Written By: Robyn Jasmine for BBE
Hey BBE fam!
I wanted to touch bases with my blog and get back to my first love “blogging”.
The last month and a half has been so busy for me, but I have so many topics that I want to get out of my head and into the atmosphere.
As most who follow this blog may know, I recently wrote a book. 🙂
What most didn’t know was that I self published. I chose self publishing, because for me it still allowed me to be in full creative control of my project. I encountered a few bumps in the road but I was overall very satisfied with my final project.
For those who are interested in self-publishing on a budget, I’ve listed some tips and resources that helped me.
Createspace.com – I remember being on a conference call a few years ago with two well known publishers. They were giving tips and ideas on how to publish your project, and the topic of CS came up and they deflected from it. So I specifically asked them if they thought this site was a good option. Being the honest women they were, they said CS had a lot of benefits, and though they would rather for you to publish through them, if you’re on budget CS is definitely an option. Say no more fam’. LOL CS is a free service partnered with Amazon to print, market, and distribute your content. FREE. There are no costs for this. As an author, you will have to pay for the printed books you want to have for your personal collection to sell independently. The cost is roughly $2 per book. That’s it. If you didn’t want any copies of your own book (which I’m sure isn’t the case) because the site is linked to Amazon, when a customer purchases your book, CS will print it and ship directly to them. It’s a print on Demand service, allowing essentially for you to be your own publisher. Genius idea if you ask me.
Another great feature with CS is their shipping times are extremely pessimistic. I order my first batch of books (60) on 12/23/16. I was freaking out because the website said that the shipping may be delayed due to the holidays. They gave me an estimated date of 01/06/17 with the expedited shipping. I chose that and crossed my fingers my books would arrive on the date promised because that was my book signing. They arrived 12/31/2016. Enough said.
CS gives you the option of designing your book cover with them free of charge, getting one of their expert designers design a cover for you ($300) or you can upload your own cover as long as it met the sizing requirements. I initially went with their free cover design, but found it to be very basic so I explored other options.
Fivver – On this app, all design services are $5 or less. They are referred to as ‘gigs’. I researched some of the designers who had 4 or 5 stars and paid about $20 to have my cover re-designed front, back and spine as well as a 3D image. This took some work with the designer due to I kept sending my file back for revisions. (It’s very important to purchase a gig with unlimited revisions.) The image I used was my own face (clearly LOL) so I did not have any copyright issues. Be mindful of this once you pick a cover, or the designer will use a photo stock image.
Editing– Though you can purchase editing services on Fivver as well I did not. I have several friends who are English majors, I knew 2 teachers, and one close friend who I let read certain parts of my book to edit or makes suggestions as far as grammar and punctuation.
From there it’s pretty much smooth sailing. I lived on these two sites the whole process of getting my book published, printed and distributed.
Marketing- This is the fun part. Market the hell out of your book lol. I created a website (for free) on bigcartel.com where I sell and ship the books out myself. I created a hashtag and used it on everything lol #dreamingwithabrokenheartbook I of course hosted a book signing and mixer where I was able to answer audience questions about the book and personalize the signing. Everywhere I go I drop my flyers off that has my book image on it, which has increased my personal sales. Even though the book is available on Amazon and Kindle all via CS, it was important for me to have a personal note sent out to each person who purchased a copy.
This pretty much sums up my self-publishing experience, and if in the near future I’m not picked up by the major publishing houses, it will always be my go to. I’m working on the sequel now…:-)