Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Self-Publishing: Lessons from the First Week

It hasn’t even been a week since I published my book, The Dragon’s Daughter, with CreateSpace and on Kindle, and I’ve already learned so many things. Let me share them:

1.       I should have proofed a hard copy of my book before I made it available for sale. I didn’t want to do this for a lot of reasons—none of them good, in hindsight—and I should have. Next time I will.
2.       My interior font size should not have been 8 pt. I’m still shaking my head over that one. I can’t believe I made it that small, and I have no idea why I did. I truly don’t. I do not remember thinking, “Hey, Sharon, make that font so small that teenagers will need reading glasses to see it,” but I must have because that’s what I did. I would have caught that mistake if I had (a) printed a page from my doc before I uploaded it or (b) ordered a hard copy. I have revised the document, changed the font size (which meant I needed a different size PDF for my cover—read “additional expense”), and uploaded it again.
3.       I should have proofed the book itself—the text—as a hard copy. I should have printed out every single page and gone over it with a red pen. I missed some things proofing it digitally that I believe I would have caught on paper. Those too have now been fixed. (I hope, dear God, I hope.) Next time, I’ll hire someone else to proof it. A lawyer who defends herself has a fool for a client. An editor who proofs her own book does too.
4.       I had to raise the price of my book when I changed the font. It went from 158 pages to 268, so it will take more paper to create the book and thus, Amazon and CreateSpace say, “Charge more.” I understand, but I didn’t expect that.
5.       Checking the KDP and CreateSpace sales reports every day is not a good idea. I do it anyway, knowing this, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon, but it’s discouraging when the numbers aren’t what I’d hoped. I do believe people will find my book, buy it, and enjoy it, but it will take some time.
6.       I have very supportive family, friends, and acquaintances. This I did know, but I have been reminded of it so strongly this past week. Every time one of them says she’s excited for me or that he’s ordered my book (or will be ordering it), I do a little happy dance.

It’s exciting—really, really exciting—putting a book out there. It’s also quite the education. I’ve just finished the first draft of my new novel, so hopefully, I’ll be putting these lessons I’ve learned with The Dragon’s Daughter to good use. Maybe I’ll get that one right the first time around. (Inside my head right now, there’s laughter.)

No comments:

Post a Comment