In an earlier blog post I detailed my decision to try self-publishing. I didn’t come to it lightly, though motivated less by a fear of failure than by a phobia of formatting. I foresaw a whole series of blog posts on my trials and travails. And do you know what? The book (if I may presume to call it that) is available on Amazon. So what have I learned?
It’s as easy as falling off a log
Well, almost. From the moment I decided to embark on this self-publishing adventure to the book going live was less than 48 hours. From the moment I sat down in seriousness to do it (excluding the faffing about and panicking and watching YouTube videos) to the moment at which I pressed ‘publish’ was less than an afternoon.
Either the formatting is very straightforward or else I’m more skilled than I thought
Formatting is common sense. Almost two decades ago I did a couple of courses in Word, and although Word has changed almost beyond recognition in that time, the fundamentals still apply. There really is nothing to worry about. I never even read the book I downloaded to guide me through the process.
The most difficult part is the admin
This did take time, and the peak moments of panic. I’m still not sure I got it exactly right in terms of setting up the tax information and complying with the US regulations, reading through all the legalese and ticking (I hope) the right boxes. I filled it in to the best of my knowledge and ability. I hope that’s enough.
Doing it properly will require more effort
This was an experiment. I didn’t revise the short stories and I didn’t pay for a proofreader or a cover. The results? A few errors but not as many as I thought, and a cover that’s okay and original to a degree (my own photo with standard formatting) but nothing special. To self-publish seriously will require a lot more effort on that front and a cost, too. There are decisions to be made there about how much to invest.
The last lesson I learned is one I know well and should have applied a long time ago. As with so much else in life, so it is with self-publishing: there’s nothing to fear but fear itself.
You can download it from the Kindle store here