Tuesday, 20 June 2017

My first steps in Self Publishing

When I first decided to self publish my books I tried a local printing company and quickly discovered that to publish a paperback (of true ghost stories) would be far too expensive. This was back in the late 1980s. I could not afford it, so I settled on publishing a booklet of ghost stories. I found the cheapest way of publishing the booklet was to order a thousand @ at a £1.00 each. Naturally I was worried about selling them. Fortunately for me the local press and shops were extremely helpful and at that time there was a niche in the market. I sold out within a month or so.
After that I did not want to risk another print run or publish a new booklet. I decided to run future booklets off on the photocopier we had. This worked fine and local shops and the library ordered directly from me. Sales were extraordinary.
And then along came Kindle, this allowed authors to publish their own work. At first I was reluctant to put my work on it. I had written my book Dancing with Spirits and Birmingham Girls through Lulu.com and felt wary of Kindle. In the end I took the plunge and have never looked back.
I was concerned about preparing my manuscript to download to their site but in the end I found it easy. Amazon do provide instruction but I think eventually like anything you find your own way through it.
Since those early days I have published at least ten more books, both fiction and nonfiction and my latest book is with the editor at the moment. It is the sequel to The Other Place, the title is, The Other Time.
This will of course go on Kindle along with my other books the link to my page is click below.


It is advisable to have your work read by at least three independent readers. If they seem critical of what you’ve written remember they are simply trying to be helpful.

To publish your manuscript to Kindle your first step is to sign up for an account with Amazon. This is easy and nothing to worry about. They will take you through every stage. Have a practice run. You can keep checking your manuscript on their platform. There’s no rush at all.
One of the most important things I always do is justify my work. There is nothing worse than seeing a book on Kindle (or in paperback) that hasn’t been justified. It looks unprofessional to a reader’s eye. It only takes a minute to justify and check through your work after you have finished formatting it.

My way of publishing to Amazon Kindle

To format my books for Kindle first I open an A4 page in my Word programme. I put in the title and my name on the first page. On the second page I put in the copyright. This is very important. On the On the third page the dedication. On the fourth page I put the blurb, followed by a page break.
I then copy and paste my novel into the following page.
Now the hard work begins. You have to ensure that each page reads correctly and is justified. This can take a long time but believe me it is so important. There is nothing worse than getting a bad review because you have made a mistake when uploading your work. Keep checking it on the Amazon Kindle platform. Leave it a day or so and go back to it. Reading and rereading your work will pay you huge dividends. If someone thinks that your first book is formatted badly they will be reluctant to buy any future books.

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