part 6

GOING DIRECT
Amazon:
https://kdp.amazon.com
Barnes & Noble Press:
https://press.barnesandnoble.com/
Kobo:
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/p/writinglife
Apple Books:
https://itunesconnect.apple.com

Amazon – Higher royalty; chance to be exclusive with Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited. Preorders allowed within 90 days of release date. You can manage your books via Amazon Author Central. Sends out new release notices to your followers.
BN – Preorders allowed. You can schedule your price promotions in advance. Authors earn 65% royalty on eBooks priced over $9.99.
Kobo – Ask to activate the Promotions tab to participate in special deals; global audience. You can opt-in for Overdrive and get a royalty 50% of library list price.
Apple Books – Must upload using an Apple device. You can use an iPad or iCloud if you don’t have an Apple computer; hire a formatter; or go through a service like Draft2Digital. After your book is available on iTunes, if you’re publishing it yourself, write and ask them to change the name of the seller on your account to your DBA or LLC. You can set preorders up to a year in advance. Sales count twice, when the person preorders the book and when it goes live. They give you up to 250 free download codes.

THIRD PARTY AGGREGATORS
Draft2Digital,
https://draft2digital.com
Smashwords:
https://www.Smashwords.com
PublishDrive:
https://publishdrive.com/

Draft2Digital
• Takes 10% cut of retail price.
• Distributes to Amazon, Apple, BN, Kobo, Baker & Taylor, Bibliotheca, 24Symbols, Playster, Overdrive, Scribd, Tolino and Google Play
• Set Preorders at one convenient site. Also handy for revised files.
• Note you make a higher royalty going through D2D than going direct to Kobo with a book priced less than $2.99.
• Payments are once a month.
• Easy to upload files for free file conversion into mobi, ePub, pdf files
• Author profile page and book tabs and Custom Book Carousels
• Audiobook Production/Distribution via Findaway Voices
• Universal Book Links via https://www.books2read.com/
• Easy user interface and responsive customer service
• New release notifications
• Schedule sales ahead of time

Smashwords
• Readers can buy direct from the SW Store.
• E-book conversion to multiple formats
• Special copyright page wording is required.
• Distributes to Amazon, Apple, BN, Kobo, Baker & Taylor, Bibliotheca, Gardners, Inktera, Library Direct, Odilo, OverDrive, Scribd, Tolino. Over 500,000 titles.
• SW’s royalty rate varies. Monthly payments
• Set Preorders to Apple, BN and Kobo up to a year in advance
• Exclusive Promotions, Discount Coupons, New Release Alerts, Series
• The discount levels you set for the sale do not impact your retail prices at other stores.
• Free ISBNs for use on SW sites
• Author profile page and Author interview

PublishDrive
• Distributes to Kindle, BN, Apple, Google Play, Overdrive, Scribd, and to more than 400 stores, including digital libraries (schools, universities, public libraries).
• Takes 10% cut of list price.

Comparison Royalty Rates for $4.99 ebook
Amazon – $3.44 (70% – delivery fee)
Kobo – $3.49 (70%)
BN – $3.24 (65%)
D2D – $2.97 (net income – 10% commission)

E-book Options Ingram vs KDP
• KDP has no title setup fees, whereas it costs $49 at IS when uploaded with the print edition or $25 for the e-book alone. Each corrected manuscript costs $25 to upload to IngramSpark.
• IngramSpark has wider distribution, including Kindle, Apple, and approximately 60 other e-book retailers.
• With KDP, you can only make your e-book available to Kindle but no other e-retailers. You’d have to upload the ebook directly to Kobo, BN and Apple or go through Smashwords or Draft2Digital.
• Royalty rates on e-books at Ingram are only 40% compared to 70% at KDP (depending on your book’s price).

E-book distributors for Indie Authors, Part 6 in my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series. #indieauthors #indiepub Click To Tweet

Coming Next: Print Book Distributors

Disclaimer: This information changes rapidly, so it only represents my interpretation at the time this article was written. Please let me know if you have any updates or corrections.

Did you miss the earlier posts in my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series? Go here to catch up:

Part 5 – Book Production for the Indie Author https://wp.me/paLXP7-4q6
Part 4 – Buying and Assigning ISBNs https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pO
Part 3 – Adding Front & Back Material https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pz
Part 2 – Manuscript Preparation for the Indie Author https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oX
Part 1 – Getting Started as an Indie Publisher https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oQ

Contests

April 15-21, RONE Awards
Please VOTE for Body Wave Audiobook in the RONE Awards THIS WEEK ONLY! Sign in or Register at InD’Tale Magazine, https://www.indtale.com Be sure to click the email confirmation link if you are registering for the first time. Once logged in, go to RONES in upper right corner, hover over 2019 RONE Awards, and click on 2019 RONE Awards Week One that pops up. Scroll down to the Audiobook: Paranormal/Mystery Category and vote for my title, BODY WAVE.

April 1 – 18, Booklovers Bench
LAST DAY! Enter to win a free book from the Prize Vault at Booklovers Bench, including a copy of SHEAR MURDER, #10 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. https://bookloversbench.com/win-a-free-book-april-2019/ #giveaway #cozymystery

Self-Publishing Made Simple – Part 5

Book Production for the Indie Author

This is Part 5 of my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series.

Self Publishing Part 5

You have a polished manuscript. You have bought a block of ISBN numbers. You’ve determined how you want to present yourself as a publisher re using an imprint or not.

Now you’ll need to decide if you will be publishing an ebook, paperback, and/or hardcover edition. Finish the copyright page by adding ISBNs for the format of your choice.

Note: If you’re simply going to upload your book to Amazon and participate in their KU program, likely you can use the ISBN number assigned by Amazon. This is true for certain other distributors as well. But keep in mind that this will register them as the publisher on record rather than you. See Part 4 for how to assign book titles to an ISBN number.

Book Descriptions and Tag Line
Write a one-sentence tag line for your book along with short and long story descriptions. If you need help, go here:

Blurb Writer: http://www.blurbwriter.com/
Blurb Bitch: http://www.blurbbitch.com
Karen’s Blurb Service: http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/BlurbService.html
Killion Group: http://thekilliongroupinc.com/

For a paperback, decide if you want a longer blurb on the back cover or a shorter one with review quotes. Remember to leave room for the bar code. You do not need to buy this. Distributors will provide their own bar codes, or you can get one free online. Prepare the back cover copy to send to your cover designer.

Author Biography
Prepare your author biography. This should be written in third person in an engaging manner. List your writing awards, professional organizations, genres, and special interests. Have a long bio, a short bio, and a couple of speaker introductions geared to writers and readers. You’ll need a shorter bio for the online book distributors, where you might want to include the URL to your website or newsletter.

Keywords
Make a list of your keywords. These are phrases readers might use to search for your book. They don’t have to be one word. You can use phrases such as, “mysteries with humor” or “cozy mysteries with pets” or “mysteries set in small towns.” Here’s an example of more keywords for mysteries. Look at the bestseller categories on Amazon for more ideas. https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201276790

Cover Design
Think about a scene or two that you’d like to see depicted on your cover. Also consider your series branding if your book isn’t a standalone. Colors, text, and placement should be consistent from book to book. So should the art style. Look for a cover artist who has a portfolio of books in your genre. Join the writing community to get recommendations.

Pricing
If you’re unsure what to charge, look at other books in your genre with similar page counts to see what the going rates are. What are readers in your genre willing to pay for a print book or a digital copy? 

Formatting
Formatting comes next. You can do it yourself, hire a professional, or use one of the third party aggregates, such as Draft2Digital, to do the conversions for you. What you’ll need will depend on your technical skills and where you plan to upload your book.

Distribution
Before we get into particulars on book distributors, decide where you want your book to be sold. Are you planning to sell it at Amazon alone, perhaps with their Kindle Select program so people can get your book through Kindle Unlimited? Then all you need is a mobi file. For BN, Kobo, and Apple, you’ll need an ePub file. For print, a pdf file is required.

Ebook Distributors
Amazon: https://kdp.amazon.com
Barnes & Noble Press: https://press.barnesandnoble.com/
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/p/writinglife
Apple Books: https://itunesconnect.apple.com
Google Play: Access through one of the Aggregators below

Third Party Aggregators
Draft2Digital, https://draft2digital.com
Smashwords: www.Smashwords.com
PublishDrive: https://publishdrive.com/

Print Options
Amazon KDP Print: https://kdp.amazon.com
IngramSpark: http://www.ingramspark.com/
Barnes & Noble Press: https://press.barnesandnoble.com/

Once you have all these pieces ready to go, you can start uploading to the various book distributors. 

Self-Publishing Made Simple, Part 5 - Book Production for the Indie Author #indiepublishing #amwriting Click To Tweet

Coming Next: Ebook Distributors 

Did you miss our earlier posts on Self-Publishing Made Simple Blog Series?
Go here to catch up:
Part 4 – Buying and Assigning ISBNs https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pO
Part 3 – Adding Front & Back Material https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pz
Part 2 – Manuscript Preparation for the Indie Author https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oX
Part 1 – Getting Started as an Indie Publisher https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oQ

CONTESTS

April 15-21 RONE Awards
Please VOTE for Body Wave Audiobook in the RONE Awards THIS WEEK ONLY! Sign in or Register at InD’Tale Magazine, https://www.indtale.com Be sure to click the email confirmation link if you are registering for the first time. Once logged in, go to RONES in upper right corner, hover over 2019 RONE Awards, and click on 2019 RONE Awards Week One that pops up. Scroll down to the Audiobook: Paranormal/Mystery Category and vote for my title, BODY WAVE. 

April 1 – 18 Booklovers Bench
Enter to win a free book from the Prize Vault at Booklovers Bench, including a copy of SHEAR MURDER, #10 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. https://bookloversbench.com/win-a-free-book-april-2019/ #giveaway #cozymystery

 

Self-Publishing Made Simple – Part 4

Buying and Assigning ISBNs for your Indie Published Books

This is Part 4 in my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series.

Self Publishing Part 4

Legalities

You’ve prepared your manuscript as per Part 2 and Part 3 below. Now decide if you’ll want to publish your work under your own imprint. If so, create a publisher name and do an online search to see if the domain is taken. If it is available, reserve the domain name.

Register with your State as a “Fictitious Name” or a “Doing Business As” company. You can do this online. Or establish an LLC. Check with your accountant to see which one is right for you. It looks more professional for your book to be published by “XYZ” Press than by the author.

Apply for a county or city business license/tax receipt as required. Note: if you’re 65, you may be exempt from fees but you still have to apply. Check your local regulations.

Open a business bank account. Consider if you’ll be selling your own books and will need to collect sales tax. Otherwise as sole proprietor, you don’t need an EIN number. Use your own SS number as an individual proprietor. Again, check with your accountant or attorney for what’s best for you.

Buying ISBNs

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. Why own your ISBNs?

  • Control over metadata
  • More professional – Your imprint is the publisher
  • More availability to retailers, booksellers, and librarians
  • You need an ISBN to get a barcode, which may or may not include pricing information.
  • You need one ISBN number per format. So for an ebook and a paperback edition, you’d need two ISBNs. For a hardcover, you’d need another one. You do not need an ISBN to publish an audiobook through ACX. You may need one for audiobook distribution elsewhere.
  • Certain book distributors will require you to have your own ISBN.
  • Resource: http://www.ingramspark.com/blog/owning-your-own-isbn-in-self-publishing

Where can you buy them?

Sign in to http://www.Bowker.com  It costs $295 for 10 ISBN numbers. You DO NOT need to buy a barcode or a QR code. You can get these free online by searching for free barcode generators or free QR codes. Otherwise, distributors such as Ingram and KDP Amazon supply their own barcodes. Sign up for emails from Bowker.com so you can be notified of sales.

How to Assign Title Data to Your ISBN(s):

  1. Sign into https://www.myidentifiers.com/ with your username and password
  2. Go to the My Account dropdown menu on the right side of the navigation bar at the top of the page.
  3. Click Manage ISBNs.
  4. Click Assign Title next to the ISBN number you wish to assign.
  5. Complete all fields marked with red asterisks. Be sure you have ready your book’s description, format, price, and author biography.

Title Details

Book title, subtitle, main description, original publication date, language, copyright year, optional Library of Congress Control Number, cover image. 

Contributors

Your author name goes here along with your bio. 

Format and Size

Medium, i.e. Ebook, Digital, Print, or Audio
Format, i.e. Electronic Book Text
Primary Subject, i.e. Fiction, Mystery and Detective, General
Secondary Subject, i.e. Fiction General
Editions and Volumes; Title Volume Number – number of book in a series; Total Volume Number – number of products in a multi-volume work (i.e. box set)
Previous Edition ISBN or New Edition ISBN 

Sales and Pricing

Where is the title sold? United States
Publisher and Imprint. Here is where you put your LLC or fictitious publisher name.
Title Status: Active Record
Publication Date: Fill this in; you can change it later if necessary
Target Audience, i.e. Trade
Price: Currency (US Dollars), Price (3.99) Type (Retail Price)
Series Title Info (name of series) and Series Volume Number 

Hit the SUBMIT button.

You can change or add any of this material, except the ISBN number assignments, at a later date.

If you have another format for the same title, you can click “Clone” next to the first one, select the next ISBN number, and change the data accordingly for the new title.

If this site isn’t working work well for you, switch to a different browser.

Keep your ISBNs handy. You’ll need to add them to your copyright page before formatting and to fill them in when you upload your book to the various distributors.

Do you have any tips on this topic to add?

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Coming Next: Preparing for Book Production

Enter our Monthly Giveaway at Booklovers Bench for a chance to win a free book from our Prize Vault. 

Self-Publishing Made Simple – Part 3

Self-Publishing Made Simple – Adding Front and Back Material 

This is Part 3 on my Self-Publishing Made Simple series. Today we’re discussing front and back material that you might want to add to your manuscript. In terms of Front Matter, less is better. Some of these items under that category you can move to the back. You want readers to access the first chapter as quickly as possible for the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon. Some authors include a brief story blurb here so ebook readers will remember what the book is about if they don’t get to it for a while.

self publishing part 3

Front Material may include:
• Copyright Page
• Dedication
• Cast of Characters
• Family Tree
• Table of Contents
• Character Timelines
• Map of Setting
• Story Blurb with Review Quotes
• Call to Action for Newsletter Sign-Up

Back Material may include: 
• Acknowledgments
• Author’s Note
• Call to Action for Reviews
• About the Author (Bio + Social Media Sites)
• More Books by [Author]
• Excerpt of Next Title [Note: Don’t call it Chapter One since you already have this title in the book.]
• Bonus Content
• Call to Action for Newsletter
• Buy Links or Website Link

After your story ends, you’ll have the chance to add bonus materials, a list of your books, an excerpt of the sequel, reader discussion questions, and more. Here again you can put a Call to Action for your newsletter. Regarding buy links, keep in mind that certain vendors don’t like you to mention other online distributors. You’re always safe if you give the books page on your website. Otherwise you’ll have to change the buy link for each book distributor.

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Do you have any tips to add regarding front and back material?

Self-Publishing Made Simple – Part 2

Self-Publishing Made Simple – Manuscript Preparation

Self Publishing Part 2

Reissuing Your Backlist Titles

1. For older works where you don’t have a cohesive master file, you may need to use a scanning company such as Blue Leaf (http://www.blueleaf-book-scanning.com/). You’ll need a print copy to send in, and it won’t be returned. Send the version that’s the most up to date, i.e. later paperback instead of original hardcover.

2. After receiving your digital copy, review the story to correct formatting errors. Turn on the paragraph symbol in Word and look for weird symbols in between letters, missing or wrong punctuation, misinterpreted words, and misspellings. Search for ^- or an optional hyphen. Look for “die” instead of “the” or the number 1 instead of “I.” Italics might be missing or bolded instead. Look for “rn” coming out as “m”, such as “comer” instead of “corner.” In other cases “tly” might come as “dy”, as in “slighdy instead of “slightly.” Quote marks might be reversed, or there could be section breaks instead of page breaks.

3. If your publisher has provided you with a final pdf file, or you’ve downloaded an ebook file, you can use Calibre Ebook Management (https://calibre-ebook.com/) or Zamzar (https://www.zamzar.com/) to convert it into Word. However, the formatting may be messed up. In this case, copy the entire document onto a blank sheet and save it as a text file. Click on Remove Formatting (see symbol on Home page). Then reformat and save it as a Word file. You will lose italics but any weird justifications will be gone. You’ll have to read through the story very carefully adding in italics and looking for spacing errors or other problems as above.

4. Decide if you mean to revise the work and update the technology in the story.

Original Works

For a full-length original novel, hire a developmental editor and a copy editor/proofreader. Join author groups online and ask for names of editors who have experience in your fiction genre. You don’t want the local newspaper editor who’s your friend. Fiction is about structure and pacing along with grammar. You need an editor familiar with genre conventions. Experience at a publishing house is a plus.

Use a program such as Smart Edit (https://www.smart-edit.com/) to look for redundancies and repetitions. Revise your work as many times as necessary to give it professional polish. Ask beta readers to critique your story. Make it the best it can be and don’t be impatient, or your lack of care will show in customer reviews.

General Formatting Notes

I hire a professional formatter, so this section isn’t in my realm of expertise. However, I can share that we use Times New Roman 12 pt. font, 1 inch margins, indent first line 0.33 inches, Widow/Orphan off, single spacing. I put a page break at the end of each chapter. My chapter headings use Heading 1 so they get marked for the table of contents. The line of each chapter is flush left as per my preference. There are lots more choices here, but I’m not going into further details because your formatting source might advise something different. Or you can upload your Word file to one of the aggregators and they’ll do the conversions for you. More on this in a subsequent post.

The main point of this section is to be sure you have a polished, edited work that you’ll be proud to share. You can hire a formatter or learn how to do it yourself, but that’s later down the road after your manuscript is ready.

Self-Publishing Made Simple - Part 2: Preparing Your Manuscript #indiepublishing #amwriting Click To Tweet

Coming Next: Adding Front and Back Material

Are you interested in reissuing backlist titles or publishing new, original works?