Self-Publishing: Navigating an ever changing field

Self-Publishing: Navigating an ever changing field, Guest post by Katharine E. Wibell

You have written a book! All that time spent storyboarding, brainstorming, researching, writing, and editing. Oh, the editing… Now what? The obvious first thing to do is decide where to publish. There are the professional publishing houses of course and, by all means, pursue those if you desire. 

However, if you want to self-publish there are so many things to consider, so much information to take in, that it might make your head spin.

First things first. If you have not already found a professional editor, do so now! There are those who might disagree with me, but having a book torn apart and reconstructed by an actual editor is only to your benefit. Do your research and determine what kind of editing you require: copy or line editors edit grammar, spelling, format, style, etc.; substantive editors work on actual storyline and content; and proofreading as a final step are examples. While an editor is scouring your draft, apply for your copyright from the U.S. Copyright Office and purchase your own ISBNs from Bowker. This is also a good time to prep your author website if you have one.  Also, do not forget to create content for your dedication, author bio, and cover.

You should also be shopping publishing platforms. What are some of them? CreateSpace (Amazon’s publishing house), IngramSpark, and BookBaby. More are out there but these were the ones I looked into when selecting mine. CreateSpace is connected with Amazon and provides the best perks for using them exclusively. They offer KDP Select for those producing Kindle books which supports periodic discount opportunities, ability to participate in Kindle Unlimited and advertising options. IngramSpark provides the widest variety of distribution options from Kobo, Nook, Barnes & Noble and of course Amazon. You lose the perks of going through Amazon directly but can get you a wider viewability. It has the most stringent requirements when it comes to formatting your book for publishing. BookBaby is still relatively new. It is the most expensive option to print your book though it offers you incredible support from their staff and thus can be a great resource for anybody new to the self-publishing world. Since Amazon is where most books are sold currently, I only utilize CreateSpace and thus Amazon and Kindle but many authors utilize multiple platforms.

Once you have chosen your platform, you can then look at the requirements for format. Pay attention. Each publishing platform asks for different things. Outside of possible templates to utilize, other things to consider are: page numbers, header information, linking chapter titles to the table of contents if using an eBook, sizing the page correctly. It never hurts to ask questions and network with fellow authors.

What about designing your cover? Once again, you must do some research here. There are sites like that allow you to shop different cover designers or you can utilize “how to” YouTube videos and downloadable templates from others in the field like I prefer hiring someone skilled in my genre of book cover design.

Despite all your hard work thus far, a self-published author still has more to do. Marketing and book promotion are both essential to get your literary work in front of readers. I also sign up for blog book tours, submit my manuscript to competitions, create ads on Amazon and Facebook and of course utilize all sorts of social media. I have to say ads on Amazon have worked nicely for me as well as blog book tours. Remember, you want both readers and reviews!

This is only a brief synopsis of the self-publishing journey. With the field constantly changing, this process may seem overwhelming but do not lose heart. There are many others on the same journey as you.

Self-Publishing: Navigating an ever changing field, Guest post by Katharine E. Wibell

Self-Publishing: Navigating an ever changing field, Guest post by Katharine E. Wibell
Katharine Wibell’s lifelong interest in mythology includes epic poetry like the Odyssey, Ramayana, Beowulf, and the Nibelungenlied. In addition, she is interested in all things animal whether training dogs, apprenticing at a children’s zoo, or caring for injured animals as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. After receiving degrees from Mercer University in both art and psychology with an emphasis in animal behavior, Wibell moved to New Orleans with her dog, Alli, to kick start her career as an artist and a writer. Her first literary works blend her knowledge of the animal world with the world of high fantasy.

You can find and contact Katharine here:

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