Well…a few months ago, I self-published my book! I was and still is super excited. Actually, I am still experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions. In fact, if you haven’t checked it out, I wrote a blog about how I felt about becoming a self-published author and you can read about it here.
This post here will be about the whole process of publishing via Kindle Direct Publishing (kdp). Now, I don’t know any other self-publishing options out there (in fact, if you know of any please share in the comments). I would preface by saying that this is my experience. You may have an easier time with it or a harder time with it. This post is not about the book writing process (in fact I can talk about that in a different post) but the self-publishing PROCESS. Not the
So, lets get to the first question of why I chose to self-publish my book. I chose to self-publish my book because I wasn’t sure if a publishing company would deem my book as worthy to publish it. Cara Alwill (one of my favorite bloggers and authors) was denied by publishers 19 times. 19! She chose to self-publish her books and she has benefited from it. Self-publishing allowed her to take control and make the decision that people needed her book and she has become a best selling authors. Sarah Ordo (again, someone I have talked about a lot on this site) self-published all of her books as well and it worked out well for her as well.
These women chose to take control of the narrative. They believed in themselves when others doubted them and they both have been very successful. I saw that and I wanted that. Ever since I was in high school, I knew I wanted to be an author and with self-publishing, I made it happen. That just goes to show you that even if other people doubt you or don’t believe in your craft, keep pushing forward.
Another reason I wanted to self-publish was because of the fact that I had control. I can control the price. I can control (kind of) the royalties. I can control when it comes out. It’s print on demand so I don’t have to order so many and then go sell them independently. It takes the hassle out of having to carry so many books with you and push them out to people and businesses. Again, marketing has a lot to do with how many books you sell! So it is up to you to promote your book. You can’t just publish it and sit back.
If you chose a different publishing route, you could end up with a lot of physical books to sell. Speaking of physical books, your books are available in different formats! In Kindle, paperback, and recently hardcover (right now they’re doing beta sellers and my book is available in hardcover). You can also record it as an audiobook! The options are endless!
The course that I took that helped me was from Sarah Ordo. I saw that she was having in person workshops and I asked her if she’ll do one for us folks that weren’t in her area and I guess other people had the same question and she decided to make her course available online. Another lesson: reach out to those who you look up to. You never know the outcome! Anyway, she made the course and I purchased it. I watched that course sooo many times and I still go back and revisit it because it’s not only a self-publishing course but also a self-promotion course as well! So it’s honestly a bang for your buck.
This part was super difficult. Now here’s the thing. You do have the option to just upload your word doc as is but I was told that it would look more professional if I used one of their “models” and just copy and paste my work on the pages. My book to be honest is full of page numbering errors because of it. It was really difficult for me to get correct and maybe it would’ve taken me an extra day or two to get it right but I was on a deadline and wanted to get it out by my mom’s birthday, so I sent it to publishing. The good news is that you can always update your book. All you have to do is go to your book on kdp and just upload the most recent copy of your manuscript. So not all hope is lost if you make a mistake but you do want to put your best out there initially.
since it’s published by Amazon, it’s available worldwide. You don’t have to worry about converting the money. They do it for you which is super helpful. Of course they take a lot of the money you make but they’re also printing on demand and sending it out for you so I guess you don’t have to (that’s why its important that you market your book and put it in as many hands as possible). Another thing to consider when using kdp is the payout. They payout to you at the end of every two months. For example, I published my book in March and at the end of May I got my first royalty check. Sarah mentioned that in her course so I was prepared for it and it happened just as she said. Now, if you don’t do direct deposit and you do paper checks, that time frame would obviously be longer. Be aware of that.
This is another area that just bothered me to my core. It was difficult af! Like my best friend designed my cover and by the way, if you have someone who designs covers, go ahead and use them. If you’re not a designer, they have options for covers for you to choose from. Back to my drawbacks with this cover design. It was so hard. you can upload a cover you have but it has to be a specific type of file and it’s very difficult to change. Like I did my best with my book but I had my best friend who is a graphic designer and it was HARD for her! Your image has to fit within the screen and honestly, the best thing to do is call them and have them walk you through it because it is NOT easy!
In fact, that’s another big advice. Call them. Call them for everything! They’re available 24/7 so don’t be afraid to call them for every little thing. You’re going to be frustrated at some point in the kdp process so call them. CALL THEM ASAP and save yourself the headache.
To check out Sarah’s course, click here for $60. When I bought the course it was for a cheaper price since it was the launch of it.
And to check out my book, When the Wallflower Blooms, click here to check it out!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I will do my best to answer them!