First-Time Self-Publisher

Self-publishing is a truly unique experience, and despite the somewhat sharp learning curve for an author self-publishing for the first time, CreateSpace has made the overall publishing process fairly simple, particularly by integrating the publishing direct to Kindle for e-reader purchases.

After nearly a year of angst over whether to try and secure a traditional publisher or go the self-publishing route, I finally settled on publishing through CreateSpace. A few of my author friends had already taken the plunge and seemed to find the publishing venue quite helpful. A few others set up their own book imprints and simply used an independent book printer to print copies for them.  For my first two books, and being a complete novice on the marketing and distribution issues associated with book publishing, I felt CreateSpace would suit me better. So, as of June 2013, my first two books were published there.  You will find links to those books by clicking on the page tab for the book you wish to read about. If you click the book cover on that page, it will take you to that book's location on Amazon.

I learned several things in the process of publishing these two books.  First, the next book I publish, which will eventually have many photos, will be created in MSWord .doc format and will contain text-only. This will permit me to upload it for e-reader more quickly. E-reader formatting isn't overly welcoming of photos or special formatting, headers, footers, footnotes, page number, or extra line spacing. So, likely I will place hyperlinks within the text to an online page here on the blog where readers can go and look at the pictures associated to it as they read or once they have completed the text. This will save a great deal of time in reformatting for the e-reader. Eventually, I hope the e-reader formatting process will allow for easier inclusion of pictures to make the e-reader experience more dynamic.

After I have the fully edited text-only document completed for the e-reader, having edited and spell checked it to death, I will save that file with a different name on the computer, then go back and edit and reformat it, adding in my pictures, along with footnotes, for the print edition. I will also include any special formatting, like bold type, italic, extra line spacing, page headers and footers, and text wrapping around the pictures, which looks nice and balances the page better. Then I will upload the file for print publication on CreateSpace.

There were a lot of other things I learned working through the self-publishing information found on CreateSpace and the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) sites when I took the plunge and uploaded my first file. I would recommend, if you are an author considering doing this, go and read their formatting guidelines first as will save you some frustration that naturally comes with learning a new thing.

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