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What You Should Know About Self-Publishing

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Photo by Matt Ridley on Unsplash

Hi, everyone. Today I’m going to talk a little bit about self-publishing, because I keep running into situations now where people will put things on lists or someplace — emails, whatever — commenting about, how to get started in self publishing.

What companies should I look for? This kind of thing. And I’m always kind of scratching my head saying companies, what? And to me, self-publishing is about establishing your own imprint. So I want to make that clear right up front.

Well, okay. It is easy in the sense that you don’t have to be a technical genius. I am not a technical genius and I am learning about the Internet as I go and about all sorts of stuff. But having said that it is fairly easy to create an ebook. The tough part is selling it, marketing it, all of that stuff, which I’m not going to get into at this time, but I may do later because there is a lesson to be learned from what I went through. And I’m going to tell you that lesson. The other thing I keep hearing is it’s so cheap to do this. Well, it’s so cheap to do this if you go cheap on your cover, which is a bad idea. If you don’t get editing or copyediting or proofreading done on it, which is also a bad idea.

And if you don’t have to pay for formatting, which requires a little bit of technical know-how, but not that much. Now you have to be willing to spend some money up front, if you want to format your books yourself. There’s a program called Vellum. And I use that, but it’s not cheap. Just like everything else involved in self-publishing. It’s not cheap if you do it right.

Oh yeah. You’re going to have to buy ISBNs, if you’re in the US, anyway. In Canada, they don’t have to do that. Wow. Lucky Canada. So I just wanted to start out with that because one of these days I am going to write a book about this subject and I will put it out there. And just instead of giving piecemeal advice to people about self-publishing here and there, I will put it all in one place: the good, the bad and the ugly, and believe me, folks, it’s getting uglier all the time. 🙂

Okay. I smile. But you know, it’s kind of like, I’ve stopped caring at this point. It’s kind of like, okay, so I’m not in the top 100, I’m not number one in the category of mysteries involving Marines who have PTSD. Okay? Or mysteries in which the lawyer is a Maryland sleuth [or vice versa]. Is there a category for that? Yeah. Who cares? I don’t care. I care about finding readers who like my work. That’s what I want to do. So with that in mind, I’ll just say, thanks for listening. Thanks for watching. And please feel free to share comment, like, dislike, wherever you’re at on this. Talk to you later.

Photo by Reuben Juarez on Unsplash

PS: Nobody really knows what they’re doing. 🙂 That’s the secret.

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New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including the Sam McRae Mystery series. Screenwriter, podcaster, and blogger. My website: www.debbimack.com.

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