Today I am sharing the final post in my self-publishing series, which will be on the topic of actually publishing the book! If you haven’t read my first six posts on writing, editing, cover design, choosing a publishing platform, formatting, and proofreading, I would recommend checking them out as well. This final step cannot be done without the others, so you should probably start with them.
I know a lot of people who think you can just write a book and upload it to Amazon, without all of the previous steps I’ve discussed, which is true in theory, but is equivalent to shooting yourself in the foot. I could upload draft 1 of Project Madness right now and have it available for sale in a couple days. People might even buy it, but if I skipped every other step of the publishing process, people will be very disappointed in their purchase and likely won’t take the chance on one of my books again.
So yes, it’s essential to your author career that the actual act of publishing is the very last step and it’s actually the easiest. You already have all the pieces of your book’s puzzle; it’s time to put them together. All you have to do is log in to your print on demand platform of choice (as discussed in Part 4), upload your interior files and cover files, fill in all the remaining information, and hit publish. The book will take different times to go live depending on the platform, but KDP can take up to 72 hours.
I’m going to go into a little more detailed explanation of the process with my chosen platform, KDP. Now, if you’ve ordered a proof and done your proofreading, you should already have the cover uploaded as well as the manuscript, and most of your details. The first thing you want to make sure of is that you’ve uploaded the most current draft of your book, aka the one with all the changes from your proofreading. So if you’re not sure, just go ahead and re-upload the final version. It won’t cost you anything on KDP.
Next you want to double-check all the details of the book. Check the spelling on the book title and the series title. Check the spelling and grammar in your book’s blurb and make sure you have the correct version. Make sure you have your book in the most relevant category. If your book is fantasy with a romantic subplot, don’t put it under the romance category as it won’t attract the right readers. Take a look as well at your print options. This is where the book’s paper colour, trim size, and cover finish are. For me, I always order one of my proofs in matte cover and one in gloss, so I have to remember to switch that option back to matte before the book goes live.
The last thing is your pricing options, which you can change for each different marketplace. Be very careful that the price you are charging covers your books printing costs in each marketplace. When I first published Silent Night, the price on Amazon.ca was $12.99, same as Amazon.com, but Amazon.com was in USD as compared to $12.99 Canadian. Long story short, $12.99 Canadian was just enough to cover printing costs, not a cent more. So I sold like 30 copies in the first month to my Canadian friends and family and didn’t make a cent. I don’t want anyone else to ever experience that kind of disappointment, so double check all your marketplaces.
Once you’ve given all the details one last look through, it’s time to press the golden button and publish your book! The book will go into review with Amazon and will take a maximum of 72 hours to go live, as far as I recall. I think mine have taken max 24 hours. So with that being said, it’s important to publish your book a bit earlier than you need to, so that it’s available to be purchased when you want. Ebooks immediately go live at 12:01 am on your chosen release day, but with Silent Night, the paperback didn’t go live until 8pm on release day, and I was a wreck all day, checking the Amazon page like every half hour. Don’t be like me lol. Give yourself some extra time to make release day as stress free as possible.
So yeah, that concludes my blog series on how to self-publish your book from writing to the actual act of publishing it. I hope you enjoyed this series and that it was informative. If you ever have any questions about these posts or other aspects of the writing/publishing process, leave a comment, DM me on Instagram, or fill out the contact form on my website. I am always happy to help.
Next month, I will be returning to this topic to do a note on launching, which is different from publishing and covers the marketing side of your book release. But first, I’ll have a post for readers where I will be interviewing the characters of Summer’s Revenge. Look for my question box on my Instagram stories soon to help with my interview questions and vote for which characters you want to hear from : )