Step by Step

Since making the decision to self-publish, I have laid out a point-form plan of attack of all the materials I need to compile in order to properly publish my novel. The list takes up a full page in point form and includes such steps as “Format manuscript for e-publishing” and “write author’s bio.”

List in hand, I met up with an experienced self-published author named Eden Baylee whom a colleague had introduced me to. Eden has successfully self-published for several years now, and kindly sat with me over a pint to share her experiences. Her insights were both assuring and helpful. Frankly, it was great just to talk with another writer for an evening.

I’ve finished half the work list at this point—something I am proud of.

Formatting the manuscript for e-publishing was the first big step.

I thought the formatting process would be easy. It was—but more time-consuming than I thought. I found lots of resources online about how to format a manuscript for electronic publishing. A couple of the most useful sites I referenced were Easy as Pie (which included a helpful post about cleaning up the original word file), and The Book Designer (which has many great self-publishing guides, including this one about how to plan the overall book). Not all of the sites I found covered every detail so I found it necessary to scour several resources/sites at once.

To help with the other details outside of the core manuscript (dedication, copyright statement, title page—which I now understand compiles the “front matter” of a published book), I grabbed some well-loved books off my shelves as examples. I still need to add a table of contents specific to the e-book, and the book’s “back matter”—the author bio.

The scrutiny paid off and I now have a polished, properly formatted manuscript ready to upload, including all my front and back matter.

The next big steps are to design great cover art—not just good, but great—and to write a fun author’s bio for my romance pseudonym that I can post to a newly build Author’s Page on Facebook and on Amazon.

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