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     If someone predicted a year ago I would wade into the realm of self publishing I would have strongly denied it. I had just received interest from a book publisher regarding my novella, "Unmasking the Knight." A relationship with an established publisher looked promising, and I in all my naivete' as a new writer was very hopeful.
     A full year later the publisher (to be left unnamed) had lost my manuscript somewhere in the sludge pile of an editor's desk. Meanwhile, I was reading exciting news about Hugh Howie, Amanda Hocking, Bella Andre, and Jasinda Wilder; to name a few authors who hit extreme success with self publishing. The world of publishing is changing at a rapid pace. E-readers like Kindle are growing in popularity, and the future of eBook publishing is bright. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/retailing/article/54609-e-books-market-share-at-22-amazon-has-27.html

     Exactly a year to the day of my first communication with the publisher interested in my novella I sent notice I was officially withdrawing my manuscript for their consideration. I decided to learn all I could about self publishing. This old dog had decided to learn some new tricks.
     Are you laughing yet? The first thing I learned was it is a vast subject, with much to learn. I began stockpiling information. I learn more about the topic every day.
     When an author decides to self publish it is the same as deciding to be an entrepreneur, for every task a publishing house would have performed now falls on the author's shoulders. A book cover must be designed. Substantive editors and copy editors must be hired. The text must be formatted. An advertising and book launch plan must be implemented. All bookkeeping tasks now must be handled by the author, unless you hire it done. In short, every task a team of professionals would have handled is now the author's responsibility.
     There is great power in going it alone, for you get to make all the bottom line decisions. You don't like that book cover? You have the power to choose another. You don't like that editor's advice to chop off your favorite prose? You have the power to make every choice; and that is liberating.
     I designed my own book cover. I'm not recommending that everyone try this at home (I'm laughing) but if you have some skills with digital art programs it is not that difficult to make your own book cover. I purchased a stock photo from www.shutterstock.com with book cover rights released. I used my computer to put on the lettering, keeping in mind clear and legible font that would be view-able on thumbnail.
     I made the decision to list "Unmasking the Knight" on Amazon with their KDP program. There are many other options for listing eBooks such as Lulu, Kobo, Createspace, Smashwords, Xlibris, and many more. I like the KDP advertising perks, but that is just my opinion.
     I read lots of advice on the internet that it is possible to format your eBook yourself. I did end up formatting mine, but not without some bugs to work out. There are directions and guidelines on Amazon for formatting, and after some trial and error I muddled through the process. If I had a highly complex book with a detailed table of contents, photos, and index I would hire a professional formatting service.
     I purchased my ISBN number from Bowker Identifier Services at www.myidentifiers.com/isbn.
 I sent in my copyright information to the U.S. Copyright Office. On September 4, 2013 I launched "Unmasking the Knight." What a great feeling to have navigated all the steps to making the novella available on Amazon!  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EZ85HA6
     And now I'm moving on to marketing, which is such a huge topic I'm saving it for my next post.

     
 


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