Monday, 9 February 2015

Weekly update Feb 1 to 8: Inside Self-Publishing

Weekly word count: 1200 (a fail on new material but still a productive week)

The business side of self-publishing has been quite an education.  There are a lot of details to take care of, way more than just writing a good story.  I thought I'd share some of them.  Someone was kind enough to share with me and guide me through it and if I can help someone else, I'll be happy.

My experience is as a Canadian.  U.S. authors have a slightly different experience, mostly in regards to taxes and other paperwork.

First steps: Editing and Cover

I paid to have Revelations professionally edited and I'm glad I did.  It was expensive but my book is much better for it.  They pointed out plot holes and areas where I hadn't explained myself properly.  The whole editing process took about 5 months.

I also paid for a professional cover design.  Some people are able to put together great covers themselves.  I'm not one of them.  The cover is the big selling point for most people and it's worth spending money on.  Once the artist had time, it took about two-three weeks of back and forth to get my cover right although I couldn't finalize it until much later when I had all my paperwork details.


Taxes: I registered for an EIN with the IRS, and filed a W8-BEN which explains that I'm a Canadian and they shouldn't withhold taxes.  I'll still have to pay taxes in Canada though, so now I'm responsible for managing my own taxes and will have to be careful.

ISBN: I registered with the Canadian ISBN Service System and was assigned ISBNs for my ebook and print book.

Kindle Direct Publishing account and Createspace account: these are separate accounts and had to be opened before I could get started.  Createspace takes 24 hours to approve an uploaded file before you can look at the proof.  Amazon has specific formatting issues which took awhile to figure out.


I started a blog with Blogger, a Facebook account, a Goodreads account, a Google + account and a Twitter account, all under my pen name.  This is probably something I would have had to do even if I had published with a  traditional publisher, since a lot of promotion falls to the author instead of the company.

All of these things have to be maintained and I'm still learning.  For example, I thought Goodreads automatically opened my author page when I told Amazon to connect with Goodreads.  But that had to be set up manually.  Ditto with my Author account in Amazon, which was separate from my Kindle Direct Publishing account.

Now I'm looking at setting up as an Amazon affiliate, which would mean I would earn credit for people coming from my blog to Amazon.  I want to make sure I understand all the implications before I do it.


This is my brave new world to explore.  I set up a book blitz with Xpresso and it's introduced me to a bunch of bloggers who are all passionate about books.  I'm looking forward to making more connections.

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