Sharing via My Self-Publishing Journey
Self-publishing Adventures Begin with a Story
The self-publishing adventure begins with a story worth publishing and the will to persevere. How do you know if your story is worth publishing? Share it with others and get their feedback. But don’t count on all feedback being positive.
Over the years I wrote many stories. One person I shared some of them with commented, “Well, at least your family might enjoy reading them.” Ouch! Still, that told me my stories needed work, a few changes, more honing, and further evaluation. I persevered. I shared them with a few other people and they told me, “John, these stories need to be published, they’re great!”
Still, at that point they still weren’t well-written enough to be publishable. I’ve spent years rewriting and honing, thinking I’m there, then reading, shaking my head, and rewriting and honing again. Sometimes the process seems never ending, and perhaps it is.
At various times I submitted stories to publishers and they too told me they should be published. However, they also told me they were not the kind of story they published, or they had just published a similar story, or the story was too short for their requirements, etc. Their feedback was both encouraging and discouraging!
At that point my self-publishing adventure came into play (link is to an article on self-publishing). But I found that the traditional self-publishing options—vanity presses—was expensive. And frankly speaking, I couldn’t fit it into my budget. Now what?
Self-publishing with CreateSpace
A friend told me about CreateSpace (links to where you can get started) and I decided that self-publishing approach would work for me. I gave it a whirl, and I have to say that although it has been a challenge, it has been a rewarding challenge. That’s not to say I have made any money at it. However, it has been fun and my books are “out there.”
I love publishing with CreateSpace, but as mentioned, there are challenges. My biggest challenge has been marketing the books after publication. Another challenge is learning the CreateSpace system—a challenge but not daunting. A third challenge is creating quality covers that grab a potential reader’s attention. And a fourth challenge is getting the inside formatting right. And I should note that on-site professional help is available at a price. I choose to do all of my own cover designs and internal formatting.
There are other self-publishing options, but I got started with CreateSpace, like it and am comfortable with it.
Preparing a Book for Publication
The self-publishing adventure includes preparing your book for publication. That is the real daunting task, well, besides marketing. Preparing a book for publication is a time consuming process.
I prepare my books for publication on my laptop using Word, and the custom margins aspect likes to mess with my mind and lack of tech savvy. When I would run into a problem I could not solve—using Word to format and working with CreateSpace—I would Google the problem. For instance: How to embed font. And I found numerous resources that would explain the process in detail.
I would hang in there and would end up with a quality product…well, most of the time. Even after publication I have later gone back to CreateSpace and changed my cover design—feeling that the pervious one just wasn’t good enough—and sometimes would change content or formatting. That is the great thing about publishing through CreateSpace. When issues with your book come to your attention you can go back and adjust or correct them.
My self-publishing adventure has brought me to where I now have thirty-four books published in paperback as well as in digital form. They can be found at Amazon, B&N, as well as in other book sales locations. The link in this paragraph will take you to Amazon where you can peruse all the titles.
I encourage you to engage with me. I would love your feedback on this post.