(I'm taking notes for the future.)
Over to you again, Patsy.
Thanks for having me back again Carol, despite the cheeky way I mentioned my new short story collection, Through The Garden Gate and how the kindle version is currently on sale for 99p! (Gosh, but I'm subtle!)
It's also available as a paperback version, which is available now for £6.60
How I did it.
There are a variety of companies which allow you to self publish your own books. I use Createspace, which is a print on demand (POD) service. It's part of Amazon, which means the distribution is taken care of. There's nothing to pay in advance as they take their money from the sale price. If you don't sell any, you don't pay a penny.
The work involved.
Createspace provide useful articles on every step of the process. For example, here's one on formatting. I suggest having a quick read of those first. There's also a forum where you can ask questions if you get stuck.
Everything you need to do the formatting is available in most of the software packages you're likely to have used to write the book. Word, OpenOffice and NeoOffice will all do the job.
1. You'll probably want to add page numbers and might want to include your name and the title in page headers. It looks best to start each chapter on a new page. Use section breaks for that.
2. You should select 'mirroring' for the page set up, so there's a slightly wider margin for the inside edge of each page than the outside one. Pages should also be sized appropriately for the book size.
3. If it's a short story collection or non fiction work, you'll want to include the page numbers in the table of contents, or index, if you're using one.
4. It's a good idea to use an ISBN. Createspace will provide this for free if you select that option and you may wish to add this to the front matter of your book - that's the bit where you put copyright notices, disclaimers and that kind of thing. Just copy and paste.
5. Once you're happy with the document, save it as a pdf. You're now ready to upload it. Select the 'guided' option and you'll be guided through each stage.
6. Once uploaded, you can view a digital proof online. Look through this carefully and if there's anything you're not happy with, adjust the document and upload the new version. Repeat until it's perfect.
7. It's a good idea to look at a physical proof too. You can order it at this stage.
This is one place I don't follow the Createspace guidelines as their proof is expensive and it'll take a long time to come through. Instead, I publish the book, buy one copy and immediately un-publish again.
8. If you already have a kindle cover image this will need some tweaking. The resolution needs to be higher and you'll have to allow for 'bleed' - that's the bit which will probably be trimmed off when the physical cover is formed. The precise requirements are clearly given when you get to that stage.
9. Selecting categories, sales channels, adding the blurb and pricing are all explained and almost identical to doing this for an ebook. Again you'll be guided through.
Allow plenty of time for formatting and uploading your book. It's better to do it a step at a time over several days than try to do it all in one mad rush. There's also a wait of several hours, or sometimes days, from when you click the confirm button to it appearing for sale.
Go on then – What are you waiting for?