Monday Notes: Do These 3 Things Before Self-Publishing!

I love supporting people and their endeavors. I also love supporting authors, especially if they are independently published. Over the past three years, I’ve read approximately fifteen self-published books. Five of these were just since January. And most of you know, I’m also independently published. So, I feel confident in offering a few suggestions for those of you who are almost ready to click that publishing button on Amazon, Lulu, Ingram Spark, or Create Space.

editor#1: Please pay for an editor. I know firsthand that editors can be costly. For The Unhappy Wife, I paid a little under $300 and for Daddy, approximately $700. But, I will tell you what. Not one person has approached me asking if I had either edited. This is important. When readers open your book, they are expecting quality, especially if they’ve spent over $10. They are not expecting to trip over misspelled words and syntax errors. In fact, for avid readers, this can be a turn off, not only from finishing the book, but also from trusting you as an author whose work they should read in the future.

#2: Please pay for formatting. I’ve read a few indie books that looked as if the person just uploaded their Word document to a platform for sale. This is a no-no. Sometimes the editor you paid from #1 can also format your book. However, be sure s/he understands the nuance between formatting for a printed book and formatting for an eBook. There is a difference. For example, an eBook has to be reflowable; this means the book reorganizes or reformats itself, no matter the device. It’s the reason you can read a book on your tablet or on your cell phone and it looks the same. Conversely, your printed book has to be created as a static version, and depending on the size of your book, there are also specific dimensions you must adhere to. An editor who knows formatting can help you with either of those.

open_book#3: Proofread your book prior to publishing. I know you’re probably like, KG, I already paid the editor all this money. Why do I have to proofread? Because I said so, that’s why. Just kidding. Let me tell you what happened to me. With Daddy, I paid someone to format, trusted her, and ordered 50 copies. I opened up the book and it was all kinds of terrible. Spacing was off. Words were missing for some reason. It just looked unprofessional. On top of that I had just wasted a couple hundred dollars ordering the books because I was not about to allow that copy to be purchased by the public. I ended up finding someone else and the book looks like the version you have in your possession.

If you’re looking for affordable formatting, Fiverr is a reputable site. I’ve used it before and paid no more than $25. The editor I trusted for Daddy is named Christine Schmidt at True-Blue Editing. Finally, I also have a business that offers proofreading, copy and line editing, called Writing Endeavors®. I’d love to work with you.

Best of luck if you’re planning to self-publish! If you have any other advice for these types of authors, then please feel free to share in the comments.

44 thoughts on “Monday Notes: Do These 3 Things Before Self-Publishing!

  1. Hi Karen! Just sharing awesome news that I’ve finished writing my first book, one for children(or our own inner child). I used the tips you mention too. The title is Millicent the Rainbow Frog. It’ll be available on Amazon next week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I need to pass this on to a few indy authors. I do editing, but I often get those authors who want to barter the price down–even after my “first time” discount. LOL! If you want expert editing, you have to pay for it. But Like you, I put the book down if it’s burdened with problems in grammar, mechanics, and style.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Please do girl! I’ve often thought about making a list of things NOT to ask your editor. Let me know if you want to co-write/co-blog that one. In addition to what you’ve said, I’d add please do not ask me to ghost write your book!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your advice was spot on! I’ve read many self-published books, and most of them are not only well-written, but also well-edited. The few that aren’t just annoy me. If we are going to ask others to read out work, we have an obligation to make it as best as we possibly can…including no typos, grammatical errors, etc. It really does matter!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ann! It’s super annoying. And of course, i agree. I think we sometimes forget the “self” in self publishing means we are responsible for each and every part of the book, even the parts we don’t feel like doing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love books but read ebooks because I can control the font and light. I changed systems because the indie books I was being offered were exactly as you describe. Even with free or inexpensive, quality still matters.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. #3 is one of the most important tips here,I believe. I’ve done your same mistake – twice, with two different people. I know, I’m a fool, but i really believed the first time was an anomaly and editors were perfect.

    Liked by 3 people

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