Hi there! I’m Eliza Noel. Joshua asked me to do a guest post on self-publishing for the Dawn Chandler blog tour. Please note that I’m still new to all of this :)
I guess I’ll start with why I chose self-publishing.
When I was a fairly new writer, I stumbled across several blogs by other home schooled writers who had self-published their books. I was impressed by how well their books were doing and immediately asked lots of questions.
One aspect of self-publishing that appealed to me was the control. Dawn Chandler is a story that is very close to my heart. One of the reasons I wrote it was because 12-year-old me was sick of reading about crush-obsessed tweens. That seemed to be a trend in middle-grade fiction and I didn’t want a traditional publisher asking me to add that to my story.
I also set Dawn Chandler in the real town of Lone Pine, which will forever hold a piece of my heart. I didn’t want anyone telling me to change the setting or make changes that would be inaccurate to the real Lone Pine. For this book, self-publishing just seemed to fit. I do have some novels I plan to write that I would like to pursue traditional publishing with.
Control can also be negative.
All the little decisions regarding ISBNs and how to categorize the book really annoyed me towards the end. Self-publishing means you’re not only the writer, but also the editor, cover designer, formatter, promotional team, and basically the person who has to make everything happen.
Of course, there are many people you can hire to help you. I had a group of friends beta read, hired Abigayle Claire to edit it, hired Liza Proch to illustrate the cover, and hired Sarah Grace Grzy to help me with the spine.
There were many people and businesses I could have hired to format or organize the blog tour, as well. I decided to do the formatting because I thought it was fairly simple and I wanted to save money. Now, I realize ‘fairly simple’ wasn’t exactly the right term. I got frustrated so many times throughout the process, but was always able to find answers about how to fix things online. It just took a lot of time.
I chose to organize the cover reveal and blog tour because social media is an area I do well in and enjoy. How much of the whole publishing process you do is truly up to you.
Know your strengths and your weaknesses, as well as how much time and money you have to put into your book.
I strongly recommend, at the bare minimum, hiring an editor. You can be an amazing writer, but someone else will always be able to find mistakes in your book better than you.
I’m publishing through Amazon KDP which has been fairly easy to use and has given me plenty of options for how the physical book looks. I think I’ll be using Ingramspark in addition to KDP to make it easier for libraries and book stores to access it. I haven’t done much with Ingramspark yet, so I don’t have a lot to say.
Some things I’ll do better next time...
Now that I’ve learned a lot about formatting (through trial and error mostly), I think there are many things I can do even as I write the first draft to make formatting the final draft easier.
I’ll make sure I give myself plenty of time to meet deadlines, I’m cutting it rather close this time. I also announced that the release date would be May 13th then learned that if I wanted to do a book signing on the 18th that needed to be the release day. So, moral to the story, do your research well before making a big announcement.
A few things I’d like to leave you with:
So, if you decide to self-publish, do lots of research. Make sure you’re not self-publishing because you think it will be easier; find authors who have done it that you can ask for advice, and keep a to-do list with deadlines. My to-do list started out rather flexible with things that needed to be accomplished each month, but now that release day is close (May 18th!) each task has a set day to be done by and a reminder on my phone.
I hope this was helpful! There are so many things involved that it’s difficult to give a general overview of the process. Feel free to ask questions in the comments. Thanks for having me on Jeune Authors, Joshua!
About the Author: Eliza Noel is a homeschool graduate with passion for Jesus, people, and literature. Growing up, her favorite books were always Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and Pride and Prejudice. Around age twelve she wanted to read something with positive values in a modern setting, but couldn’t find what she was looking for. So she wrote it.
When not doing something book-related (reading, writing, blogging, bookstagramming), Eliza works at her day jobs, spends time with her many younger siblings, longboards, has coffee with friends, eats chocolate, and listens to music. California is home, but she would like to travel more and feels she could learn to be content anywhere.