Me, Self-Publish?

I always saw myself as a traditional author. Submit my work to a reputable publisherβ€”big or small, letting them supply the editing, cover art and marketing advice. Then things changed. I was recently informed that my current publisher is closing their doors. By the end of February White Light is off the e-shelves and art pixabay CC0 lotusI’ll have my rights back.

Moving on…

What now? The formatting is done, the editing has been scoured and I have help at the ready for new cover art. So NOT self-publishing seems silly.

No doubt self-publishing would have happened eventually. When my shorts reverted back to me for example. I was thinking they might be a good marketing tool more than anything else.

I’ve made a list of recommendations:

  • Create a publishing company. I’m thinking Emaginette Bookworks, but am open to suggestions.
  • Get an ISBN (in Canada they are free) or I could get one through Smashwords.
  • Buy my cover elements and produce professional cover. I’m so lucky I know some women that have been more than encouraging and helpful. Not to mention talented.
  • Upload to Smashword + Amazon. This scares the stuffing out of me. But I’ve been brave before and can do it again.

Anything else?

I know some very experienced self-published authors drop by now and then. I’m calling out to you. Please leave advice or links within the comments. I have a feeling the first step’s a doozy. πŸ™‚dandelion-335222_1280

Some places I’ve gleaned:

54 responses to “Me, Self-Publish?

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your publisher shutting down but it sounds like you have a great plan to get this book out yourself and rock the self-publishing world. Good luck with it!

  2. It sounds like you’ve got a plan in place. Good luck with everything – you can do it! πŸ™‚

  3. I love how you are bouncing right back and planning your steps to becoming your own publishing house. You kind of have the best of both worlds now, since your book was already edited, formatted, etc. And you’ll be getting all the proceeds from book sales now instead of sharing with your publisher. Good luck on this next adventure.

  4. You can do this! Honestly the main benefit to a small publisher is cover design and editing, and if you’ve done (or are comfortable doing) most of that, then in many cases you’re better off self publishing.
    ISBNs are not as critical as many would have you think. For e-books, they are fairly meaningless. So get the free one but don’t sweat it if you can’t. I recommend Draft2Digital as an alternative to smashwords. Smashwords is notoriously difficult, while D2D is super easy.
    Good luck with it all!

  5. Wow, that stinks about your publisher closing down. I agree with the first three things in your list. Set up your own publishing company and get your own ISBNs. A professional cover is a must. I don’t know anything about uploading to Smashwords or Amazon. Tons of people use them, though, so I’m sure you can do it. I use Ingram/Spark, the self-publishing arm of Lightning Source, Inc., for both e-book and POD. They produce a quality print product and distribute worldwide. I used a MS-Word template specifically configured for Ingram/Spark from The Book Designer for formatting. Good luck with it!

  6. Like many of the setbacks I’ve experienced over the years, this may turn out to be a real opportunity for you. This could be the kick in the pants you need to get into self publishing.

    As far as the ISBN goes, I think that if you purchase it from Smashwords, then they will be recorded as the publisher instead of you. That’s why many writers create their own company, so that they are listed as the publisher. I could be wrong about this, so check out the details for yourself. Good luck with your venture!

  7. Sorry to hear about your publisher. I’ve heard that more often than usual lately. How about a good, affordable printer. Mine is about $5 a book (heavily dependent upon length)–just as a point of reference for you.

  8. I had a similar thing happen to me. My publisher had bought two of my young adult books and published them. They had a third ready to go when they folded. I had a tussle to get my rights back to my two already published books, but finally did.

    I managed to find another publisher for two more, but then couldn’t place my middle grade stories, so that’s when I decided to go Indie. Now I’m one of those hybrids. I’ve done fairly well with those Indie books and my only advice is: get a great editor and an excellent cover designer. I can recommend one of the latter. He’s great to work with. At launch, roll up your sleeves and go to work just like always, but enjoy that it’s all up to you. You’re 100% in control of that book.

  9. Good luck in your new journey. I hope you share what you learn. Wishing you much success and ease in the transition.

    I came across this guide and mark it for me to refer back to when I was ready A Complete Guide To Publishing Your Own Book”>

    This guy has a lot of advice and articles about kindle, publishing and marketingKindle Tips–chrismcmullen
    Writing, Publishing, and Marketing Ideas

    Nick Stephenson–Get Your 1st 10k Readers He offers info on how to use keywords and categorize your book for best results. And pull readers in by using the optimization for your books to hit first and top pages of search engines. When I can I am definitely going to take this one. Have heard a lot of good things about it.

    Podcast about self publishing and self publishing authors I recommend
    Simon Whistler Rocking Self Publishing
    JoAnna Penn Podcast

    Sean Platt, Dave Wright & Johnny B. Truant Check out their self-publishing podcast once you enter their site under Smarter Artist

    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

  10. P S I like this–>Emaginette Bookworks Also Dean Wesley Smith talks about starting your own publishing company here Killing The Sacred Cows of Publishing in 2nd book, chapter 2 on his site, where you can read it for free or you can purchased your own copy if you want one.

  11. AS a VA, I can tell you to be sure and sell your book on ITunes as well, it is second in sales to Amazon.

  12. How disappointing to have your publisher close its doors. I’ve heard that happen so many times to author friends. But on the bright side, it sounds like it could be an opportunity for you. Publishing to KDP is easy. Just pop in your word doc, book cover, and figure out all the keywords and the 2 categories…and, well it is easier than it sounds! Formatting my books is what scares me. I had nightmare at smashwords with a table of contents, but this was 5 years ago and TOC is so much easier to do now. Just watched a video by Tom Knowles on the subject. I like how he shows you how to do it– I’ve heard good things about digital2print for pubbing ebooks too. You are lucky you already have a following here so we can all help you shout about your indie or artisanal published books! Best wishes!!

  13. Correction–the site is Draft2Digital. That name makes more sense if you’re doing an e-book.

  14. It’s a shame your publisher is shutting down, Anna. Seems to be epidemic these days. I know very little about self-publishing apart from the fact it’s a lot of work, and there’s usually an initial monetary outlay unless you do everything yourself, which is why I’ve steered away. But with your attitude and determination, I’ve no doubt you’ll shine. πŸ™‚

    VR Barkowski

  15. Sorry to hear about your publisher. Taking that first step to self publish is always a nerve wracking and learning experience. I like visiting The Book Designer and Jane Friedman sites to learn more about self-publishing. You can also take a look at Joanna Penn at to help you on your new self-publishing journey.

  16. Aw, that’s too bad about your publisher! But it sounds like you have everything worked out. After you get your cover, all you need to do is get the Smashwords guide to formatting–or, you know, hire someone. I did my formatting myself. Uploading to Smashwords and Amazon is super easy. You just hit upload! And it’s up a few minutes or hours after that!

    It’s the marketing that’s hard.

  17. Wow. That’s crazy. Well, on to self pub land. I’m wishing you epic success. My publisher handles most of that stuff, but I have had glimpses into the process and I totally get your apprehension. But not to fear. You are going to rock this!

  18. I’m sorry to hear about your publisher. I think you should go for self-publishing after you do your research. Go after your dreams and get your books out there.

  19. oh wow, that didn’t last too long, did it? I’m sorry but I’m also happy for you because you have sooo many possibilities that are opening up for you now. First of all, you are in charge: think of that! You can pick your own cover, your own price, and, most importantly, you can time your own promotions!! And if you time them right you’ll do much, much better than your small publisher would’ve ever done promoting you. I promise. Let me know if you need any help. I’m sure you’ll shine. πŸ™‚

  20. Sorry to hear about your publisher! That’s heartbreaking.

    Those who self-publish swear by it. Other than my giveaway ebook, which is free on my website, I haven’t ventured into that territory myself, but I’d like to once I have a bigger name. Hybrid is the way to go!

    Personally, I’d call your publishing company something different. The self-published authors who seem to thrive choose names that sound like real houses, so no one can tell the difference. Like it or not, there’s still a stigma against self-pubbed books.

  21. I’m so sorry to hear about your publisher closing, Anna. Man, that sucketh! But, good on you for showing the right spirit, as my father would say. I didn’t ever intend to self-publish and yet, last year, I self published my first book, and I heartily recommend it. Go for it, girl!!

  22. I’m not a self-published author, but I’ve seen many others do it successfully. Sounds like a good idea if the book is already formatted and ready to go!


  23. Susan Kaye Quinn is the most successful self-published author I know (well, I know her virtually). She has a book on self-publishing, and if I go that route in the future, I know I will rely on it.

  24. jennifer@badbirdreads

    Sounds like you got it under control!

  25. Please post about your experience. I am eager to hear how you fare. I’ll be going down that route in a few months.

    • Well, I was incredibly new when I started and met quite a few people in different groups. With their support and feedback I published a few pieces. I’m happy there. πŸ™‚

  26. Sorry to hear about your publisher. Good luck with your future endeavors.

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