- Took Jane Friedman’s Writer’s Digest eBook webinar.
A year ago I knew very little about self-publishing. Jane Friedman [@janefriedman on Twitter] was at least a dozen steps ahead of me. Her 90-minute webinar covered all the basics—eBook retailers, pricing, royalties, marketing and more. About a week later we received handouts with resources. The class is listed as an“OnDemand Webinar.” Ask for it!
- Got in the queue at eBook Architects.
I’m a writer, not a techie. I know many authors convert their own books; I didn’t want to take a chance of messing up. Jane Friedman said that eBook Architects is “Perhaps the best in the business.” I don’t know about other services, but I can recommend Joshua and Chris and the entire team at eBook Architects without reservation. I give them credit for Caller Number Nine receiving a QED seal from Digital Book World. I paid only $150 for hours of one-on-one service. The only drawback was the queue: 11 weeks when I signed up. According to the website the wait is now 4-6 weeks. As it turned out, 11 weeks gave me enough time for the next step.
- Revised, revised, revised.
By the time I decided to self-pub Caller Number Nine, it’d been run by my writers group, edited by beta readers, rewritten, revised, sent out again and gotten an encouraging reception by agents and the one publisher that saw it (snail-mail letter told me every editor in the division had read it). So what did I need to do? Go through the manuscript again, have an editor take another pass, and then copyedit. This was all before I received my book back from eBook Architects to proof.
- Bought an ISBN. Then had to buy the 10-pack.
I knew I needed an ISBN; every book has one. I made the mistake of purchasing a single ISBN and not ten. (After all, I was publishing one eBook.) Then I learned that I really did need separate ISBNs for Amazon, iTunes (Lulu), Barnes & Noble and Google eBooks. Whoops. And the not-so-kind people at Bowker would not credit my initial $125 purchase toward the $250 I needed to spend for 10 ISBNs. Grrr. So now I am the proud owner of 11 ISBNs. (Good thing I plan to write more books.) I respectfully suggested that Bowker put such information on the website. Indeed they have. It’s under the header “Most Books Require More Than 1 ISBN.”
- Hired a cover artist.
Finding one was easy: Christy Hale is a friend and sits on my left at the monthly meetings of our writers group. She knows my book and is an industry pro. She gave me several covers from which to choose. I sent the samples out to my beta readers and ended up paying Christy for two. I love them both! I use the one I didn't choose as the wallpaper for my iPad. Someday I may change the cover; as an eBook publisher, I can do that.
As with eBook Architects and the Jane Friedman eBook webinar, I highly recommend Christy.
Next post: five more steps I took in the six months before publishing Caller Number Nine. Questions? Put them in the comments, or shoot me an email or tweet. I'm happy to help!