HOW TO…

I wrote this on the Writers’ Group; you might enjoy it too.
Pressure keeps me going, faster. I’m one of those folks who works best when there’s a deadline, even if it’s a self-imposed one.
Indie publishing doesn’t have to be frightening. I did it, thousands of others did it, you can too.
First, create your manuscript. Revise it.
Find yourself an editor. I was lucky enough to find one who works for free, although he’s extremely selective. I do too, and I’m even more selective than he is; I’m only willing to edit one man. Fortunately, he writes slower than I do, so I have time to write my own books.
One other thing: I’m the best editor I know of. So self-editing works fairly well for me. My ‘editor’ spots typos, awkward words, things like that. I catch the bigger areas, content and so forth. What works for me probably won’t work for you.
Now you’ve got an edited manuscript. You need to clean it up. Got any of those strange little squiggles when you turn on Word’s nonprinting characters? You’ve got to get rid of those.
Got your manuscript edited and cleaned up? You’re getting closer.
IF you’re an artist, as Tina is, you have an advantage. If you can use Photoshop or GIMP, you have an advantage. I don’t use either of those, so I hire someone to create a cover for me. I didn’t start out that way, but that’s how I roll now. She uses PS and buys stock images from places like BigStockPhotos. License to use a photo, $3. Some have photos for less, $2. Beware ‘free’ photos; some are copyrighted. I got written permission from a man who published a photo on Flickr to use his photo, tweaked it, and made my own cover for Hands.
Almost there; now you need to know what it looks like when you send it in to Amazon, Apple, B&N, etc. Trust me, what you see in your .docx manuscript is NOT what you’ll see on your Kindle.
I use a program called Calibre. It’s drag and drop; you drag your MS into the program, there’s a blank ‘book’ icon where you can drag your shiny new cover. Hit ‘convert’. The program will translate your .docx file to MOBI, EBook, Nook, or PDF. Now you can open the file and see what you plan to sell.
Sign up for Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. If you’re ready, sign up for Smashwords (reportedly difficult to use) or D2D. That last is incredibly easy to use. Load your .docx file, answer the prompts, the program will even generate a table of contents, title page, other end material for you. When prompted, load your .jpg cover. Confirm that you did indeed do all this work all by yourself, that you therefore hold all the rights, tell them where you want to publish (not Amazon; they don’t do Amazon), Apple, B&N, Kobo, PageFoundry, or Scribd. Done.
Take a deep breath. Wow, finished! Uh…not quite.
Your book will appear. Google your own name, or pen name, and wow, there you are! One of 3 million.
Wait for the first book to sell. Keep waiting. Notify your friends and neighbors. Beg. OK, maybe only whine a little. A few books sell. Wait for the reviews.
Write another book. The second is easy, by the third it’s routine. But if you’re an Indie, you’ve got to market.
Expect to spend a bit of money. EReader News Today, ENT, costs $20 for a mailoout, BookSends costs $25. I’ve found both to be worth the money. Increased sales covered the cost and I even made a profit. BookSends advertised (via email) Combat Wizard on the 2nd, it’s sold 109 copies so far. About 75 or 85 of those were discounted, but the others are full price, $2.99. You’ll need to drop your price to something like $0.99 or even free to get featured on an emailer. You usually need reviews too, good ones. But that’s how your book gets sold. BTW, I don’t advise free giveaways. I’ve probably got a thousand free books I’ve never read, still waiting. Maybe one day. But if someone actually pays money, even if it’s only a dollar, there’s a much better chance that they’ll read your book and maybe even review it.
Some books will sell. Some won’t. Talent is as good as anything I’ve written, but somehow it doesn’t sell as well as the other two books int he series, and it has zero reviews so far. Why? No idea. Hands is only $1.99, and it has never sold well. One beta reader called it a masterpiece. It’s funny. But it’s also a novella, a ‘short novel’ or half-novel. Short stories and novellas don’t sell as well as novels do. No idea why. My 2500-word short story, Ants, has sold two copies at $0.99 this month, while my 25 000 word Hands at $1.99 hasn’t sold at all.
Anyway, I have more advice for you if you’re just starting out. Meantime, if you found this useful, go buy a copy of Hands. It’s cheap. And you’ll grin a time or two, giggle, finally guffaw. Yeah. http://www.amazon.com/Hands…/dp/B00NVZU9KC/ref=asap_bc…

A talent for wizardry Holisz assuredly has; alas, he lacks the dedication necessary to pursue so demanding a…
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