Self-Publishing Experience #2

Welcome back to the Creative Life Adventure.

Last time, I recorded a few thoughts on my experience self-publishing my novel in paperback format via CreateSpace. I also published the book in digital format via Kindle DIrect Publishing (KDP) and wanted to share a few thoughts on that, also.

tlbobbi_cover_6
The cover of my 2017 ebook

In 2017, I self-published a short business book via KDP. The platform seems to have changed considerably in that time, and I found it easier this time around. Previously, the process involved creating HTML files and some time-consuming formatting. Now, KDP works through a free app called Kindle Create that’s downloaded to the desktop. Formatting the document is done through this app, which also offers a preview of how the manuscript will appear on different types of devices.

I just imported my manuscript file (I use OpenOffice) into the Kindle Create app and formatted it appropriately. The formatting procedures within Kindle Create weren’t very intuitive, for me anyway, so it took a little time to figure out how that worked. Once I did, however, it was not difficult to format paragraph spacing, page breaks, etc., to suit my taste.

Once everything was formatted, and after I previewed the document, I used the Kindle Create app to generate a file for uploading via Amazon’s web site. Then I uploaded the cover as a JPG file. There is no back cover for ebooks and the file size is different, so the paperback and ebook require different versions of the cover. Then there are some decisions to make in terms of ISBN (I chose not to obtain one, it’s not necessary for Kindle books), distribution channels (I chose to make my book accessible to the Kindle Unlimited program), and pricing.

Kindle Create app screenshot
A screenshot of the Kindle Create app in preview mode

There are plenty of other self-publishing platforms out there. I chose KDP because I’m a new author, it was straightforward to use, and Amazon is the seller everyone knows.

Finally, a note on my novel’s title, Moral Compass. I came up with this title years ago and stuck with it. If I had realized that a former politician had written a “non-fiction” book of the same title, I would have come up with something else! The lesson is to research your title carefully before going forward.

The bottom line, for me, is that I’m now a published novelist and I’m happy with the result. Print-on-demand has been around for years, it was one of the great promises of the Internet and World Wide Web, but I feel that only in the past few years that has it really started coming into its own. I’m really excited to have completed this long project and to have a tangible work to show for my creative efforts.

Again, this is not remotely a comprehensive description of the self-publishing experience. Anyone out there who has is contemplating this is welcome to contact me with specific questions. My message is: If I can do it, so can you, so don’t give up.

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